from FaithWorld:

Turkey reopening ancient Armenian church to heal wounds

July 21, 2010

akdamar 1 (Photos: The Church of the Holy Cross, Akdamar Island, 27 June 2010/Umit Bektas)

Swallows dart around the dome of the 10th century Armenian church rising from Akdamar Island set amid the turquoise waters of Lake Van.  Tombstones with ancient Christian inscriptions and crosses lie scattered among the weeds in the garden, where day-trippers picnic in the shade of almond trees and sunbathe after a swim.

from FaithWorld:

Muslims seek to add Islamic holidays to New York school calendar

By Reuters Staff
July 14, 2010

new york (Photo:  New York City skyline, December 12, 2009/Jessica Rinaldi)

Muslim parents, students and civic groups are campaigning to add two of their religious holidays to the New York City public school calendar, pinning their hopes on state lawmakers after failing to win over Mayor Michael Bloomberg to the idea. Supporters say there are more than 100,000 Muslim students in the public schools, or about 12 percent of the enrollment.

from FaithWorld:

Europe, face veils and a Catholic view of a Muslim issue

July 1, 2010

burqa 1The French National Assembly begins debating a complete ban on Muslim full face veils in public next week and could outlaw them by the autumn. Belgium's lower house of parliament has passed a draft ban and could banish them from its streets in the coming months if its Senate agrees. The Spanish Senate has passed a motion to ban them after a few towns introduced their own prohibitions.

from FaithWorld:

Roman archaeologists find oldest images of Apostles in a catacomb

June 22, 2010

apostles 4 (Photo: Professor Fabrizio Bisconti shows the image of an unidentified person on the ceiling of the catacomb chamber, with the four portraits of Apostles in circles in the corners of the ceiling, 22 June 2010/Tony Gentile)

Archaeologists and art restorers using new laser technology have discovered what they believe are the oldest paintings of the faces of Jesus Christ's Apostles.  The images in a branch of the catacombs of St Tecla near St Paul's Basilica, just outside the walls of ancient Rome, were painted at the end of the 4th century or the start of the 5th century.

from FaithWorld:

Witness – Writing on the walls in the Holy Land

June 21, 2010

bethlehem wall 1 (Photo: A Palestinian near the Israeli barrier in the Aida refugee camp in the West Bank town of Bethlehem November 9, 2009/Darren Whiteside)

Alastair Macdonald has been Reuters Bureau Chief in Israel and the Palestinian territories for the past three years. As a foreign correspondent over the past 20, he has previously been based in London, Paris, Moscow, Berlin and Baghdad.  As he ends his assignment in Jerusalem, he reflects in the following story on how he has watched people in the region build an array of barriers, both physical and emotional, to cut themselves off from each other.

from FaithWorld:

Egypt prepares new marriage and divorce law for non-Muslims

June 15, 2010

coptEgypt will draft a new law to govern marriage and divorce for non-Muslims, a state newspaper reported, a move analysts see as an attempt to contain anger after a court overruled the Coptic Orthodox Church last month.

from FaithWorld:

Russian Orthodox want tougher abortion law, ties with “pro-life” West

By Reuters Staff
June 2, 2010

red square

Moscow's Red Square -- soon the site of an anti-abortion march? (Itar-Tass photo 9 May 2005)

from FaithWorld:

Western aid groups deny religious agenda in Afghanistan

June 2, 2010

convertTwo Western aid organisations have denied allegations they were engaged in Christian proselytising in Afghanistan after the government suspended their activities following a television report.  Church World Service and Norwegian Church Aid said they had been operating in Afghanistan for decades and their work was entirely humanitarian.

from FaithWorld:

Afghanistan to probe NGOs after “preaching” report

By Reuters Staff
May 31, 2010
aid

Afghanistan has launched an investigation into the activities of hundreds of aid groups after a local media report accused a Norwegian organisation of preaching Christianity, a crime punishable by death.

from FaithWorld:

Egypt court says Copts can remarry, church objects

May 31, 2010

coptic

Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Church in Cairo, December 11, 2005/Tara Todras-Whitehill