FaithWorld

Indian court orders arrest of cricket star portrayed as Hindu god Vishnu

India's Mahendra Singh Dhoni catches the ball during the ICC Champions Trophy group B match against the West Indies at The Oval cricket ground in London June 11, 2013. REUTERS/Philip Brown

(India’s Mahendra Singh Dhoni catches the ball during the ICC Champions Trophy group B match against the West Indies at The Oval cricket ground in London June 11, 2013. REUTERS/Philip Brown)

An Indian court has issued an arrest warrant against national cricket team captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni for allegedly hurting the religious sentiments of Hindus, according to local media reports.

The case was filed last year against the 32-year-old after the cover of an Indian magazine last year carried a picture of him portrayed as the Hindu god Vishnu.

The bailable warrant was issued on Tuesday after Dhoni failed to appear before the court despite three summons. The next date of hearing has been set for July 16.

Dhoni is currently touring with the Indian squad in England, where the team will play five tests, five one-day internationals and one Twenty20 international.

China jails 25 members in latest sentencing of illegal Jesus cult

(Traffic wardens chat near Beijing's Tiananmen Gate at a hazy night, October 8, 2012. China risks economic malaise, deepening unrest and ultimately even a crisis that could shake the Communist Party's grip on power unless its next leader, Xi Jinping, pushes through stalled reforms, experts close to the government have warned. REUTERS/Jason Lee)

(Traffic wardens chat near Beijing’s Tiananmen Gate at a hazy night, October 8, 2012. REUTERS/Jason Lee)

A Chinese court has sentenced 25 members of a banned religious group to prison terms of up to eight years, state media said on Friday, the largest in a series of prosecutions against a group that China calls an illegal cult.

China has sentenced dozens of followers of Quannengshen, or the Church of Almighty God religious movement, since the murder of a woman at a fastfood restaurant by alleged members of the group earlier this month sparked a national outcry.

Erdogan’s presidential rival, ex-OIC head, says keep religion out of politics

(Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, leading opposition candidate for August's presidential elections, meets with Republican People's Party (CHP) Leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu (R) in Ankara June 26, 2014. Last week, the secularist Republican People's Party and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) said they had agreed to nominate Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, who stepped down in December as head of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), as their joint candidate for the presidential race. REUTERS/Umit Bektas )

(Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, leading opposition candidate for August’s presidential elections, meets with Republican People’s Party (CHP) Leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu (R) in Ankara June 26, 2014.  REUTERS/Umit Bektas )

The main Turkish opposition candidate for president stressed the need to keep religion out of politics on Thursday and called for national unity, a clear challenge to the divisive but popular Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan who looks set to win.

Erdogan, a founder of the ruling AK Party which has roots in Islamist politics, is expected to announce his candidacy next week and polls suggest he will win outright on Aug. 10 when Turks directly elect their president for the first time.

Sudan releases Christian convert but insists she stay in the country

Interior of the St. Matthew's Catholic Cathedral, Khartoum, Sudan.

Interior of the St. Matthew’s Catholic Cathedral, Khartoum, Sudan, Aug 1, 2009/Petrus Adamus

A Sudanese woman who was spared the death penalty for converting to Christianity but was then detained as she tried to leave the country was released from custody on Thursday, on condition she remains in Sudan, her lawyer said.

Mariam Yahya Ibrahim, 27, was detained at Khartoum airport on Tuesday, one day after an appeals court overturned a death sentence imposed for having converted from Islam to marry her Christian American husband.

Sri Lankan hardline Buddhists say Facebook accounts blocked after violence

(Muslims stand next to a burnt shop after a clash between Buddhists and Muslims in Aluthgama June 16, 2014. At least three Muslims were killed and 75 people seriously injured in violence between Buddhists and Muslims in southern Sri Lankan coastal towns best known as tourist draws, with Muslim homes set ablaze, officials and residents said on Monday. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte)

(Muslims stand next to a burnt shop after a clash between Buddhists and Muslims in Aluthgama June 16, 2014. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte)

Buddhist activists accused of involvement in violence against Sri Lanka’s minority Muslims said on Friday that accounts of their group’s members on social media site Facebook had been blocked.

Clashes erupted on June 15 in Aluthgama and Beruwela, two towns with large Muslim populations on the island’s southern coast, during a protest march led by the hardline group Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), or “Buddhist Power Force”.

Vatican orders Catholic archbishop accused of sex abuse to be defrocked

(Archbishop Josef Wesolowski, the Vatican's ambassador to the Dominican Republic, offers mass in Santo Domingo August 3, 2009. The Vatican has recalled Wesolowski, who has been in the Dominican Republic for nearly six years, and relieved him of his duties pending an investigation, after local media accused him of paedophilia, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said on September 4, 2013. Picture taken August 3, 2009. REUTERS/Luis Gomez/Diario Libre )

(Archbishop Josef Wesolowski celebrates mass in Santo Domingo August 3, 2009. REUTERS/Luis Gomez/Diario Libre )

Roman Catholic Church authorities have ordered a Polish archbishop accused of sexual abuse in the Dominican Republic to be defrocked as a priest pending further criminal proceedings, the Vatican said on Friday.

The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith ordered Josef Wesolowski, a former Vatican nuncio or ambassador to the Caribbean nation to be stripped of the priesthood.

Gays and their children should not suffer Church bias, Vatican document says

(Members of a gay activist group hold signs in front of St. Peter's square in the Vatican December 16, 2012. A group of demonstrators protesting against the Roman Catholic Church's stance on homosexual marriage tried to enter St Peter's Square in the Vatican on Sunday as Pope Benedict was giving his weekly address to pilgrims. The protesters - who were kept out of the square by police - were upset over a speech by the pontiff on Friday in which he appeared to include efforts to legalise gay marriage among the threats to peace in the world. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi )

(Members of a gay activist group hold signs in front of St. Peter’s square in the Vatican December 16, 2012. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi )

The Roman Catholic Church must be less judgmental of homosexuals and, while still opposing gay marriage, should welcome children of gay couples into the faith with equal dignity, a Vatican document said on Thursday.

A 75-page document, a working paper for the synod of Catholic bishops planned for the Vatican in October to discuss family issues, also said the 1.2 billion member Church should become less exclusive and more humble.

Britain bans Saudi cleric who supports jihad in Syria

(Iraqi security forces display vehicles, weapons and ammunition confiscated from the Sunni militant group 'Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant' (ISIL) in Samarra, June 6, 2014. Iraqi helicopters bombed the city of Samarra after insurgents overran parts of it early on Thursday, bringing them within striking distance of a Shi'ite shrine the destruction of which in a 2006 attack unleashed a bitter sectarian war. The offensive is part of an escalating conflict between Iraq's Shi'ite Muslim-led government and Sunni Islamist militants who have been regaining momentum in the past year, particularly in the west of the country bordering Syria. REUTERS/Stringer )

(Iraqi security forces display vehicles, weapons and ammunition confiscated from the Sunni militant group ‘Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’ (ISIL) in Samarra, June 6, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer )

Britain has banned Mohammed al-Arifi, a conservative Sunni Muslim cleric from Saudi Arabia with over 9 million Twitter followers, as it tries to deter young Muslims from going to join Islamic militants in Syria.

Arifi, who has called for jihad against President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, has visited Britain several times. British newspapers said this week he had preached in a Cardiff mosque attended by three young Muslims who have traveled to Syria to fight.

Three European courts grapple with end-of-life dilemmas

(Marie-Genevieve Lambert (L), the half sister, and Francois Lambert (R), the nephew of Vincent Lambert, who is tetraplegic and currently on artificial life support, leaves the court after the verdict in a judicial case at the Council of State (Conseil d'Etat) in Paris, June 24, 2014. France's top administrative court ruled on Tuesday that doctors should be allowed to take a tetraplegic man off life support after nearly six years in a coma, siding with his wife in a case that has revived a debate about euthanasia. The Council of State ruled that doctors had the right to end the medical support that has kept Vincent Lambert, brain-damaged and in vegetative state, artificially alive since a motorbike accident on the way to work plunged him into a coma in September 2008. The verdict follows a heart-rending battle between Lambert's wife Rachel, seeking to let the former psychiatric nurse die, and his parents, who took legal action last year to halt plans by his doctors to do that. REUTERS/John Schults)

(Marie-Genevieve Lambert (L), the half sister, and Francois Lambert (R), the nephew of Vincent Lambert, who is tetraplegic and currently on artificial life support, leaves the court after the verdict in a judicial case at the Council of State (Conseil d’Etat) in Paris, June 24, 2014. REUTERS/John Schults)

Three European courts stepped carefully around delicate end-of-life issues on Wednesday, with one rejecting assisted suicide, another delaying it and a third acquitting a doctor from charges he murdered dying patients.

The varied rulings by Britain’s Supreme Court, the European Court of Human Rights and a regional French court reflected the difficulty of drawing a clear legal line between aiding terminal patients to die in peace and committing murder.

Sudan summons U.S., South Sudan envoys in row over Christian convert

(St. Matthew's Cathedral, Khartoum)

(St. Matthew’s Cathedral, Khartoum, 5 October 2013/Shmyg)

Sudan has summoned the U.S. and South Sudanese ambassadors over the new detention of a Christian convert who was trying to fly to the United States with her family after being released from death row, the state’s top security service said on Wednesday.

Mariam Yahya Ibrahim was freed on Monday after an appeals court canceled the death sentence imposed for having converted from Islam to marry her Christian husband, after the government came under what it called unprecedented international pressure.

But she was detained again on Tuesday for trying to use documents issued by the embassy of South Sudan to fly out of Khartoum with her American-South Sudanese husband and their two children – deepening the diplomatic wrangle over her case.