After Paris attacks, Pope Francis speaks out against insulting religions

January 15, 2015
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(Pope Francis gestures as he answers questions from a journalist during the flight from Colombo, Sri Lanka, to Manila in the Philippines January 15, 2015. REUTERS/ Stefano Rellandini)

Orthodox Christians retrieve holy cross from icy Istanbul waters

January 14, 2015

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More than a dozen swimmers have braced the icy waters of Istanbul’s Golden Horn to take part in one of the world’s oldest polar bear plunges: the ancient Greek Orthodox rite celebrating the Feast of the Epiphany.

French Jews considering move to Israel worry about a harder life there

January 14, 2015
(Mourners hold placards at a cemetery during the joint funeral of Yohan Cohen, Yoav Hattab, Philippe Braham and Francois-Michel Saada, victims of Friday's attack on a Paris grocery, in Jerusalem January 13, 2015. Four French Jews killed in the attack on a kosher supermarket in Paris were buried in Jerusalem on Tuesday before thousands of French and Israeli mourners, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying they had been returned to their "true home".REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)

(Mourners hold placards at a cemetery during the joint funeral of Yohan Cohen, Yoav Hattab, Philippe Braham and Francois-Michel Saada, victims of Friday’s attack on a Paris grocery, in Jerusalem January 13, 2015. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)

French comedian Dieudonné arrested after Charlie Hebdo gag

By Reuters Staff
January 14, 2015
(French comedian Dieudonne M'Bala M'Bala, also known as just "Dieudonne", attends a news conference at the "Theatre de la Main d'or" in Paris January 11, 2014. A French court upheld a ban on a show scheduled in the central city of Tours on Friday by Dieudonne, accused of insulting the memory of Holocaust victims, the second performance in a nationwide tour to be banned. Picture taken January 11, 2014. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes)

(French comedian Dieudonne M’Bala M’Bala, also known as just “Dieudonne”, attends a news conference at the “Theatre de la Main d’or” in Paris January 11, 2014. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes)

In Catholic Philippines, father-priests seek blessing from Pope Francis

By Reuters Staff
January 14, 2015
(Roman Catholic priest Father Elmer Cajilig smiles as he poses with his common law wife Kristine and their children after a holy mass at a chapel in Lambunao, Iloilo on Panay island in central Philippines January 11, 2015. Church leaders in the Philippines consider Cajilig persona non grata for failing to adhere to one of the most important tenets of the priesthood - abstaining from sex. Although celibacy is not expected to be directly raised during the Pope's visit to the Philippines this week, some in the Church hope that the pontiff will in time listen to their pleas for change. In the Philippines, which accounts for about half of Asia's Roman Catholics, a handful of priests have been asked to leave the priesthood for fathering children. Picture taken January 11, 2015. REUTERS/Erik De Castro)

(Roman Catholic priest Father Elmer Cajilig smiles as he poses with his common law wife Kristine and their children after a holy mass at a chapel in Lambunao, Iloilo on Panay island in central Philippines January 11, 2015. REUTERS/Erik De Castro)

from The Great Debate:

Netanyahu’s invitation to French Jews was awkward. For many reasons.

By Dimi Reider
January 14, 2015

French President Francois Hollande welcomes Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Elysee Palace before attending a solidarity march in the streets of Paris

On Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made an impassioned call for French Jews to immigrate to Israel, after a series of attacks that began on the day of the Charlie Hebdo massacre killed four in a kosher supermarket in Paris. To many, it seemed like the most natural response he could deliver. After all, this is Israel’s stated raison d’etre: to provide refuge to persecuted Jews, wherever they may be. Underlying this sentiment is a deeper one, shared by Israelis across the political spectrum. It is the idea that Jewish life is at its most meaningful, and relevant, if carried out in the Jewish state.

Charlie Hebdo to publish Mohammad cartoon on front page

January 13, 2015
(Satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo new editor in chief Gerard Briard (L) and columnist Patrick Pelloux comfort cartoonist Luz (C) during a news conference at the French newspaper Liberation offices in Paris, January 13, 2015. Charlie Hebdo will publish the front page showing a caricature of the Prophet Mohammad holding a sign saying "Je suis Charlie" in its first edition since Islamist gunmen attacked the satirical newspaper. With demand surging for the edition due on Wednesday, the weekly planned to print up to 3 million copies and in sixteen languages, dwarfing its usual run of 60,000, after newsagents reported that large numbers of customers around the country were placing orders. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer)

(Satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo new editor in chief Gerard Briard (L) and columnist Patrick Pelloux comfort cartoonist Luz (C) during a news conference at the French newspaper Liberation offices in Paris, January 13, 2015. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer)

from The Great Debate:

Charlie Hebdo fallout: Specter of fascist past haunts European nationalism

By Jacob Heilbrunn
January 13, 2015

Members of DUEGIDA, Duesseldorf's section of anti-immigration movement Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West (PEGIDA) demonstrate in Duesseldorf

When up to a dozen world leaders and roughly 1.5 million people gathered in Paris on Sunday to mourn the murder of 10 editors and cartoonists of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and seven other people by three French-born Islamic radicals, they wanted to demonstrate that Europe will always embrace liberal and tolerant values.

Jewish Agency expects far more French Jews to move to Israel

January 11, 2015
(Men hang an Israeli flag on a tree before a rally in Tel Aviv, January 11, 2015, in tribute to this week's victims following the shootings by gunmen at the Paris offices of the satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo, the killing of a police woman in Montrouge, and the hostage taking at a kosher supermarket at the Porte de Vincennes. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu coupled a show of solidarity with France on Sunday with a reminder to shaken French Jews that Israel is keen to welcome them as immigrants. REUTERS/Baz Ratner)

(Men hang an Israeli flag on a tree before a rally in Tel Aviv, January 11, 2015, saying “I am Charlie – kosher too”.  REUTERS/Baz Ratner)

Voodoo priests and doctors on the frontline of Haiti’s mental healthcare

By Reuters Staff
January 9, 2015
(A voodoo priest (L) attends a mass ritual with his congregation during the Plain Du Nord Festival July 24, 2010. Thousands of believers sacrifice animals and pray in mud pools during the festival to ask the voodoo spirits and the dead for help with money, the future and children. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz)

(A voodoo priest (L) attends a mass ritual with his congregation during the Plain Du Nord Festival July 24, 2010. Thousands of believers sacrifice animals and pray in mud pools during the festival to ask the voodoo spirits and the dead for help with money, the future and children. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz)