‘Love Jihad’ and religious conversion polarize in Modi’s India

September 5, 2014
(People take part in a religion conversion ceremony from Christianity to Hinduism at Hasayan town in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh August 29, 2014. Picture taken August 29, 2014. To match Insight INDIA-RELIGION/MODI REUTERS/Adnan Abidi )

(People take part in a religion conversion ceremony from Christianity to Hinduism at Hasayan town in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh August 29, 2014. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi )

Capital gains mean church losses in new German tax twist

August 29, 2014
(The Cologne cathedral is pictured October 16, 2005. WORLD CUP 2006 PREVIEW CITYSCAPE REUTERS/Ina Fassbender/)

(The Cologne cathedral,  October 16, 2005. REUTERS/Ina Fassbender/)

A change in Germany’s capital gains tax has prompted an exodus from its Catholic and Protestant churches this year as thousands of registered members quit their parishes rather than pay the money.

In change of heart, Nepal allows cremation of Tibetan monk

By Reuters Staff
July 31, 2014
(Buddhist monks take part in the funeral of Shamar Rinpoche in a monastery in Kathmandu July 31, 2014. Nepal has allowed a monk prominent in Tibetan Buddhism to be cremated in a monastery in Kathmandu, a minister said on Tuesday, disregarding fears of possible anti-China protests by his followers during the funeral. The government had previously barred the followers of Shamar Rinpoche from bringing his body back to Nepal - where he ran a monastery - for the final rites, a decision that local media had blamed on pressure from China. Rinpoche, also known as the Shamarpa, died of a heart attack in Germany aged 62 on June 11. REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar )

(Buddhist monks take part in the funeral of Shamar Rinpoche in a monastery in Kathmandu July 31, 2014. REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar )

from John Lloyd:

As Israel attacks Gaza, Jews elsewhere feel an impact

By John Lloyd
July 16, 2014

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As the death toll in Gaza rises, so does anger against Israel -- and sometimes, by extension, Jews -- in Europe and elsewhere.

Nepal halts cremation of Buddhist monk after Chinese pressure: report

By Reuters Staff
July 16, 2014
(A monk rests at the premises of Boudhanath Stupa in Kathmandu March 10, 2014. Security was increased at the premises as Tibetan exiles in Nepal commemorated the 55th Tibetan Uprising Day. With a growing Chinese influence over Nepal, the Nepalese government stands strong against Tibetan exiles whose protests in support of their homeland have increased in recent years. Nepal ceased issuing refugee papers to Tibetans in 1989 and recognizes Tibet to be a part of China. REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar )

(A monk rests at the premises of Boudhanath Stupa in Kathmandu March 10, 2014. REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar )

Vatican makes “new generation” cardinal head of key German archdiocese

July 11, 2014
(German Cardinal Rainer Woelki waves as he arrives for a meeting at the Synod Hall in the Vatican March 5, 2013. Catholic cardinals in a closed-door meeting ahead of the election of a new pontiff want to be briefed on a secret report into leaks about alleged corruption and mismanagement in the Vatican, a senior source said on Monday. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini )

(German Cardinal Rainer Woelki waves as he arrives for a meeting at the Synod Hall in the Vatican March 5, 2013. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini )

A game of two popes: Vatican plays down talk of World Cup rivalry

July 11, 2014
(Pope Francis (L) prays with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI after arriving at the Castel Gandolfo summer residence, south of Rome March 23, 2013. Pope Francis travelled by helicopter from the Vatican to Castel Gandolfo for a private meeting with former Pope Benedict XVI. REUTERS/Osservatore Romano )

(Pope Francis (L) prays with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI at Castel Gandolfo March 23, 2013. REUTERS/Osservatore Romano )

Cobblestones to remember murdered Jews multiply in Berlin

By Reuters Staff
April 30, 2014
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(A memorial stone commemorating Holocaust victims Karl Bukofzer and Alfred Koh in front of their former home in Berlin, November 6, 2013. REUTERS/Thomas Peter )

from John Lloyd:

Modi: Democrat or divider

By John Lloyd
April 9, 2014

India’s 815 million voters started the five-week voting cycle earlier this week. It’s already being celebrated as a triumph just for taking place -- “the largest collective democratic act in history,” according to the Economist.

Vatican removes German ‘bishop of bling’ over luxury home

March 28, 2014

(A car drives past the residence of Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst next to Limburg Cathedral (L) in Limburg October 14, 2013.REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach)