The head of Haiti’s voodoo religion has appealed to authorities to halt the bloody lynchings of voodoo priests by people who blame them for causing the Caribbean country’s deadly cholera epidemic. Since the epidemic started in mid-October, at least 45 male and female voodoo priests, known respectively as “houngan” and “manbo,” have been killed. Many of the victims were hacked to death and mutilated by machetes, Max Beauvoir, the “Ati” or supreme leader of Haitian voodoo, told Reuters.
(Photo: An Algerian stands near the newly restored Notre Dame D’Afrique Basilica in Algiers December 13, 2010/Zohra Bensemra)
A Catholic church that has been a landmark in Algeria’s capital for over a century has officially re-opened after restoration work, providing a symbol of religious tolerance in the mainly Muslim country. Algeria is emerging from a nearly two-decade-long Islamist insurgency, but the Catholic community has maintained a presence, even though several Christian clergymen have been among hundreds of thousands killed in the violence.
(Photo: Pro-headscarf protest at the education ministry in Baku, December 10, 2010/Turkhan Karimov)
Hundreds of people protested in Azerbaijan on Friday for the right to wear Islamic headscarves in schools, challenging the strictly secular regime. Around 800-1,000 people took part in the demonstration outside the Ministry of Education, far more than Azerbaijan’s opposition has mustered in recent years to demand reform in the tightly-controlled former Soviet republic.
An Iranian Internet site for devotees of Nazi Germany has been allowed to reopen after being blocked briefly by government censors, a news website reported, raising questions about the official attitude to anti-Semitism.
The sometimes difficult integration of Muslims is climbing the ladder of public concerns in Europe. It’s been hotly debated in Germany and figured in recent elections in the Netherlands and Austria. Now, a French government body called the High Council for Integration (HCI) has drawn up a critical report about the problems faced by — and posed by — school pupils with immigrant backgrounds. It’s not only about Muslim pupils, but they are mentioned so frequently that it’s clear who’s mostly involved here.
(Photo: Tea Party member Ellie Mels at a Tea Party Fair in Charlotte, Michigan July 24, 2010/Rebecca Cook)
Many supporters of the conservative Tea Party movement that has shaken up politics share the same views as the Christian right on social issues like abortion and the role of religion in public life, according to a poll released on Tuesday.
(Photo: A Muslim woman protests against France’s ban on full face veils outside the French Embassy in London September 25, 2010/Luke MacGregor)
Two centre-right parties agreed on Thursday to ban full face veils in the Netherlands as the price for parliamentary support from the anti-Islam Freedom party for their planned minority government.