Paris bans open-air “sausage & wine party” over Muslim concerns

By Reuters Staff
June 15, 2010

sausageA giant “sausage and wine” party planned later this week in a Paris neighbourhood with many Muslim residents risks sparking disturbances and will therefore be banned, police in the French capital announced on Tuesday.

Ultra-Orthodox Jews lose grave battle in Israel

May 16, 2010
Israeli police arrest an ultra-Orthodox Jew, protesting the digging up of ancient graves, in the coastal town of Ashkelon May 16, 2010.  REUTERS/Amir Cohen

Israeli police arrest an ultra-Orthodox Jew protesting in Ashkelon on May 16, 2010/Amir Cohen

With new Catholic leader in Hanoi, a breakthrough in sight?

May 11, 2010

Protesters wave banners in support of Archbishop Joseph Ngo Quang Kiet of Hanoi outside the city's cathedral, 7 May 2010/Nguyen Huy Kham

French foreign minister gets ready for criticism over planned burqa ban

May 2, 2010


(French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner on Europe 1 radio, 2 May 2010/Dailymotion)

Can saffron be red in Thailand?

May 1, 2010
THAILAND

(A monk walks along a red shirt barricade in Bangkok's business district on April 25/Sukree Sukplang)

Secular Lebanese protest against Muslim-Christian sectarianism

April 25, 2010

beirut 3

About 3,000 people marched in Beirut on Sunday to demand a secular system in place of the Muslim-Christian sectarianism that permeates politics, employment and family status matters in Lebanon.  “Civil marriage, not civil war” was among the banners carried by the mostly young, educated protesters who gathered in response to a campaign on Internet social networking sites. It was Lebanon’s first such demonstration in favor of secularism.

NYT’s long paper trail on Rome, Ratzinger and abusive priest

March 25, 2010
abuse protest

Protesters hold pictures of Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone and Pope Benedict XVI at demonstration against child sexual abuse at the Vatican 25 March 2010/Alessandro Bianchi

Jerusalem mayor and tensions with ultra-Orthodox Jews

December 8, 2009
Jerusalem on a cloudy day. October 30, 2009. REUTERS/Darren Whiteside

Photo: Jerusalem on a cloudy day, 30 Oct 2009/Darren Whiteside

I had a rare opportunity to talk with Israel’s mayor of Jerusalem Nir Barkat on Sunday about how he spent most of his first year in office trying to find a political homeostasis in the city holy to Jews, Christians and Muslims. The main news that came out of it was his call for the European Union on Monday to reject any future division of the city (read that story here).

Saudi Arabia seeks to curb flu and stop protest at haj

November 24, 2009

haj-maskMore than two million Muslims gather this week for the annual haj pilgrimage to Islam’s holy city of Mecca, where Saudi authorities hope to minimize spread of the H1N1 virus and prevent any political demonstration.

How East Germany’s communists misunderstood its Protestants

November 9, 2009

schroederAnniversaries are a time to look back at how the world was before the historic event being commemorated. During a recent trip to Berlin in advance of today’s 20th anniversary of the Berlin Wall’s fall, I asked the former East German theologian and politician Richard Schröder for his recollections of the life as a Protestant pastor before the country fell apart. He zeroed in on a fascinating aspect of the Communists’ anti-religion policy I’d never heard about before.