Analysis: Catholic Church raises hopes of role in Cuban change

By Reuters Staff
September 17, 2010

cuba 1The Roman Catholic Church has won praise for securing the release of political prisoners in Cuba, raising hopes it can do more to broker reforms on the communist-ruled island and perhaps even help improve U.S.-Cuba ties.

Factbox – Planned protests during pope’s visit to Britain

September 16, 2010

pope visit image (Photo: Official papal visit memorabilia at Catholic bookshop in London September 15, 2010/Toby Melville)

Demonstrations are planned for Pope Benedict’s four-day state visit to England and Scotland, with the main focus likely to be on a Protest the Pope campaign march in central London Saturday, Sept 18.

Feisty debates between Catholics and secularists before pope visit to Britain

September 15, 2010

arrest the pope002If you like debates about religion but were turned off by the uproar in the United States over Koran-burning and the New York Islamic centre, take a look at the rhetorical duelling that’s been going on in Britain ahead of Pope Benedict’s visit there starting on Thursday. For the past few weeks, the leading lights of secularist and atheist thought have been hammering away at the Catholic Church, playing up its sins like the sexual abuse crisis and arguing that the pope doesn’t deserve the honour of a state visit. A quick Google search digs out plenty of them.

Rare pope trip to Britain faces welcome ranging from polite to hostile

September 13, 2010

tartan (Photo: Cardinal Keith O’Brien displays the papal visit plaid in Edinburgh, Scotland September 9, 2010/David Moir)

Pope Benedict this week makes a challenging trip to Britain — only the second by a pope in history — and his welcome in one of Europe’s most secular nations will range from polite to indifferent and even hostile.

Religious tension marks Sept. 11 anniversary

September 11, 2010

tension 1Religious tensions are overshadowing the anniversary of the September 11 attacks on the United States where President Barack Obama urged a Christian preacher to abandon a plan to burn copies of the Koran.

German Chancellor Merkel honours Mohammad cartoonist at press award

By Reuters Staff
September 9, 2010

merkelChancellor Angela Merkel paid tribute to freedom of speech on Wednesday at a ceremony for a Dane whose cartoon of the Prophet Mohammad provoked Muslim protests that led to 50 deaths five years ago.

Criticism mounts of “anti-Muslim frenzy” in U.S., Koran burning plan under fire

By Reuters Staff
September 8, 2010

koran burning 1U.S. religious leaders  have condemned an “anti-Muslim frenzy” in the United States, including plans by a Florida church to burn a Koran on September 11, an act a top general said could endanger American troops abroad. Christian, Muslim and Jewish religious leaders denounced the “misinformation and outright bigotry” against U.S. Muslims resulting from plans to build a Muslim community center and mosque not far from the site of the September 11, 2001, hijacked plane attacks in New York by Islamist militants. The Vatican has also condemned the Koran burning plan.

Indonesian court orders Jakarta Buddha Bar shut after blasphemy complaint

September 1, 2010

buddha bar (Photo: Buddha Bar Restaurant in Jakarta, December 4, 2008/Beawiharta)

The Indonesian branch of the Buddha Bar, an international chain of upmarket bars, has been ordered to close because its name caused distress to Buddhists, local media reported on Wednesday.

No musical instruments please, Vatican asks Britons

August 23, 2010

vuvuzelaPilgrims attending the large public events during Pope Benedict’s visit to England and Scotland next month have been issued a long list of do’s and don’ts including a ban on musical instruments and steel cutlery.

Burmese monks who fled to the U.S. are a vanishing breed

May 13, 2010
buddhist burma

Monks sit in protest as riot policemen and troops block access to Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon on 26 Sept 2007/Adrees Latif