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Betty Ford remembered at California memorial service

PALM DESERT, Calif (Reuters) – Former first lady Betty Ford was remembered on Tuesday for her activism and pioneering work for addicts at a memorial service in California that drew leading political lights of the past four decades. First lady Michelle Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former President George…

Egypt protesters demand ‘civil marriage’

CAIRO — Dozens of Egyptians protested on Thursday to demand the introduction of civil marriages, in order to be able to divorce or remarry. Protesters — Coptic Christians as well as Muslims — want the next parliament elected in September to adopt a law to to allow civil marriages. Currently,…

Egypt to put 48 on trial for church clash

CAIRO (Reuters) – Egypt’s public prosecutor said it had referred 48 Muslims and Christians to criminal court on Saturday for their roles in sectarian violence that led to the burning of a church in the Cairo district of Imbaba on May 7. The clashes, in which 12 people were killed…

Osteen Megachurch volunteer charged with child abuse

WASHINGTON (AFP) – A volunteer at a Texas church home to the largest congregation in the United States has been charged with sexually abusing an autistic child. Alvaro Daniel Guzman, 25, was charged with indecency with a child over a February 2010 incident at a Lakewood Church activities program for…

White House rebukes Graham over Obama comments

WASHINGTON — The White House scolded evangelical preacher Franklin Graham for making “preposterous charges” on Easter Sunday, after he cited conspiracy theories over President Barack Obama’s birthplace. Graham, son of famed pastor Billy Graham, an advisor to presidents for decades, described Obama as a “very nice man” but appeared to…

Chinese Christians arrested at Easter service

BEIJING — Up to 30 members of a Chinese evangelical church were arrested on Sunday for trying to hold an Easter service in defiance of the officially atheist government, a member of the clergy said. A large number of police began to gather early Sunday in the Zhongguancun area of…

Catholic group claims children raped by priests were ‘homosexual’ participants, not victims

The anti-gay Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights is going on the attack against “those who are distorting the truth about priestly sexual abuse.” The group bought an expensive full-page ad in The New York Times Monday that places the blames for the church’s scandals on “homosexuality, not pedophilia.”…

Koran-burning pastor calls for holding Islam accountable

GAINESVILLE, Florida (AFP) – The US pastor, whose burning of a Koran sparked deadly violence in Afghanistan, has called for “immediate” US and UN action against its perpetrators, saying the whole religion of Islam must be held accountable. “Islam is not a religion of peace,” Dove World Outreach Center Pastor…

Koran burnt in Florida church

GAINESVILLE, Florida (AFP) – A controversial US evangelical preacher oversaw the burning of a copy of the Koran in a small Florida church after finding the Muslim holy book “guilty” of crimes. The burning was carried out by pastor Wayne Sapp under the supervision of Terry Jones, who last September…

Egypt government warns of ‘counter-revolution’

CAIRO – Egypt’s new government warned on Wednesday of a “counter-revolution” following a series of deadly political and religious clashes blamed on diehards of the former regime. The government said it “is fully committed to the interests of the people and to implementing the goals of the revolution; and it…

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