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Court challenge tests authority of Islamic religious law in Nigeria

Court challenge tests authority of Islamic religious law in Nigeria

HAMZA IBRAHIM A Nigerian court reserved judgment on a challenge against sharia law in the mostly Muslim northern state of Kano in a case that will test the authority of Islamic religious law in Africa's most populous country. Nigeria's constitution is neutral on religion. The country is divided between the largely Christian south and mostly Muslim north. Kano is one of the foremost states that enforce sharia law, including the death penalty against blasphemy. In 2020, a 22-year-old singer, Yahaya Aminu Sharif, was sentenced to death while a teenager was jailed for 10 years by Kano Sharia Court over accusations…
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Putting stamp on future, pope names cardinals with tilt towards Asia

Putting stamp on future, pope names cardinals with tilt towards Asia

PHILIP PULLELLA POPE Francis announced that he would appoint 21 new cardinals, including one based in Mongolia, as he again put his stamp on the Roman Catholic Church's future by elevating more men from the developing world to the high rank. Sixteen are cardinal electors under 80 and eligible to enter a conclave to elect his successor from among themselves after his death or resignation. Eleven of the electors are from, or based in, countries outside Europe or North America. Cardinals rank second only to the pope in the Church hierarchy and serve as his closest advisors at home and…
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List of new cardinals named by Pope Francis

List of new cardinals named by Pope Francis

HERE is a list of the 21 men Pope Francis will install as Roman Catholic cardinals at a ceremony known as a consistory on Aug. 27. Cardinal Electors under 80 will be able to enter a conclave to elect the next pope after Francis dies or retires: 1. Archbishop Arthur Roche (British) - Prefect of the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments 2. Archbishop Lazzaro You Heung-sik (South Korean) - Prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Clergy 3. Archbishop Fernando Vérgez Alzaga (Spanish) - President of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State and…
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Indian court limits Muslim gatherings at mosque after Hindu idols found, lawyer says

Indian court limits Muslim gatherings at mosque after Hindu idols found, lawyer says

SAURABH SHARMA A court banned large Muslim prayer gatherings in one of north India's highest-profile mosques after a survey team found relics of the Hindu god Shiva and other Hindu symbols there, a lawyer involved in the case said. The judge at the court in Varanasi - Hinduism's holiest city and the site of the historic Gyanvapi mosque - ruled that Islamic gatherings there should be limited to 20 people, lawyer H. S. Jain said. The court ordered the survey of the mosque after five women - represented by Jain - sought permission to perform Hindu rituals in one part…
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Tigray’s ancient rock-hewn churches are under threat: why it matters

Tigray’s ancient rock-hewn churches are under threat: why it matters

ETHIOPIA’S ancient civilisations are believed to date back more than 3,000 years. Many of the country’s most famous ancient artefacts are found in Tigray. The region has been embroiled in war since November 2020. Fighting between forces allied to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Tigrayan troops has led to the deaths of thousands of people and displaced millions. It has also caused the destruction of numerous historical monuments. With the region under a blockade, it has been difficult to track the scale of the damage done. Hagos Abrha Abay, a philologist, is documenting the region’s heritage loss. He sheds…
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What is Eid al-Fitr and how do Muslims celebrate it? 6 questions answered

What is Eid al-Fitr and how do Muslims celebrate it? 6 questions answered

EDITOR’S NOTE: Muslims all over the world are celebrating Eid al-Fitr, one of the religion’s principal festivals. In July, Muslims will celebrate Eid al-Adha. Ken Chitwood, a scholar of global Islam, explains the two Islamic festivals. Author KEN CHITWOOD, Lecturer, Concordia College New York | Journalist-fellow, USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture, Concordia College New York 1. What is Eid? Eid literally means a “festival” or “feast” in Arabic. There are two major eids in the Islamic calendar per year – Eid al-Fitr earlier in the year and Eid al-Adha later. Eid al-Fitr is a three-day-long festival and is…
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Atheism in Kenya: why accurate numbers are hard to come by

Atheism in Kenya: why accurate numbers are hard to come by

THE accuracy of statistics on religious affiliations in sub-Saharan Africa is questionable. This makes it difficult to assess religious trends. The issue has come to the fore recently in Kenya with the release of statistics around religious affiliation. In particular, the fact that the census showed that 1.6% of Kenyans identified themselves as atheists, agnostics or as following no religion in particular. In the parlance of the census, they were classified as ‘nones’. But is this number accurate? I think it’s doubtful. There are two major reasons why. Author P. PRATAP KUMAR, Emeritus Professor, School of Religion, Philosophy and Classics,…
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Vatican mulling Jerusalem meeting between pope, Russian patriarch

Vatican mulling Jerusalem meeting between pope, Russian patriarch

PHILIP PULLELLA THE Vatican is studying the possibility of extending Pope Francis' trip to Lebanon in June so he can fly to Jerusalem to meet their Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill, who has backed Russia's war in Ukraine, two sources told Reuters. It would be only their second meeting. Their first, in Cuba in 2016, was the first between a pope and a leader of the Russian Orthodox Church since the Great Schism that split Christianity into Eastern and Western branches in 1054. Kirill, 75, has given his full-throated blessing for Russia's invasion of Ukraine, a position that has splintered the…
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Pope implicitly criticises Putin on invasion, considers Kyiv trip

Pope implicitly criticises Putin on invasion, considers Kyiv trip

PHILIP PULLELLA POPE Francis said he was considering a trip to Kyiv and implicitly criticised Russian President Vladimir Putin over the invasion of Ukraine, saying a "potentate" was fomenting conflict for nationalist interests. Francis made the comments, first to reporters on the plane taking him to Malta for a two-day visit, and then in a hard-hitting speech in the island's presidential palace that left little doubt who he was referring to. "From the east of Europe, from the land of the sunrise, the dark shadows of war have now spread. We had thought that invasions of other countries, savage street…
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Violence against women insults God, pope says in New Year’s message

Violence against women insults God, pope says in New Year’s message

PHILIP PULLELLA POPE Francis used his New Year's message on Saturday to issue a clarion call for an end to violence against women, saying it was insulting to God. Francis, 85, celebrated a Mass in St. Peter's Basilica on the day the Roman Catholic Church marks both the solemnity of Holy Mary Mother of God as well as its annual World Day of Peace. Francis appeared to be in good form on Saturday following an unexplained incident on New Year's Eve where he attended a service but at the last minute did not preside over it as he had been…
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