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Berliners reject choice of religion as alternative to compulsory ethics classes

Citizens in the German capital, Berlin, have voted against offering religious education in state schools as an alternative to an existing mandatory course in ethics which some critics accuse of teaching moral relativism.

28/04/09
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Catholic principals may need degree in Catholic leadership says Bishop

Those applying for future jobs as Catholic school principals might need a post-graduate qualification in Catholic school leadership, according to Bishop Leo O’Reilly, the head of the Catholic hierarchy’s education commission.

28/04/09
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Budget cuts an “outrageous attack” on minority faith schools: Hayes

The Government's education cuts constitute “an outrageous attack” on the schools of minority faiths, according to Fine Gael's spokesman on education, Brian Hayes.

24/04/09
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New religious freedom group set up by Cardinal Pell

The Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell, along with other prominent Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders, have formed a new lobby group, the Ambrose Centre for Religious Liberty, to fight what they say is the growing threat to religious freedom in Australia.

23/04/09
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Irish children do better than most European children: report

Irish children fare better than most children in Europe, according to a new UK study of children's well-being.

23/04/09
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Children should be taught about love as well as sex says Archbishop

Children should be taught about love and responsibility as well as the mechanics of sexual reproduction according to the Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan.

He was reacting to the recent rise in the number of teenage pregnancies in Britain and proposals to allow adverts for contraception and abortion to be aired on TV.

He said that parents needed to do all in their power to prevent family breakdown saying their owed it to their children.

He told the governing body of the Church in Wales yesterday: “We have the highest teenage pregnancy rate in Europe. It was announced last month that the ban on advertisements for contraceptives may be lifted. That may help reduce the number of teenage pregnancies, but what does it do to teach young people that parenthood is an awesome responsibility that requires both love and self-sacrifice from parents who are committed to the child and to one another?”

He continued: “We need to be teaching these basic concepts, as well as parentcraft, in our schools from an early age”. The mechanics of sex must not be “divorced from the basic concepts of love, responsibility and self-respect.”

22/04/09

New EU anti-discrimination law to threaten religious freedom

A proposed new EU anti-discrimination law, amended earlier this month by the European Parliament, will severely threaten religious freedom according to Churches in Britain.

21/04/09
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Romania considers decriminalising consensual incest

Romania is considering decriminalising consensual incest between adults. The move is being considered as part of a range of changes to the country's criminal law.

21/04/09
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Majority in UK believe in heaven: poll

A majority of people in Britain believe in heaven and life after death, according to a UK-wide survey.

17/04/09
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Strong families benefit teenagers: study

Teenagers gain significant benefits from strong families, no matter what level of income their parents have, according to new US research.

17/04/09
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British family in decline: new report

Women in England and Wales are now more likely to give birth before they turn 25 than get married, according to new Government statistics.

16/04/09
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UK charity worker suspended after "friendly chat" about religion

A UK charity worker David Booker has been suspended after a "calm and friendly discussion" about same sex marriage and religion with a colleague.

16/04/09
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Coronation Street blasted for attacking Christianity

Dozens of viewers have complained to the television regulator after an episode of Coronation Street, broadcast on Easter Sunday, featured a string of outbursts against Christianity.

15/04/09
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Cardinal Brady cites benefits of religious practice

Cardinal Sean Brady, the Catholic primate of All-Ireland, has pointed to research showing that religious faith can help people to overcome difficulties in life.

15/04/09
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Canadian father loses appeal over grounding of daughter

A Canadian father who was taken to court by his 12-year-old daughter after he grounded her in June 2008 has lost his appeal, a decision condemned by pro-family campaigners.

09/04/09
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US state legalises same-sex marriage but protects religious freedom

The US state of Vermont has legalised same-sex marriage. The bill passed through Vermont's House of Representatives with just enough votes to overturn Governor Jim Douglas' veto on Tuesday.

09/04/09
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Human rights treaties should be immediately applicable in domestic law: expert

Countries should be immediately bound by international human rights treaties of which they are signatories, rather than waiting for their legislatures to incorporate them into their national laws first, according to a UN human rights expert.

08/04/09
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Gilmore opposed to Lisbon guarantees on “social and ethical issues”

Labour leader Eamon Gilmore has warned against guarantees in the Lisbon treaty which would protect faith-based schools and family law from equality rulings by the European Union, including the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

07/04/09
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Religious practice makes you happier and healthier, says new Iona paper

Religious practice makes you happier and healthier according to a new paper launched today by The Iona Institute.

03/04/09
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Easing of restrictions on religious advertising welcome, says Senator Mullen

Senator Rónán Mullen has welcomed the decision by Minister Eamon Ryan to soften restrictions on religious advertising in his upcoming Broadcasting Bill. Describing the move as “sensible”, he congratulated the Minister for “committing himself to ensuring these absurdities do not occur again”. The move has also been welcomed by The Irish Catholic.

02/04/09
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"The child...shall have the right from birth to a name, the right to acquire a nationality and, as far as possible, the right to know and be cared for by his or her parents."

Article 7. UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.