Created on Wednesday, 23 April 2014 14:33
THE NHS is spending millions of pounds a year on running chaplaincy services which offer spiritual care and religious support to patients.
Health boards collectively spend about £3.7m a year on the internal departments, including paying salaries of full-time "generic" NHS chaplains who are tasked with providing support to all who ask for it.
In addition, the NHS has made payments of almost £600,000 to churches to attend to the religious needs of individual patients in the past three years, figures obtained by The Herald under Freedom of Information laws revealed.
More than 85% of spending on the external bodies went to the Roman Catholic Church, largely in exchange for priests to come in to hospitals and perform sacraments such as the last rites, which NHS chaplains are not able to carry out.
Scotland's largest health board, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, said its in-house chaplaincy department was allocated a budget of £632,665 in 2013/14, with the service "providing non-denominational support to our 38,000 staff and all our patients".
It also pays £75,000 per year to the Archdiocese of Glasgow and the Diocese of Paisley in exchange for "on-call" priests, "to provide the Sacramental ministry that Roman Catholic patients and families expect".
Created on Tuesday, 22 April 2014 14:44
Minister suggests teaching of religion at either end or start of school day
Irish Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn has thrown down a challenge to the Catholic Church to give concrete examples of how its schools can be “genuinely inclusive” for children of all faiths and none.
In an address to be delivered at a teacher union conference this morning, Mr Quinn says is it “disappointing” that the church has failed to provide such information to his department as had been promised in previous discussions.
He also suggests that, in developing policies on inclusivity, Catholic schools in areas where there is no alternative patronage should consider timetabling faith formation at the start or end of the day to minimise disruption to class.
Created on Monday, 21 April 2014 14:16
CATHOLIC CHURCH MESSAGE IN UGANDA - blessings to all Christians who have been working so hard to make Jinja a land free of gay persons
by Melanie Nathan, April 20, 2014.
The Bishop of the Jinja Diocese of the Catholic Church, Bishop Rt. Rev. Fr. Charles Wamika, in today’s Easter Message delivered at St. Chalres Lwanga Catholic Church, praised the Members of Parliament for the Anti-Homosexuality Act that provides life in prison for gay (LGBTI) people in Uganda. The Bishop called for a blessing for Uganda’s Christians who worked so hard to ‘free the land of gays.’ The Bishope also asked for parents to hand over their gay children to authorities, so they would be rewarded in heaven. I would call that a statement praising and calling for a genocide.
Since the passage of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people have gone into hiding. The law, which institutionalizes homophobia and affirms the persecution of LGBTI people, has been held in esteem, the highest reverence and praised by Christian leadership in Uganda, to the point of holding rallies to reward parliamentarians and the President, Yoweri Museveni. The Ugandan Churches and Christian community, (except for a handful, who have been banished and shamed for their compassionate and affirming stance,) have led the assault against gays.
Created on Monday, 21 April 2014 14:06
The top official of the first ever Atheism Association founded in Turkey has invited religious people to become members too, ruling out atheist proselytizing.
Tolga İnci, interim chair of the association based in Istanbul’s Kadıköy neighborhood, told daily Hürriyet that they had 11 founders and 90 supporting members so far. He said their doors “are open to everybody.”
“You don’t have to be an atheist to come. Anybody who understands and accepts the charter of our association can become a member. Even religious people should come and see what kind of people atheists are,” İnci said, stressing that his association would not get involved in politics.
In an interview with daily Agos last month, the founders had said their main goal would be providing legal support to people facing problems as atheists in Turkey.
Speaking to Hürriyet, İnci said they also “wanted to be understood.”
Created on Friday, 04 April 2014 13:10
The situation of a British woman who has been locked up in Iran for five months over claims she posted derogatory comments about the country’s government on Facebook is “very worrying”, her local MP has said.
Roya Saberi Negad Nobakht, 47, from Stockport, Greater Manchester, was arrested in the south-western city of Shiraz last year for “insulting Islamic sanctities”, a crime which can be punishable by death. According to her husband, who is also British, she made a series of statements online about life in Iran before being detained.
Created on Sunday, 30 March 2014 15:27
A new worldwide study by Pew Research
demonstrates a strong correlations between poverty, age and educational disadvantage with the assumption that belief in a god is necessary for morality.
The study analyses data from more than than 40,000 people in 40 countries who were asked: “Do you need God to be moral?”. It found that citizens of poorer countries are far more likely to assume that belief in a god is a requirement for morality. In the wealthier countries of Europe and Asia high proportions of people reject the notion that God is necessary for morality, while Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East (with the exception of Israel) show much stronger opinions that goodness requires godliness. Much of Latin America is also in line with this view. The US however remains an exception and an enigma. 53% of Americans surveyed consider belief in god necessry for morality, this being far more than the citizens of any European country surveyed and far more than the Canadians surveyed, of whom only 31% felt goodness requires godliness.
Not surprisingly, the study also found significant divides based on age and education, particularly in Europe and North America. In general, individuals age 50 or older and those without a college education are much more likely to link morality to religion. In the U.S. for example, a majority of individuals without a college degree (59%) say faith is essential to be a moral person, while only 37% of college graduates say the same.
Created on Tuesday, 11 March 2014 01:04
BY R. CLEVENGER, AAI NEWS TEAM
Alabama House committee, despite majority opposition, without any regard to the
1st and 14th Amendments of the Constitution, and with complete disregard of McCollum v. Board of
passed a bill that would require public school
teachers to open class every morning with a prayer.
religiously biased politicians in this case have done an end-run to put
enforced prayer into public schools in the guise of teaching congressional
procedure. They are not invoking religious privilege or claiming discrimination
for not being allowed to pray within the confines of the school grounds in this
case, but rather are specifying a 15-minute period at the commencement of the
first class of each day to study the formal procedures of the U.S. Congress,
which must include a verbatim
reading of a prayer from the beginning of the House or Senate meetings.
Created on Saturday, 12 April 2014 14:08
Pope Francis has asked for forgiveness for the "evil" damage to children caused by sexual abusers in the clerg
He said the abuse was a "moral damage carried out by men of the Church", and that "sanctions" would be imposed.
The statement, made in a meeting with a child rights group, is being described as his strongest the issue so far.
Last month, Pope Francis strongly defended the Roman Catholic Church's record on tackling sexual abuse by priests, following UN criticism.
Created on Wednesday, 02 April 2014 21:59
Atheist are being defined as terrorists under a raft of new Saudi Arabian laws, a report from Human Rights Watch states.
The new laws are accompanied by a series of related royal decrees which appear to criminalize virtually all dissident thought or expression as terrorism.
“Saudi authorities have never tolerated criticism of their policies, but these recent laws and regulations turn almost any critical expression or independent association into crimes of terrorism,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East and North Africa director at HRW.
Created on Tuesday, 11 March 2014 01:16
BY CLEOSLICK EMILY, AAI NEWS TEAM
suspected to be Boko Haram members have attacked and killed dozens of students at the Federal
Government College in Buni Yadi, a town in the Nigerian state of Yobe. Yobe
state Police Commissioner Sanusi A Rufai confirmed that twenty-nine male students were
killed and twenty-four structures including the administration block, student
hostel and staff quarters were burnt down.
Boko Haram is a militant group known for
attacking citizens, government targets, bombing churches, attacking schools and
police stations, and kidnapping Western tourists. Former Boko Haram leader,
Mohammed Yusuf stated before his death his belief that the fact of a spherical
Earth is contrary to Islamic teaching and should be rejected, along with
Darwinian evolution. He also stated his belief that the fact of rain
originating from water evaporated by the sun should never be taught in schools.
(Warning: Graphic photo included at end of article)
Created on Saturday, 08 March 2014 08:00
An Islamic Court in Nigeria Found Four Nigerians Guilty of "Homosexuality" and ordered flogged with horsewhips after conviction in a trial held in secret at the Upper Sharia Court in the Unguwar Jaki district of the city of Baluchi.
The four men, aged 22 to 28 years, each was and fined 20,000 naira ($125) and received 15 lashes - also in secret - immediately after the trial.
The four were among seven defendants formally charged by the Bauchi
State Sharia Commission on January 6 with belonging to a gay club and
receiving $150,000 in donations from the United States for an apparent
membership drive. After angry mobs swarmed the opening of the trial, demanding their immediate execution and forcing earlier proceedings to be suspended, the court decided to reconvene and hold the trial and carry out the sentence in secret.
The arrests and trial came only days after Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan had signed a bill banning gay marriage and same-sex unions and criminalising other actions deemed to be 'promoting' homosexuality. The law provides a maximum 14-year prison term for anyone entering same-sex unions and up to 10 years in jail for anyone supporting gay groups and clubs. Many believed the arrests were spurred by the new legislation, providing the Sharia
authorities with federal cover to target homosexual behavior.
Sharia law actually makes homosexual behavior a capital offense by stoning if the act is observed by four male witnesses or voluntarily confessed. However, the judge noted that since the alleged behavior was not actually observed by any witnesses to the court, there was no legal basis for passing the death sentence, despite confessions made by two of the defendants.