A round-up of religious news from around the world

Faith in brief

Mayor of Paris Bertrand Delanoe has criticised the design of a Russian Orthodox church on the banks of the Seine
Francois Mori
  • Mayor of Paris Bertrand Delanoe has criticised the design of a Russian Orthodox church on the banks of the Seine Francois Mori
Bess Twiston Davies

A round-up of religious news from around the world

Mayor of Paris criticises design for new church

The Mayor of Paris has criticised the design for a Russian Orthodox church planned on the banks of the River Seine as an example of “hodge-podge architecture” unworthy of display near the Eiffel Tower. Bertand Delanoe has asked Unesco, which granted World Heritage Site status to the banks of the Seine, to intervene. The plans for a white church with five gold domes topped by a wavy glass roof were approved by the French and Russian Governments in 2010. M. Delanoe was not consulted.

Islamist parties of Algeria unite for election

The three main Islamist parties of Algeria are to run as an alliance in the country’s elections this May. The al-Nhada and al-Islah parties are to join the Movement of Society for Peace, the largest Islamist party in Algeria. Abou Djara Soltani, speaking for the Movement for Society and Peace, invited like-minded parties to join the alliance saying it would “give the best possible chance for the Arab Spring to happen in Algeria as well”.

Religious belief ‘gently squeezed in public life

A new report says that religious belief is being “gently squeezed” from public life in Britain, but adds that Christians do not face persecution. Clearing the Ground was launched in Westminster on Monday. Produced by a cross-party group of Christian MPs, the report highlights “a narrowing of the space for the articulation, expression and demonstration of Christian belief” caused by legal and cultural changes over the past decade.

Oxford alumnus protests against Christian Concern

An Oxford graduate has returned his degree in protest at his college agreeing to host a conference run by a Christian group which does not favour gay rights. Michael Amherst, who read English at Exeter College, acted in protest against a conference organised by the Wilberforce Academy – which is run in association with Christian Concern, reports Pink News. Christian Concern founder, Andrea Minichiello Williams, said: “Homosexuals are displaying an extraordinary intolerance for us and freedom of thought. We are motivated by love and compassion for all people. Everyone seems to forget Oxford University was founded by Christians.”

Christians questioned on climate change

The Christian Census on Climate Change has launched its latest survey. Believers are invited to answer 12 questions, such as “What percentage of climate change do you think may be due to human activities?” and “What percentage of the world’s population could survive on a 5 degree Celsius average temperature rise? The deadline for completing the poll, which can be found at www.CConCC.wikispaces.com, is the end of March. The results will be released on April 21 in York Minister.

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