The Church of England has encouraged its clergy to create baptism-style ceremonies for transgender people to welcome them into the Anglican faith. The decision was approved by the House of Bishops.
A bill to legalise abortion services in the Republic of Ireland has passed all stages of the Oireachtas (Irish Parliament). On Thursday evening the report and final stages of the bill passed in the Seanad (Irish Senate), reports Irish Broadcaster RTÉ. The Seanad spent nine hours debating the bill on Thursday.
Previously, when a shopping mall refused to host a nativity scene last week, two friends decided to make themselves into one. John Mallon, 27, of Glasgow and Elena Feick, 30, of Paisley dressed up as Joseph and Mary with the Child Jesus after news reports appeared that the Thistles Centre shopping mall in Stirling, a city north of Edinburgh, would not permit a traditional manger scene to become part of its Christmas display.
When the United Nations recently recommended 1,358 Syrians for refugee resettlement in Britain, only four were Christian. The U.K. finally decided to accept 1,112 of the total but none of the Christians. Barnabas Fund officials report: Christians, who comprised around 10 percent of Syria’s population before the civil war, are grossly underrepresented among refugees accepted by Britain. Christians make up only less than 1 percent of the Syrian nationals resettled in U.K. to date.
A church in the Netherlands is holding an around-the-clock service that has lasted more than 900 hours, to shield a family from deportation of Armenian family. Under Dutch law, police officers are not permitted to enter a church while a religious service is taking place. The Tamrazyan family fled Armenia over fears for their safety. For the last three years, the family have been members of the Gereformeerde Kerk (Reformed Churches in the Netherlands) in the coastal municipality of Katwijk, residing in a local centre for asylum seekers.
Media Servis, a Croatian information agency specialized in producing radio programmes about politics, entertainment and sports mainly, hosted Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary, Mr Peter Szijjártó. He stayed in Croatia on the occasion of the summit of the Central European Initiative.