Tag Archives: church

Militant faction blamed for Philippine church bombings

Militant faction blamed for Philippine church bombingsPhilippines security forces investigating a deadly twin bombing at a church on a predominantly Muslim southern island are zeroing in on what they say is an affiliate of the militant Abu Sayyaf Group. Grace Lee reports.



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17 dead as twin bombing hits southern Philippine church

17 dead as twin bombing hits southern Philippine churchAt least 17 people were killed as two bombs hit a church on a southern Philippine island that is a stronghold of Islamist militants, the military said Sunday, just days after a regional vote for a new Muslim autonomous region. The first blast occurred inside the Catholic church on war-torn Jolo on Sunday morning as mass was being celebrated, and was followed by a second explosion in the parking lot as troops responded, regional military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Gerry Besana told AFP.



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Philippines vows to crush 'terrorists' after church bombs kill 20

Philippines vows to crush 'terrorists' after church bombs kill 20The first explosion went off inside the cathedral on Jolo island, in Sulu province, and was followed by a second blast outside, which was detonated as security forces raced to the scene, officials said. “The enemies of the state have boldly challenged the capability of the government to secure the safety of the citizenry in that region,” said Salvador Panelo, spokesman of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. “The armed forces of the Philippines will rise to the challenge and crush these godless criminals.” There was no immediate claim of responsibility but police suspect the bombings were the work of Abu Sayyaf, a militant group that has pledged allegiance to Islamic State and is notorious for its bombings and brutality.



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Fight during funeral turns into fatal shooting outside Compton church, witness says

Fight during funeral turns into fatal shooting outside Compton church, witness saysA shooting erupted outside a Compton church on Friday afternoon, reportedly during a funeral.



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Smartphones are paving way for the Antichrist, says head of Russian church

Smartphones are paving way for the Antichrist, says head of Russian churchThe Russian Orthodox patriarch has warned that the popularity of smartphones is paving the way for the coming of the Antichrist. In an interview on state television for Russian Orthodox Christmas on Monday, Patriarch Kirill warned that the widespread use of gadgets connected to the Internet has opened the possibility for “universal control over humanity”. The “devil acts very wisely” in offering people such a “toy”, he said. "Such control from one place forebodes the coming of the Antichrist,” Patriarch Kirill said. “The Antichrist is the person that will be at the head of the world wide web controlling all of humanity. That means that the structure itself poses a danger. There shouldn't be a single centre, at least not in the foreseeable future, if we don't want to bring on the apocalypse." The patriarch maintained he wasn't categorically against gadgets, but warned that people should be careful not to “fall into slavery to what's in your hands”. “You should remain free inside and not fall under any addiction, not to alcohol, not to narcotics, not to gadgets,” he said. The Russian Orthodox church has been trying to attract young believers, in part through the web. At a press conference featuring B-movie action star Steven Seagal in October, church officials announced they would create a council for youth affairs with a strong digital presence. Patriarch Kirill serves the Christmas Mass in the Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow, Russia Credit: AP But its leader, an outspoken opponent of feminism and gay rights, has remained suspicious of the Internet, which he previously criticised as the “enslavement of consciousness and volition” and a “marketplace of human vanity”. Twitter users mostly laughed off Patriarch Kirill's latest warning. “Well, they'll ban international Internet in Russia so the 'Antichrist doesn't come through it,' but where's the guarantee that he won't come through Gundyayev's Breguet watch?” wrote one, referring to the patriarch by his surname. The Russian Orthodox church website photoshopped a Breguet watch worth at least £24,000 off of the patriarch's wrist in a 2012 picture, but it remained clearly visible in the reflection of his arm on a well-polished table. Last month, the church again came under fire over a priest who repeatedly posted photographs of himself with Gucci and Louis Vutton luxury bags and shoes on Instagram. The patriarch would seem to have bigger problems to worry about than iPhones, most notably a schism in the church. The top Orthodox leader in Istanbul signed a decree this weekend recognising a new independent Orthodox church in Ukraine, which will challenge the Russian Orthodox church's sway over the tens of millions of believers in that country. The Moscow church has broken off ties with the Constantinople patriarchate over the “blasphemous” decision. The decree on independence was displayed to the faithful at a Kiev cathedral on Monday.



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Ukraine's newly independent church holds 'historic' first service

Ukraine's newly independent church holds 'historic' first serviceUkraine’s newly created independent Orthodox Church held its first service in Kiev on Monday after a historic break with the Russian Orthodox Church that has enraged Moscow. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko attended the service in Kiev’s most ancient church, the 11th-century Saint Sophia’s Cathedral, as Ukrainian Orthodox believers celebrated Christmas Day according to the Julian Calendar. The service came a day after the Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew based in Istanbul handed over a formal decree that finalised recognition of Ukraine’s new Church.



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Orthodox patriarch hands over decree on independent Ukraine church

Orthodox patriarch hands over decree on independent Ukraine churchPriests and politicians on Sunday celebrated the creation of an independent Ukrainian church, in a move that while popular in Kiev has been angrily condemned by the church in Russia. The Istanbul-based Orthodox patriarch handed over a formal decree confirming the creation of an independent Ukrainian church to its leader, Metropolitan Yepifaniy. The decree was signed at a landmark ceremony on Saturday, putting the formal stamp on a break with the Russian Orthodox church which has infuriated Moscow.



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Congo's electoral commission slams Catholic Church over vote comment

Congo's electoral commission slams Catholic Church over vote commentThe commission is scheduled to release provisional results on Sunday but has said there could be delays because of the slow arrival of tally sheets. Donatien Nshole, the secretary-general of the Church’s bishops’ conference, known as CENCO, said on Thursday its vote tallies showed a clear victor in the Dec. 30 election, a pronouncement widely seen as a warning to authorities against rigging the vote. “The announcement of voting trends by Priest Nshole is likely to brainwash the population while preparing an insurrection that CENCO alone will be responsible for,” commission president Corneille Nangaa wrote in a letter to CENCO president Marcel Utembi, seen by Reuters.



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Ukraine's leader orders Orthodox Church to change its name

Ukraine's leader orders Orthodox Church to change its nameKIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine's president on Saturday signed a bill that orders the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to change its name to reflect its ties to Moscow.



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Priest named in Pennsylvania church sex abuse probe jailed

Priest named in Pennsylvania church sex abuse probe jailedA Roman Catholic priest on Friday became the first person sentenced to prison as a result of a Pennsylvania grand jury investigation that found hundreds of clergy had abused children over seven decades.



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