Atheist Republic News Summary:Woman Had Sex with 20 Ghosts, Protests Callin

1. Amethyst Realm, a British woman, claimed she has slept with at least 20 ghosts. She told british TV show "ITV This Morning" that she cheated on her fiancé with a ghost and has since gone on to have affairs with them. Now, she's engaged to a poltergeist. The ghost proposed to her during a trip to celebrate their nine-month relationship at England's Wookey Hole caves. She met the ghost while she was in Australia. Her family and friends embraced her engagement. She added that this engagement is much more satisfying than her previous living fiancé.

 

2. Euan Fraser, a former cage fighter and Scottish tourist who went for a holiday in Australia last year was beaten with a crowbar by a taxi driver after talking about religion. Mr. Fraser said the conversation inside the cab before he was attacked involved him telling the driver he was an atheist. The driver who says is a Muslim, took offence. Mr. Fraser was left with bleeding on the brain, broken ribs, dislocated shoulder and facial injuries. The driver is still on the loose. Mr. Fraser's girlfriend said that he suffers bad PTSD and has recurring flashbacks and nightmares.

3. 2,200 people who protested against the entry of women into a prominent Hindu temple in the southern state of Kerala were arrested by the police. Despite a historic Supreme Court ruling, women were prevented by the protesters from entering the Sabarimala shrine last week. Historically, the temple has been closed to women of "menstruating age". The senior police officer said that the protesters have been arrested for rioting and unlawful assembly. According to the temple's mythology, Lord Ayyappa is an avowed bachelor who has taken an oath of celibacy, hence the ban on the entry of women. Hinduism regards menstruating women as unclean and bars them from participating in religious rituals.

4. In Uganda, Kampala Archbishop Cyprian Kizito Lwanga, a Catholic archbishop proposed a government-enforced tithing program that automatically takes 10% from people's paychecks for the Church. He said that failure by some members to tithe had impacted the Church and its ongoing projects. He added that the Bible says a tenth of whatever you earn belongs to the church.

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5. Alexis Tsipras, Greek Prime Minister and an atheist, thinks the Orthodox Church will support his proposal to introduce "religious neutrality" to the country. He believes that the Church will give up its power. He said, “Church and state have the maturity, the wisdom and the sensitivity to put their relations on a rational basis,” he told a meeting of SYRIZA’s parliamentary group, adding that it is time to enshrine the religious neutrality of the Greek state in the country’s Constitution.

6. Sinéad O’Connor, famed Irish singer and who understood and protested the Catholic Church's child sexual abuse scandal, now says she has converted to Islam. She made the announcement on Twitter and will go now by the Islamic name Shuhada’ Davitt. She said she was “proud” to become a Muslim and that any “intelligent theologian” would end up there, too.

7. Celebrate Mercy and MPower Change, two Muslim-American groups, raised more than $150,000 from about 3,600 donors in just over 48 hours. The money is enough to pay for the funeral expenses of victims of the Tree of Life Congregation synagogue shooting where an anti-Semitic Christian killed 11 people after shouting, "All jews must die!" The money raised is sent to victims and their families.

8. The International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) has released its annual "Freedom of Thought Report" describing serious cases of discrimination and persecution against atheists around the world. The United States ranks 8th on that list of 196 nations. Saudi Arabia is at the very bottom of the list.

9. The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) ruled that defaming the Prophet Muhammad exceeds the permissible limits of freedom of expression. They ruled that an Austrian woman's criminal conviction and fine for her statements accusing the Prophet Muhammad of pedophilia did not breach her right to free speech. The decision came as an Austrian national identified as E.S. by the court, had held seminars on Islam in 2008 and 2009 for the far-right Freedom Party (FPO) where she discussed the prophet's marriage to Aisha, a child at that time, and implied that he was a pedophile.

10. Asia Bibi, the Christian woman who was convicted in 2010 after being accused of insulting the Prophet Muhammad in a row with her neighbours, has spent most of the past eight years in solitary confinement. A Pakistani court has overturned her death sentence. The landmark ruling has already set off violent protests by hardliners who support strong blasphemy laws. In Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar and Mular, demonstrations against the verdict are being held. Footage from the protests shows anti-blasphemy campaigners clubbing and throwing shoes at posters of Pakistan’s chief justice and the new prime minister, Imran Khan, who on Wednesday night threatened a fierce government response if protesters did not disperse.

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