Culture

Spanish Archbishop Apologizes for Sexy Music Video Filmed in Cathedral

On the afternoon of October 8, Friday, the archbishop of the Archdiocese of Toledo in Spain released an apology for the “improper use of a sacred place.” The statement released by the archdiocese on behalf of Archbishop Francisco Cerro Chaves responds to a music video shot in the 13th century Toledo Cathedral.

The Official Wizard of New Zealand Axed From Payroll

Ian Brackenbury Channell, the only known wizard-in-residence employed by a state since 1998, will be officially terminated from Christchurch's payroll this December 2021. In an interview with a local news outlet, Lynn McClelland, the Council Assistant Chief Executive, said that "the council has met with The Wizard and sent him a letter thanking him for his services to Christchurch over the past decades."

Germany's Largest Mosque Allowed To Broadcast the Call to Prayer

Germany's largest mosque, the Cologne Central Mosque, has been permitted by Cologne to broadcast the call to prayer every Friday afternoon. The permission to broadcast the Muslim call to prayer, or adhan as it’s called in Arabic, came as part of the agreement to ease restrictions between the Muslim community and the city of Cologne.

New TV Censorship In Iran: No Women Eating Pizza

On September 27, 2021, Amir Hossein Shamshadi, the head of Public Relations of the state-controlled media company, Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), disclosed perplexing information through his personal Instagram. The statement refers to a recent "audit" performed by the IRIB, which resulted in a new broadcast directive. This audit prohibits the depiction of men pouring tea for women.

Displays of Women Vandalized in Israel; Hardline Jewish Groups Suspected

Peggy Parnass's picture displayed across the walls of Jerusalem at the gateway to the city hall has been defaced again. Parnass's pictures were plastered around the city of Jerusalem, along with the photographs of other Holocaust survivors for the Lonka Project. The Lonka Project's exhibition started last April 2021; since then, her image has been vandalized five times since June.

“Blasphemous” Lesbian Nun Movie Protested by Catholics

Protesters showed up during the September 26 screening of the film Benedetta at the Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, where the 59th New York Film Festival premiered the film. Armed with megaphones, banners, and placards, members of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property branded Benedetta as a “blasphemous lesbian movie.”

Atheist “Sunday Assembly” Face Challenges Amidst Pandemic

In 2013, two British comedians "wanted to do something that was like church but totally secular." Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans were on their way to a gig when they discussed the idea. On January 6, 2013, the first-ever meeting of the Sunday Assembly took place in The Nave, a pub in the boroughs of London. The Sunday Assembly has since spread all over, mainly in the UK and in the US.

There were about 70 independent congregations. Ever since the pandemic hit, more than half have gone dormant or completely closed.

Influential Egyptian Author Supports Removal of Religion from ID cards

Egypt’s former Culture Minister, Gaber Asfour, has vocally expressed his support in removing the religious identity section from Egypt’s National ID. Responding to a question on the public opinion program, Rai Aam, Asfour asked, “Do you have to specify in the card that you are a civilian Muslim or a Salafi Muslim? This no longer happens; we are not in the time of the Taliban.”

Gay Priest Refuses to Marry Straight Couples to Protest Church Policy

Lars Gardfeldt, a 56-year old priest of the Church of Sweden, has found a way to make his point heard, even to the highest officials of his church. He plans to use conscientious objections to justify his refusal to marry opposite-sex couples. It is the same method that other priests use to deny marriage to same-sex couples.

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