The Cambridge mosque offering a new vision of community

In many mosques, women are excluded from leadership positions; in others, women are not even provided space to worship. But a new mosque in one of England’s oldest cities is offering a thrilling vision of space open to all.

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Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue: Annual Meeting with World Council of Churches

The annual meeting with the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (PCID) and the World Council of Churches was held in Rome from 10-11 January. Staff of both the PCID and the Office of Interreligious Dialogue and Cooperation of the World Council of Churches participated.

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‘McJesus’ exhibit featuring crucified Ronald McDonald sparks violent protests in Israel

A sculpture of Ronald McDonald nailed to a cross — a spoof of the crucifixion of Jesus — has sparked violent protests in Israel, with rioters hurling a firebomb at the museum. Hundreds of Christians calling for the removal of the sculpture, entitled “McJesus,” demonstrated at the museum in the northern city of Haifa last week.

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Egypt’s Sisi opens mega-mosque and Middle East’s largest cathedral in New Capital

CAIRO (Reuters) – President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi inaugurated Egypt’s largest church and mosque in the New Administrative Capital on Sunday, the eve of Coptic Christmas, in a message of tolerance in the predominantly Muslim country.

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China passes law to make Islam ‘compatible with socialism’

China’s main English newspaper, Global Times, reported on Saturday that after a meeting with representatives from eight Islamic associations, government officials “agreed to guide Islam to be compatible with socialism and implement measures to Sinicize the religion.”

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Europe: Addressing Global Challenges: Thinking and Acting Together

Over 30 senior leaders of different faith communities from MENA and the European countries, together with experts on migration, held two days of intensive conversation about mass migration in MENA and its impact in EU regions. The key focus was understanding and collaboration on urgent needs with regards to migration and patterns of migration movements. This event was co-sponsored by the European Council of Religious Leaders.

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German politicians propose a ‘religion tax’ for Muslims to counter extremism

BERLIN — When Germans file their annual tax returns, religion matters a great deal. If you’re Catholic, tax authorities will likely collect an income tax surcharge of about 10 percent on behalf of your local church. The same applies to most Protestants. The tax applies to almost all baptized Christians, and church representatives say that the state-enforced payments are crucial in financing cemeteries and community work. So far, practicing Muslims have been excluded from that rule, but some leading members of the German government’s coalition parties appear determined to change that.

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In Israel, Christians embrace a simple, spiritual Christmas

Compared with how the holiday is celebrated in Christian-majority countries — with dazzling lights, Christmas-themed shows and sales — the public observance of Christmas in Israel and the Palestinian territories is downright modest. Christians are a tiny minority in the Holy Land, comprising about 2 percent of the population, not including the many Christian clergy, aid workers, students, migrant workers and asylum-seekers who reside in Israel, sometimes for decades.

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