Category: UK

UK: One in 10 back honour killings

One in 10 young British Asians believes so-called honour killings can be justified, according to a poll for the BBC’s Asian Network. Of 500 Hindus, Sikhs, Christians and Muslims questioned, a 10th said they would condone the murder of someone who disrespected their family’s honour. Figures show 13 people die every year in honour killings, but police and support groups believe it is many more. Religious leaders said they would hold a national conference on the issue. Honour killing is a brutal reaction within a family – predominantly Asian and Middle Eastern – to someone perceived to have brought “shame”

Shane Lynch quits Love Island

Shane Lynch has become the latest name to quit ITV reality show Love Island. Shane Lynch has become the latest name to quit ITV reality show Love Island. The former Boyzone star and born-again Christian made the decision after spending the day reading the bible. He is leaving the Fijian island for a mystery woman, whom he dated in the past. His departure from the show, which has been hit by disappointing viewing figures, follows that of MTV star Steve-O, glamour model Alicia Douvall and basketball legend Dennis Rodman. The 29-year-old, who once confessed to bedding 100 women while in

Officer, how can we catch criminals? Er, let us pray

With fewer than one in ten burglaries solved, the power of the law seems to be fading fast. So police are turning to the power of prayer instead. Churches are to be given details of break-ins and other unsolved crimes in the hope that parishioners’ pleas to God will produce a breakthrough. Prayer Watch, as the scheme is called, is a ‘spiritual twist’ on the Neighbourhood Watch programme. Lincolnshire police are hoping it will help improve their crime clean-up rate. It was proposed by members of the county’s Christian Police Association. Churches will receive regular e-mails about crimes in their

England: Prison service axes Christian course

A pioneering Christian course for prisoners in Dartmoor has been closed by the Prison Service after criticism that it did not comply with “diversity policies”. The Inner Change programme was adopted last year as a pilot by the Rev Bill Birdwood, the chaplain at Dartmoor, but was axed last month after apparently falling foul of the Government’s “multi-faith” approach. Prisoners who convert to Christianity through the programme are expected to live disciplined lives, eschewing drugs and pornography. They are also followed up after their release to try to ensure that they do not re-offend. Supporters say that in some US

Will George be slayed as England’s patron saint?

Could the flag of St George be replaced by Alban’s symbol, a diagonal yellow cross on a blue background that bears a strong similarity to St Andrew’s cross His dragon-slaying heroics have kept his legend alive through the centuries. But the Church of England is considering rejecting England’s patron saint St George on the grounds that his image is too warlike and may offend Muslims. Clergy have started a campaign to replace George with St Alban, a Christian martyr in Roman Britain. The scheme, to be considered by the Church’s parliament, the General Synod, has met a cautious but sympathetic

‘Christophobia’ Complaint

The leader of Roman Catholics in England and Wales has complained of “Christophobia” among the country’s opinion-formers. The Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, said ordinary peoples’ desire for spiritual truth was not reflected by those who shape society. He called for a “moral revolution”, saying he detected signs of a growing moral awakening in the country. He said these were reflected in developments like the current unease over abortion. Last week the Cardinal met Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt to press for a reduction in the time limit for legal abortions. He told The Spectator magazine: “There is often a

A law that turns sexual tolerance into tyranny

Would anyone ever have imagined that one day it would become illegal in Britain to teach children to follow precepts laid down in the Bible? Or that a priest, a rabbi or an imam might fall foul of the law by refusing to bless a sexual union between same-sex couples? Yet that appears to be precisely what may happen as a result of new regulations soon to be introduced by the Government – and all under the rubric, would you believe, of producing a more tolerant and free society. The Government has just finished consulting on new draft regulations under

Parents rebel at Dickensian school run by millionaire evangelist friend of Blair

Backlash over emphasis on religion as suspensions soar in ‘covert’ selection Among the parents who had gathered in the back bar of the Moorends Hotel there were tales of curious expulsions and strange practices. One mother said her daughter had been removed from school after being accused of wearing the wrong trousers, another that her son had been permanently expelled for smoking. A father claimed his son had been sent home for walking the wrong way down the corridor, another that his 16-year-old daughter was kicked out after getting a kiss from her boyfriend at the school gates. And underlying

Alfusaine Jabbi: Hunt continues for faith healer’s killer

Almost a month after a spiritual healer was stabbed and beaten to death in an “almost ritualistic killing” in Luton, murder investigators are still searching for clues about his killers. The body of 22-year-old Alfusaine Jabbi was found in Leagrave Park car park off Sundon Park Road, early on Saturday, April 29. Mr Jabbi, from the Gambia, was known by close family and friends as Abdula and Mohammed Ali, and also worked as a spiritual faith healer called Mr Wahib from a flat in Bury Park Road, Luton. His body was formally identified by his twin brother who flew to