The government of the United Kingdom is under fire from Christian organizations, churches, and activists for refusing to recognize the right of Christians to wear crucifixes and crosses at work — even in government-sector jobs — while Muslim women and Sikh men, for example, are guaranteed the right to wear their traditional religious attire regardless of their employers’ wishes. Critics have slammed this and other policies apparently aimed at silencing Christians or forcing them to act against their faith as discrimination, but U.K. officials are currently defending some of the schemes at the so-called “European Court of Human Rights.”
Former Russian Foreign Minister Igor S. Ivanov, now president of the Russian International Affairs Council, has joined his American counterparts at the Council on Foreign Relations in calling for political and economic "convergence" between Russia and the EU.
Laity within the Church of England shocked the rest of the denomination November 20 by rejecting a proposal that would have allowed women to serve as bishops in the UK's official denomination.
The European Council meeting in which EU leaders will attempt to reach an agreement on the multi-annual financial framework (MFF) for 2014-2020 began in Brussels on November 22 and EU leaders continue in their struggle to find common ground to set a budget.
At the meeting of the European Union's Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels on November 19, a group of 27 European foreign ministers issued a statement that read: "The EU considers [the newly formed Syrian opposition coalition] legitimate representatives of the aspirations of the Syrian people."
A Spanish theater owner is protesting the VAT increase on his tickets to 21 percent by offering carrots for sale, which are subject only to a VAT of 4 percent, and giving purchasers free admission.
Across Europe this week, an unprecedented and well-coordinated series of transnational mass strikes and protests led largely by Big Labor took to the streets in major European capitals and cities to demand an end to so-called “austerity” policies — mostly government spending cuts. In many cases, the massive demonstrations turned violent.
Analysts, however, say the seemingly spontaneous chaos may actually have been orchestrated by forces behind the scenes. Indeed, much of the media focus was on the relatively new phenomenon of so-called “pan-European” action, with labor leaders and activists framing the conflict as a regional European Union struggle rather than separate national efforts to influence domestic policy.
In a move toward religious toleration which would not be seen in a Muslim-majority nation, the government of Hamburg, Germany, has now reached an accord with its Muslim communities giving official standing to their religious holidays and permitting adherents of their beliefs to teach religion in the schools.
The British government is attacking a Christian church because it enforces its doctrine.
The government’s Charity Commission has ruled that the Plymouth Brethren Church, which does not permit outsiders to receive communion, is not eligible to be called a charity for tax purposes. Apparently, maintaining rules for who may partake in religious rituals is discrimination, and thus makes a church ineligible to be called charitable.
The Irish approved an amendment to their national constitution on Saturday that will bring it into compliance with mandates of the United Nations that govern the state’s seizure of children. The margin was 57 percent to 43 percent.