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Religion   Religion News
Help Remove Landmines From the Path of Peace in Colombia
[Norwaynews] [12.05.2016, 08:30pm, Thu. GMT]
Ferney Cifuentes, like so many Colombian children from his area, was helping his father herd cattle in Montecristo in January 2015 when a violent blast lifted the Earth and sent shrapnel flying.

The 14-year-old had stepped on a landmine. His death -- tragically -- was not unique. More than 11,000 Colombians have been wounded or killed by landmines and other unexploded ordnance in the past quarter century.

Landmines are singularly dangerous because they can lay dormant for years, only to kill and maim innocent people without warning. In Colombia last year, 285 people, including 40 children, were killed by landmines, a toll surpassed only by Afghanistan. At current mine clearance rates, decades will pass before the country is mine free.
Norway's Lutheran church votes in favour of same-sex marriage
[Norwaynews] [12.04.2016, 02:01pm, Tue. GMT]
Norway's Lutheran Church voted on Monday in favour of allowing same-sex marriage, becoming the latest of a small but growing number of churches worldwide to do so. Last year the French Protestant Church allowed gay marriage blessings, while the US Presbyterian Church approved a change in the wording of its constitution to include same-sex marriage.
Norway lodges $5 million fraud claim against Oslo diocese for inflating membership figures
[Norwaynews] [09.07.2015, 07:57am, Thu. GMT]
The government of Norway is demanding $5.1 million from the Oslo diocese, in compensation for what the government sees as fraud in the inflated reporting of Church membership figures. The government charges that the Oslo diocese obtained nearly $6 million in state subsidies by routinely registering immigrants as Catholics if they came from predominantly Catholic countries, without obtaining any evidence of the immigrants’ actual affiliations.
Norway’s leading prelate investigated for fraud
[Norwaynews] [27.02.2015, 03:25pm, Fri. GMT]
Bishop Bernt Eidsvig of Oslo is under investigation for complicity in fraud after he admitted that his diocese used telephone directories to estimate the number of Catholics and thus receive increased funding from the state.
Norwegian diocese admits inflating Catholic census to receive government funds
[Norwaynews] [04.11.2014, 04:10pm, Tue. GMT]
The Diocese of Oslo, Norway, has revealed that Church membership statistics have included many people who had not identified themselves as Catholics and may not have been aware that they were counted as members of the Catholic Church. Bishop Bernt Eidsvig said that the diocese had counted immigrants who came to Norway from predominantly Catholic countries. This practice which the diocese now agrees was “not satisfactory”—allowed the Catholic Church to claim greater government subsidies.
Norwegian Muslims Rally Against Islamic Militants
[Norwaynews] [31.08.2014, 11:19am, Sun. GMT]
Norway's prime minister and other politicians have joined Muslim leaders and thousands of other people for a demonstration in Oslo against radical Islamists. Monday's rally was an initiative by young Norwegian Muslims who wanted to show a united front against Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq and their sympathizers in Norway. Mehtab Afshar, head of the Islamic Council in Norway, told the crowd: "They stand for terrorism, they stand for terror ... and we condemn that in the strongest terms."
Norway seeks Muslim suspected of fighting in Syria
[Norwaynews] [02.07.2014, 09:17pm, Wed. GMT]
Norway's intelligence service says it is seeking a Norwegian-born Muslim believed to have joined rebel ISIL fighters in the al-Qaida breakaway group in Syria. Spokesman Martin Bernsen says the agency wants to question Bastian Vasquez, who earlier was suspected of threatening the lives of the Norwegian prime minister and members of the royal family before he fled the country. Bernsen told the AP on Tuesday that Vasquez was suspected of "joining and/or supporting" the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant group, classed as a terror organization in Norway.
Church of Norway rejects same-sex marriage
[Norwaynews] [10.04.2014, 10:05am, Thu. GMT]
The protestant Church of Norway on Tuesday rejected a proposal for religious same-sex marriage, even though it had the support of most of the country's bishops. Norway was among the first countries in Europe to grant homosexuals full rights, including marriage and adoption in 2009, but the Church does not marry same-sex couples. Eight of Norway's 12 bishops said in October they favoured such a move, but on Tuesday the Church's highest decision-making body the synod rejected the proposal. "We are disappointed," said Baard Nylund from a national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights group.
Norway: Priest's wallet stolen during service
[Norwaynews] [25.02.2014, 06:42pm, Tue. GMT]
A priest in Norway has had his wallet and phone stolen while conducting the Sunday service, BBC reported. John Olav Hodne, parish priest at Melhus Church outside Trondheim, says he left them in the changing room at the back of the church. He only noticed they were missing after the service was over, reports local newspaper Tronderbladet.
Norway Loses $713,000 on Every Muslim Immigrant
[Norwaynews] [25.05.2013, 04:03pm, Sat. GMT]
The newspaper has previously revealed that Norway loses 4.1 million kroner ($713,740.30) for each non-western immigrant coming into the country and that immigration has cost 70 billion kroner ($12,185,810,000) in seven years. On Wednesday the newspaper determined that the government spends 2 million kroner ($348,110) per newly arrived non-Western immigrant they get to work or study.
Norway's first lesbian pastor gives up
[Norwaynews] [31.03.2013, 10:43am, Sun. GMT]
Norway's first woman pastor to enter into a same-sex civil union will quit her ministry to protest against the discrimination gays and lesbians face within the Lutheran Church, she said in an interview published on Wednesday. "It has become untenable for me to represent a Church where parts of it are still quite exclusionary," Hilde Raastad told the daily Aftenposten. In 1997, she became the first woman pastor in Norway to tie the knot in a civil partnership with another woman.
Refugee Crisis 2015: Oslo Mosque Barred From Sheltering Syrians In Norway
[Norwaynews] [09.09.2015, 07:17pm, Wed. GMT]
The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration ruled Wednesday that a popular Oslo mosque would not be allowed to house refugees because all offers of help needed to be "neutral," a spokesman said. More than 700 refugees, mainly from Syria, were expected to arrive in Norway throughout the week and local authorities have begun setting up temporary housing ahead of their arrival.
New survey shows that 60 percent of Norwegians are negative toward Muslims
[Norwaynews] [04.06.2015, 11:15am, Thu. GMT]
Nearly 60 percent of respondents in a new survey say they are negative to get an in-law of Muslim faith into the family, the annual integration barometer by the Directory of Integration and Diversity shows. The skepticism of Muslims is bigger than the skepticism of any other faith, and it applies both to the general population and among different groups of immigrants, writes Aftenposten.
Ex-Norwegian priest lavishes $1.9m charity loot on whores
[Norwaynews] [28.01.2015, 03:41pm, Wed. GMT]
A FORMER Norwegian priest has admitted embezzling about 15 million kroner (1.9 million dollars) from a welfare foundation to spend on lavish parties with prostitutes in Spain. ``It was totally out of control, the size of the sum shows that,’’ Are Blomhoff told the District Court in Drammen, south-eastern Norway. Blomhoff said that there was nothing left of the money he embezzled over a seven-year period when asked by the judge.
Norway’s Hindu temple offers matchmaking
[Norwaynews] [31.08.2014, 11:22am, Sun. GMT]
A Hindu temple in Norway offers a matchmaking service for the Scandinavian Hindu community. “Those who may be interested to find his/her life partner or parents interested to find bride or groom for their children can register themselves in our register of match finding”, website of Sanatan Mandir Sabha Hindu Temple of Slemmestad (Norway) states. “Matrimonial Personal Data” asked in the registration form, besides other information, includes hobbies, appearance (in addition to photograph) and family information. Registration and service charges are 500 Norwegian krone (about $81).
Mohammed Most Popular Name in Norway
[Norwaynews] [31.08.2014, 11:10am, Sun. GMT]
For the first time in the Norewgian capital's history, Mohammed is the common name for boys and men, said a study on Thursday. Statistics Norway (Statistisk Sentralbyrå - SSB) has counted the population of Oslo and found that Mohammed is the most common male name in Oslo for the first time ever. Jørgen Ouren of SSB said to NRK: “It is very exciting.” Altogether 4,801 boys and men are named Mohammed or variations of Mohammed as their first name, and Mohammed has thereby passed both Jan (4,667) and Per (4,155).
Norwegian churches face challenges of the future
[Norwaynews] [17.04.2014, 06:27am, Thu. GMT]
The General Secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), addressed the theme “Free to speak, believe and serve” at the recent Synod of the Church of Norway. The synod was held in Kristiansand, in conjunction with the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the Norwegian constitution. The anniversary represents an important milestone for Norway as a nation and for the Church of Norway. “its give me particular pleasure to stand here as a representative of the World Council of Churches, the worldwide fellowship that the Church of Norway has belonged to since 1948,” said the WCC General Secretary, a Norwegian himself.
Oslo may get its first Islamic school
[Norwaynews] [08.04.2014, 11:06am, Tue. GMT]
This fall, Oslo may get its first Islamic primary school. The Association Mothers for Muslim Primary School has fought for several years to have their application approved to open up a school with up to 200 students. The association's proposal has been rejected several times, but now the Directorate of Education has approved the application, and the new school may be accepting students already this fall.
Norway plans to create a HAM that Muslims can eat
[Norwaynews] [04.12.2013, 10:41am, Wed. GMT]
Muslims in Norway will be able to follow local Christmas food traditions this year, after a butcher unveiled the country’s first halal reindeer meat. Harry Dyrstad, owner of specialist wildlife abattoir Vilteksperten, north of Trondheim, enlisted the help of a certified halal butcher and has 100 reindeer ready to be sent off to the shops. The butcher has had interest from as far afield as Dubai, and he is looking forward to bringing reindeer to the previously unexplored Muslim market.
No place for Islamophobia in Norway- ambassador
[Norwaynews] [18.05.2013, 05:23am, Sat. GMT]
Norwegian Ambassador to Turkey Janis Bjorn Kanavin said on Friday that Norwegian people had good relations with Muslim people, adding, "There is no place for Islamophobia in Norway." Speaking to AA at the Norway Sea Products Symposium in Ankara, Kanavin said cultural dialogue was vitally important, adding Norway and Turkey had always had intense cultural relations.
Norway agency to file complaint over pork in halal food
[Norwaynews] [18.03.2013, 11:47pm, Mon. GMT]
The Norwegian Food Safety Authority said Friday it would file a police complaint against a food company after finding large quantities of pork in its halal-labeled products. Kebab meat sold by Norwegian group Kuraas to restaurants contained between five and 30 percent pork even though it was marked as halal, the agency found. "We will file a complaint against the producer," Catherine Signe Svinland, an adviser at the food safety watchdog, told AFP.
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