Muslims see new hope of dialogue with Catholic Church

Pope Benedict XVI attends the Ashes Wednesday Mass. Photo: EPA

But improved ties between the church and Al-Azhar, the premier seat of Sunni Muslim learning, would depend on the next pope's approach to the Muslim world, the clerics said.

Thursday, 14 February, 2013, 4:02am

A pope who has failed to connect with the modern world

Pope Benedict XVI made his first public appearance on Wednesday since his shock resignation announcement. Photo: AFP

Benedict was the most intelligent man to be pope in centuries, probably the best theologian, a wonderful writer, and personally charming; but as both cardinal and pope, he was burdened by his lofty view of the responsibilities of office.

14 Feb 2013 - 1:29am 2 comments

Letters to the Editor, February 12, 2013

Airport expansion plans raise questions. Photo: David Wong

Religion is probably not the first thing that comes to mind for most people when thinking of Hong Kong. But for the three of us, as leaders in our respective religious communities, religion defines Hong Kong.

12 Feb 2013 - 2:45am

Tens of millions of Hindus bathe in Ganges for Kumbh Mela festival

Indian Hindu holy men, some covered in ash, walk in procession after bathing at Sangam, the confluence of the Ganges. Photo: AP

Ash-smeared naked saints led the ritual bathing before dawn - which is said to cleanse pilgrims of their sins - with millions following them into the swirling river waters at the festival site in Allahabad in northern India.

10 Feb 2013 - 1:50pm

Indonesia Islam leaders stir row over 'Buddhist' Chinese New Year

Two Muslim women visit a Buddhist temple in Jakarta. Photo: AFP

As Indonesia and other countries with Chinese diasporas welcome the Year of the Snake, some Islamic leaders have ignited a religious row by declaring the celebrations “haram” and off limits for Muslims.

10 Feb 2013 - 12:24pm 2 comments

The comfort of religion without God

Stanford University has a new chaplain for atheists and agnostics. Photo: Bloomberg

Stanford University has a new chaplain for atheists and agnostics. This comes after Harvard University and the US military introduced - how shall I put it - non-religious religious services for non-believers who may still seek the comfort and benefits of real religion.

21 Jan 2013 - 5:45am 11 comments

Russians in Hong Kong prepare for Christmas celebrations

Father Denis Pozdnyaev at the church. Photo: Edward Wong

Just when you thought Christmas was over, a small but growing community in the city is busy preparing for their own celebration tomorrow - that of the Russian Orthodox Christmas.

January 7 is Christmas in Russia because of differences between the Gregorian and Julian calendars.

6 Jan 2013 - 4:06am

Church of England to allow gay bishops in civil partnerships

A general view of the Church of England General Synod meeting at Church House in central London on November 20, 2012. Photo: AFP

The Church of England has dropped its opposition to gay clergymen in civil partnerships becoming bishops, provided the men concerned promise to remain celibate, it confirmed on Friday.

5 Jan 2013 - 9:56am

Mosques needed in New Territories, says Islamic expert

Muslim community leader Khan Muhammad Malik says more mosques are needed in the New Territories, where there is a strong Islamic presence. Photo: KY Cheng

Hong Kong should build more mosques and community centres for its growing Muslim population, an Islamic organisation said yesterday.

Khan Muhammad Malik, chairman of the Federation of Muslim Association in Hong Kong, noted that while the Islamic population had grown five-fold in the past five decades the number of mosques in the city had remained the same.

3 Jan 2013 - 9:53am

The great faiths continue to provide a moral compass in cynical times

Christians pray during a Christmas mass. Photo: Xinhua

Christmas has come and Christmas has gone, but did anybody notice? That may be a silly thing to claim. We could not fail to notice the endlessly tinkling muzak playing in shopping malls worldwide, jabbering about angels singing on high, mummy kissing Santa Claus, and flying reindeer and other unlikely UFOs.

29 Dec 2012 - 1:45am

Pope calls on China's new leaders to respect religions

Pope Benedict XVI delivers the traditional Urbi et Orbi to some 40,000 pilgrims in Saint Peter’s Square. Photo: Reuters

Pope Benedict XVI called on China’s new leaders to “esteem the contributions of the religions” during his traditional Christmas message.

Speaking from the balcony of Saint Peter’s Basilica in a message watched by millions around the world, the pontiff said on Tuesday that he hoped the new leaders would “help build a fraternal society for that noble people and of the whole world”.

29 Aug 2013 - 4:13am

Between the lines: Keeping the faiths

Between the lines: Keeping the faiths

In the summer, I bought my elder daughter a chic pair of silver gladiator-styled sandals. When I showed them to her, she exclaimed, "Oh I looove them!" As visions of a budding fashionista danced in my head, she said, "I love them because Jesus has sandals just like these!"

31 Dec 2012 - 5:52pm

Good news for those of us of little faith

Robert Mugabe will run for Zimbabwe presidential election again next year. Photo: AFP

Just in time for Christmas, there was an uplifting story this week from an old acquaintance bravely hanging on in Zimbabwe, who wrote of a "cleansing ceremony" that was held in Harare's main cathedral on Sunday.

19 Dec 2012 - 4:09am

First Blue Christmas Service at St John's Cathedral

St John's Cathedral, Central. Photo: Edward Wong

St John's Cathedral is to hold its first Blue Christmas Service this evening for those mourning a loss this festive season.

The cathedral's dean said Christmas could be an emotional time for people who are missing someone.

16 Dec 2012 - 4:40am

Christians could be a minority in England and Wales by 2018

An increasing number of people in England and Wales profess no faith.

Christians could be in a minority in England and Wales by 2018, according to analysis of the latest census results, which have revealed a fall of more than four million in the number of people who describe themselves as adhering to the faith.

13 Dec 2012 - 5:05am