Pakistan Quran scandal fires up blasphemy debate
In Islamabad, an 11-year-old girl has been accused of burning Islam’s holy book. If guilty, she could be sentenced to death. Why are symbolic objects so powerful?
Atheism on the rise as millions reject religion
According to a new survey, record numbers of people are swapping religious belief for atheism. Could we be heading toward a godless world – and what might that society look like?
So-called ‘heretics’ victims of greed, not religion
Eight hundred years ago, a nightmarish crusade burned and tortured its way across Southern France. Now, a new book suggests that the charge of heresy was simply a cover for grasping tyranny.
Cardinal provokes fury with gay marriage attack
By describing gay marriage as an ‘aberration’, Cardinal Keith O’Brien has brought new ammunition to a raging culture war. But who has the right to define an institution?
Philosopher’s book aims to end ‘God Wars’
In recent years, fierce debates have divided passionate atheists from firm believers. Now famous thinker Alain de Botton has provoked a storm of debate by suggesting a ‘middle way’.
King James Bible celebrated in royal service
The Queen was among the congregation at a grand church ceremony to mark 400 years since the great Bible translation was finished. It was the culmination of a year of special events.
Monks set themselves alight in Tibetan protest
Eleven Tibetan monks and nuns have set fire to themselves this year, in protest at Chinese rule over their homeland. They want independence – but is it worth the battle?
Saudi women launch a peaceful revolution
Women in Saudi Arabia cannot vote or drive a car, and must get a man’s permission before they marry, travel, get a job or go to university. Now some are fighting back.
Religion, football and violence: a toxic mix
Celtic and Rangers go head-to-head in a violent clash. 230 are arrested. Will bigotry, poverty and drink be the death of football in Glasgow?
Scientology: faith under fire or ‘evil cult?’
A new magazine exposé has reopened debate over the controversial Church of Scientology. Some claim it's a proper religion, but there is evidence of a dangerous dark side.
Holy bones - skeleton seized by Greek cops
A monk has been detained in Athens for trying to smuggle a nun’s remains out of the country. Why did he do it?
Are Christmas superstitions super or stupid?
There are many superstitions around the 12th night of Christmas, as decorations come down. But does superstition have any place in our modern world?
Political murder disrupts Pakistan.
A campaigner for Pakistan’s democracy has been shot dead by one of his own bodyguards, who thought the moderate politician was wrong to favour free speech over religion.