Icelanders flocking to the Zuist religion

 An ancient Sumeran statue dating from around 2520 BC. The Sumeran mythology is thought to be one of the world's oldest religion, on which others are very much based.A new religion, Zuism, based on the worship of the ancient Sumeran gods promises a refund for government religion taxes for everyone registering with their religious group in Iceland.

On the Zuist website in Iceland it was advertised that anyone over the age of 16 registering with the religion (and thus unregistering from the National Church of Iceland) would get a refund for these fees called parish fees. However, tax authorities have responded to questions from news organizations explaining that if Zuists go ahead to refund parish fees to their members they will have to pay income tax from these funds.
 
Zuists would like to abolish government funding to religious organisations in the form of parish fees and believe that the "state should stop gathering data on the personal religious beliefs of Icelanders."

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Britain is no longer a Christian country and should stop acting as if it is, says judge

Anglican Church logoThe Telegraph (UK): A two-year commission, chaired by the former senior judge Baroness Butler-Sloss and involving leading religious leaders from all faiths, calls for public life in Britain to be systematically de-Christianised.
 
It says that the decline of churchgoing and the rise of Islam and other faiths mean a "new settlement" is needed for religion in the UK, giving more official influence to non-religious voices and those of non-Christian faiths.
 
The report provoked a furious row as it was condemned by Cabinet ministers as "seriously misguided" and the Church of England said it appeared to have been "hijacked" by humanists.
 
The report, by the Commission on Religion and Belief in Public Life, claims that faith schools are "socially divisive" and says that the selection of children on the basis of their beliefs should be phased out.

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Masturbation & Porn Bigger Priority Than Planet & Poverty for US Bishops

By Patricia Miller, Religion Dispatches:

US Conference of Catholic Bishops (logo)

In another sign of just how far the agendas of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and Pope Francis have diverged, it's worth noting that at their recently concluded fall plenary, the bishops signaled strongly about what's on their radar when the only formal pastoral statement they issued was about what they consider a pressing pastoral crisis—pornography.

The bishops couldn't be bothered to add either the environment or the plight of distressed peoples—whether they be refugees and immigrants or the poor—to their list of key priorities, despite the fact that they are a clear priority for Francis, and, therefore, the church. (Although they did work in some language about concern for the poor and immigrants.) And there was virtually no mention of growing economic inequality or the corrosive effects of unfettered capitalism. But pornography got a 22-page official pastoral statement.

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Religion and Conspiracy Theories

Conspiracy TheoriesBY EDUARDO FELIZ ARIAS, AAI NEWS TEAM

Do you find civilization falling apart and think that social norms are being undermined? Do you feel helpless and authoritarian with margins of low self-esteem? If your levels of study and scientific information have hit rock bottom and if you also show an interest in the paranormal and strange phenomena (1), do not despair, there is a solution: Get together a sect to disclose conspiracy theories.

According to H. Darwin and colleagues in the academic psychology department of the University of Northumbria in the UK(1), individuals who promote conspiracy theories embrace similar symptoms: high levels of anomie, autocracy, and low self-esteem and education; considerable interest in precognition and the supernatural; and, especially, the imminent end of the world.

The result of these findings suggest that belief in conspiracy theories is directly related to effects of schizotypal and paranoid ideation (3). The second concept refers to insane beliefs of persecution, while in the first the subject has unusual experiences such as hearing thoughts aloud in one's head or a feeling or sensation that one has developed magical powers. The truth is that these individuals lose contact with reality, the person bears false beliefs about what is happening and thus becomes a psychopath (2).

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Canadian Masquerade: "Personal Choice" of the Niqab

Marco de Rossi, Atheist Freethinkers, http://www.atheology.ca/blog-062/
 
Zunera Ishaq (allegedly), Muslim-Canadian voterJust to set things up for you, Zunera Ishaq is the fundamentalist Muslim woman who, after a two-year legal battle, obtained permission from the Federal Appeal Court to take the citizenship oath while wearing her niqab.
 
Ms. Ishaq maintains that her battle to wear the niqab while taking the oath is merely a personal choice. However, according to Ms. Tahir Gora of the Canadian Coalition of Progressive Muslim Organizations, Ms. Ishaq is motivated by political considerations. In fact, Zunera Ishaq works as a volunteer for an organization linked to Jamaat-e-Islami, whose military wing is considered to be a terrorist organization. Up until last October 16th, her Facebook profile mentioned that she is a member of Jamaat-eIslami and a supporter of this Pakistani political party.
 
Thus, she became a central figure in the 2015 federal election campaign.

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Australian Muslims being forced to assimilate, Islamic conference told

Radical Islamic group Hizb ut-Tahrir have accused the federal government of criminalising the Muslim community through its anti-terror laws.
 
According to SBS, Hizb Ut-Tarir says Muslims are not just being forced to obey the law - but also adopt Australian values.
 
The group, which supports an Islamic caliphate and sharia law, is banned in some countries but not in Australia.

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Saudi Arabia executes three Iranian drug traffickers

Under the kingdom's strict Islamic legal code, murder, drug trafficking, armed robbery, rape and apostasy are all punishable by death.
 
According to Tribune, Saudi Arabia on Sunday executed three Iranians convicted of drug trafficking, the interior ministry said, bringing to 145 the number of death sentences carried out in the kingdom this year.
 
The three convicts had attempted to "smuggle a large amount of hashish by sea" into Saudi Arabia, the ministry said in a statement published on the official SPA news agency.
 
They were executed in the eastern port city of Dammam, it said. Saudi executions are usually carried out by beheading with a sword.
 
According to AFP tallies, their cases bring to 145 the number of locals and foreigners executed in the conservative Islamic kingdom this year, compared with 87 in 2014.
 
Rights experts have raised concerns about the fairness of trials in the kingdom.
 
London-based Amnesty International says Saudi Arabia had the world's third-highest number of executions last year, far behind China and Iran, but ahead of Iraq and the United States.

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