World Bulletin / News Desk
Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church and a long-standing ally of President Vladimir Putin, on Sunday urged the Kremlin to be moderate in new legislation seeking stricter punishment for religious offences.
The pro-Kremlin United Russia party proposed a law introducing jail terms for offending religious feelings after a protest against Putin's increasingly close ties with the Church by punk band Pussy Riot in Moscow's main cathedral in February. Two members of the band are in prison for the protest, which Kirill has called part of a coordinated attack intended to thwart the post-Soviet revival of Russia's dominant church.
In remarks published on the eve of Russian Orthodox Christmas, Kirill, who has likened Putin's long rule to a "miracle of God", told the Interfax news agency that Russia needed stiffer punishments for offences against religion. "A fine of several hundred roubles (about $10) for blasphemous inscriptions on a church, a mosque or a synagogue signals that society does not fully realise the importance of protecting ... religious feelings of believers," he said.
Two Abu Sayyaf captives saved by troops in mainly Muslim Sulu province in the south
Senior police to investigate claims group in far northwest is backed by Indian intelligence
Chances are high North Korea may undertake various military provocations to disrupt sanctions, says South’s acting leader
Upcoming Syria peace talks in Kazakh capital will be a "difficult" and "long" process, Russian experts say
School bus carrying 50 children collides head-on with truck in northern Uttar Pradesh state; death toll expected to rise
The fire began at dawn on the ground floor of Pasar Senen market, a sprawling complex of stalls on several levels that was built during Dutch colonial rule.
Since October Myanmar's army has carried out "clearance operations" in the north of western Rakhine state to root out insurgents accused of deadly raids on police border posts.
Surprise outcome leaves leading South Korean politicians fuming as probe into presidential office scandal suffers setback
About 100 people gathered in central Hanoi for the 43rd anniversary of the Chinese takeover of the Paracel islands in the South China Sea -- territory claimed by both nations that remains a diplomatic flashpoint.
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar expected to be removed from UN terror list within days
Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s Council of Foreign Ministers meeting to discuss plight of Muslim minority in Myanmar
Duterte launched his broadside in response to the powerful Catholic Church mounting a campaign to stop the killings in his anti-drugs drive, which has claimed about 6,000 lives in less than seven months.
Of 10 miners trapped by the disaster, one saved and given medical treatment, but the rest die
Malaysia Airlines remains hopeful for closure over flight, which disappeared in 2014 with 239 passengers and crew on board
Last November's bombing sent 4 children to hospital, one of whom died of burns over most of her body
Khan, 51, has now been acquitted in three out of four cases filed against him for hunting rare black bucks, a native species of antelope, while shooting a film in the northwestern state of Rajasthan in 1998.