A church in Algeria has been closed down by local authorities because it had been used to "illegally print Gospels and publications intended for evangelism". According to World Watch Monitor, police said the church doesn't have state approval. The church is affiliated with the Protestant Church of Algeria (EPA in French), which is recognised by the state. Rev Mahmoud Haddad President of the EPA responded: "Firstly, this community is indeed affiliated to the Protestant Church of Algeria, which has been officially recognised by the government since 1974 and is accredited with both the Ministry of the Interior and the local government. "Also there is no printing activity of Gospels or Christian publications inside these premises."

The British Library last week published a new website showcasing 1,300 Hebrew manuscripts, ranging from ancient Torah scrolls and prayer books to philosophical, theological and scientific works. The new site is the library’s first bilingual online collection, allowing users to search for scans of the manuscripts in Hebrew and English.Digitizing and making these beautiful and very important items available online is a huge step forward in opening them up to international scholars and a wider public audience. We hope that, by providing access to the articles and collection highlights in Hebrew as well as English, we will make them accessible to even more people, allowing them to learn more about our incredible collection of Hebrew manuscripts.”

A group of some 40 Israelis were expelled from Cyprus on Tuesday after they were stopped on their way to hotels in the northern section of the island, which has been occupied by Turkey since 1974. The measure came as Cypriot authorities enforced a crackdown against visits to the area, a popular vacation destination. Under Cypriot law, tourists are forbidden from entering Cyprus from the occupied north and face expulsion if they do. Those who arrive in Cyprus with the intention of continuing on to Turkish-held areas can also be stopped.

A university chaplain has become the first transgender minister to be ordained by the Methodist Church. Joy Everingham, 46, who serves at St Peter's in Canterbury, spent decades secretly wearing women's clothes before telling her wife what she had been doing. Everingham told Kent Online: "We were sitting in bed and I said 'I've got something to tell you'. "I started crying and couldn't breathe. It was probably the hardest thing I've ever done. "I thought she was going to leave me, or kick me out, but she said 'I've got to think about this'." The minister said while her wife was prepared to help her explore her identity, she was "adamant that if I transitioned to a woman she wouldn't stick around'."

Shocking revelations show that despite Northern Ireland's pro-life laws, the British government plans to offer free abortions to under-16s from Northern Ireland. This discovery was accompanied by the disturbing fact that in many cases parental knowledge and consent will not be required. Ever since the government adopted Labour MP Stella Creasy's amendment in June, Northern Irish women have been able to access free abortions in England. The government has also recently started to cover travel costs as well as abortion fees.


A therapist who helps teenage girls who think that they are male question their feelings, says she must keep her work secret as she is afraid she would be struck off. Speaking anonymously to The Sunday Times, she said that guidelines issued last month tell therapists they should affirm and assist patients wishing to transition. The expectation is that alternative treatments or diagnoses should not be explored. She said to the newspaper: “You have a young girl who has turned up and said she is trans and at the end of working with you decides maybe she is not. “I could now get a reputation as someone who was not sticking to the professional body’s ethical framework and that is not a position you want to be in at all… potentially struck off.”

The Anglican bishop of Harare said the resignation of Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe is a momentous time in the country's history. Mr Mugabe wrote in a letter which was read out in parliament: "My decision to resign is voluntary on my part and arises from my concern for the welfare of the people of Zimbabwe and my desire for a smooth, non-violent transfer of power." Mugabe was in power for 37 years.

Campaigners have slammed Welsh children’s minister Huw Irranca-Davies for pledging his support for plans to criminalise parents. The Be Reasonable campaign warned that outlawing smacking would see parents handed a criminal record for lovingly disciplining their children. Irranca-Davies claimed yesterday that reasonable chastisement is ‘unacceptable’. Responding to the Children’s minister’s comments, spokesmum for Be Reasonable Lowri Turner said there is “nothing progressive” about pushing on with “punitive legislation that we know will criminalise ordinary parents”. “Those calling for this change continue to use hysterical and manipulative language. They try to make out that a gentle smack on the back of the legs from a loving mum is the same as beating up your kids. They are being disingenuous because it is not.”