At least 547 members of a renowned Catholic boys' choir in south western Germany were physically or sexually abused, a new report has found. The incidents took place at the Domspatzen choir in Regensburg between 1945 and 1992. The choir was run by Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI's elder brother Rev Georg Ratzinger between 1964 and 1994. The report concluded: "The whole system of education was oriented toward top musical achievements and the choir's success. "Alongside individual motives, institutional motives - namely, breaking the will of the children with the aim of maximum discipline and dedication - formed the basis for violence."

The Prime Minister says the Church of England should "reflect" of its decision not to allow blessings in church for same-sex marriages. Theresa May also reiterated her belief that it was ultimately up to the church to decide its own position on the matter, during an interview marking half a century since the decriminalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales. Speaking with LBC, she said: "The Church of England has itself come a distance in terms of looking at these issues. And obviously they will want to reflect as attitudes more generally change, as society changes."

GOLAN HEIGHTS – The Israeli military on Wednesday unveiled the scope of its humanitarian assistance in Syria that has dramatically mushroomed over the last year to include treating chronically ill children who have no access to hospitals, building clinics in Syria, and supplying hundreds of tons of food, medicines and clothes to war-ravaged villages across the border. Since Syria disintegrated in a brutal civil war that has left hundreds of thousands dead and millions displaced, Israel has struggled with how to deal with the humanitarian disaster taking place just across the border, a dilemma made even more complicated by the fact that Israel and Syria remain officially at war.

 
 
 
 

A Christian street preacher has been cleared of all charges after being falsely accused of making abusive comments towards a homosexual couple. Andrew Frost had been preaching in Nottingham when two homosexuals reported him for verbal abuse. Frost was charged under the Public Order Act 1986, “with intent to cause a person harassment, alarm or distress”. According to Rory Green, a friend who was preaching alongside him at the time, the couple shouted abusive comments at Frost, and then left. One of the men later returned and called the police, accusing Frost of verbal abuse and making lewd comments. Last week, a judge at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court cleared Frost of all wrongdoing and awarded him his legal fees.

Tim Farron's resignation as leader of the Liberal Democrats "demonstrates that Christians are simply not tolerated by the illiberal elite", says Andrea Williams. In his resignation statement, Farron said that to be leader of the Liberal Democrats and "to live as a committed Christian...felt impossible" to him. He added "we are kidding ourselves if we think we yet live in a tolerant society". Andrea Williams, CEO of Christian Concern and the Christian Legal Centre, which represents hundreds of Christians mistreated for living out their faith in Great Britain, commented: "At the Christian Legal Centre we have seen first hand the pressure Christians have been under to conform to the new morality of sexual liberation and radical secularism. From street preachers arrested for quoting the Bible to students thrown off their courses for holding to a Christian view of sexuality, there can be no doubt that the supposedly tolerant society of 21st century Britain is deeply intolerant of Jesus Christ and his teaching. "Tim Farron's story demonstrates that even those who accept the liberal political agenda wholeheartedly become targets who are unfairly hounded and bullied. He was forced to answer questions on the morality of 'gay sex' and abortion. During the election campaign he had to choose whether to surrender his conscience and forfeit his soul to the intolerant, marauding elite. "Even though he capitulated, this did not stop the hunt. Today he felt he could no longer lead, and had no option but to resign.