Moscow, Russia
AP

Orthodox Christians in Russia, Serbia and other countries began Christmas observances Thursday amid restrictions aimed at dampening the spread of the coronavirus, but few worshippers appeared concerned as they streamed into churches.

The majority of Orthodox believers celebrate Christmas on 7th January, with midnight

Washington DC, US
RNS

On the morning of 6th January, 2021, an interfaith group of religious leaders huddled together in downtown Washington. As they stood in a circle around a Black Lives Matter sign erected just outside Luther Place church, the group mustered a prayerful protest against those

London, UK
AP

A top European court declined Thursday to rule in a high-profile discrimination case centered on an activist's request to have a cake decorated with the Sesame Street characters Bert and Ernie and the words “Support Gay Marriage".

The European Court of Human Rights said the

Vatican City
AP

Christians around the world on Thursday marked Epiphany, known as Three Kings Day for Catholics and the Baptism of Christ for the Orthodox, with a series of celebrations. 

Pope Francis used a Mass at St Peter's Basilica to decry consumerism, parades were held in Spain

Paris, France
Reuters

World food prices jumped 28 per cent in 2021 to their highest level in a decade and hopes for a return to more stable market conditions this year are slim, the UN's food agency said on Thursday.

The Food and Agriculture Organization's food price index,

Almaty, Kazakhstan
Reuters

Fresh violence erupted in Kazakhstan's main city on Thursday after Russia rushed in paratroopers to put down a countrywide uprising in one of Moscow's closest former Soviet allies.

Police in the main city Almaty said they had killed dozens of rioters overnight into the early

London, UK
Reuters

Some European Union banks are shutting out asylum seekers and other types of customers in mishandled efforts to comply with anti-money laundering rules, the bloc's banking watchdog said.

Banks have become far more nervous as regulators in the EU, the United States and elsewhere

Washington DC, US
RNS

As US Democrats struggle to revive talks over the stalled Build Back Better bill, Senator Joe Manchin is facing pushback from a spectrum of religious groups frustrated by his position on the child tax credit - including conservative-leaning faith organisations whose concerns he has

Madrid, Spain
Reuters

Spain will consider a pet's welfare when couples divorce or break-up from Wednesday in a legal shift that strengthens the case for couples obtaining shared custody of their animals. 

The decision follows similar moves in France and Portugal and obliges judges to consider

Seoul, South Korea
Reuters

North Korea fired a hypersonic ballistic missile this week that successfully hit a target, state news agency KCNA reported on Thursday, its second such test as the country pursues new military capabilities amid stalled denuclearisation talks.

The launch on Wednesday was the first by

AP

An unidentified person paid a ransom that freed three missionaries kidnapped by a gang in Haiti under an agreement that was supposed to have led to the release of all 15 remaining captives early last month, workers for their Ohio-based organisation have confirmed. 

The person who made

Nairobi, Kenya
Reuters

In the largest hospital in Ethiopia's Tigray region, a child wounded in an air strike bled to death after doctors ran out of gauze and intravenous fluids. A baby died because there were no fluids for dialysis.

An infant who was

Madrid, Spain
Reuters

Flanked by dancers and live camels the Three Wise Men paraded down Madrid's central avenue atop glittering floats on Wednesday evening as traditional Epiphany celebrations returned - with restrictions - after last year's COVID-19 cancellations. 

Most Spanish children receive their Christmas presents on 6th January,

Vatican City
RNS

In a tweet laden with backstory and pointed frustration, the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Life defended the COVID-19 vaccine and called out those who spread “malinformation” to discredit the vaccine as peddling “pure nonsense".

The Pontifical Academy for Life, the Vatican’s thinktank dedicated to protecting

Seoul, South Korea
Reuters

North Korea fired a suspected ballistic missile off its east coast on Wednesday, just hours before South Korean President Moon Jae-in attended a groundbreaking ceremony for a rail line he hopes will eventually connect the divided Korean peninsula.

North Korea's first launch since October

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