Articles on Christianity

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Shin'ya Tsukamoto (right) and Andrew Garfield in Silence (2016). Cappa Defina Productions

Scorsese’s Silence and the Catholic connection to the atomic bomb

Martin Scorsese's new film Silence will be shown to an audience of priests at the Vatican today. It tells the story of persecuted Christians in 17th century Japan - an event still remembered by Nagasaki's Catholic community.
Was persecution a consistent imperial policy, and what types of punishments were inflicted on Christians? The Christian Martyrs' Last Prayer by Jean-Léon Gérôme (1883)/Wikimedia Commons

Mythbusting Ancient Rome – throwing Christians to the lions

The image of cowering Christians being thrown to the lions by Roman emperors is a grisly staple of popular culture. But how accurate is it?
Mother Theresa in 1991. Kamal Kishore/Reuters

Questioning the ‘miracles’ of Saint Teresa

Mother Teresa will become a saint on Sunday, on the basis of two miracles of healing. But let's not remove our thinking caps and go all medieval: we should be wary of uncritical endorsement of claims to the miraculous.
A Hindu devotee prepares to participate in a fire-walking ceremony to honour the goddess Draupadi in Durban in 2011. Reuters/Rogan Ward

Behind the God-swapping in the South African Indian community [part 1]

Since the 1920s Pentecostal churches have had a major impact in South Africa's Indian community. Their converts have grown larger than all the other Christian denominations put together.
Peter Paul Rubens, Lot and his family escaping from the doomed city guided by an angel, circa 1615.

Friday essay: The Qur’an, the Bible and homosexuality in Islam

For Muslims generally, as for conservative Christians, homosexual acts are sinful. Christian gays and lesbians have had to work hard for a measure of recognition among fellow-believers; their Muslim counterparts are just beginning that struggle.

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