News

Catholics are more likely to vote Labour while Church of England worshippers most consistently back the Conservatives, according to new research.

Pakistani Christians at a protest rally to condemn Sunday's suicide attack

Christians hold protests over attack which killed 85 in Peshawar church

Pakistan’s interior minister hints at plans to protect places of worship

People light candles during a memorial ceremony for the Christian victims of twin suicide bombing that targeted a Christian Church in Peshawar, in Lahore, Pakistan

Pakistan church blast: Beleaguered Christians fear Peshawar bombing will not be the last

Soon after news of the bombing of Peshawar’s elegantly designed 19th-century All Saints church broke, Pakistan’s beleaguered Christians came out on the streets of its main cities.

The Archbishop of Canterbury has challenged the characterisation of people on benefits as 'feckless'

Archbishop of Canterbury condemns 'demonising' characterisation of benefit claimants

Justin Welby’s comments will be interpreted as a veiled attack on ministers’ generalisations

Simon Read: Getting help to the desperate can save their lives

One in three people contacting a debt charity had either attempted or contemplated killing themselves because of their financial problems, figures published this week showed.

Pope Francis gestures upon his arrival in St Peter's square

Pope Francis assures atheists: You don’t have to believe in God to go to heaven

In comments likely to enhance his progressive reputation, Pope Francis has written a long, open letter to the founder of La Repubblica newspaper, Eugenio Scalfari, stating that non-believers would be forgiven by God if they followed their consciences.

AM sees the Artic Monkeys rebuilt to last

Album: Arctic Monkeys, AM (Domino)

Titled to invite multiple readings, Arctic Monkeys' fifth album makes their latest evolution seem as natural as morning following night. The confidence leap shown at Glastonbury was clearly no fluke: a sassy self-overhaul, AM issues lubricious R&B come-ons over a self-assured narrative arc with personality and open potential cannily spliced.

Civilians flee rebels re-taking Christian town of Maaloula in Syria civil war

Rebels led by al-Qa’ida-linked fighters gained control of a Christian town north-east of the capital, Damascus, Syrian activists said on Sunday, while government media continued to claim that regime forces were winning.

Tony Abbott stands with his family as he claims victory in Australia's federal election

Australia takes a turn to the right: Tony Abbott wins general election

Conservative Coalition brings an end to six years of Labor rule

Kevin Rudd has promised to hold a Parliamentary vote on allowing gay couples to marry if Labor Party wins

Australia election: Kevin Rudd defends new gay marriage stance

Prime Minister has promised to hold a Parliamentary vote on allowing gay couples to marry if Labor Party wins

The Pope has made his most significant appointment to date, appointing Pietro Parolin the Holy See’s Secretary of State

Pope Francis appoints Archbishop Pietro Parolin as his 'deputy'

The 58-year-old Italian will become the Holy See's Secretary of State

Britain is 'losing the plot' because its increasingly secular society has led to a breakdown of trust affecting marriage, child poverty and the economy, the outgoing Chief Rabbi, Lord Sacks has said

Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks: Lack of faith means Britain is ‘losing the plot’

Jewish religious leader blames increasing secularisation for breakdown of institutions

Dr Rowan Williams at Canterbury Cathedral

Rowan Williams is right to tell supposed ‘persecuted’ Christians to grow up

In recent years much of the Christian community in the West has become fixated with the idea of its own ill-treatment, fulminating over any piddling little incident

The Most Rev Justin Welby declined the invitation from the animal charity as he has

Archbishop of Canterbury turns down RSPCA patronage role

The Archbishop of Canterbury has turned down an invitation to be a patron of the RSPCA.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby turns down RSPCA role

The Archbishop of Canterbury has turned down an invitation to be a patron of the RSPCA.

Christians in America and Britain who claim they are persecuted should "grow up", says former Archbishop Rowan Williams

'Persecution is not being made to feel mildly uncomfortable' Dr Williams tells Edinburgh audience

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there