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Eric Pickles tells UK's 'militant atheists' to 'get over it'

Eric Pickles has previously accused the former Labour government of "diminishing Christianity" by separating religion and politics. Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

Conservative minister Eric Pickles has told "militant atheists" who do not accept Britain is a Christian nation to "get over it".

Addressing the Conservative Spring Forum in London, the Communities Secretary said non-believers should not be able to impose "politically correct intolerance" on others.

He said those opposed to prayers at the start of council meetings should, "get over it. And don't impose your politically correct intolerance on others".

Mr Pickles changed the law in 2012 to ensure that English parish councils could not face legal challenges for including prayers in public meetings.

Hundreds flock to Spanish church to see 'Holy Grail'

Spanish historians Margarita Torres and José Ortega del Río believe a 2,000-year-old chalice is the Holy Grail, now hundreds of people have now flocked to see it in Leon, Spain.

The authors of the book 'Kings of the Grail' claim the cup was used by Jesus Christ at the Last Supper which was given as a gift to Spanish King Fernando I by a Muslim ruler.

Their studies led them to identify a part of the princess's goblet and a missing fragment as described in the parchments.

(CC) Twelfth-century Chalice of Doña Urraca. Credit: José-Manuel Benito Álvarez/WikiCommons

The director of the basilica's museum, Raquel Jaén said the cup was taken off display to find a location that could hold larger crowds.

"It was in a very small room where it was not possible to admire it to the full," she told AFP.

The historians said that the two Egyptian parchments they found in 2011 at Cairo's University of Al-Azhar set them on an investigation debunking some of the 200 supposed Holy Grails around Europe too.

The twelfth-century cup was donated by one of the five children of Ferdinand I to the Basilica of San Isidoro de León in Spain, where it remains.


Registrar 'disappointed' by European court ruling

Registrar Lillian Ladele said she was disciplined by London's Islington Council for refusing to conduct civil partnership ceremonies. Credit: Christian Institute

Registrar Lillian Ladele, who said she was disciplined by London's Islington Council for refusing to conduct civil partnership ceremonies for homosexual couples, was "disappointed" by today's ruling by the European Court of Human Rights, according to The Christian Institute.

Her claim against her former employer was rejected as judges said Islington Council's action was "legitimate" given that it was obliged to consider the rights of same-sex couples. The Christian Institute, who supported her case said:

"Obviously, we are disappointed to have lost. But we are encouraged that two judges thought we should have won. What this case shows is that Christians with traditional beliefs about marriage are at risk of being left out in the cold."

"If the Government steamrollers ahead with its plans to redefine marriage, then hundreds of thousands of people could be thrown out of their jobs unless they agree to endorse gay marriage."

BA distances itself from Christian worker's crucifix case

The European Court of Human Rights has upheld a claim against the UK Government for a failure to protect European Convention rights.

British Airways was not a party to this legal action. It was pursued against the UK government.

Our own uniform policy was changed in 2007 to allow Miss Eweida and others to wear symbols of faith and she and other employees have been working under these arrangements for the last six years.

Miss Eweida has worked continuously for British Airways for 13 years.

– British Airways

European court's judgment shows 'hierarchy of rights'

The court's recognition of Christian belief in everyday life is welcome, but in only finding in favour of Nadia Eweida, it has shown a hierarchy of rights now exists in UK law.

The failure of the court to protect the religious freedom of Lillian Ladele in living out her faith in a way consistent with historic Christian belief shows the limitations of this judgment.

– Dave Landrum, director of advocacy for the Evangelical Alliance


Relate counsellor to appeal 'regrettable' judgment

Gary McFarlane told bosses he would not "encourage sin" in same-sex couples. Credit: Jeff Moore/Empics Entertainment

Former Relate counsellor Gary McFarlane, who was sacked after refusing to give sex therapy to same-sex couples, said the judgment by the European Court of Human Rights against him was "regrettable".

Speaking in central London, he said he would appeal the decision while continuing to counsel same-sex couples in other aspects of their lives.

The ECHR's ruling found against Mr McFarlane on the grounds that he took on the role at Relate in the knowledge that clients could not be divided up in accordance with their sexual orientation.

It concluded the company's action was designed to enable it to provide a service without discrimination.

Cross-wearing BA worker thanks Jesus after victory

I was very selfish initially when I heard the verdict because I was jumping for joy and saying 'thank you Jesus'. It's a vindication that Christians have a right to express their faith on par with other colleagues at work visibly and not be ashamed of their faith.

I'm disappointed on behalf of the other three applicants but I fully support them in their asking for a referral for their cases to be heard in the Grand Chamber, and I wish them every success in the future to win.

– British Airways check-in clerk Nadia Eweida

Defeated Christians have three months to lodge appeal

Barrister Adam Wagner, who specialises in human rights, has confirmed the timeline for the three Christians who lost their cases at the European Court of Human Rights to appeal to the Strasbourg court's higher chamber.

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