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Christianity in Britain losing ground to secularism, Islam

New figures from the 2011 Census show that the number of people who identify as Christians in England and Wales has fallen by 4 million in the last 10 years.

The data show numbers fell from 37.3 million in 2001 to 33 million last year.

The statistics came as the outgoing archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, claimed that English cathedral congregations are growing dramatically, challenging the claim made by secularists that the Church of England is fading in Britain.

Tutu urges Uganda to drop bid to jail gays and lesbians

Nobel Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu on Tuesday urged Uganda to scrap a controversial draft law that would send gays and lesbians to jail and, some say, put them at risk of the death penalty.

The Anti-Homosexuality Bill is expected to become law after Parliamentary Speaker Rebecca Kadaga offered it to Ugandans as a "Christmas gift." The bill is believed to exclude the death penalty clause after international pressure forced its removal, but gay rights activists say much of it is still horrendous.

CRS, Caritas Philippines ready to speed relief to thousands after storm

As thousands of Philippine families remained in shelters, Catholic Relief Services and Caritas Philippines prepared to speed household supplies and water to eastern sections of Mindanao affected by powerful Typhoon Bopha.

Packing 120-mph winds and torrential rains as it made landfall on the country's southern-most island Tuesday, the storm left at least 300 people dead and hundreds more missing, Joe Curry, CRS country representative, told Catholic News Service.

Newly beatified Indian lay martyr praised for refusing to reject faith

The life of Blessed Devasahayam Pillai, an 18th-century Catholic layman who was martyred for refusing to refute his faith despite being brutally tortured, was held up as an example for all Christians to embrace.

"(India) can rejoice as this great martyr is now only a step away from being a declared saint," Bishop Peter Remigius of Kottar told Catholic News Service on Monday, a day after 400,000 people attended the beatification ceremony in Nagercoil, in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.

"It was a wonderful event and the people were really excited," the bishop said.

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