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Czech priest wins $1.83 million Templeton Prize

By Tom Heneghan, Religion Editor (Reuters) - A Czech Catholic priest whose theology of paradox invites believers and atheists to dialogue has won the 2014 Templeton Prize, worth $1.83 million, for his work affirming the spiritual dimension of life. Tomas Halik, who worked underground to promote democracy and morality before communism fell in Czechoslovakia in 1989, has "continuously opened vistas that advance humankind," the U.S.-based John Templeton Foundation said on Thursday in announcing the prize.

Atheists face death in 13 countries, global discrimination: study

By Robert Evans GENEVA (Reuters) - In 13 countries around the world, all of them Muslim, people who openly espouse atheism or reject the official state religion of Islam face execution under the law, according to a detailed study issued on Tuesday. And beyond the Islamic nations, even some of the West's apparently most democratic governments at best discriminate against citizens who have no belief in a god and at worst can jail them for offences dubbed blasphemy, it said.

Group wants atheist books placed with Bibles in Georgia state parks

By David Beasley ATLANTA (Reuters) - A national atheist group said it plans to donate enough books on its views to be placed in all Georgia state park cabins after the state's governor said Bibles should remain at the vacation properties despite an atheist's recent complaint. But Ed Buckner, the atheist who objected after finding nine Bibles in the state-run lodge he was renting, said on Tuesday he is skeptical that Georgia can find a practical way to allow literature from all groups to be equally represented.

Egypt satirist faces new probe for 'insulting Pakistan'

Egyptian prosecutors are probing new complaints against popular satirist Bassem Youssef, this time for "insulting Pakistan" and "spreading atheism," judicial sources told AFP on Tuesday. The wildly popular Youssef -- whose weekly political satire programme Al-Bernameg (The Show) has spared few public figures of merciless critique -- is currently on bail pending investigation into charges of insulting President Mohamed Morsi and Islam. The new lawsuits accuse Youssef of "insulting the state of Pakistan and causing tensions in its relations with Egypt."

Britain's 'atheist church' set to go global

Echoing with joyful song and with a congregation bent on leading better lives, this London church is like any other -- except there's no mention of God. Britain's atheist church is barely three months old but it already has more "worshippers" than can fit into its services, while more than 200 non-believers worldwide have contacted organisers to ask how they can set up their own branch.
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