Robot Priest unveiled in Germany

A Robot Priest with the ability to deliver automated blessings has been unveiled in Wittenberg, Germany. BlessU-2 has been made to mark the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation.

The ‘priest’ delivers a range of automated blessings in German, French, English, Spanish and Polish and can speak with either a male or a female voice.

It has arms, a face and even a light-up nose. Worshippers can use the robot’s touch screen to tell it what type of blessing they want before it finishes with raising its arms and reciting a Bible verse. It can even print out the chosen blessing.

A back-up robot has also been produced, in case BlessU-2 breaks down.


The month in figures

A new report from Open Doors, Served and Middle East Concern estimates that up to 80 per cent of Christians have left Syria and Iraq since the Syrian civil war began in 2011.

Seven in ten women would like to see the time limit for abortion reduced, according to a poll by the pro-life group ‘Where do they stand’.

50 per cent of young people feel comfortable sharing their faith all or most of the time, according to a survey by HOPE Revolution partnership.

The Church of England has announced a 14% increase in the numbers training for the Priesthood. 543 men and women will begin their studies this autumn.


Tennis champion-turned-pastor claims ‘bullying’ over sexuality views

Margaret Court has claimed she is a victim of a US-led conspiracy after calls to remove her name from one of the arenas at the Australian Open.

The 24-time grand slam singles champion who is now a pastor, attracted criticism after labelling transgenderism the work of the devil. She also drew criticism after announcing her boycott of the airline Qantas over its chief executive’s support for gay marriage.

The 74 year old Australian’s controversial remarks have led to calls to change the name of a tennis court at Melbourne Park which is currently named after her.

Martina Navratilova - herself a lesbian - has led calls for the venue to be renamed, and labelled Court a “homophobe”.

Asked whether she thought there was a conspiracy, Court said: “Yes, I believe there is...They are a minority in number but they do have a lot of money behind them.”

Court said, “There has been a lot of bullying…They are taking my tennis and trying to destroy me through my tennis. I am a target”.

Tennis Australia has distanced themselves from Court’s comments but have so far resisted pressure to rename the arena.


Churchgoers live longer

Churchgoers live longer and are less stressed according to a study from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, USA.

Research found that people aged 40 to 65 years old who attend church or other houses of worship reduced their risk of premature death by 55 per cent.

Professor Marino Bruce, a social and behavioural scientist who is also a Baptist minister, led the study and said its results are “encouraging individuals to participate in something”.

Professor Bruce added that increased religiosity is associated with “less stress and enhanced longevity”.


People in the news


Dawkins defends religion

Richard Dawkins believes religious education is vital for children. The famous biologist said, “you can’t understand history unless you know about the history of the Christian religion”.


From selfishness  to faith

Boyzone's Shane Lynch says he had a “very immature and selfish” lifestyle before becoming a Christian. “I worked my way through that [and] found my Christian faith" he said.


Christian athlete admits abortion

Writing in her new Christian book Olympic Gold medalist Sanya Richards-Ross, 32 has revealed she had an abortion a day before the Beijing Games. The athlete said the abortion “broke” her.


Bieber the believer

At the One Love Manchester benefit concert Justin Bieber said: “God is good in the midst of the darkness…God is in the midst, no matter what is happening in the world…he loves you and he is here for you.”