church

Christian worshipper is seen inside the Grotto, where Christians believe Virgin Mary gave birth to Jesus, at the Church of Nativity ahead of Christmas in the West Bank town of Bethlehem...A Christian worshipper is seen inside the Grotto, where Christians believe Virgin Mary gave birth to Jesus, at the Church of Nativity ahead of Christmas in the West Bank town of Bethlehem December 17, 2014.

Ammar Awad/Reuters

A Christian worshipper is seen inside the Grotto, where Christians believe Virgin Mary gave birth to Jesus, at the Church of Nativity ahead of Christmas in the West Bank town of Bethlehem on Wednesday

 An Iraqi Christian, who fled from her home because of Islamic State's advance earlier this year, hangs up washed clothes to dry besides a displaced persons camp near Umm al-Nour Church, which is now home to hundreds of displaced Iraqi Christians in Erbil, Iraq.  Although the autonomous Kurdistan region in northern Iraq was already a refuge for an estimated 250,000 Syrian refugees, since the Islamic State began its onslaught on Iraq in June, Kurdistan has also taken in a more than one and a half million displaced people. Many have been placed in purpose-built refugee camps but the huge numbers mean thousands of others are forced to live in un-finished buildings or inadequate, makeshift shelters and as winter in the region closes in, there are growing concerns for the welfare of the refugees who, while their homes are still in ISIL controlled territory, have no realistic prospect of returning to them.

Matt Cardy/Getty Images

An Iraqi Christian, who fled from her home because of Islamic State’s advance earlier this year, hangs up washed clothes to dry besides a displaced persons’ camp near Umm al-Nour Church, which is now home to hundreds of displaced Iraqi Christians in Erbil, Iraq.

Blenheim Palace game keepers walk through the estate grounds to the funeral service of the 11th Duke of Marlborough, John Spencer-Churchill, at the Parish Church of St. Mary Magdalene in Woodstock...Blenheim Palace game keepers walk through the estate grounds to the funeral service of the 11th Duke of Marlborough, John Spencer-Churchill, at the Parish Church of St. Mary Magdalene in Woodstock, southern England October 24, 2014. The Duke died on October 16th. His Blenheim Palace home is a Unesco World Heritage Site, and the birthplace of Winston Churchill.

Peter Nicholls/Reuters

Game keepers wear traditional dress to attend the funeral on Friday of John George Vanderbilt Henry Spencer-Churchill, the 11th Duke of Marlborough, who died last Thursday, aged 88. Blenheim Palace is a country house situated in Woodstock, Oxfordshire in England and is the principal residence of the dukes of Marlborough.

 A Chinese Christian woman prays during a service at an underground independent Protestant Church in Beijing, China. China, an officially atheist country, places a number of restrictions on Christians and allows legal practice of the faith only at state-approved churches. The policy has driven an increasing number of Christians and Christian converts 'underground' to secret congregations in private homes and other venues. While the size of the religious community is difficult to measure, studies estimate there more than 65 million Christians inside China with studies supporting the possibility it could become the most Christian nation in the world within a decade.

Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

A Chinese Christian woman prays during a service at an underground independent Protestant Church in Beijing, China. China, an officially atheist country, places a number of restrictions on Christians and allows legal practice of the faith only at state-approved churches

Search continues for survivors of collapsed church in Lagos

EPA

Nigerian rescue workers search through rubble of the guesthouse that collapsed on September 12 at the Synagogue Church of All Nations in Lagos, Nigeria. The country’s National Emergency Management Agency says survivors are still being found

A Romanian Roma man teaches his son to pray during a religious service celebrating the Birth of the Virgin Mary at the Bistrita Monastery in Costesti, Romania, Monday, Sept. 8, 2014. Thousands of Gypsies or Roma gather on a nearby hillside after attending the religious service and celebrate the religious holiday by sharing food and playing traditional music until the next dawn.

Vadim Ghirda/AP

A Romanian Roma man teaches his son to pray during a religious service celebrating the Birth of the Virgin Mary at the Bistrita Monastery in Costesti, Romania

People angered by an attack on a church ...People angered by an attack on a church in central Bangui hold a sign (L) reading "No! To Burundian MISCA" as they protest near a barricade of burning tyres in the Bea-Rex district of Bangui on May 29, 2014. At least 15 people, including a priest, were killed and several others wounded in clashes on May 28 in the capital of the strife-torn Central African Republic, a military source said. Deeply impoverished Central Africa has been in crisis since the Seleka alliance seized power in a March 2013 coup led by Michael Djotodia. AFP PHOTO / MARCO LONGARIMARCO LONGARI/AFP/Getty Images

Marco Longari/AFP/Getty

People angered by an attack on a church in central Bangui, the capital of the strife-torn Central African Republic, take part in a protest. At least 15 people, including a priest, were killed and several others wounded in clashes on Wednesday, a military source said 

Most Rev Malcolm McMahon at Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral as he is appointed ninth Archbishop of Liverpool, he will be installed as Archbishop on May 1st.

Lynne Cameron/PA

Most Reverend Malcolm McMahon at Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral after he is appointed ninth Archbishop of Liverpool. He will be installed as Archbishop on May 1.

A cat hisses at a Great Dane dog in the queue while waiting to be anointed outside the Saint Anton church in Madrid, Friday, Jan. 17, 2014. It is the animal's patron saint day in which thousands of people all over Spain bring their pets to churches to be blessed.

Paul White/AP

A cat hisses at a Great Dane dog while waiting to be anointed outside the San Anton church in Madrid on Friday. It is the animal’s patron saint day in which thousands of people all over Spain bring their pets to churches to be blessed.

The Choristers rehearse for Advent services and concerts at St Paul's Cathedral on December 9, 2013 in London, England.  Each year nearly two million people visit St Paul's Cathedral for services and concerts in the run up to Christmas.

Bethany Clarke/Getty Images)

Choristers rehearse at St Paul’s Cathedral on Monday in London, UK. Each year about 2m people visit the cathedral for services and concerts in the run-up to Christmas.