'I go to church, I take my guns with me': Tongans taking US approach to 'feel secure'

The church bells ring all morning and the smell of the earth oven - known as Umu in Tongan - wafts through the streets.

Tongan farmer Tevita Sanft is a church regular.

The 56-year-old travels from his home to the chapel every Sunday with his family.

It's only a short 10-minute drive, but these days a special passenger comes along for the ride.

"When I go to church, I take my guns with me," he said.

Sanft owns livestock on his small seven-acre farm. And in the past, his firearms were used solely for his work around the property.

At least 31 die in church stampede in southern Nigeria

Hundreds of people who had turned up to receive food at the church early on Saturday broke through a gate, causing the stampede, Grace Iringe-Koko, police spokesperson for Rivers state said.

"People were there earlier and some got impatient and started rushing, which led to stampeding. The police are on the ground monitoring the situation while the investigation is ongoing," said Iringe-Koko.


#JusticeForUwa trends in Nigeria after student murdered in church

The hashtag #JusticeForUwa is trending in Nigeria, with her family appealing for help to track down her killers.

Uwavera had been studying in a "quiet" church near her home in Benin City when she was killed, her sister, Judith, told BBC Pidgin.

The student, who had wanted to become a nurse, died in hospital on Saturday, three days after the attack.

Judith Omozuwa said her sister had also been raped.

Her family said they received a call from a woman at the Redeemed Christian Church of God on Wednesday evening.

Priest quit church after admitting having photos of teenage girl

Sosefo Sateki Raass was parish priest of St Mary's, in Mt Albert, but was convicted in March 2019 of indecent communication with a person under 16.

Stuff reports Raass was told to serve 100 hours of community service for his offending.

He was not placed on the sex offenders' register.

Raass had been considered a rising star of the church, was principal priest of the Auckland Fijian community and was also the celebrant at Japanese rugby international Amanaki Mafi's wedding.

Tongan church sends out counsellors post Cyclone Gita

A week after the category four storm severely damaged parts of Tongatapu and 'Eua, only pockets of the community have power and many are still working to clean up their properties.

Emergency Management staff and aid agencies have been working to distribute supplies to the hardest hit areas.

But the President of the Free Wesleyan Church, Rev Dr Finau 'Ahio, says people's emotional state needs to be mended too.

Dr 'Ahio says his church has begun sending counsellors around the island.

Beer and Bibles: brewery cops same-sex marriage backlash

Yup - you read that right. Beer, the Bible and a couple of blokes.

Wait a minute - what?

To mark its 200th birthday, the Bible Society Australia paired up with Coopers brewery to create a social media strategy aimed at reaching "more Australians with God's word".

The brewery created a special batch of light beer which features the society's logo, and has Bible verses on the cases. Just in case you want a bit of spiritual guidance with your coldie.