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Sinead O'Connor Releases New Religious Album

Fifteen years after she tore up a photo of Pope John Paul II during an appearance on NBC-TV's "Saturday Night Live," Sinead O'Connor has released "Theology," an album about God.

O'Connor sings about love, hope and worship — what she calls "my own little response in a tiny way to what is going on politically, spiritually in the world, namely what has gone on since Sept. 11."

Many of the lyrics are strongly influenced by the Bible — particularly the Old Testament. O'Connor said she "deliberately chose Scriptures that were very gentle."

She wanted her songs to convey the benevolent side of God as opposed to "this rumored angry war-making God" who "gets libeled every day."

"When you look around the world and you see the things that are going on, you've got two sides or three sides or four sides, each claiming that they are representing God," she told The Associated Press during the Inter-Celtic Festival in the Brittany city of Lorient this weekend.

"There's a lot that's beautiful about religion," she said. "It's just you get some ... nutters that misinterpret it."

Islam "essentially at its core is a very beautiful religion," she said. "You've got a very small bunch of fruitcakes bringing that religion into disrepute. Same in the States, you've got people like George Bush bringing Christianity into disrepute."

"In the end of the day, the person who gets brought into the most disrepute is God. I kind of object to that."

Her set at the Lorient festival included her 1991 breakthrough hit, "Nothing Compares 2 U."

"Theology," released by Koch Records, comprises the acoustic "Dublin Sessions" and a London version complete with electric band. It includes the traditional song "Rivers of Babylon" with new lyrics by O'Connor.

The 40-year-old Irish pop singer, who gave birth to her fourth child in December, is touring Europe and North America to promote the CD.

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