by Greg Spearritt
Religion News Australia
July 29 – August 5, 2012
Religion news stories from Australia
(Research: Greg Spearritt)
Police move on priests over abuse 'cover-up' (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 31 - NSW Police will give prosecutors evidence that three of the most senior members of the Catholic Church allegedly concealed the sexual assault of young girls in the Hunter Valley, in a landmark case that could expose the church to a new wave of criminal prosecution.
Aug 1 - A court has heard a Sydney policeman sneaked into a family home to have sex with a teenage girl.
Aug 2 - THE Catholic Archbishop of Adelaide's claim that he urged parents of children abused by an alleged pedophile priest to inform the police has been directly challenged by a teacher and the mother of one of the alleged victims.
Parishioners meet to discuss church assets (ABC News)
Aug 1 - A series of meetings is being held to protest against the possible sale of church property in the Bathurst Anglican diocese.
Catholic teachers to strike (The Age, Melbourne)
Aug 1 - CATHOLIC schools will be thrown into chaos next month with teachers expected to join their colleagues from the government system in the biggest school strike in the state's history.
Ethics classes hidden from parents, say supporters (Sydney Morning Herald)
Aug 4 - PROPOSED changes to the way parents are notified about the option of ethics classes in NSW schools have been criticised by supporters, who claim they are a deliberate attempt to stymie the classes' take up.
Clarify school profit rules, Garrett says (Sydney Morning Herald)
Aug 4 - RESTRICTIONS that prevent schools from operating for profit should be tightened to legitimise taxpayer subsidies, the federal Education Minister, Peter Garrett, said yesterday.
Parents shun school religion (The Age, Melbourne)
Aug 4 - THE group representing parents in Victorian state schools has joined teachers in calling for controversial religious instruction classes to be scrapped during school hours.
Priest in US produced child porn (The Courier-Mail, Brisbane)
Aug 3 - AS a priest, he absolved others of their sins in the anonymity of the confessional.
Aug 5 - Thousands of Catholics have rallied in the Philippines against a measure to control the country's population growth.
Islamist Psresident goes softly in Egypt (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 30 - CAIRO: During Egypt's presidential campaign, the candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohammed Mursi, made no apologies for the group's slogan: ''Islam is the solution''.
French summer camp workers sacked over Ramadan fast (The West Australian)
Aug 1 - PARIS (AFP) - Tensions between French authorities and the country's Islamic community resurfaced on Tuesday after it emerged that four summer camp instructors had been sacked for fasting during Ramadan.
Germany to protect religious circumcision (The Australian)
Aug 2 - THE German government wants to ensure Jewish and Muslim parents can continue circumcising their sons despite a local court's ruling that the practice amounts to criminal bodily harm.
Aug 2 - Authorities in China's restive north western region of Xinjiang have banned Muslim officials and students from fasting during Ramadan.
Calls for change to Indonesia's mosque loudspeakers (The West Australian)
Aug 2 - JAKARTA (AFP) - For Beringin Kusuma whose living quarters are only a short distance from a mosque, the Muslim month of Ramadan is not only a time for fasting, but also for plugging his ears before bed every night.
Aug 3 - An Islamic council in Indonesia wants the country's broadcasting commission to consider certifying TV programs as religiously acceptable.
Aug 4 - FOR most athletes at the London Olympics, their battle starts when they take their place on the starting blocks.
Car bombs kill at least 20 in Baghdad (ABC News)
Aug 1 - At least 20 people have been killed after two bombs exploded on busy streets during Baghdad's evening peak hour.
Al-Qaeda in 'decline' but US warns on Iran (Sydney Morning Herald)
Aug 1 - Al-Qaeda is on a "path of decline" after many of its top leaders were killed, but its affiliates are a rising threat in vulnerable regions, the US State Department has warned in a report.
Mali govt denounces 'dark age' execution (The Courier-Mail, Brisbane)
July 31 - MALI'S interim government has denounced the execution by stoning of an unmarried couple by Islamic extremists in the north of the country, describing it as a "dark-age practice".
UN envoy visits site of Burma clashes (The Courier-Mail, Brisbane)
July 31 - A UN human rights envoy is visiting western Burma to investigate communal violence that left at least 78 people dead and tens of thousands homeless.
Afghan militants' mafia-style operation (news.com.au)
Aug 2 - ONE of the deadliest militant groups in Afghanistan, the Haqqani network, has developed a sophisticated, mafia-style financing operation that relies on extortion, kidnapping, smuggling and ties to legitimate businesses, according to a new report by a US-based think-tank.
Outrage after pig heads dumped at mosque (The Australian)
Aug 2 - FRENCH Muslim and Jewish groups were united in outrage Wednesday after two pig heads were dumped at a mosque in a town where an Islamist gunman killed two paratroopers in March.
Two small bombs injure 19 in Lahore (The Courier-Mail, Brisbane)
Aug 2 - TWO small bombs have gone off at a market in Pakistan's eastern city of Lahore, injuring 19 people, officials and police say.
Aug 3 - Spanish police have arrested three suspected Al Qaeda members thought to have been planning an attack in Spain or elsewhere in Europe and seized enough explosives to blow up a bus, the government said on Thursday.
Also: Spain jails one al-Qaeda suspect (The Courier-Mail, Brisbane)
Aug 4 - THREE Islamist terrorism suspects who may have been plotting an attack in Spain or elsewhere in Europe have been questioned by a judge, who charged one with possession of explosives and ordered the other two detained until Sunday without charges.
Nigeria religious leader survives attack (news.com.au)
Aug 4 - A TOP Muslim traditional leader in northeastern Nigeria has escaped a suicide attack, when the bomber was thwarted by locals before blowing himself up, police and residents say.
Islamist warns Russia after claiming cleric killing (The West Australian)
Aug 4 - MOSCOW (AFP) - An Islamic militant claimed Saturday a deadly twin attack on two clerics and warned of more bloodshed in a Muslim region of Russia that has been held up as an example of religious tolerance.
US church refuses to marry black couple at last minute (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 30 - A race row has broken out in Mississippi after a black couple were turned away from the church in which they planned to get married.
Also: Mississippi couple told they can't get married because they are black (news.com.au)
July 30 - A MISSISSIPPI couple was told by a pastor that they could not get married at their church because they were black.
Snoop no longer a Dogg, now a Lion (news.com.au)
July 31 - SNOOP Dogg has officially dropped the Dogg act and upgraded his name to "Snoop Lion".
Myanmar rejects Muslim crackdown concerns (The West Australian)
July 31 - YANGON (AFP) - Myanmar on Monday told a UN rights envoy it rejected accusations of abuse by security forces in the wake of communal unrest, after the United Nations raised fears of a crackdown on Muslims.
Swiss bishop calls on power of prayer to bring back ice (The Age, Melbourne)
July 31 - YOU'VE got to hand it to the Catholic Church - sometimes its methods work.
July 31 - THE United States has warned the world is sliding backwards on religious freedoms, criticising violence against Coptic Christians in Egypt and citing European laws banning Muslim veils.
Also: Report on religious freedom 'unjustified' (The Courier-Mail, Brisbane)
July 31 - CHINA'S official Xinhua news agency says there is "no justification" for a US report signalling a marked deterioration in the country's religious freedom in 2011.
Also: China accuses US of prejudice on religious issues (The West Australian)
Aug 2 - BEIJING (AFP) - Beijing rejected Thursday accusations from the United States that it was curbing religious freedoms in its Tibetan regions and urged Washington to cast off its "prejudiced" views of China.
Punks trial puts heat on Putin (The Age, Melbourne)
Aug 1 - THREE special forces troops, Kalashnikov rifles draped across their chests, stood guard outside the courtroom. Inside, an equally ominous pit bull kept watch from in front of the judge's desk as journalists piled into a shabby wooden room inside Moscow's notorious Khamovnichesky court.
Also: Pussy Riot sacrificed on Putin's orthodox altar (Sydney Morning Herald)
Aug 2 – (Opinion: Warwick McFadyen) The trial began this week in Moscow of three members of the punk band Pussy Riot. They have pleaded not guilty to hooliganism and religious hatred.
Also: Putin suggests leniency for Pussy Riot (ABC News)
Aug 3 - Russian president Vladimir Putin says he does not favour a tough punishment for the members of an all-girl punk band who performed a song against his rule in Moscow's main cathedral.
Also: British pop stars demand fair trial for Russian rockers (The West Australian)
Aug 2 - LONDON (AFP) - A group of British musicians including Pete Townshend and the Pet Shop Boys have urged Russian President Vladimir Putin, due in London on Thursday, to give a fair trial to punk band Pussy Riot.
Also: Putin urges court to go easy on Pussy Riot (The Courier-Mail, Brisbane)
Aug 3 - RUSSIAN President Vladimir Putin has criticised the feminist punk rockers facing trial for performing a "punk prayer" against him at Moscow's main cathedral, but says their punishment shouldn't be too severe.
Also: As the free world keeps playing, Russia's wild women are caged (The Age, Melbourne)
Aug 4 – (Opinion: Suzy Freeman-Greene) A FILMMAKER documenting the trial of Pussy Riot, Russia's fabulously named feminist punks, has compared it to a Dostoyevsky novel or ''a really warped Beatles film''.
Also: Putin help fails to rock punks' case (Daily Telegraph, Sydney)
Aug 4 - PRESIDENT Vladimir Putin's unexpected call for leniency in the Pussy Riot trial has done little to help the embattled defence.
China jails Uighurs on separatism charges: reports (The West Australian)
Aug 2 - BEIJING (AFP) - Courts in a restive region of west China with a large Muslim population have jailed 20 people for up to 15 years for using the Internet to incite separatism and "holy war", state media said Thursday.
Pastor admits to being Stasi agent (The Australian)
Aug 2 - AN AUSTRIAN pastor admitted in a newspaper interview to spying for East Germany's Stasi secret police for 20 years and said he was leaving his ministry with the Lutheran Church of Sweden.
Fried chicken in same-sex marriage row (The Australian)
Aug 2 - THOUSANDS of Americans have feasted on fried chicken in a politically-charged show of support for a family owned fast-food chain which opposes same-sex marriage.
Czechs pass $3.6bn religious compo bill (The Australian)
Aug 2 - CZECH legislators have passed a bill on the restitution of assets worth up to 2.95 billion euros ($A3.57 billion) seized from 17 religious denominations by Czechoslovakia's communist regime between 1948 and 1989.
Jerusalem hosts Gay Pride parade (The Courier-Mail, Brisbane)
Aug 3 - THOUSANDS have marched in central Jerusalem for a milestone 10th anniversary Gay Pride parade, passing by the spot where an ultra-Orthodox Jew stabbed three participants in 2005.
Four children killed by witch doctor (The Courier-Mail, Brisbane)
Aug 4 - FOUR children from the same family have been found dead in Haiti after being treated by a witch doctor who claimed to be able to cure them of a mysterious illness, a local official said Friday.
Also: Voodoo exorcist kills four kids (Adelaide Now)
Aug 4 - A WITCH doctor who killed four children in a voodoo rite says he was trying to exorcise the devil.
Protests at plans to move child killer Michelle Martin to convent (Daily Telegraph, Sydney)
Aug 4 - ABOUT 1000 Belgians have protested plans to release the wife of a paedophile who helped him kidnap, rape and kill several young girls.
Sydney Islamic school ordered to repay $9m (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 31 - Sydney Islamic school Malek Fahd has been forced to repay $9 million in NSW government funding because it was found to be transferring money to a Muslim organisation.
Also: Islamic school denies operating for profit (The Courier-Mail, Brisbane)
July 31 - AN Islamic school in Sydney's southwest, ordered to pay back $9 million of public funding, denies it has done anything wrong.
Man must honour $50,000 dowry deal (Sydney Morning Herald)
Aug 1 - A SYDNEY man who spurned his wife must pay her $50,000 under a dowry agreement, the NSW Supreme Court has ruled.
Aug 2 - The ACT Human Rights Commissioner has found a flyer opposing a mosque development in Canberra's north is unlikely to have breached the Discrimination Act.
Happy clappy app: church joins the modern age (The Age, Melbourne)
July 30 - Venturing where angels fear to tread, a Melbourne church has embraced social media and digital technology to revolutionise its links with members and the wider world.
How do we turn a palette of colours into picture perfect? (The Age, Melbourne)
Aug 4 – (Opinion: Martin Flanagan) In 1978, when I was 23, I left Australia and went to Ireland.
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