by Greg Spearritt
Religion News Australia
December 7 - 14, 2014
Religion news stories from Australia
(Research: Greg Spearritt)
Children were raped,
beaten and drugged at Mangrove Yoga Ashram (news.com.au)
Dec 11 - IN the foothills of Mangrove Mountain, some went in search of peace at a yoga ashram, instead their children were drugged, raped and beaten.
Vow of celibacy may have
contributed to child sex abuse says landmark report (news.com.au)
Dec 12 - THE vow of celibacy may have contributed to decades of child sex abuse committed by Catholic priests and clergy, according to a landmark report from the church’s leaders.
Celibacy may be linked
to sexual abuse, Catholic Church concedes (Brisbane Times)
Dec 12 - Obligatory celibacy may have contributed to sexual abuse in some circumstances, an advisory group to the leaders of the Australian Catholic Church has conceded in a report recommending that priests be given "psychosexual training".
Celibacy and child
abuse: why is the Catholic church pre-empting the royal commission? (The Guardian, Australia)
Dec 13 – (Opinion: Adam Brereton) The representative of the Australian Catholic church to the royal commission into child abuse has claimed that “obligatory celibacy may also have contributed to [child] abuse in some circumstances”.
Anglican Church proposes
reparation scheme for child sex abuse victims (The Age, Melbourne)
Dec 14 - Sex abuse victims would have access to a reparation scheme with the power to award cash support and direct that the abuser be removed from their job - while still leaving open the possibility of the victim taking legal action – under a new proposal by the Anglican Church.
Blake Prize for
religious art under threat (Sydney Morning Herald)
Dec 10 - The end is nigh for one of Australia's top prizes for religious art.
Artist Richard Lewer
wins $25,000 Blake Prize for religious art as future of award in doubt
Dec 14 - Melbourne-based artist Richard Lewer has won the $25,000 Blake Prize for religious art in what could be the last year it is awarded.
Richard Lewer's tragic
love story wins Blake Prize for religious art (Sydney Morning Herald)
Dec 14 - Richard Lewer describes his Blake Prize-winning work Worse luck…I am still here as a "tragic love story".
ABC religion and science
coverage in doubt (Sydney Morning Herald)
Dec 12 - The future of science and religious broadcasting at the ABC has been thrown into doubt, following evidence to a Senate committee by former ABC board member Quentin Dempster.
Pope prays for protection
of Rome amid mafia scandal (The
Dec 9 - Pope Francis prayed for the protection of Rome from the "threat of the malign," in a public display of support for city authorities battling mafia influence.
Dogs go to heaven, says
Pope Francis (Sydney Morning
Dec 12 - Pope Francis has given hope to gays, unmarried couples and advocates of the Big Bang theory. Now, he has endeared himself to dog lovers, animal-rights activists and vegans.
How priests were
introduced to celibacy (news.com.au)
Dec 12 - IN the 1st century Peter, the first pope, was a married man and so were many of his successors until the 16th century.
Pope Francis refuses to
meet Dalai Lama because of 'delicate situation' with China (ABC
Dec 13 - Pope Francis has refused to meet the Dalai Lama because of what the Vatican calls the "delicate situation" with China.
'The whole city is
shocked': bare-legged woman in Kabul goes viral (Sydney Morning Herald)
Dec 11 - Wearing a knee-length dress is so common many may be surprised that a photo of a young woman wearing one has sparked local outrage and global curiosity.
Capital of China's
Xinjiang to ban burqas in public: report (The West Australian)
Dec 11 - Beijing (AFP) - Authorities in the capital of the mainly Muslim Uighur homeland of Xinjiang voted to ban the wearing of burqas in public, media said Thursday, as China confronts unrest with tough measures that critics have labelled discriminatory.
Indonesian news editor
accused of blasphemy over Isis cartoon (The Guardian, Australia)
Dec 12 - The chief editor of a leading English-language newspaper in Muslim-majority Indonesia has been named a suspect in a blasphemy case after the publication of a cartoon about the Islamic State (Isis) group.
Top Turkey cleric under
fire over luxury Mercedes (The
Dec 13 - Istanbul (AFP) - Turkey's top cleric came under fire on Saturday over reports that a luxury Mercedes had been purchased at public expense to serve as his official car -- the latest government splurge to cause a public outcry.
Devotion, defiance draw
millions to Iraq pilgrimage (The
Dec 13 - Karbala (Iraq) (AFP) - Millions of Shiite Muslim pilgrims defied the threat of jihadist attacks and thronged the Iraqi shrine city of Karbala on Saturday for the climax of annual Arbaeen mourning rituals.
Iraq security fears as
millions of pilgrims throng Karbala (The West Australian)
Dec 13 - Karbala (Iraq) (AFP) - Millions of Shiite Muslim pilgrims thronged the Iraqi city of Karbala Friday for one of the world's largest religious gatherings, in defiance of the threat posed by the Islamic State, a Sunni group.
At least 20 Australians
killed in Syria and Iraq fighting for terrorist groups, Brandis says (ABC
Dec 9 - Federal Attorney-General George Brandis says at least 20 Australians have been killed fighting alongside terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq, and warns that the Islamic State group is using Australians on the frontline as "cannon fodder, bombers and propaganda tools".
Last French hostage
freed by al-Qaeda's north African arm: Hollande (Sydney Morning Herald)
Dec 10 - President Francois Hollande said on Tuesday that the last French citizen held hostage, a 50-year-old man seized in 2011 by al-Qaeda's north African arm, had now been freed.
Suicide bomber attacks
Kabul play about suicide attacks, killing one person (ABC
Dec 12 - A teenage suicide bomber has targeted a Kabul auditorium packed with people watching a drama condemning suicide attacks, killing a German national, officials say.
arriving and dying at same rate in Middle East: ASIO (Sydney Morning Herald)
Dec 12 - Australians going to fight with extremist groups in the Middle East are dying as fast as they are arriving, meaning that the total number of fighters has remained stable at about 70, security agency ASIO has revealed.
ISIS reportedly wants $1
million for beheaded hostage James Foley’s corpse (news.com.au)
Dec 12 - ISIS is trying to sell the remains of beheaded journalist James Foley to his parents or the US government for $1 million, according to a new report.
Pakistan Taliban hits
out at Nobel peace prize winner Malala Yousafzai (ABC
Dec 12 - The Pakistani Taliban has criticised teenage education activist Malala Yousafzai over her Nobel Peace Prize, describing her as a "soldier against Islamic society".
Indian IT executive is
the author of popular Islamic State tweets (Sydney Morning Herald)
Dec 12 - Delhi: Indian police last night launched an investigation into reports that a Bangalore IT executive is behind Islamic State's most influential Twitter account.
Islamic State: Indian
food company executive arrested over tweets supporting jihadist group (ABC
Dec 14 - Indian police have arrested a 24-year-old executive believed to be the handler of an influential Twitter account supporting the Islamic State (IS) group.
Aussie musician, Ahmad
Naser Sarmast, hurt in suicide attack (The Courier-Mail, Brisbane)
Dec 12 - A RENOWNED Australian musician was rushed to hospital after a Taliban suicide attack targeted a school where he was watching his students perform.
Islamic State behead
four children for refusing to convert, claims priest (news.com.au)
Dec 12 - FOUR Christian children were beheaded in Iraq by militants from the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, for refusing to denounce Jesus and convert to Islam, according to the leader of the Anglican Church in Baghdad.
Islamic State influence
spreads to African jihadists (The
Dec 13 - Washington (AFP) - Its main battlegrounds are far away and its true influence hard to judge, but the Islamic State's black banner is attracting the attention of jihadists in Africa, particularly in Nigeria.
'Eye of Sauron' plan for
Moscow skyscraper scrapped (ABC
Dec 11 - A plan to install an 'Eye of Sauron'-style light on top of a Moscow skyscraper has been scrapped after protests from the Russian Orthodox Church.
Kiwi Buddha booze promo
offends Myanmar (news.com.au)
Dec 12 - A NEW Zealand bar manager has been remanded in custody in Myanmar (Burma) after his bar used an image of Buddha wearing headphones to promote a cheap drinks night.
New Zealand bar manager
held in Myanmar over 'Buddha' promo (The West Australian)
Dec 11 - Yangon (AFP) - A Myanmar court on Thursday denied a New Zealand bar manager bail over accusations he insulted religion by using an image of the Buddha wearing headphones in a promotion for his nightspot.
Queensland men desperate
to come home from Syria but fear being locked up (The
Dec 10 - TWO Queensland men fighting in Syria and Iraq are desperate for Australian authorities to let them come home, saying they were duped into becoming accidental terrorists.
‘You let my girl fly off
to die’: Jihadi Amira Karroum’s father blames Australian Government (The
Dec 12 - THE grieving father of a slain jihadi woman says he believes the federal government “sacrificed” his daughter to reach terrorist recruiters.
Two Sydney women flee to
Syria to become IS jihahi terror brides (Daily Telegraph, Sydney)
Dec 14 - A TEENAGER and her 20-year-old friend have become the first Australian women to “go it alone” to join terrorists in Syria and offer themselves as potential jihadi brides, intelligence agencies believe.
Racist attack on bus:
offender's Youth Justice Conference (Sydney Morning Herald)
Dec 14 - A teenager involved in an anti-Semitic attack on a bus full of young Jewish students will visit the Sydney Jewish Museum as part of an agreed settlement with NSW police and the Jewish community.
Religious groups hit out
at Labor's move to rewrite state's equal opportunity laws (Sydney Morning Herald)
Dec 8 - Religious groups will ramp up campaigning against a Labor proposal that will make it harder for faith-based organisations, including schools, to discriminate against employees because of their faith or sexuality.
Victorian council bans
circuses with wild animals, Christian prayer at meetings (ABC
Dec 10 - A Victorian council has banned circuses with caged wild animals from performing on its land and abandoned Christian prayers at its meetings.
Lisa Power prays for
divine intervention to help explain God
Dec 12 – (Opinion: Lisa Power ) JUST what, exactly, is God?
priest protester (The West
Dec 12 - An Anglican parish priest is among eight religious protesters strip-searched by WA Police after a peaceful demonstration at Foreign Minister Julie Bishop's office.
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