by Greg Spearritt
Religion News Australia
December 21 - 28, 2014
Religion news stories from Australia
(Research: Greg Spearritt)
Former Catholic brother
faces 252 child sex assault charges (news.com.au)
Dec 25 - A FORMER Catholic brother has been extradited from New Zealand after he was charged with 252 child sexual assault offences.
Staff cuts and shakeup
of region's Anglican church (ABC
Dec 23 - The debt-ridden Anglican church in western New South Wales is facing staff cuts and a bishop who become a part-time priest.
This Christmas, follow
the original art stars of the east (The
Dec 25 – (Opinion: Jonathan Jones) Two thousand years ago, Buddhist not Christian art was our guiding light – and had all the best nativity scenes
Pope Francis's Christmas
Eve call to Iraqi refugees (Sydney Morning Herald)
Dec 25 - Vatican City: Hours before his Christmas Eve service, Pope Francis made a surprise telephone call to comfort Christian refugees who were about to celebrate their own Christmas Eve mass in a refugee camp in Ankawa, Iraq.
Pope Francis delivers
his Christmas Eve mass saying the world needs tenderness and warmth (The Courier-Mail, Brisbane)
Dec 25 - POPE Francis urged people to have greater empathy towards family and friends with problems in his Christmas Eve mass, saying the world “needs tenderness” and warmth.
Pope to address world's
woes in Christmas message (The
Dec 25 - Vatican City (AFP) - Pope Francis will offer his annual Christmas blessing on Thursday, traditionally an occasion to appeal for remedies to the world's woes.
Topless feminist activist
grabs baby Jesus statue in St Peter's Square (ABC
Dec 26 - Feminist protest group Femen have staged a demonstration in St Peter's Square after the Pope's Christmas address, grabbing a statue of a newly-born Jesus from the square's nativity scene.
Pope Francis uses
Christmas address to condemn Islamic State's 'brutal persecution' of minorities (ABC News)
Dec 26 - Pope Francis has condemned the "brutal persecution" of minorities by Islamic State (IS) insurgents in his Christmas message, urging people not to be indifferent to the suffering of so many around the world.
Pope gunman Mehmet Ali
Agca visits John Paul II's tomb in the Vatican (ABC
Dec 28 - The Turkish man who tried to assassinate Pope John Paul II has laid flowers at the late pontiff's tomb in the Vatican.
Pope Francis’s edict on
climate change will anger deniers and US churches (The Guardian, Australia)
Dec 28 - Pontiff hopes to inspire action at next year’s UN meeting in Paris in December after visits to Philippines and New York
Baiturrahman Mosque a
testament to Aceh's survival after 2004 Boxing Day tsunami (ABC
Dec 26 - On a flattened landscape in Banda Aceh, surrounded by debris, the Baiturrahman Mosque stood tall.
IS sex slavery pushes
victims to suicide (The West
Dec 23 - Women and girls from Iraq's Yazidi religious minority have told rights activists they were beaten and forced into sexual slavery by the Islamic State jihadist group, driving some to suicide.
Islamic State militants
capture Jordanian pilot after plane crashes in Syrian province of Raqqa (ABC News)
Dec 25 - Islamic State fighters have taken a Jordanian pilot captive after his warplane crashed in north-eastern Syria, the first captive taken from the US-led coalition battling the militant group.
Jordan vows 'all
efforts' to free pilot captured by Islamic State (Sydney Morning Herald)
Dec 26 - Amman: Jordan has vowed to make every effort to save a pilot captured by the Islamic State group in Syria as his father pleaded for his release.
Muslim man sentenced to
death in Mauritania after court rules he insulted the Prophet Mohammed (ABC
Dec 26 - A Muslim man in Mauritania has been sentenced to death by a court in western North Africa which ruled that he had insulted the Prophet Mohammed.
Peacekeepers killed as
Al Shabaab militants penetrate heavily-fortified African Union headquarters (ABC
Dec 26 - The Somalia-based militant group Al Shabaab has stormed the heavily-fortified African Union headquarters which guards several foreign embassies.
Swedish mosque attacked
on Christmas Day amid national immigration debate (ABC
Dec 26 - An arsonist has set fire to a mosque in a town in central Sweden on Christmas Day, an incident which comes amid an intense debate over immigration.
Arson attack on Swedish
mosque injures five (Sydney Morning Herald)
Dec 26 - Stockholm: An arsonist has set fire to a mosque in central Sweden, injuring five people, police say, as the country grapples with a political crisis caused by the rise of the extreme right.
Protesters turn out to
offer 'message of friendship' to Swedish mosque attacked by arsonist (ABC
Dec 28 - Hundreds of marchers turned out in Sweden to denounce an arson attack on a mosque that injured five people, as the traditionally tolerant country confronts the rising influence of the extreme right.
Teenage girl given to
Boko Haram extremists reveals she refused to explode a suicide bomb (news.com.au)
Dec 26 - A 13-YEAR-OLD girl says her father gave her to Boko Haram extremists and that she was arrested after refusing to explode a suicide bomb at a market in Kano, Nigeria’s second largest city in the north.
Senior Al Shabaab leader
Zakariya Ahmed gives himself up in Somalia: officials (ABC
Dec 28 - A top leader of Somalia's Al Shabaab rebels, intelligence chief Zakariya Ismail Ahmed Hersi, has surrendered to government and African Union forces and is now in custody.
New Zealand man 'had no
intention of insulting religion' in Myanmar Buddha bar case (ABC
Dec 26 - A bar manager from New Zealand has told a Myanmar court he had "no intention" of insulting religion when he used a mocked-up image of the Buddha wearing headphones to promote a cheap drinks night.
Egyptian authorities ban
Hollywood blockbuster Exodus: Gods and Kings for 'historical inaccuracies' (ABC News)
Dec 27 - Egypt has banned the Hollywood biblical epic movie Exodus: Gods and Kings citing historical inaccuracies, a day after Morocco made a similar decision.
China to list legal
places of worship to 'root out illegal religious activities': reports (ABC
Dec 27 - China is to publish online details of legal religious venues reportedly in an effort to identify unsanctioned groups and "root out illegal religious activities".
Like the Romans, the
Chinese are threatened by the real Christmas (The Guardian, Australia)
Dec 27 – (Opinion: Giles Fraser) If Christianity didn’t have powerful friends abroad, would the Chinese state persecute it like it does Falun Gong?
Islamic State fighters
from Australia involved in sexual slavery in the Middle East, Yazidi activist
says (ABC News)
Dec 24 - At least two Australians fighting with the extremist Islamic State group have been implicated in sexual slavery in the Middle East.
Terror raids: Sulayman
Khalid to spend Christmas behind bars (news.com.au)
Dec 25 - A MAN who made national headlines when he stormed off an Australian current affairs program after being questioned about the cancellation of his passport has been charged with terror-related offences.
Terror suspect outspoken
since teenager (Sydney Morning
Dec 26 - He might be only 20 years old, but Sulayman Khalid, also known as Abu Bakr, has been on the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation's radar for three or four years.
Blue Mountains terror
plot: Sydney jihadists’ emboldened terrorist activity following Martin Place
siege (The Courier-Mail,
Dec 26 - CHILLING detail of “emboldened” activity by potential Sydney jihadists in the wake of the CBD siege was discussed by the National Security Committee only hours before federal police raids on Tuesday.
Why halal certification
is in turmoil (Sydney Morning Herald)
Dec 28 - Kirralie Smith is a permaculture farmer from northern New South Wales and a mother of three. She is also the public face of the virulent campaign to boycott halal food and products.
Boycott Halal movement
in Australia set to escalate (The
Dec 28 - The virulent Boycott Halal movement in Australia is set to escalate with a petition to federal parliament in the New Year demanding the Corporations Act 2001 be changed to mean only Muslims bear the cost of halal certification on everyday products.
Salvation Army drops 17
places on charity reputation survey (Sydney Morning Herald)
Dec 22 - One of Australia's best-known welfare organisations, the Salvation Army, has dropped 17 places from last year in the 2014 AMR Charity Reputation Index, a yearly survey which measures the overall reputation of the country's 40 largest charities .
leaders' Christmas messages focus on recovery (Sydney Morning Herald)
Dec 24 - Sydney's Christian leaders have looked back in time for messages of hope amid a difficult lead-up to Christmas, marred by tragedy and violence.
Fisher's Christmas message (Sydney Morning Herald)
Dec 24 – (Opinion: Archbishop of Sydney, Most Reverend Anthony Fisher.) Sydney and Australia are in shock and grief.
Archbishop Glenn Davies'
Christmas message (Sydney Morning Herald)
Dec 24 – (Opinion: Archbishop Glenn Davies) This week we mark 100 years since the 1914 Christmas truce - the time the guns fell silent in World War One, the war to end all wars.
message of hope despite human misery (Sydney Morning Herald)
Dec 24 – (Opinion: Natasha Moore) In the classic Chaim Potok novel, My Name is Asher Lev, the young Asher, future painter and Hasidic Jew, asks his mother whether Jesus – whom he has seen in painting after painting of the crucifixion – was the Messiah, as the goyim believe.
Christmas offers greater
hope in turbulent time (The
Dec 24 – (Opinion: Editorial) BASED on her experiences under the Nazis as a half-Jewish, half-Catholic child in Vienna, Austrian writer Ilse Aichinger entitled her most famous novel The Greater Hope.
Church leaders urge
Queenslanders to embrace hope at Christmas despite recent tragedies (ABC
Dec 25 - Christmas offers people the chance to find peace despite several recent tragic events, Queensland church leaders say.
Revolutionary? Let me count the ways (Sydney Morning Herald)
Dec 26 – (Opinion: Elizabeth Farrelly) Christianity should have been the revolution which replaced tribal vengeance with radical love.
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