by Greg Spearritt
Religion News Australia
March 1 - 8, 2015
Religion news stories from Australia
(Research: Greg Spearritt)
Uniting Church head did
not destroy Knox sex abuse files, Royal Commission hears (Sydney Morning Herald)
Mar 2 - A senior Uniting Church figure denied destroying crucial documents relating to sexual abuse at Knox Grammar School, instead blaming pedophile teacher Adrian John Nisbett, a royal commission has heard.
Knox Grammar: Lisa
Wilkinson 'appalled' by removal of ribbons (Sydney Morning Herald)
Mar 3 - Today show host Lisa Wilkinson says she is appalled that purple ribbons tied to the gates of Knox Grammar School, to show solidarity with sexual abuse victims, have been removed.
Royal commission into
sex abuse: Knox boys 'cheered while girl was assaulted by headmaster (Sydney Morning Herald)
Mar 3 - Students at Knox Grammar School allegedly cheered when they saw their then headmaster Ian Paterson inappropriately touch a teenage girl, a royal commission has heard.
Knox Grammar: Former
principal Ian Paterson 'didn't think' to alert police to alleged indecent
assault (ABC News)
Mar 3 - A former headmaster of Sydney's Knox Grammar School, Ian Paterson, "didn't think" to alert police when a man wearing a balaclava allegedly indecently assaulted a student in his bed in 1988, an inquiry has heard.
Former Knox Grammar
principal Ian Paterson fronts Royal Commission (news.com.au)
Mar 3 - THE former headmaster accused of covering up child sexual abuse admitted he gave a glowing reference to a religious teacher who resigned after he was seen masturbating outside another school.
Ex-principal 'sorry' for
sex abuse at elite Australian school (The West Australian)
Mar 3 - Sydney (AFP) - A former headmaster at one of Australia's most prestigious private schools on Tuesday apologised after revelations that boys were groomed for sex by paedophile teachers while he was in charge.
Former Knox headmaster
Ian Paterson changes story at royal commission (Sydney Morning Herald)
Mar 6 - Former Knox Grammar School headmaster Ian Paterson recanted previous testimony given to a royal commission in which he admitted to misleading a police officer and hindering her investigation into child abuse allegations involving six teachers at the school.
Knox Grammar: Former
headmaster Ian Paterson admits he failed to protect students (ABC
Mar 6 - A former headmaster of prestigious Sydney boys' school Knox Grammar has told a royal commission he failed to protect the welfare of abuse survivors.
Ex-Horsham priest Leslie
John Sheahan appeals against child abuse jail sentence (ABC
Mar 6 - A former western Victorian priest, convicted for indecently assaulting a child, has been released on bail while he appeals against his jail term.
Lawyer says sex abuse
revelations have prompted victims from other schools to come forward (ABC
Mar 7 - A lawyer representing former students at Sydney's prestigious Knox Grammar School says evidence of abuse given at the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse has prompted other victims from other private schools to come forward.
Inside the Knox Grammar's
sexual abuse scandal (The
Saturday Paper, Australia)
Mar 7 – (Opinion: Martin McKenzie-Murray) How one man’s blindness allowed a generation of sexual abuse at Sydney’s Knox Grammar.
Jewish leaders vow to
undergo renewal following royal commission into child sexual abuse (ABC
Mar 8 - Australia's Jewish community is undergoing a period of renewal following damaging revelations that emerged at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
Martin Place gunman Man
Monis believed Sunrise 'insulted' Muslims and 'instructed terrorists' (Sydney Morning Herald)
Mar 7 - Martin Place siege gunman Man Haron Monis complained to the media watchdog that Channel Seven's Sunrise program broadcast interviews which "insulted Muslims" and instructed terrorists on how best to carry out an attack.
Anti-terror CCTV and
security guards set for more than 50 schools (Daily Telegraph, Sydney)
Mar 2 - MORE than 50 schools at risk of a terrorist attack around the country will be given security guards and closed-circuit TV systems amid heightened national security fears.
Afghan men march through
Kabul streets wearing burkas to highlight women's rights (ABC
Mar 6 - A group of Afghan men have marched through the capital Kabul in burkas to draw attention to women's rights.
Saudi king aims for new
Sunni bloc vs. Iran and Islamic State (The West Australian)
Mar 6 - RIYADH/DOHA (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia is pushing for Sunni Muslim Middle East countries to set aside differences over political Islam and focus on what it sees as more urgent threats from Iran and Islamic State.
'The threat exists':
Vatican on alert for Islamic State attack, says security chief (Sydney Morning Herald)
Mar 3 - Rome: The Vatican is on alert in case of an attack by Islamist militants against the city-state or Pope Francis, but officials are not aware of any specific plot, the head of Vatican security said in a rare interview.
Mullah Krekar arrested for Charlie Hebdo comments (news.com.au)
Mar 3 - A RADICAL Islamic preacher has been arrested in Norway after praising last month’s deadly attack on the Charlie Hebdo satirical weekly in Paris.
Islamic State torches
oil field near Tikrit as militia advance (The West Australian)
Mar 5 - BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Islamic State militants have set fire to oil wells northeast of the city of Tikrit to obstruct an assault by Shi'ite militiamen and Iraqi soldiers trying to drive them from the Sunni Muslim city and surrounding towns, a witness said.
Iraq forces face IS
resistance but US says Tikrit will fall (The West Australian)
Mar 7 - Samarra (Iraq) (AFP) - Iraqi forces faced tough resistance from jihadist fighters around Tikrit Saturday, but the top US military officer said ahead of a Baghdad visit that victory was only a matter of time.
Military leader of al-Qaeda-linked
al-Nusra Front killed in Syria: reports (Sydney Morning Herald)
Mar 7 - Beirut: The military chief and several top commanders of the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front have been reported killed in north-western Syria, where the jihadist militia has been making major gains in recent months.
Destruction of ancient
Assyrian city Nimrud by bulldozer condemned by UN, US (ABC
Mar 7 - Condemnation has poured in of the Islamic State (IS) group's bulldozing of the ancient city of Nimrud, the jihadists' latest attack on Iraqi cultural treasures that the UN termed a "war crime".
UN condemns attack on
ancient Iraq site (news.com.au)
Mar 8 - THE United Nations cultural body has condemned what it says is the destruction of the ancient city of Hatra in Iraq by the Islamic State jihadist group.
Promises of love, jobs
for foreign recruits in IS 'utopia' (The West Australian)
Mar 7 - It has become known for horrific images of beheadings and torture, but the Islamic State group is trying to lure foreign recruits to its "caliphate" with promises of adventure, homes, jobs -- even love.
Islamic State expelled
from Iraqi town of Al-Baghdadi by government forces in offensive campaign (ABC News)
Mar 7 - Iraqi government forces and allied tribal militia have retaken the town of Al-Baghdadi, from where Islamic State (IS) militants had threatened to attack an airbase housing US troops, the US military says.
Murdered Islamic State
hostage David Haines inspired children's book written in captivity (Sydney Morning Herald)
Mar 7 - Paris: A hostage murdered by Islamic State militants helped to devise a children's story with two French hostages who survived to tell the tale, and who have paid tribute to their "amazing" friend.
The truth about Islamic
State: what it is, where it is going, how we can fight it (The Age, Melbourne)
Mar 7 – (Opinion: Paul McGeough) In the light of late afternoon on a beach in Libya, the black-clad assassins of the so-called Islamic State are at work – they behead 21 Egyptian Christians and the barbarity is captured with all the high-tech wizardry of an MTV clip.
Five killed in Mali
jihadist nightclub attack (The
Mar 8 - Bamako (AFP) - Five people including two Europeans and a Malian policeman died in an assault claimed by an Islamist group on a Bamako nightclub, the first attack targeting Westerners in a city braced for jihadist violence since 2012.
Boko Haram pledges
allegiance to IS after carnage in Maiduguri (The West Australian)
Mar 8 - Maiduguri (Nigeria) (AFP) - Boko Haram pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group in an audio message published online on Saturday, after three bombs wreaked havoc in northeast Nigeria, killing 58 and wounding scores.
Myanmar bar owner blames
New Zealander for furore over Buddha headphones image (ABC
Mar 4 - A New Zealand bar manager facing jail in Myanmar over religious insult accusations was solely responsible for using a Buddha image in a controversial drinks promotion, his colleague has told a court.
Kiwi seeks acquittal
over Buddha image (news.com.au)
Mar 4 - A NEW Zealand man charged with insulting Buddhism to promote a bar in Myanmar will learn his fate later this month.
Indian state bans beef,
introduces jail time up to five years for possession (ABC
Mar 4 - India's western state of Maharashtra has introduced a ban on beef products, with possession incurring a jail term of up to five years.
Caitlin Stasey on love,
her oppressive catholic education and her sexuality (news.com.au)
Mar 6 - CAITLIN Stasey has opened up about the difficulty she experienced growing up as a lesbian while attending a Catholic school, saying the shame she felt made her turn to self-harm.
Canada pastor held by
North Korea: officials (The West
Mar 6 - A Canadian pastor who went missing in North Korea is being held by the communist state's authorities, his church and Canadian consular officials said Thursday.
The irrational fear that
drives underage marriage (Brisbane
Mar 3 – (Opinion: Ruby Hamad) Last week, 19-year-old Muslim-Australian man Mustafa Abdel-Ghany was charged with "marrying a person of non-marriageable age."
Groom of 12yo 'child
bride' in NSW jailed for at least seven and a half years (ABC
Mar 6 - A man who married a 12-year-old girl in an Islamic ceremony in New South Wales has been jailed for at least seven and a half years.
Child bride case: Man
jailed for 'marrying' 12-year-old girl in backyard ceremony (Sydney Morning Herald)
Mar 6 - A Lebanese man was "determined" to marry a 12-year-old girl he saw in a mosque, despite being told it was illegal.
Teen brothers stopped at
airport en route to Middle East conflict zones are 'kids, not killers' (ABC
Mar 8 - Two teenage brothers intercepted by Customs officials en route to Middle East conflict zones are "kids, not killers", Immigration Minister Peter Dutton says.
Two teenage brothers
arrested while trying to leave Australia to fight with ISIS were ‘saved’ (news.com.au)
Mar 8 - TONY Abbott has urged young Australians being lured by the terror group ISIS to “block your ears” following revelations two Sydney teenagers were arrested trying to fly to the Middle East to fight with the terror group.
labelled "local hero" after promoting Harmony Day event (ABC
Mar 8 - The New South Wales Minister for Communities has labelled a Newcastle university student a 'local hero' for promoting a Harmony Day event to counter a rally against the rise of Islam.
marriage laws to be tightened (Daily
Mar 8 - ROGUE clerics and men who “marry’’ children under the age of 16 will face longer jail terms under new laws to ban child brides and forced marriage in Australia.
school terrorism protection necessary: spokesman (Brisbane Times)
Mar 2 - A spokesman for a Queensland school for Jewish students that has received extra federal funding for terrorism protection says growing anti-Semitism in Australia makes the funding necessary.
Row over Bendigo
councillor Elise Chapman genital mutilation tweet still 'unresolved' (ABC
Mar 5 - The Mayor of Bendigo had to shout down questioners and hecklers after telling last night's council meeting the latest controversy surrounding his colleague Elise Chapman remains unresolved.
Baird, Foley at
Australian Christian Lobby forum deliver a welcome circuit breaker (Sydney Morning Herald)
Mar 6 – (Opinion: Sean Nicholls) If you want to get a better idea of what really make opposition leader Luke Foley tick, look up a 19th century document called Rerum Novarum.
Criminalising those who
fight against IS (The Saturday
Mar 7 – (Opinion: Max Opray) The government is threatening to jail Australians who join the fight against Islamic State.
Doctrine of headship a
distortion of the gospel message of mutual love and respect (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 27 – (Opinion: Julia Baird) The church should be a haven from domestic violence but power imbalances remain for many worshippers badly affected by abusive relationships.
Abuse inside Christian
marriages – a personal story (Sydney Morning Herald)
Mar 2 – (Opinion: Isabella Young*) Ten years ago I was in the middle of a situation that an anti-domestic expert called "intimate partner terrorism" on Q&A this week.
Mother of killed
Australian Ashley Johnston did not know he was on the frontline against Islamic
State (Brisbane Times)
Mar 3 - The mother of the first Australian to die in battle against Islamic State has spoken of her heartbreak in discovering her son was fighting for the Kurds in Syria at the same time as receiving news he had been killed on the frontline.
For Christians who
missed the memo: the Bible abhors all domestic abuse (Sydney Morning Herald)
Mar 4 – (Opinion: Sandy Grant) I'm thankful for the many in our community from Australian of the Year Rosie Batty, to the Sydney Morning Herald's 'shine a light' campaign who are speaking out on domestic violence.
anti-marriage equality ad debuts on Mardi Gras night (Brisbane Times)
Mar 8 - An anti-marriage equality advertisement aired to coincide with the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras has been criticised as an ill-informed "fear-mongering" campaign.
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