by Greg Spearritt
Religion News Australia
May 10 - 17, 2015
Religion news stories from Australia
(Research: Greg Spearritt)
More Ballarat clergy
victims: advocate (The West
May 14 - Many victims who haven't come forward decades after being abused by clergy and religious in Ballarat might be prompted to speak up when the abuse royal commission sits in the Victorian town, a victims' advocate hopes.
Child abuse victims
launch 'unprecedented' court action against former Ballarat bishop (ABC
May 15 - Ten victims who were abused by notorious paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale have begun proceedings in the Victorian Supreme Court against a former Bishop of Ballarat.
Cuban president Castro
thanks Pope Francis for mediating thaw with US (ABC
May 11 - Cuban president Raul Castro has met Pope Francis at the Vatican, thanking the pontiff for his role in brokering an historic rapprochement between Havana and Washington, a papal spokesman says.
Vatican moves to
recognise the state of Palestine (Sydney Morning Herald)
May 14 - Rome: The Vatican has concluded a treaty to recognise Palestinian statehood, a symbolic but significant step that was bound to be welcomed by many Palestinians but was likely to cause deep concern for the Israeli government.
Pope Francis calls
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas "an angel of peace" during meeting
in Vatican (ABC News)
May 17 - Pope Francis has met Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas and labelled him "an angel of peace", just days after the Vatican announced a treaty to officially recognise the state of Palestine.
inaugurates grand Tirana mosque construction (The West Australian)
May 14 - Tirana (AFP) - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Albanian counterpart Bujar Nishani inaugurated on Wednesday the construction project of a grand mosque which Turkey is financing.
Egyptian court seeks
death penalty for ex-president Mursi (The West Australian)
May 16 - CAIRO (Reuters) - An Egyptian court on Saturday sought the death penalty for former president Mohamed Mursi and 106 supporters of his Muslim Brotherhood in connection with a mass jail break in 2011.
US rabbi jailed for
secretly filming women (The West
May 16 - A Washington rabbi who admitted setting up cameras to spy on women as they prepared for Jewish ritual baths was sentenced Friday to more than six years in prison, the Justice Department said.
schoolgirls urge Boko Haram survivors to forgive captors, 'start a new life' (ABC News)
May 11 - Three teenagers who escaped the clutches of Boko Haram militants in Chibok last year have urged the almost 300 women and children rescued from the extremist group in recent weeks to "forgive" their captors.
Third secular blogger
hacked to death in Bangladesh (ABC
May 12 - A masked gang wielding machetes has hacked a secular blogger to death in north-eastern Bangladesh in the third such deadly attack since the start of the year, police said.
Gunmen kill 43 in bus
attack in Pakistan's Karachi (The
May 13 - KARACHI, Pakistan (Reuters) - Gunmen on motorcycles boarded a bus and opened fire on commuters in Pakistan's volatile southern city of Karachi on Wednesday, killing at least 43, police said, and militants affiliated with Islamic State claimed responsibility.
'Kill them all!':
Islamist gunmen open fire on bus in Pakistan's Karachi, leaving at least 43
dead (Sydney Morning
May 14 - Karachi: Gunmen on motorcycles boarded a bus and opened fire on commuters in Pakistan's volatile southern city of Karachi on Wednesday, killing at least 43, police said, and militants affiliated with Islamic State claimed responsibility.
Aussie jihadist Neil
Prakash’s tweet grounds three planes (news.com.au)
May 14 - AUSTRALIA’S most senior Islamic State fighter has reportedly forced three major airlines to ground planes in the Middle East after tweeting a bomb hoax.
kilometres of Syria's Palmyra raising fears for ancient city (ABC
May 15 - Islamic State (IS) militants have advanced to the gates of the ancient city of Palmyra, raising fears the Syrian world heritage site could face destruction similar to the kind the jihadists have already wreaked in Iraq.
ISIS deputy leader
killed by coalition airstrike (The
May 15 - The deputy leader of Islamic State was reported dead yesterday in a coalition airstrike, weeks after unconfirmed but persistent reports that the head of the jihadist group had been seriously wounded in a similar strike.
Islamic State issues
audio of Baghdadi calling supporters to join him (Sydney Morning Herald)
May 15 - Beirut: Islamic State has issued an audio recording that it said was by its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, calling on supporters around the world to join the fight in Syria and Iraq or to take up arms wherever they live.
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
purportedly releases message to dispel death, leadership rumours (ABC
May 16 - The Islamic State group says it has released an audio message from Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi reaffirming his leadership following a six-month silence and rumours over his health.
Ex-Soviet Central Asia raises
alarm over IS recruitment (The
May 15 - Dushanbe (Tajikistan) (AFP) - Farrukh Sharifov, a 25-year-old Tajik who repented after joining the Islamic State group in Syria, spoke softly as he addressed a room full of journalists and police in his Central Asian homeland.
Boston bomber Dzhokhar
Tsarnaev sentenced to death (ABC
May 16 - A US jury has unanimously sentenced Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to death for perpetrating one of the bloodiest assaults in America since the September 11, 2001 attacks.
ISIS fighters seize
control of Iraqi provincial capital of Ramadi (news.com.au)
May 16 - ISLAMIC State militants have assumed control of most of the capital city of west Iraq’s Anbar province, a security official says, marking a major advance for the extremist militia.
Blogger hacked to death
in busy street in Bangladesh is third killed since February (news.com.au)
May 16 - A MASKED gang wielding machetes hacked a blogger to death in Bangladesh on Tuesday — the third deadly attack since February.
Girl suicide bomber
kills seven, injuring 31 in north-east Nigeria (ABC
May 17 - A girl about 12 years old has carried out a suicide attack at a bus station in north-eastern Nigeria, killing seven and injuring 31, witnesses say.
IS Leader Abu Sayyaf killed
in US Special Forces raid (Sydney Morning Herald)
May 17 - WASHINGTON - American special operations forces killed senior Islamic State leader Abu Sayyaf, in a raid in Syria, US officials said on Saturday, an operation that appeared to mark a departure from Washington's strategy of relying mostly on a bombing campaign to target militant leaders there.
Barack Obama calls on
churches, hedge fund managers to help tackle poverty in US (ABC
May 13 - US president Barack Obama says poverty needs to be addressed by churches in America as passionately as they oppose gay marriage or reproductive rights.
China church criticises
proposed rules on crosses (The
May 15 - Shanghai (AFP) - A state-approved Chinese church has issued a rare public criticism of proposed local government regulations on religious buildings, including limits on cross sizes, after a wave of church demolitions and symbol removals in the area.
Church of Scotland
allows gay clergy in civil partnerships (ABC
May 17 - The Church of Scotland has voted to allow the ordination of ministers in same-sex civil partnerships in a breakthrough for gay rights.
‘bankrolling’ no campaign in Ireland’s gay marriage referendum (The Guardian, Australia)
May 17 - With just five days to go before Ireland’s historic referendum on the legalisation of gay marriage, a bitter row has broken out between supporters and opponents over the funding of their respective campaigns.
Australian suspected of
planning to fight with Islamic State in Syria stripped of passport (ABC
May 13 - An Australian has been stripped of his passport amid suspicions he wanted to travel to Syria to fight with Islamic State militants.
Appeal against Bendigo
mosque plans set to wrap up in VCAT as Islamic association gives evidence (ABC News)
May 11 - Victoria's planning tribunal is expected to finish hearing an appeal against the plans for Bendigo's first mosque this week.
Prevention better than
deradicalisation as number of teenage jihadis grows (Sydney Morning Herald)
May 14 - Mohammed remembers a time when he was looking for something.
Islamic State recruiter
makes contact with popular Melbourne Sheikh (Sydney Morning Herald)
May 15 - Australia's top Islamic State recruiter, Neil Prakash, has sought out and connected via social media with a radical Melbourne-based sheikh who has a large following among young Muslim men in the city's northern suburbs.
ASIO issues 'call to
arms' for families to spot radicalisation of teenagers (Brisbane Times)
May 15 - The head of ASIO has warned teenagers are becoming radicalised quickly, sometimes within weeks, as he issued a "call to arms" for families and communities to provide the first line of defence against Islamic extremism.
Queensland teenager who
fled country to join Al Qaeda affiliate became radicalised over the internet (ABC
May 16 - The Queensland teenager suspected of joining an Al Qaeda-linked terror group in Syria did not make strong bonds with the local Muslim community and was most likely radicalised over the internet, an Islamic leader says.
Friends of alleged
Queensland terror teen say he fell in with 'the wrong people' (Brisbane Times)
May 17 - Friends of a Queensland teenager, who is believed to have travelled to Syria, say he has been transformed and influenced by "the wrong people".
The more we fear Islam,
the greater the danger from terrorists (Sydney Morning Herald)
May 16 – (Opinion: Michael Bachelard) Every time we confront a terror threat on Australian soil, the police tell us our first line of defence lies within the community itself.
To be an Aussie is a
gift that terrorists seek to destroy (Herald-Sun, Melbourne)
May 16 – (Opinion: Dan Tehan) AUSTRALIAN citizenship is not a right but an extraordinary privilege.
Revealed: The split that
created Al-Furqan (Herald-Sun, Melbourne)
May 16 - THE leader of the controversial Al-Furqan group, whose members have links to three counterterrorism operations, held such radical views Australia’s most fundamentalist Islamic movement cut ties with him.
Why many local Muslim women
will never turn to terror (Brisbane
May 17 - It's a chilling image, three teenage girls walking through airport security, looking purposeful, studious, fresh-faced.
NSW MP Daniel Mookhey
sworn in on Hindu religious text the Bhagavad-gita in Australian first (ABC
May 12 - A new Upper House MP in New South Wales has become the first politician to be sworn in to an Australian parliament on the Hindu religious text, the Bhagavad-gita.
Cory Bernardi forces
parliamentary inquiry into halal and kosher certifications (Sydney Morning Herald)
May 13 - Halal foods will be put under the microscope after Liberal senator Cory Bernardi won a parliamentary inquiry into what he calls the "racket" of certification.
for Human Rights group strikes out with Canberra Cavalry baseball club (ABC
May 11 - The Canberra Cavalry baseball club has cut ties with a human rights group linked to the Church of Scientology, after information of its affiliation with the religion was not disclosed to the club.
picked as finalist in international competition (ABC
May 11 - An anti-extremist app, designed by a team from Curtin University to combat violent extremist propaganda, has been chosen as one of three finalists in an international competition as part of a US State Department initiative.
Melbourne drug rehab
centre fined for misleading (ABC
May 11 - A drug rehabilitation centre with links to the Church of Scientology has been fined and forced to remove claims from its website that it could completely cure drug addiction with detox treatments, including sauna visits.
Sellicks Hill giant
Buddha statue is welcomed by locals
May 13 - EVEN before Adelaide’s giant new beachside Buddha statue is fully unveiled, the 18m-tall structure is being warmly welcomed by locals.
Buddhist statute took 96
pieces of granite and teamwork between China and Australia (Perth Now)
May 16 - ON first appearances there is nothing delicate about the 350-tonne Buddhist statue which now stands imposingly above Adelaide's south coast.
Salvation Army sets new
challenge for 50 year Red Shield Appeal (Brisbane Times)
May 17 - Never mind the State of Origin, this year the Salvation Army is also encouraging a bit of friendly competition for the 50th Anniversary of its Red Shield Appeal in May.
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