by Greg Spearritt
Religion News Australia
June 28 – July 5, 2015
Religion news stories from Australia
(Research: Greg Spearritt)
Justin Bieber arrives in
Sydney for Hillsong conference with Hailey Baldwin (Sydney Morning Herald)
June 29 - Justin Bieber has come to Sydney to attend the Hillsong Church Conference.
Justin Bieber seeks help
from on high at Sydney's Hillsong church conference (The Guardian, Australia)
June 29 - Justin Bieber’s unrelenting bid to rebrand himself has already seen him call in favours with Comedy Central and Carly Rae Jepsen but now he’s seeking help from on high.
Awake review: admiring
portrait of a guru (Brisbane
June 29 – (Review) George Harrison credits Ravi Shankar for a gift that transformed him: it was a book called The Autobiography of a Yogi, and without it, Harrison says, he "probably wouldn't have had a life".
Festival almost gave in
to Scientologists (The Australian)
June 29 - Michael Bodey The Sydney Film Festival almost buckled to pressure from the Church of Scientology to ban a film about the religion.
Christianity a good
force in Australia, says Roy Williams in Post God Nation? (The Age, Melbourne)
July 5 – (Review) Roy Williams has, in Post God Nation?, accumulated a substantial body of wide-ranging research to support his deeply felt conviction that Australia, and the world more broadly, has benefited from Christian teachings and action far more than is usually acknowledged.
St Paul's Cathedral goes
green (The Age, Melbourne)
July 4 - How many Anglicans does it take to change a light bulb?
celebrate combined 125 years of service in western Queensland (ABC
July 5 - Three Catholic priests have celebrated a combined 125 years of priesthood in western Queensland.
Education experts say $2
billion has been wasted on private schools (Sydney Morning Herald)
June 29 - A new report has argued that state and federal governments would have saved $2 billion annually over the past four decades had they educated private school students in the public school system.
Adelaide Islamic College
student forced to get haircut, protesters say (ABC
July 2 - A teenage student was taken to a barber for a forced haircut by staff at Adelaide's Islamic College, protesters say.
Christian sex education
program tells schoolgirls that too much sex will break their 'chemical bond' (The Age, Melbourne)
July 2 - Year 7 girls have been warned not to have multiple sex partners or risk becoming like overused sticky tape, in a Christian sex education program at a public Victorian high school.
apologises for information taught in sex booklet (The Age, Melbourne)
July 4 - A Melbourne Pentecostal megachurch teaching Year 7 girls that too much sex could put them at risk of becoming like overused sticky tape has apologised for the material.
Ethics check box removed
from school enrolment form (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 3 - Providers of ethics classes in NSW primary schools have responded with outrage to a change to the school enrolment form which removes a clear choice between ethics and scripture.
demonstrators march to the Vatican in inter-religious support of Pope Francis'
stance (ABC News)
June 29 - Several thousand demonstrators from various faiths marched through Rome to the Vatican to demand action on climate change in light of Pope Francis' recent call to action.
Pope Francis takes
message to forgotten corners of home continent (The West Australian)
July 3 - Vatican City (AFP) - Pope Francis embarks Sunday on an eight-day visit to Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay, three of South America's 'peripheral' countries which share common challenges in addressing poverty, inequality and the legacies of past authoritarian regimes.
Gay rights celebrated in
US, cracked down on in Turkey (Sydney Morning Herald)
June 29 - Istanbul: The same week the Supreme Court backed the lawfulness of gay marriage in the US, Turkish police fired water cannons and rubber pellets to disperse a gay pride parade in central Istanbul.
Jewish global population
approaches pre-Holocaust levels (The
June 29 - The world’s Jewish population has grown to be nearly as large as it was before the Holocaust, an Israeli thinktank said in its annual report.
Tunisia terror attack:
the radical mosques that bred gunman Seifeddine Rezgui (Sydney Morning Herald)
June 29 - Tunisia: On the dusty streets of Hay Ettadhamen, long-term unemployment and grinding poverty has left many families struggling to keep their sons away from the radical mosque that has taken hold in their tight knit community.
Sharrouf likely still alive (Sydney Morning Herald)
June 29 - Notorious terrorist Khaled Sharrouf most likely escaped the drone strike that killed his friend Mohamed Elomar.
I beheaded boss for
telling me off (The Australian)
June 29 - The victim beheaded in Friday’s terror attack was killed after reprimanding his attacker for dropping a box of equipment.
suspect confesses to boss's murder but motives unclear (The Guardian, Australia)
June 29 - Yassin Salhi, the French lorry driver who decapitated his boss before ramming a vehicle into a chemical plant near Lyon, has confessed to the murder – but his motives remain unclear.
Islamic State claims
Yemen attack on Faycal and Hamid Jayache (The Australian)
June 29 - Islamic State claimed an attack on two Houthi rebel leaders in Sanaa yesterday that medics said had killed at least 28 people, including eight women.
Court overturns death
sentences in mob killing of Afghan woman falsely accused of blasphemy (ABC
July 2 - An Afghan appeal court has overturned death sentences given to four men for the mob killing of a woman falsely accused of blasphemy in Kabul.
Suspected Boko Haram
militants kill nearly 150, including children, in attacks in north-east Nigeria (ABC News)
July 3 - Suspected Boko Haram militants have killed nearly 150 people in north-eastern Nigerian villages, mowing down men and children while they prayed in mosques and shooting women preparing food at home, witnesses say.
Islamic State threatens
pyramids, sphinx, as it begins attack on Egypt (news.com.au)
July 3 - ISLAMIC State has launched a bold new attack — this time in Sinai against Egypt. Are the Pryamids and Great Sphinx — along with countless other treasures — next on their hit list?
Kuwaitis show unity
after Shiite mosque blast (The
July 3 - Kuwait City (AFP) - Kuwait has moved to ward off sectarian tensions following a deadly bombing at a Shiite mosque and taken measures to try to prevent another attack by the Islamic State group.
returning home from Syria pose a threat to Australia (news.com.au)
July 4 - UP TO 500 Indonesians are now believed to be fighting in Syria.
Iraq splits along
sectarian lines (The Australian)
July 4 – (Opinion: Jonathan Spyer) Shia militias on the front line seem to believe their Sunni jihadist foes are backed by the US.
blasphemy after Charlie Hebdo attack (The West Australian)
July 4 - Reykjavik (AFP) - Iceland's parliament on Friday voted widely in favour of decriminalising blasphemy, in the name of freedom of expression in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris.
Islamic State releases
video appearing to show Syrian soldiers being executed by teenagers (ABC
July 5 - Islamic State militants have released a video that appeared to show at least 25 Syrian government soldiers being executed by teenagers in the ancient city of Palmyra.
Two London schoolgirls
marry Islamic State fighters in Syria, lawyer says (ABC
July 5 - Two of three teenage girls who travelled from Britain to Syria sparking criticism of the police response have married Islamic State (IS) group fighters, the lawyer for their families says.
Iraqi jets drop leaflets
over Mosul promising to recapture city, launch new radio station (ABC
July 5 - Iraqi jets dropped leaflets over Mosul telling residents Islamic State (IS) fighters would soon be driven from the northern city, saying details of the operation would be broadcast on a new radio station.
Car bombs kill 11 in
Baghdad at end of Ramadan fast (The
July 5 - Baghdad: Two car bombs killed 11 people in the Iraqi capital Baghdad on Saturday, police and medical sources said, striking as many people were ending their daily Ramadan fast.
Families in Tunisia
fight back against Islamic State radicalisation and terror recruitment (The Age, Melbourne)
July 5 - It took some effort but the chief ISIS recruiter was eventually found to be the local dentist who had blackmailed young clients to join groups, Ruth Pollard reveals.
US Mormon leader Boyd K
Packer dies at 90 (news.com.au)
July 4 - MORMON leader Boyd K Packer, president of the faith's highest governing body, has died at the age of 90.
Facegloria: Facebook for
Brazil's Evangelicals (The West
July 4 - Sao Paulo (AFP) - Fluffy clouds waft across a blue sky as you log in and while you chat with friends, Gospel music rings out: welcome to Facegloria, the social network for Brazilian Evangelicals.
Dalai Lama to celebrate
80th birthday in California (The
July 5 - Los Angeles (AFP) - The Dalai Lama launches three days of celebrations Sunday in California for his 80th birthday at what is billed as a Global Compassion Summit but which is expected to draw protests.
Terror threat ‘will
outlast ISIS’ (The Australian)
June 29 – (Opinion: Mark Schliebs, Dennis Shanahan ) IS’s influence in Australia is so powerful that the threat of terrorism will long outlast the conflict in Syria and Iraq.
Man accused of recruiting
Australians allowed to live in Sydney mosque during Ramadan (ABC
July 2 - A judge has agreed to allow a man accused of recruiting Australians to fight with terrorists overseas to live at a Sydney mosque so he can mark Ramadan.
Logan family invites
Queensland Police chief to Ramadan feast in bid to break down cultural barriers (ABC News)
July 2 - The daily family ritual of sitting down to dinner together has taken on a new significance for about half a million Australian Muslims observing the holy month of Ramadan.
Khaled Sharrouf's family
still in Islamic State-controlled Syria after AFP refused to help (ABC
June 29 - The mother-in-law of Australia's most notorious Islamist militant, Khaled Sharrouf, says she approached the Australian Federal Police last year to help get her daughter and her five grandchildren out of Syria, but they ultimately refused to help.
Minister called a
‘tinkering Jew’ (The Australian)
June 29 - A Brisbane financial adviser has refused to apologise for a stream of anti-Semitic tweets targeting Josh Frydenberg.
Rod McGarvie abandons
LNP, joins Family First, over gay marriage and 18C (Brisbane Times)
July 2 - The LNP candidate who nearly toppled former treasurer Wayne Swan at the 2013 federal election says he abandoned the party because of its internal struggle with same-sex marriage and racial discrimination laws.
Jacqui Lambie likens the
Greens to Islamic State in joke to mining industry (Brisbane Times)
July 3 - Maverick independent senator Jacqui Lambie has deepened her attack on the Greens, likening the party to the terrorists of Islamic State.
‘At the pub or in bible class’ (news.com.au)
June 29 - Former Suns players say there is a split in the AFL club between those who drink and a so-called ‘God squad’.
shows interview with controversial US Pastor, Mark Driscoll (Sydney Morning Herald)
June 29 - Hillsong has played an interview with controversial US pastor Mark Driscoll at its national conference on a giant screen in Sydney this week despite Church organisers saying they had cancelled his appearance.
Hillsong conference at
Sydney Olympic Park: 30,000 flock for enlightenment (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 4 - Olympic Park is an unlikely place to seek spiritual enlightenment.
Homophobia claims rock
Salvation Army's Oasis Youth Support centre (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 4 - An internal investigation has been launched at The Salvation Army's much-praised Oasis Youth Support centre in Surry Hills amid claims of homophobia after a young woman was advised to "pray" away her attraction to other women.
Making sense of
terrorism and IS (The Age,
July 4 – (Opinion: Mark Dapin) "Terrorism expert" Greg Barton might well be the most interviewed person in the Australian media this year, and is almost certainly the most cited academic in the press.
Crumbling church in
Newtown sells for $2.55 million at auction (The Age, Melbourne)
July 4 - A Sydney investor made a $500,000 windfall on Saturday selling a crumbling church in Newtown just months after buying it.
Pilgrims to disrupt
Australia-US war games (The Age,
July 4 - Religious peace activists are again planning to disrupt joint Australian-US military training exercises.
Lessons in faith from
the football field (The Age,
July 5 – (Opinion: Paulyne Pogorelske) My first memory as a fan of Australian Rules football more than 50 years ago was that it was enshrined as a "religion" in this town, where worship of the oval ball out-marked the powerful prayers from the pulpit.
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