by Greg Spearritt
Religion News Selection
June 28 – July 5, 2015
selection of religion news stories from Australia.
(Research: Greg Spearritt)
Inclusion here does not endorse the veracity or quality of any particular item – it just means
I found it worth reading and reflecting on (even if badly conceived or poorly written).
If you’re after the
unexpurgated (and reasonably unbiased) version,
see Religion News Australia which appears weekly on our website.
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Festival almost gave in
to Scientologists (The Australian)
June 29 - 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
RELIGION & SOCIETY
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.
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.
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.
From the Archive…