by Greg Spearritt
Religion News Australia
June 26 – July 10, 2016
Religion news stories from Australia
(Research: Greg Spearritt)
Inquiry to look at
church's response to allegations about paedophile John Joseph Farrell (ABC
July 6 - The Catholic Church's response to allegations relating to a paedophile former priest from the state's north will be investigated by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
Malka Leifer: former
Adass Israel principal and alleged child abuser living free in Israel (The Age, Melbourne)
July 8 - The former principal of an ultra-Orthodox Jewish girls' school in Melbourne, who fled the country after allegedly sexually abusing her students, has returned to a conservative, religious settlement in Israel a free woman, much to the outrage of her new neighbours.
instruction says vampires fake but Bible is fact (Brisbane Times)
June 27 – (Opinion: Hugh Harris ) "These books are about vampires", begins the Connect religious instruction lesson for seven to nine year old children, introducing the well-known Twilight series of vampire novels, well known for their blend of eroticism and horror.
instruction gives parents freedom (Brisbane
June 30 – (Opinion: Paul Clark ) A couple of articles have appeared in the media recently somewhat critical of religious instruction in Queensland state schools.
Exclusive Brethren MET
school gets record funding (The
July 5 - An exclusive private school run by an "extremist cult" that warns children to stay away from the outside world and bans its graduates from physically attending university receives more in government funding per student than up to a third of the state's public schools.
Federal Labor calls for investigation into funding of 'extremist cult' schools (Brisbane Times)
July 8 - Labor has demanded the federal government examine the amount of taxpayer funding being handed over to a group of extremist Christian schools after Fairfax Media revealed they were receiving record levels of public money despite benefiting from millions of dollars in tax-free private donations.
C of E hardliners to
boycott synod talks on same-sex relationships (The Guardian, Australia)
July 10 - A handful of hardline conservatives in the Church of England are expected to boycott two days of private discussions on same-sex relationships at the General Synod in York.
Pope Francis says gays
deserve Church apology (news.com.au)
June 27 - POPE Francis says gays — and all the other people the church has marginalised, such as the poor and the exploited — deserve an apology.
Vatileaks II verdict:
Francesca Chaouqui and Spanish priest Angel Balda found guilty (The Age, Melbourne)
July 8 - Vatican: A Vatican court on Thursday cleared two Italian journalists who had been charged with publishing leaked documents that claimed the headquarters of the Catholic Church was riddled with graft, but condemned two others, including high-profile Vatican insider Francesca Chaouqui.
Pope Francis clips
Cardinal George Pell’s wings (news.com.au)
July 9 - POPE Francis has again clipped the wings of his finance tsar Cardinal George Pell by effectively removing many of the administrative functions of the Vatican’s key financial office from his department.
Aziz Ansari in New York
Times essay: Donald Trump 'makes me afraid for my family' (Sydney Morning Herald)
June 27 - After Omar Mateen shot 49 people at Orlando's Pulse nightclub, actor Aziz Ansari called his parents, who are Muslim, and begged his mother not to "go anywhere near a mosque" out of fear of reprisals.
Twelve die in massive
Java gridlock during Ramadan (ABC News)
July 9 - Twelve people have died during a massive three-day traffic jam in Indonesia that stretched more than 20 kilometres and brought thousands of holidaymakers to a complete standstill, an official says.
Elie Wiesel, Nobel
laureate, Holocaust survivor dies, Yad Vashem Holocaust centre says (ABC
July 3 - Elie Wiesel, the Holocaust survivor, renowned writer and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, who worked to keep alive the memory of Jews slaughtered during World War II, has died, Israel's Yad Vashem Holocaust centre says.
liberated' after two years of Islamic State occupation (Brisbane Times)
June 27 - Istanbul: Iraq's army declared that Fallujah had been "fully liberated" on Sunday after the city endured more than two years of rule by the so-called Islamic State.
Islamic State loses
Fallujah: ‘West will need to sleep with one eye open’ (news.com.au)
June 28 - ISLAMIC State has lost a major strategic city after the fall of Fallujah, but the “West will need to sleep with one eye open” with the terror group thirsty for revenge.
Turkey set to face
continued terrorism threat, airports are 'soft targets', experts say (Sydney Morning Herald)
June 29 - The deadly Istanbul terrorist attack shows that busy international airport terminals are now a "soft target" of choice for the so-called Islamic State, a leading terrorism expert says.
Myanmar mob torches
mosque as religious tensions spike (ABC News)
July 2 - A mob wielding weapons has razed a Muslim prayer hall in northern Myanmar, state media reports, the second attack on a mosque in just over a week as anti-Muslim sentiment swells in the Buddhist majority nation.
Chechen behind Istanbul
attack (The Australian)
July 2 - A baby-faced Chechen jihadist has been named as the ringleader behind the attack on Ataturk airport in Istanbul.
Dhaka militants were
home-grown, say authorities in Bangladesh (The Age, Melbourne)
July 4 - Dhaka: Seven militants who killed 20 people at a Dhaka restaurant were Bangladeshis and authorities had earlier tried to arrest five of them, officials said on Sunday.
Suicide bombers target
three Saudi Arabian cities, including near Prophet's Mosque in Medina (ABC
July 5 - Suicide bombers have struck three cities across Saudi Arabia, killing four people, in an apparently coordinated campaign of attacks as Saudis prepared to break their fast on the penultimate day of the holy month of Ramadan.
fresh wave of terror as fear keeps secular campaigners underground (ABC
July 7 - A steel hatch slides open, and a guard eyes reporter and crew carefully.
Deadly blast at largest Eid al-Fitr gathering (The Age, Melbourne)
July 8 - Dhaka: A bombing at Bangladesh's largest gathering for the Eid al-Fitr holiday killed two police officers and a civilian on Thursday and injured several others, a day after the Islamic State warned that more attacks would follow the militants' bloody siege in the capital last week.
Mount Sinjar stands as a
monument to the extraordinary bravery of the Yazidi people (ABC News)
July 9 - The imposing mass of Mount Sinjar, rising out of Iraq's Nineveh plains, stands as a monument to both barbarity and the extraordinary bravery of the Yazidi people.
Donald Trump defends
'star' tweet after accusations image is anti-Semitic (ABC News)
July 5 - Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has defended a post he made on social media that included an image depicting rival Hillary Clinton against a backdrop of cash and a Star of David, while Mrs Clinton called the image anti-Semitic.
Religious leaders call
for UPNG to resume classes (ABC News)
July 7 - Religious leaders have added their voices to the call for the classes to resume at the University of PNG.
Suspected fire bomb
attack at Perth Islamic College (ABC News)
June 28 - A suspected fire bomb attack has been carried out on a four-wheel-drive vehicle parked outside a mosque in Perth's south-east overnight.
Perth mosque attack: Car
firebombed, anti-Islam graffiti sprayed in 'act of hate' (ABC News)
June 29 - Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has joined Islamic leaders in condemning a firebombing and anti-Islam graffiti attack outside a mosque and school in Perth's south-east.
College firebombing prompts call for WA religious vilification legislation (ABC News)
June 29 - A firebombing outside a mosque and Islamic school in Perth has sparked renewed calls for dedicated religious vilification legislation in Western Australia.
Anzac Day terror plot:
Melbourne teen Sevdet Besim pleads guilty to planning act of terrorism (ABC
June 30 - A teenager has admitted plotting to run down and behead a police officer during Anzac Day commemorations in Melbourne, in a case the prosecution alleged also included discussions of strapping a bomb to a kangaroo.
Muslim students at Coffs
Harbour Anglican school fasting for Ramadan (ABC News)
June 30 - Next Tuesday marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, a time when people of Islamic faith fast from sunrise until sunset.
The night of Eid is
celebrated in Bendigo as Ramadan ends (ABC News)
July 6 - Three Afghan families in Bendigo shared their final meal of Ramadan as the 30-day fasting period ended heralding the start of celebrations.
Hamdi Alqudsi had
'obsession' with Syria but was not waging war, trial hears (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 8 - Sydney man Hamdi Alqudsi may have had an "obsession" with Syria and an "unhealthy interest" in men travelling or fighting there but his "real concern" was the welfare of civilians rather than waging war, a court has heard.
Bolt ‘forced to move
kids’ (The Australian)
July 8 - Andrew Bolt has moved his children after receiving ‘death threats’ from an alleged supporter of Islamic State.
Andrew Bolt says he has
moved children out of family home after death threats (The Guardian, Australia)
July 8 - Andrew Bolt says his children have had to be moved out of the family home after receiving death threats from a supporter of Islamic State.
I follow Shari'ah. This
is what it really means to me (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 9 – (Opinion: Asiya Rodrigo) Last week, a story broke out about a Syrian refugee living in Germany who discovered 150,000 Euros hidden in a wardrobe given to him by a charity.
Christianity is a
choice. Being gay is not (The
June 27 – (Opinion: Karen Brooks) If there’s one word I never thought would be used to describe Treasurer, Scott Morrison, it’s “victim”.
John Howard calls for
laws to protect those 'tangentially affected' by same-sex marriage (The Guardian, Australia)
June 27 - John Howard has called for conscientious objectors to same-sex marriage to be given legal protection, drawing attention to the prospect the Coalition could legislate to allow people to refuse to provide goods and services to gay weddings.
Batman Greens candidate
victim of letterboxing hate campaign (ABC News)
June 29 - The northern Melbourne seat of Batman, one of the country's most progressive federal electorates, is now the stage of some grubby politics.
Muslim leader calls out
rise of far-right politics as crowds mark end of Ramadan at Lakemba (ABC
July 6 - A senior Muslim leader has called out the growth of Islamophobia and far-right hate groups in Australia at a gathering of thousands of Muslims at Lakemba Mosque, in Sydney's south-west, to mark the end of Ramadan.
Oops! Pauline Hanson
caught drinking (allegedly) halal milk (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 7 – (Opinion: Jacqueline Maley) There's only one way to put this. We're going to have to ask you to please explain, Pauline.
Why Australia was not
suitable for the life-size Noah's ark (Brisbane Times)
July 8 - A former Brisbane science teacher-turned-religious leader who created a life-size Noah's ark in the US says Australia would not have had the population or the business to support such a structure.
A country boy's story
about coming out: self-harm, suicide and Safe Schools (The Guardian, Australia)
July 9 – (Opinion: Jay Carmichael) I didn’t even know what “gay” was until I was harassed for having it.
‘She started weeping, it
was beautiful’: Inside the Hillsong conference (news.com.au)
July 9 - TENS of thousands of fashionable young people wearing denim jackets, caps and thick-framed glasses are pouring into Sydney’s Olympic Park.
From the Archive…
Religion News Australia 2015 – 34 (Sept 6 - 13)
Religion News Australia 2015 – 33 (Aug 30 – Sept 6)
Religion News Australia 2015 – 32 (Aug 23 - 30)
Religion News Australia 2015 – 31 (Aug 16 - 23)
Religion News Australia 2015 – 30 (Aug 9 - 16)
Religion News Australia 2015 – 29 (Aug 2 - 9)
Religion News Australia 2015 – 28 (July 26 – Aug 2)
Religion News Australia 2015 – 27 (July 19 - 26)
Religion News Australia 2015 – 26 (July 12 - 19)
Religion News Australia 2015 – 25 (July 5 - 12)
Religion News Australia 2015 – 24 (June 28 – July 5)
Religion News Australia 2015 – 23 (June 21 - 28)