by Greg Spearritt
Religion News Australia
December 11 - 25, 2016
Religion news stories from Australia
(Research: Greg Spearritt)
Uniting Church minister walks free (Brisbane
Dec 23 - A former Queensland Uniting Church minister who sexually abused a 12-year-old boy five decades ago will not spend any time behind bars after a judge agreed he had lived an "exemplary life".
Former WA priest to appear in court on
child pornography charge (ABC News)
Dec 23 - A former Western Australian priest will appear in court next month charged with child pornography offences.
Rural community of Tantawangalo fears 108yo
Anglican church will be closed and sold (ABC News)
Dec 22 - The future of St John's Anglican Church at Tantawangalo in south-east New South Wales is in doubt with a proposal that the church be sold and the revenue used to upgrade other churches in the region.
When it comes to ordination, Pope Francis
is still a puppet of the church (The
Dec 12 – (Opinion: Kristina Keneally) There’s a deep struggle going on in the Catholic church when it comes to power and who exercises it.
Catholic Church criticises world’s tallest
Christmas tree (news.com.au)
Dec 25 - SRI Lanka unveiled a towering Christmas tree, claiming to have surpassed the world record despite constructions delays and a shorter-than-planned finished product.
Jakarta Governor Ahok, godson to Muslims,
gives emotional defence at his blasphemy trial (Sydney Morning Herald)
Dec 13 - Jakarta: The embattled governor of Jakarta emotionally told his trial for blasphemy that his own godparents had been Muslims and it would not be possible for him to insult Islam.
Registry used to track Arabs and Muslims
dismantled by Obama administration (The
Dec 23 - The Obama administration is dismantling a discriminatory surveillance system that was used after 9/11 to keep tabs on Arabs and Muslims across the US, in a move that will make it more difficult for president-elect Donald Trump to achieve his goal of introducing a Muslim registry.
UN resolution demanding Israel stop Jewish
settlements passed despite Donald Trump (Sydney Morning Herald)
Dec 24 - New York: The UN Security Council has approved a resolution demanding Israel cease Jewish settlement activity on Palestinian territory in a unanimous vote that passed when the United States abstained in the wake of meddling by President-elect Donald Trump and Egypt.
Istanbul explosion: Turkey vows vengeance
at funeral for police killed in twin bombings (ABC News)
Dec 12 - Turkey has vowed vengeance against Kurdish militants it said were likely behind twin bombings that killed 38 people and wounded 155 in what appeared to be a coordinated attack on police outside a soccer stadium in Istanbul.
Cairo Coptic cathedral blast kills at least
25 (ABC News)
Dec 12 - A bombing at Egypt's main Coptic Christian cathedral has killed 25 people and injured another 49, according to Egyptian state television, making it one of the deadliest attacks carried out against the religious minority in recent memory.
Turkish police arrest six after Russian
ambassador Andrey Karlov shot dead in Ankara (ABC News)
Dec 20 - Turkish police have detained six people over the killing of the Russian ambassador, who was shot in the back as he gave a speech in Ankara by an off-duty police officer shouting "Don't forget Aleppo" and "Allahu Akbar".
As Russia's ambassador was assassinated, a
photographer witnessed it all (Sydney Morning Herald)
Dec 20 - When a neatly dressed man fired at the Russian ambassador to Turkey, a veteran photographer covering the "routine" event thought it was a "theatrical flourish".
Zurich shooting: Swiss police say gunman is
dead after mosque attack (ABC News)
Dec 20 - A man who shot three people at a Zurich mosque is dead, police said, confirming that a body found near the scene was that of the assailant.
Christians return to devastation in ancient
Qaraqosh (ABC News)
Dec 20 - Ancient Christian Qaraqosh in Iraq was recently liberated from Islamic State, but as two sisters and their priest return, they wonder if they can find it in their hearts to start again.
Shocking video shows soldiers being burned
alived by Islamic State militants in Aleppo (news.com.au)
Dec 23 - ISLAMIC State in Syria has released a video purportedly showing two captured Turkish soldiers being burned to death, according to the U.S.-based SITE Intelligence Group which monitors militant groups online.
Berlin market attack suspect killed in
shootout in Italy, Interior Minister says (ABC News)
Dec 24 - Italian police shot dead the man believed to be responsible for this week's Berlin Christmas market truck attack, killing him after he pulled a gun on them during a routine check in the early hours of Friday morning.
Catholic church targeted in Christmas Eve
blast in Philippines (Sydney Morning Herald)
Dec 25 - Manila: Sixteen people have been wounded in a grenade explosion outside a Catholic church during a Christmas Eve mass on the island of Mindanao in the Philippines, according to local police and a priest.
Nigerian church collapse kills 'at least
160' worshippers during bishop ordination (ABC News)
Dec 12 - Metal girders and the roof of a crowded church have collapsed onto worshippers in southern Nigeria, killing at least 160 people with the toll likely to rise, a hospital director says.
Pagan priest wins right to wear goat horns
in driver's licence photo (ABC News)
Dec 20 - An ordained Pagan priest in the US has finally received the OK to sport goat horns in his Maine driver's licence photo.
Christmas: Iraqi Christians return to
liberated towns; Pope calls for more humility (ABC News)
Dec 25 - Iraqi Christians in Bartella have celebrated their first Christmas mass in the town since it was captured by the Islamic State group in 2014.
Christmas carol service accidentally prints
Tupac Shakur’s ‘Hail Mary’ (news.com.au)
Dec 25 - ONE of the largest Christmas Carol services in Sri Lanka has accidentally printed the lyrics to late rapper Tupac Shakur’s vitriolic banger, Hail Mary, instead of the traditional Catholic prayer.
Ahmad Saiyer Naizmand breach of terrorism
control order was 'serious' (Sydney Morning Herald)
Dec 13 - The video had dark figures, a sunset, a cobra's head, a tropical beach, and flashes of Islamic State fighters brandishing their flag.
Jakarta governor Ahok created 'disunity
among Muslims', say prosecutors (Sydney Morning Herald)
Dec 20 - Jakarta: Prosecutors have accused the Christian governor of Jakarta of being "self-righteous" and say it is not enough for him to claim that his intention was not to insult Islam.
Man charged with assault after allegedly
throwing beer bottle at Muslim woman (ABC News)
Dec 22 - A Perth man has been charged after allegedly throwing a beer bottle at the head of a Muslim woman in the southern suburb of Beeliar.
Melbourne terrorist plot: Seven held over
alleged 'explosive' Christmas Day attack plan (ABC News)
Dec 23 - Police have disrupted a terrorist plot to detonate improvised explosive devices at locations in central Melbourne, possibly on Christmas Day, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says.
Seven arrested as police foil planned
Christmas Day terror attack in Melbourne (Sydney Morning Herald)
Dec 23 - A Christmas Day terrorist plot targeting Melbourne landmarks has been foiled after police conducted raids across the city's north west.
Police raids in Melbourne’s northern
suburbs foil alleged Christmas Day terror attack (news.com.au)
Dec 23 - TERRORISTS planned a Christmas Day bomb attack targeting Melbourne landmarks including Federation Square and Flinders Street Station, police claim.
Melbourne terror raids: Why police moved on
Christmas terror suspects
Dec 24 - Police investigating an alleged terrorist plot in Melbourne feared a multi-person, multi-weapon strike that would include random stabbings, bombings and possible suicide attacks.
Second Abbas brother in court over
Christmas terror raids (Brisbane
Dec 24 - Police have returned to one of the homes targeted by Friday's terror raids, while a fourth man accused of planning to bomb Melbourne landmarks on Christmas Day has appeared in court with a black eye.
The Islamic Centre in Melbourne linked to
Christmas terror plot (The Age,
Dec 25 - From their own social media posts, it is clear that several of the young Melbourne men accused of plotting a Christmas Day terror attack have spent time at a place called the Hume Islamic Youth Centre in Coolaroo.
Melbourne terror target church draws huge
crowds (The Australian)
Dec 25 - Melbourne’s St Paul’s Cathedral overflowed with worshippers attending the midnight service two days after a Christmas Day terror plot was uncovered.
Extremist radicalised terrorism is a
statistically enduring anomaly (ABC News)
Dec 24 – (Opinion: C August Elliott) This week, a multi-agency policing operation spearheaded by Victoria Police and supported by the AFP and ASIO, successfully averted a terrorist attack against targets in Melbourne's CBD.
A bloke called Barry and the Jesus bikes
parked around Melbourne (The Age,
Dec 14 - It's the case of Christ on a bike.
What does December mean for people of
Christian, Jewish and Muslim faiths? (ABC News)
Dec 22 - December is the end of our calendar year and marks a time for commemoration and celebration in the community.
Australian Christian Lobby casts doubt on
police finding on van explosion (Sydney Morning Herald)
Dec 23 - The head of the Australian Christian Lobby is doubling down on his scepticism of the ACT police declaration that a van explosion outside the conservative group's Canberra headquarters was not politically motivated.
'Celebrate Christmas wholeheartedly':
Cathedral unshaken by terror plot (The
Dec 23 - St Paul's Cathedral will proceed with Christmas services despite being the target of a thwarted terror plot as the church's leader calls for peace and reconciliation.
You will benefit from prayer, even if you
don't believe (Sydney Morning
Dec 24 – (Opinion: Elizabeth Farrelly) Reflections on returning home from abroad at Christmas.
Reach out to the vulnerable: The Christmas
message of all faiths (ABC News)
Dec 25 - Tasmania's religious and community leaders have used their annual Christmas messages to welcome newly arrived refugees.
Thousands pack St Mary's Cathedral for
Christmas Day Mass (Sydney Morning Herald)
Dec 25 - Thousands of worshippers packed St Mary's Cathedral in Sydney for the annual Christmas Mass on Sunday morning.
The unlikely man to lead the fight against
the rise of intolerance: Prince Charles (Sydney Morning Herald)
Dec 25 – (Opinion: Tim Dick) I hadn't picked Prince Charles as the leader of an establishment fight against the populist encouragement of religious intolerance, but if that's the fight he's leading, I'm following, republican or not.
Christmas is not a 'great escape' but a
time to come together (Brisbane
Dec 25 - Christmas is not a time to escape the realities of the world and look the other way but to shine a light on the tragedies of the world and embrace the new possibilities of 2017, that is the message put forth by Brisbane's Catholic Archbishop Mark Coleridge and Anglican Archbishop Dr Phillip Aspinall for Christmas 2016.
Chrismukkah? I’ll light a candle to that (The Guardian, Australia)
Dec 25 – (Opinion: Hadley Freeman) I might say my prayers in Hebrew instead of Latin but I want to eat chocolate Santas for 10 days straight, too, OK?
From the Archive…
Religion News Australia 2016 – 28 (July 17 - 24)
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