by Greg Spearritt
Religion News Australia
March 19 – April 2, 2017
Religion news stories from Australia
(Research: Greg Spearritt)
Anglican dioceses fail to agree on national
sex abuse policy, royal commission hears (Brisbane Times)
Mar 21 - The Anglican church has failed to achieve a nationally consistent approach to child sexual abuse due to lack of consensus between its 23 dioceses, a royal commission has heard.
Anglican Church used as ’safe haven’ to
sexually abuse children, royal commission hears (ABC
Mar 22 - Child abusers used the Anglican Church as a "safe haven" because their activities would not be monitored and they would be offered "cheap forgiveness", a royal commission has heard.
Jewish victims ’shunned after making
allegations’ (ABC News)
Mar 29 - Ultra-orthodox Jews believed it was a sin to report allegations of child sexual abuse to the police, and shunned those who did, a royal commission has heard.
Sex abuse claims: Class action against
former Esperance priest Father Kevin Glover (ABC
Mar 29 - Lawyers are preparing a class action against the Catholic Diocese of Bunbury on behalf of three people who say they were sexually abused by a high-profile priest in the southern WA town of Esperance in the 1960s and ’70s.
Royal Commission hears how sex predators
groom and abuse (Sydney Morning Herald)
Mar 29 - A child psychologist held back tears as she told a royal commission how her son was allegedly abused by a teacher at the private school she believed to be "nurturing and protective".
Survivors demand action as sex abuse royal
commission hearings conclude (Brisbane
Mar 31 - Three-and-a-half years after the child sex abuse royal commission held its first public inquiry, its final hearing returned to the survivors who started it all.
Survival and safety beyond the child abuse
royal commission (Brisbane Times)
Apr 1 – (Opinion: Editorial) The good work of the royal commission must be translated into good work in every family, community and institution across the nation.
Beware bullies pushing diversity (The Australian)
Mar 31 – (Opinion: Glenn Davies) Activists fear the people, but I want real debate and freedom of speech.
Gay marriage campaigners bullying
Australians who are against it, Anglican Archbishop says (ABC
Apr 1 - Same-sex marriage advocates are bullying people into accepting a legislative change, despite a majority of Australians being against it, Sydney’s Anglican Archbishop Glen Davies says.
Yuval Noah Harari: ’Homo sapiens as we
know them will disappear in a century or so’ (The Guardian, Australia)
Mar 20 - Last week, on his Radio 2 breakfast show, Chris Evans read out the first page of Sapiens, the book by the Israeli historian Yuval Noah Harari.
The Islamic Enlightenment by Christopher de
Bellaigue – review (The Guardian,
Mar 31 – (Review) A celebration of an age of reformers in Istanbul, Cairo and Tehran provides a powerful corrective to lazy, prejudiced thinking
Priest stabbed at St Matthew’s Catholic
Church in Fawkner (The Age,
Mar 20 - A beloved Catholic priest is recovering in hospital after a man pulled out a knife and stabbed the 48-year-old in front of shocked worshippers in Melbourne’s northern suburbs.
Man charged and released on bail over
stabbing of priest at Fawkner church (The Age, Melbourne)
Mar 20 - A 72-year-old man, charged following the stabbing of a beloved Catholic priest in front of shocked worshippers in Melbourne’s northern suburbs, has been released on bail.
Pell lashes ’unjust’ Senate call (The Australian)
Mar 20 - George Pell writes to Senate complaining of “unjust” attack over call to return to Australia to face misconduct claims.
Cardinal George Pell accuses Senate of ’extraordinary
and unjust’ attack (The Guardian,
Mar 20 - Cardinal George Pell has accused the Senate of waging an “extraordinary and unjust” attack against him and interfering with due process.
School deradicalisation programs should
include study of different religions (Sydney Morning Herald)
Mar 30 - The NSW government has identified 19 schools with students "at risk" of being exposed to violent extremist influences.
Catholic school enrolments fall (The Australian)
Apr 1 - Catholic schools are in a year-on-year market share decline in all mainland states.
How Thailand is making itself more
appealing to Muslim travellers (news.com.au)
Mar 20 - INSIDE the cavernous dining hall of the five-star Al Meroz hotel in a Muslim suburb of Bangkok, an elderly man with a wispy beard recites verses of the Koran as a nervous-looking groom awaits the arrival of his bride.
Muslim woman: ’Look beyond my attire’ (news.com.au)
Mar 25 - THE Muslim woman trolled for being pictured looking at her phone while walking past a victim of the Westminster terror attack has slammed those who criticised her.
West will ’lose’ if we outlaw Islam,
Britain’s Nigel Farage says (ABC
Mar 27 - Outspoken British politician Nigel Farage has distanced himself from controversial comments about Islam made by One Nation leader Pauline Hanson.
No veils, no ’abnormal’ beards: China’s
first anti-extremism law targets Xinjiang (Sydney Morning Herald)
Mar 31 - Beijing: China’s first anti-extremism law comes into effect on Saturday, enforcing bans on full-face veils and long beards in the restive far-western region of Xinjiang.
Muslim ban resonates in rust belt (The Australian)
Apr 1 - The President has split communities in the heartland with his plans.
Four arrested after US Jewish family’s
sacred candlestick turned into swastika (Brisbane Times)
Mar 20 - Arizona police have arrested four suspects in an apparently anti-Semitic act of vandalism that made headlines across the US in December.
IS State taunts Yazidi (The Australian)
Mar 20 - Desperate families are tracking the fate of their loved ones on a jihadist slave app.
Mass trial in PNG over brutal killing of
people suspected of sorcery (ABC
Mar 23 - Ninety-nine men have appeared in court in Papua New Guinea to stand trial for the brutal killing in 2014 of five men and two children they believed were conducting sorcery.
Mosul civilian death toll rises as
residents face threat on two fronts (ABC
Mar 27 - Day by day, thousands of families continue to stream out of West Mosul to packed refugee camps around the city.
ISIS ’kills Aussie baby’ (The Australian)
Mar 31 - The baby of an Australian man fighting with Islamic State has been reportedly murdered by the regime.
The missing link between terrorism and sex (Sydney Morning
Apr 1 - What makes it easier to recruit young men into terrorist groups?
Boko Haram kidnaps 22 girls and women in
north-east Nigeria (The Guardian,
Apr 1 - Boko Haram Islamists have abducted 22 girls and women in two separate raids in north-east Nigeria, residents and vigilantes said.
Rohingya rebel leader challenges Myanmar’s
Aung San Suu Kyi, vows to fight on (Brisbane
Apr 1 - Yangon: The leader of a Rohingya Muslim insurgency against Myanmar’s security forces said on Friday his group would keep fighting "even if a million die" unless the country’s de-facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, took action to protect the religious minority.
Isis deputy killed in airstrike, says Iraqi
TV (The Guardian, Australia)
Apr 2 - Ayad al-Jumaili, believed to be a deputy of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, has been killed in an airstrike, an Iraqi intelligence spokesman has said.
Katy Perry opens up about her sexuality: ’I
prayed the gay away at Jesus camps’ (Sydney Morning Herald)
Mar 20 - Katy Perry has opened up about her sexuality and experimentation as a young woman growing up in a religious family.
Jesus’s tomb unveiled after $4m
restoration (The Guardian,
Mar 22 - The restored tomb in which Jesus’s body is believed to have been interred after his crucifixion will be officially unveiled at a ceremony at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem’s Old City on Wednesday.
Karen Pence, ’prayer warrior’, stands beside
Vice-President Mike Pence (Brisbane
Mar 31 - During the first of Vice-President Mike Pence’s two unsuccessful races for Congress, he rode a single-speed bicycle more than 400 km around his district, much of it accompanied by his wife, Karen, along for the journey.
Dalai Lama heads to disputed Indian region (news.com.au)
Apr 1 - The Dalai Lama has arrived in India’s northeastern state of Assam ahead of a visit to neighbouring Arunachal Pradesh, a region run by New Delhi but claimed by Beijing.
Mormon membership nears 16 million (news.com.au)
Apr 2 - Mormon church leaders say worldwide membership has reached 15.88 million.
Muslim women shrug off stereotypes about
oppression at Adelaide forum Passion Café (ABC
Mar 27 - "Do I look oppressed and voiceless to you?" This was the question asked by Muslim mother of two Suraya Sara at a forum in Adelaide as she recounted her experiences living in Australia.
’You should take that off’: Woman charged
after alleged attack at Sydney shopping centre (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 1 - A Sydney mother has described how she was subjected to a vicious attack outside a busy suburban shopping centre, with a woman repeatedly shouting "you’re so ugly" at her and demanding she remove her niqab.
Inside Australia’s ’Super mosque’ prison
where guards fear radical Muslims are plotting terrorist acts (news.com.au)
Apr 1 - WHEN more than 30 Muslim inmates get down on their prayer mats inside Goulburn’s Supermax prison and bow towards Mecca, it doesn’t much bother serial killer Ivan Milat.
Islamic State might form ’diaspora’
caliphate around the world, George Brandis warns (Sydney Morning Herald)
Mar 25 - Attorney-General George Brandis has warned that the Islamic State group may scatter and form a "diaspora" caliphate around the world after its defeat in the Middle East.
Pauline Hanson says Islam is a disease
Australia needs to ’vaccinate’ (Sydney Morning Herald)
Mar 25 - Pauline Hanson has compared Islam to a disease Australians need to vaccinate themselves against, a comment described by the Deputy Prime Minister as "bat poo crazy".
Pauline Hanson’s Muslim ban ’what
terrorists want’, says Turnbull
Mar 25 - The prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, has suggested Queensland senator Pauline Hanson is doing what Islamist terrorists want by promoting a Muslim ban.
18C laws ’protect’ Muslim criminals (The Courier-Mail, Brisbane)
Mar 29 - A ONE Nation senator claims race-hate speech laws are protecting Muslim criminals, comparing restrictions on speech to “Stalinist repression”.
Pastor Mosaic and his ’disciple’ Allison
masterminded Australia’s biggest piracy racket worth $21m (news.com.au)
Mar 21 - HE WAS her church pastor and controller, she was his “disciple” and called him “father” and together they pulled off Australia’s largest piracy fraud worth $21 million.
I stood side-by-side with a Catholic priest
to overturn Queensland’s homophobic law (Brisbane Times)
Mar 22 – (Opinion: Tom Ballard ) It’s fair to say that Australian politics isn’t exactly a fount of good news at the moment.
Activists ’oppress people of faith’ (The Australian)
Mar 22 – (Opinion: Primrose Riordan) Tim Wilson has accused activists of turning from ’oppressed to oppressor’ by targeting IBM’s Mark Allaby.
Carols By Candlelight Hobart council
funding pulled after 2016 ticketing debacle (ABC
Mar 23 - Hobart’s Carols By Candlelight has had its financial backing withdrawn by council, with organisers stating the style, scale and ticket price of this year’s event would now be in the hands of private sponsors.
Steve Smith embraces mindfulness as
tourists stand on precipice of cricket folklore (ABC
Mar 25 - It’s a strange place for a cauldron.
Darwin’s Balinese community attend annual
beach-side ceremony, Melasti (ABC
Mar 25 - On the edge of Darwin’s Casuarina beach, Balinese people dressed in traditional costumes wash their feet and send flowers off into the ocean for the Melasti cleansing ceremony.
World Science Festival: Can science and
faith co-exist? (ABC News)
Mar 27 - Fire and ice, black and white, hot and cold, science and faith.
Lent for millennials: Young Christians give
up wine, shame and social media (ABC
Mar 27 - You might have missed the news, but we’re currently in the middle of Lent — historically, one of the Christian calendar’s most important seasons.
Truck driver ’feared for his life’ during
mine site stand-off with armed Goldfields pastor (ABC
Mar 29 - A truck driver and mechanic says he feared for his life after a prominent Aboriginal pastor and activist fired a hunting rifle during a stand-off at a mine site in WA’s Goldfields.
Activist slams Christian academic (The Australian)
Mar 29 - Gay rights activist Michael Barnett has turned his sights on academia.
God and the problem of sincere disbelief (ABC News)
Mar 30 – (Opinion: Michael Collett) It’s a cliche, really. The beginning of the end for my Christian faith was getting an unbelieving girlfriend in my late teens. But it’s not exactly as you might think.
Sincerity is not enough: the problem with
the problem of sincere disbelief (ABC
Mar 31 – (Opinion: Michael Jensen) Michael Collett’s thoughtful article "God and the problem of sincere disbelief" must have touched a nerve.
Why so many counter-terrorism laws if no
one can define terrorism? (Brisbane
Mar 31 – (Opinion: Irfan Yusuf ) What exactly is terrorism?
Faith: Finding a common language to express
our hurt is key to healing (Brisbane
Apr 1 – (Opinion: Jim Pilmer ) When a large rock, such as a major traumatic incident, is tossed into the pond of community life the waves near the centre can be overwhelming.
Burn marks add to hexafoil mystery of
Tasmania’s shamanic past (ABC
Apr 2 - Previously undocumented evil-averting rituals have been uncovered in a research project looking at the use of "magic" in 19th century Tasmania.
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