by Greg Spearritt
Religion News Australia
April 9 - 16, 2017
Religion news stories from Australia
(Research: Greg Spearritt)
Gerald Ridsdale pleads guilty to 20 more
child-abuse charges (The Age,
Apr 13 - One of Australia’s worst child-sex offender priests, Gerald Ridsdale, has pleaded guilty to a string of new abuse charges against 11 children.
A gentle word on the state of Australian
debate and freedom of speech (ABC
Apr 10 – (Opinion: Peter McEvoy) "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." Proverbs 15:1. My father wrote those words above his signature in my autograph book when I was a kid.
This Easter, it’s the Catholic Church that
needs redemption (The Guardian,
Apr 12 – (Opinion: Kristina Keneally) It’s Holy Week, the most sacred time in the Catholic liturgical calendar.
Religious education in NSW schools ’inappropriate’
but government vows support (The
Apr 12 - The New South Wales government has agreed to better scrutinise religious groups teaching scripture in state-run schools, after a review found isolated examples of inappropriate teaching material, including negative passages about abortion.
Outcry as Utah judge calls Mormon bishop
who raped girl a ’good man’ (The
Apr 15 - Complaints are pouring against a Utah judge who called a former Mormon bishop convicted of rape an “extraordinary, good man” who did something wrong, a Utah judicial oversight organization said on Friday.
Pope to visit mafia snitches (The Australian)
Apr 14 - Pope Francis will wash the feet of former mafiosi members during a visit to a notorious prison in Rome.
Jackson ’sick of being the obedient Muslim
Apr 11 - SHE’S in control — and in the money.
Fury as Ahok verdict delayed (The Australian)
Apr 12 - The verdict in the blasphemy trial of Jakarta chief Ahok has been delayed until after next week’s run-off.
United States’ first female Muslim judge,
Sheila Abdus-Salaam, found dead in New York (The Guardian, Australia)
Apr 13 - A groundbreaking black jurist who became the first Muslim woman to serve as a US judge has been found dead in New York’s Hudson river.
Trump spokesman Sean Spicer apologises for
saying Hitler ’didn’t use chemical weapons’ (ABC
Apr 11 - White House press secretary Sean Spicer has apologised for making "inappropriate and insensitive" comments, after he said Adolf Hitler did not use chemical weapons during World War II.
Sean Spicer apologises for Hitler remarks
amid series of gaffes (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 12 - White House press secretary Sean Spicer, besieged by widespread condemnation and calls for his resignation, made a televised apology on Tuesday afternoon for a baffling series of gaffes in which he favourably compared Adolf Hitler to President Bashar al-Assad, and claimed the Nazi leader had not used chemical weapons against his own people.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer
commits astonishing Hitler gaffe (news.com.au)
Apr 12 - WHITE House press secretary Sean Spicer has made an astonishing gaffe, telling a media briefing that Adolf Hitler never used chemical weapons against his own people.
The White House forgets the Holocaust
(again) (The Guardian,
Apr 12 – (Opinion: Timothy Snyder) In a press conference on Tuesday, Sean Spicer claimed before an incredulous room of journalists that Hitler did not use chemical agents to kill people during the Second World War.
Egypt declares three-month state of emergency
after Palm Sunday church bombings kill 44 (ABC
Apr 10 - Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has declared a three-month state of emergency after suicide bombers targeted two Coptic churches, killing at least 44 people and injuring dozens more in the run-up to Easter.
Egypt: Isis claims responsibility for
Coptic church bombings (The
Apr 10 - Isis has claimed responsibility for two bomb blasts that struck Coptic churches in Egypt, killing at least 47 people as members of the country’s largest religious minority celebrated Palm Sunday.
Dozens killed in twin bomb attacks at
churches in Egypt: reports (news.com.au)
Apr 10 - TERRIFYING footage has been released capturing the moment a bomb exploded in a Coptic Church in Cairo, Egypt, killing 44 people attending mass on a Sunday.
Who are Egypt’s Coptic Christians and why
are they persecuted? (ABC News)
Apr 10 - Coptic Christians, known as Copts, are the largest ethno-religious minority in Egypt, constituting roughly 10 per cent of the country’s 95 million people.
It’s time to acknowledge the war on
Christianity (Brisbane Times)
Apr 11 – (Opinion: Tim Stanley ) We live in an age of martyrs.
Gay couple beaten, detained by Indonesian
vigilantes likely to face trial under sharia law (ABC
Apr 10 - A video recording of Indonesian vigilantes detaining two young gay men captures them kicking, slapping and insulting the pair, shortly before they are turned over to the province’s religious police.
Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof gets
nine consecutive life sentences (ABC
Apr 10 - Convicted Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof has been handed nine consecutive life sentences, after he pleaded guilty to state murder charges, leaving him to await execution in a federal prison and sparing the families of his victims the burden of a second trial.
US drops ’mother of all bombs’ on Islamic
State in Afghanistan (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 14 - Washington: The United States dropped a massive GBU-43 bomb, the largest non-nuclear bomb it has ever used in combat, in eastern Afghanistan on Thursday against a series of caves used by Islamic State militants, the military said.
’We’ve been waiting months to use it’ (The Australian)
Apr 14 - The US military dropped the largest non-nuclear bomb in its arsenal, ’the mother of all bombs’ on IS tunnel complex.
US ’mother of all bombs’ killed 92 Isis
militants, say Afghan officials (The
Apr 15 - More than 90 Islamic State militants were killed when the US military dropped an 11-ton bomb on eastern Afghanistan, according to the Afghan government.
Trump the orthodox Republican (The Australian)
Apr 14 – (Opinion: Rhys Blakely) Before he was president Donald Trump said he would “bomb the shit” out of IS. This is one campaign pledge he kept.
Who are the new jihadis? (The Guardian, Australia)
Apr 14 – (Opinion: Olivier Roy) Biographies of ’homegrown’ European terrorists show they are violent nihilists who adopt Islam, rather than religious fundamentalists who turn to violence
Berlin Christmas market attacker received
order directly from IS, report (WAToday.com.au)
Apr 15 - Berlin: The Tunisian who killed 12 people by driving a truck into a Christmas market in Berlin received his orders directly from Islamic State, a German magazine reported on Saturday.
Mastermind of Charlie Hebdo attack could
still be alive, report (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 16 - Baghdad: An Islamic State militant linked to the deadly 2015 attack on French weekly Charlie Hebdo may still be alive, the Iraqi military said on Saturday.
Bomb blast on Syria bus convoy kills,
wounds dozens outside Aleppo (WAToday.com.au)
Apr 16 - Beirut: An explosion in Syria has reportedly killed at least 100 people, including children, government supporters and opposition fighters who were part of a bus convoy waiting to cross into government-held Aleppo.
Britain’s Tesco supermarket chain
criticised for Good Friday ad (news.com.au)
Apr 15 - A UK supermarket chain has been accused of cashing in on Good Friday and being “extraordinarily ignorant” of the day’s true meaning.
Why I swapped investment banking for
Buddhism in Bhutan (The Guardian,
Apr 15 - Bhutan is one of the few places in the world where you can experience unbroken Buddhist culture.
What is the historical evidence that Jesus
Christ lived and died? (The
Apr 15 – (Opinion: Simon Gathercole) How confident can we be that Jesus Christ actually lived?
Five stubborn misconceptions about Jesus
and the cross (Sydney Morning
Apr 16 - Christians worldwide are commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus in Good Friday worship services, followed by celebration of his resurrection on Easter Sunday.
Shame on those who preach intolerance in
the name of Christianity (The
Apr 16 – (Opinion: Catherine Pepinster) It is chocolate time for French children this morning, thanks to les cloches volantes – the flying bells.
Hirsi Ali’s awkward truths (The Australian)
Apr 10 – (Opinion: Chris Mitchell) Last week’s media storm about the Islam critic abandoning her trip highlights how debased our politics has become.
’Sick and tired’ of Islam bias (The Australian)
Apr 11 - The new $2.3bn Royal Adelaide Hospital will open this year with a prayer room for Muslims but without a ’chapel’.
Hospital gets chapel and mosque (The Australian)
Apr 12 - Cory Bernardi is claiming a “victory for common sense” as Royal Adelaide Hospital says it will have a chapel.
Video of Islamic group saying being hit by
men a ’beautiful blessing’ teaches abuse: Michaelia Cash (ABC
Apr 13 - Minister for Women Michaelia Cash has accused a controversial Islamic group of encouraging violence against women.
’He’s permitted to hit her’: Alarming
video appears to condone domestic violence (news.com.au)
Apr 13 - TODAY host Ben Fordham slammed a video appearing to give the green light to domestic violence against Muslim women.
’No man should strike his wife’ (The Australian)
Apr 13 - Labor MP Ed Husic, the first Muslim MP, condemns a video which advocates Muslim men hit their wives in a “managed way”
Waleed Aly slams ’absolutely atrocious’
views on domestic violence of some Muslims (news.com.au)
Apr 14 - THE Project host Waleed Aly says it is “infuriating” views exist within the Muslim community — even if they were largely radical groups — that men are allowed to beat their wives.
Muslim leaders denounce video (The Australian)
Apr 14 - Muslim leaders join chorus of condemnation of Hizb ut-Tahrir video claiming men are allowed to hit their wives “gently”.
Women of Hizb ut-Tahrir video is alarming –
and based on misconception (The
Apr 15 – (Opinion: Joumanah El Matrah) When it comes to experiences of violence, Muslim women are one of the most analysed and debated groups in the Australian public space.
Sonny Bill Williams permitted to cover up
sponsors’ logos on religious grounds (The Guardian, Australia)
Apr 13 - Sonny Bill Williams will be allowed to continue covering up a sponsor’s logo on his Auckland Blues shirt after the New Zealand Rugby Union agreed to the All Blacks player’s request based on his religious beliefs.
Husband’s ’right to demand sex’ (The Australian)
Apr 15 - Sheik Shady Alsuleiman has preached men have the right to demand sex from their wives.
’We didn’t hand Jews to Nazis’ (The Australian)
Apr 11 - Marine Le Pen suggests France was not responsible for sending thousands of Jews to Nazi concentration camps.
’Go buy non-halal Easter eggs’: Hanson (Brisbane Times)
Apr 11 - Pauline Hanson has urged her supporters to buy "non-halal" Easter eggs and avoid brands that offer halal-certified products, such as Cadbury.
’Want me to prove it?’: Waleed Aly mocks
Hanson’s non-Halal Easter egg endorsement (Adelaide Now)
Apr 12 - WALEED Aly has mocked Senator Pauline Hanson’s attempt to urge Australians to buy “non-Halal” Easter eggs in a simple yet perfect way on The Project.
Government takes gloves off in war of words
against One Nation (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 13 - "Bat poo crazy". "Talking BS". "Doing what ISIS wants".
We rush to condemn Islamophobia. What about
anti-Christian attacks? (Daily
Apr 9 – (Opinion: Miranda Devine) WHILE we constantly are lectured about Islamophobic violence, despite little evidence of its existence, there is official silence about its flip side: religiously motivated attacks on Christians.
Shalom House says hardline approach at
Australia’s ’strictest’ drug rehab centre delivers results (ABC
Apr 10 - When you step inside Shalom House as a new resident, be prepared to not only hand over your cigarettes, phone and car keys, but your entire life.
Easter brings a time to practice silence,
count our blessings and think of those less fortunate (ABC
Apr 14 – (Opinion: Julia Baird) Forget eggs. Eat them, enjoy them, whatever.
Christians are not the victims in the
marriage equality debate (Brisbane
Apr 14 – (Opinion: Peter Catt ) A few years ago I had cause to caution a member of staff over bullying behaviour towards a colleague.
Jesus was on the side of the poor and
exploited. Christian politicians should remember that (The Guardian, Australia)
Apr 14 – (Opinion: Brad Chilcott) In the church I grew up in it was culturally assumed that Christians would vote Liberal.
God save us all from the dangers of this
intense religious fervour (The
Apr 14 – (Opinion: Giles Fraser) Last Sunday, as the blood of Egyptian Christians was being wiped from the church floor, tens of thousand of us were walking down from the Mount of Olives, following as much as possible the footsteps of Jesus on his final entry into Jerusalem.
Millions flock to Easter church services as
leaders spread messages of hope (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 14 - Millions of Australians headed to church services to mark Good Friday as religious leaders used the occasion to spread a message of hope.
Mentally ill man who drove car through
Wollongong mall admits terrorism motive (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 15 - A mentally ill Wollongong man who drove down a packed city mall during a night market in February told police he wanted people to think it was an act of terrorism.
Christian values under attack (The Australian)
Apr 15 – (Opinion: Paul Kelly) There will be no settlement or social harmony from the agendas of the new moralists - just a fragmented society.
Christians are under assault (The Australian)
Apr 15 – (Opinion: Gerard Henderson) Violence against Middle East churches is supplemented by verbal attacks in the West.
’Feminist’ religion’s curious flaw (The Australian)
Apr 15 – (Opinion) Meanwhile, we must never cease to be vigilant for new forms of white supremacism.
Easter Sunday: Millions attend church as
leaders spread celebration messages (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 16 - It’s one of the most popular days on the church calendar, and it comes with one simple message: celebrate life.
Queensland believers gather to mark Easter
Sunday (Brisbane Times)
Apr 16 - Christian worshippers have turned out in droves to mark Easter Sunday in Brisbane, as religious leaders urge them to stave off fear and absorb the hopeful message of the resurrection.
Jed Smith travels deep into Pauline Hanson
country and sees a different side of Australia (news.com.au)
Apr 16 - VINTAGE Australian-made cars, Harley Davidson-enthusiasts in their dozens and breezy Queenslanders built into the sides of fertile hills and valleys.
Churches demand Manus Island asylum seekers
be evacuated (The Guardian,
Apr 16 - Churches and refugee advocates are calling for asylum seekers on Manus Island to be evacuated to Australia after shots were fired when local men tried to storm the facility.
From the Archive…
Religion News Australia 2017 – 11 (Mar 11 – 19)
Religion News Australia 2016 – 28 (July 17 - 24)
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