Religion News Australia

March 22 – 29, 2020

Religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)



Edmund Rice education director apologises for supporting former St Kevin’s College principal (ABC News)
Mar 27  – The head of the organisation that oversees St Kevin’s College says he now regrets publicly supporting the former principal of the school in the wake of a grooming scandal revealed by the ABC’s Four Corners in February.


Coronavirus poses no problems for believers who turn to virtual technology in troubled times (ABC News)
Mar 23  – At St Bart’s Anglican Church in Toowoomba it is almost business as usual.

Catholic Church

Coronavirus cases surge in Italy, Iran, US while Pope calls for prayer (Brisbane Times)
Mar 22  – Soave, Italy: Italy, Iran and the United States reported soaring new death tolls as the coronavirus pandemic marched relentlessly across the globe on Sunday, prompting a scramble in hard-hit regions to set up more hospital beds and replenish the dwindling medical supplies needed to keep health workers safe.


Deep clean ordered as pilgrimage sites closed (
Mar 27  – Dubai: The United Arab Emirates directed most of the public and private sectors to have the majority of staff work from home, and imposed overnight curfews as a temporary measure for a nationwide disinfection to combat the coronavirus.

Religious Violence

The Brighton jihadists: bullied brothers who went into battle (The Guardian, Australia)
Mar 22  – Much has been written about Britons who fought in Syria, but little truly explains who these characters were, what made them tick.

Gunmen attack Sikh temple in Afghanistan, killing 25 worshippers (ABC News)
Mar 26 – Gunmen have killed 25 people in a raid on a Sikh religious complex in the Afghan capital Kabul, the Government says.

For Christchurch survivors, killer’s sudden guilty plea is an answer to prayer (The Guardian, Australia)
Mar 26 – Those injured or bereaved in the Christchurch attacks on 15 March only found out about the court hearing when their phones started buzzing with calls and messages after it had finished.

Australia, NZ yet to talk terrorist swap (The Age, Melbourne)
Mar 27  – Wellington: A trans-Tasman exchange for the Australian terrorist convicted of last year’s Christchurch mosques attack remains a possibility.

From Xinjiang to Germany: how did Islamophobia become a global phenomenon? (The Guardian, Australia)
Mar 28 – (Opinion: Faisal Devji) The mass incarceration of Uighurs in China. Rohingya terrorised and driven out of Burma. Indians hacked to pieces and burnt alive in Delhi.


Prayer groups defy coronavirus lockdown restrictions (The Age, Melbourne)
Mar 27  – Groups of ultra-Orthodox Jews have held prayer meetings in Melbourne this week in defiance of strict social-distancing rules designed to prevent the spread of coronavirus.


How the internet is bringing comfort to faith communities during coronavirus social isolation (ABC News)
Mar 28  – Hemangini Patel has been attending her temple every Sunday for as long as she can remember.

About Last Night: The dog-eat-dog world (Sydney Morning Herald)
Mar 28 – (Opinion: Maureen Matthews) Q: Sitting at home with my family, watching the effects of this pandemic unfold has shown me that civilisation is a thin veneer, and we’re always only days away from descending into a dog-eat-dog world where only the fittest survive, and greed and selfishness rule.