Religion News Australia

December 26, 2021 – January 2, 2022

Religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)



Students accuse senior teacher of misconduct at prestigious Melbourne school (The Age, Melbourne)
Dec 31 – At least 10 women who attended one of Melbourne’s most prestigious Jewish schools have accused a former senior teacher of misconduct towards them when they were students.

Catholic Church

Rival cardinal sends hostile note to Pell (The Australian)
Dec 27 – Angelo Becciu refuses to explain why he authorised millions of euros of Vatican funds to be sent Australia.

Violence against women an insult to God, says Pope Francis in New Year message (Sydney Morning Herald)
Jan 2 – Vatican City: Pope Francis has used his New Year’s message to issue a clarion call for an end to violence against women, saying it was insulting to God.


Frozen in time: clock that tells tale of Jewish resistance in wartime Amsterdam (The Guardian, Australia)
Jan 2 – A clock that is the sole surviving object from a second world war Jewish hideout will go on display at Amsterdam’s Dutch Resistance Museum this year.

Religious Violence

‘They will kill us’: how joint Afghan Australian group whisked female activist to safety  (The Guardian, Australia)
Dec 27 – As the sun beat down on the throng massed outside Kabul airport, Najia Babakarkhail willed herself into silence, her face hidden by a makeshift disguise.

When the Taliban came after Afghanistan’s judges, a daring escape plan was hatched (ABC News)
Dec 28 – It was a summer’s morning in Kabul, and Raihana Attaee was playing with her baby boy when she received a chilling death threat over the phone.

Taliban fear stops rescue flights (The Australian)
Dec 28 – Evacuation flights designed to allow vulnerable Afghans to flee the Taliban have been suspended over fears that militants have been using the US-chartered planes to leave the country.


Archbishop Desmond Tutu, South African anti-apartheid activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, dies  (ABC News)
Dec 27 – Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and veteran of South Africa’s struggle against white minority rule, has died aged 90.

Also: ‘A thinker. A leader. A shepherd’: Tributes flow for Desmond Tutu (Brisbane Times)
Dec 27 – Johannesburg: South Africa’s Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a veteran of the struggle against apartheid rule, died on Sunday aged 90.

Also: The Most Rev Desmond Tutu obituary (The Guardian, Australia)
Dec 27 – In 1948, when the apartheid regime was voted into office in South Africa, Desmond Tutu was 17.

Also: What we can learn from Desmond Tutu, a man for whom forgiveness trumped vengeance (ABC News)
Dec 27 – (Opinion: Stan Grant) Desmond Tutu showed us that we can triumph over history.

Also: When Archbishop Desmond Tutu was searched at the airport (Brisbane Times)
Dec 27 – London: At Johannesburg’s main airport, about 400 people were preparing to board flights for Port Elizabeth and Cape Town, South Africa.

Also: Desmond Tutu taught us all the true meaning of greatness (The Guardian, Australia)
Dec 27 – (Opinion: Bob Geldof) I am lucky that in my life I knew Desmond Tutu, one of the greatest men of our time.

Healing myself the Pagan way: how witchcraft cast a spell on me (The Guardian, Australia)
Dec 27 – (Opinion: Jennifer Lane) Witchcraft has always played a large role in my life.

India bans Mother Teresa charity from receiving funds from abroad (The Guardian, Australia)
Dec 28 – The Indian government has blocked Mother Teresa’s charity from receiving funds from abroad, just days after it faced a police investigation for “hurting religious sentiments of Hindus” amid rising intolerance towards Christians in India.


Coalition’s religious discrimination bill sends ‘dangerous signal’, Muslim groups say (The Guardian, Australia)
Dec 28 – The government’s religious discrimination law could place “a heavy burden” on already marginalised Muslim communities because it allows discrimination on national security grounds, Islamic organisations have said.


Has the COVID-19 pandemic changed our ethics? (ABC News)
Dec 27 – (Opinion: Hugh Breakey) Over the past two years, our lives have changed in unprecedented ways. In the face of the pandemic, we have been required to obey demanding new rules and accept new risks, making enormous changes to our daily lives.

Sacked for being vaxxed: ‘Church’ defends decision to terminate worker who got COVID jab (Sydney Morning Herald)
Jan 2 – A legal expert has warned of the powers that religious organisations have to hire and fire staff after a fringe church sacked a worker who got the COVID-19 jab because it said that went against its beliefs.