Religion News Australia

January 9 – 16, 2022

Religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)



New Scotch College principal sacked over allegations of misconduct (The Age, Melbourne)
Jan 13 – The new principal of Scotch College has been sacked before the first day of the teaching year due to allegations of misconduct from his previous employment at Geelong Grammar.

Religious Violence

When the Taliban arrived, Ghezal knew she had to get her family out of Afghanistan (ABC News)
Jan 13 – I know the Taliban are closing in on Mazar-i-Sharif but I distract myself by turning up the music, dancing and ironing my new dresses.

Indonesian woman flogged 100 times for adultery, man gets 15 lashes (The Guardian, Australia)
Jan 13 – An Indonesian woman has been flogged 100 times in Aceh province for adultery while the male involved, who denied the accusations, received just 15 lashes.

Hostages safe after stand-off at Texas synagogue, where man demanded release of Pakistani  (ABC News)
Jan 16 – Authorities have confirmed all hostages are safe and a hostage-taker is dead after a stand-off inside a Dallas-area synagogue.


The rise of woke anti-Semitism and false charges against Israel (The Australian)
Jan 13 – (Opinion: Daniel Ben-Ami) A deliberate attempt is made to delegitimise Israel by the use of what have in effect become political swearwords.


‘Unelectable’: Victorian Liberals seek to dump Mormon candidate (Brisbane Times)
Jan 12 – Moderate Liberals want the party to dump a preselected candidate for a key eastern suburbs seat, with one senior party official saying her recruitment of Mormon members and religious-right views make her unelectable.

Teachers can be sacked over sexuality under bill, A-G’s department confirms (Sydney Morning Herald)
Jan 13 – The Attorney-General’s department has confirmed religious schools’ right to sack teachers for their views on sexuality under the federal government’s revised Religious Discrimination Bill and signalled protections for LGBTQI students will be delayed.

Also: Attorney general defends religious schools’ right to sack teachers for views on sexuality (The Guardian, Australia)
Jan 13 – Michaelia Cash’s department has defended religious schools’ right to sack teachers for their views on sexuality and appeared to confirm safeguards for gay students will be delayed until after the religious discrimination bill.


Hillsong Church slammed over singing, dancing at Hunter camp amid music festival cancellations (ABC News)
Jan 13 – New South Wales Health has demanded Hillsong Church immediately stop singing and dancing at a Hunter youth camp.

Also: Hillsong youth ‘Summercamp’ shows large crowds singing, dancing maskless (
Jan 13 – NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard has slammed a Hillsong event that last night saw shirtless, maskless revellers dancing and singing in huge crowds, saying it is “in breach” of public health orders.

Also: Hillsong Church avoids fine, apologises over youth camp ‘festival’ as NSW Premier weighs in (ABC News)  s
Jan 13 – Hillsong Church has issued an apology after allowing hundreds of people to sing and dance at a youth camp, after NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said he was “completely shocked” by video from the event.

Also: NSW Minister stops Hillsong shows (The Australian)
Jan 13 – NSW Health has ordered Hillsong to immediately stop singing and dancing at their ‘summer camps’, after musicians vented their fury at what they see as double standards for the mega-church.

Faith in self and purpose to withstand ill-fortune (The Australian)
Jan 13 – (Opinion: John Carroll ) In times like ours of instability, uncertainty and indeterminate threat, the fundamental questions press for attention. How is it possible to make sense of life in this post-Christian epoch?

Toowoomba girl whose parents are accused of murder allegedly denied medical care: sources (ABC News)
Jan 13 – An eight-year-old girl who died after her parents allegedly denied her medical care for a non-life-threatening illness was hospitalised two years earlier, it can be revealed.

Tasmanian Way to St James pilgrim walk attracts global audience as virtual event (ABC News)
Jan 14 – A pilgrimage that started in Tasmania in 2016 has attracted participants from across the world who will unite in peace and solidarity this weekend.

Farmers urged to back traditional owners on Liverpool Plains sacred sites (The Guardian, Australia)
Jan 15 – Traditional owners accuse the New South Wales government of refusing to engage on the protection of sacred sites on the Liverpool Plains after land owned by Chinese mining company Shenhua was sold back to local farmers.