Religion News Australia

January 16 – 23, 2022

Religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)



Malka Leifer’s father-in-law arrested over child sex assault allegations (Sydney Morning Herald)
Jan 22 – The rabbi father-in-law of accused child sex abuser Malka Leifer has been arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting a child and a teenager in Israel.


Former UK minister says she was fired due to her ‘Muslimness’; Chief Whip rejects claim (ABC News)
Jan 23 – A British politician’s claim that she was sacked from a ministerial job partly because of her Muslim faith should be properly investigated if she makes a formal complaint, according to the nation’s Deputy Prime Minister.


‘I escaped a Jewish cult that wanted me to marry my 12-year-old cousin’ (
Jan 19 – When Mendy Levy was 15 years old, he had never thrown a baseball, seen a stuffed animal, watched television or held a cellphone.

Religious Violence

British man identified as Texas synagogue hostage taker (Sydney Morning Herald)
Jan 17 – New York: The FBI has identified a hostage taker killed at a Texas synagogue as a British citizen, after US President Joe Biden said the gunman had used weapons he got off the street to commit “an act of terror”.

Also: Texas synagogue hostages freed, suspect dies (The Australian)
Jan 17 – The suspect was apparently demanding the release of a convicted terrorist and former Pakistani scientist dubbed Lady Qa’ida.

Woman sentenced to death in Pakistan over ‘blasphemous’ WhatsApp activity (The Guardian, Australia)
Jan 20 – A court in Pakistan has sentenced a woman to death over allegedly blasphemous messages sent over WhatsApp and Facebook.


Thich Nhat Hanh, who brought mindfulness to the West, approached death in that same spirit (Sydney Morning Herald)
Jan 22 – Thich Nhat Hanh, the monk who popularised mindfulness in the West, died in the Tu Hieu Temple in Hue, Vietnam, on Friday.


Teachers sacked for being gay warn religious discrimination bill will empower similar dismissals (The Guardian, Australia)
Jan 22 – Two gay educators have spoken out about being sacked for their sexuality, warning an inquiry the religious discrimination bill will make it easier for such dismissals.

Prayer and Pushback event gives a taste of the fearmongering to come  (The Guardian, Australia)
Jan 22 – Scott Morrison has so little love for the scrutiny of parliament that his government scheduled as few as 10 sitting days before the May election.


An almighty row: ‘They told us we had to separate’ (The Australian)
Jan 17 – A bishop’s hardline views on gays has triggered a parish uprising in defence of a regional NSW church organist and his retired public servant husband.