Religion News Australia

January 23 – 31, 2022

Religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)



The Eyes of Tammy Faye (ABC News)
Jan 28 – (Review) The Wall Street Journal declared 1987 “The Year of the Bimbo”.

Basic Instinct would be off-limits now, says cinema’s great provocateur (Sydney Morning Herald)
Jan 28 – We live in crushing times for sexuality, according to Paul Verhoeven.


Former pope Benedict admits making false claim to child sexual abuse inquiry (The Guardian, Australia)
Jan 25 – The former pope Benedict XVI has admitted providing false information to a German inquiry into clerical sexual abuse.

Catholic Church

Pope urges parents to support gay children (The Australian)
Jan 28 – Francis listed difficulties parents face including discovering ‘different sexual orientations in their children’.

Religious Violence

Australian teenager begs for help from inside Syrian prison  (ABC News)
Jan 25 – A 17-year-old Australian inside a Syrian prison at the centre of intense fighting between Islamic State militants and Kurdish-led forces has sent his family audio recordings in which he begs for help.

Taliban demands release of frozen $10b from US and Europe (
Jan 25 – The Taliban kicked off their first meeting with Western officials since taking over Afghanistan last August by demanding the release of $US10 billion in assets frozen by the United States and European countries.


Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh’s funeral attracts procession of monks (ABC News)
Jan 29 – Thousands of monks and disciples have turned out for the funeral of Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh, a week after the renowned Zen master and peace activist died at the age of 95.

Also: Funeral for Thich Nhat Hanh held in Vietnam (The Guardian, Australia)
Jan 30 – A funeral has been held for the Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh, a week after the renowned Zen master and peace activist died at the age of 95 in Hue, central Vietnam.


Pride jumper a step too far for Muslim player (The Australian)
Jan 28 – The AFLW’s first Muslim player will not play in an LGBT pride match after deciding the jumper does not align with her religious beliefs.


One in four Australians have little to no knowledge of the Holocaust (Brisbane Times)
Jan 25 – Nina Bassat can’t recall ever seeing anyone shot, but she supposes she must have done: even more than 70 years after World War II, she finds herself freezing whenever she hears the sound of a balloon popping.

PM slams anti-Semitism in Holocaust row (The Australian)
Jan 28 – Scott Morrison says anti-Semitism is still at work with anti-Israel boycotting, as calls grow to make Holocaust education compulsory in all jurisdictions.

We must ensure the Holocaust is not forgotten (Sydney Morning Herald)
Jan 30 – (Review) More than 70 years ago, as Soviet army forces pushed westwards through Poland and on to Berlin, they traversed regions completely destroyed by retreating German Nazis.


Why Morrison refuses to drop the religious discrimination bill (The Saturday Paper)
Jan 29 – Two parliamentary inquiries into Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s religious freedom legislation are under way, with many, including Liberal Party supporters, wondering why the divisive bill has not been scrapped.


Monks, a polymath and an invention made by two people at the same time: the history of the index (ABC News)
Jan 28 – Eight centuries ago, the need for a way to collect and organise the contents of a book was so great that two people, in two different cities, came up with a solution – at the same time.

Australian singing nun Sister Janet Mead dies aged 84 (The Guardian, Australia)
Jan 28 – Sister Janet Mead, a South Australian nun who found global fame with a rock version of The Lord’s Prayer, has died aged 83.

Victorian prison staff feared $250,000 religious chaplaincy program could endanger volunteers (The Guardian, Australia)
Jan 30 – The Victorian justice department spent more than $250,000 on a religious chaplaincy program that prison staff feared would put volunteers at risk, an internal report has found.

Hillsong founder Brian Houston steps down as leader of church (The Guardian, Australia)
Jan 30 – Hillsong founder Brian Houston has announced he is stepping down as leader of the church as he defends criminal charges that allege he covered up his father’s child sexual abuse.