Religion News Australia

March 20 – 27, 2022

Religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)



Child safety officer at Christian School suspended after tipping off sex predator (The Age, Melbourne)
Mar 26 – A senior teacher responsible for child protection at a Melbourne Christian college has been suspended after she sent private messages to a colleague who has now pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting two students.


This blasphemous love story is a rarely staged gem. Now it’s your turn to see it (The Age, Melbourne)
Mar 22 – At the end of the first act of Happy End, says Matthew Lutton, there’s an “incredible tango” about running away from faith and then realising “at the end of your life you’re just shitting your pants like everyone else, and that God never cared about you.

147 razor cuts: bloody artwork marking Indigenous deaths in custody wins Australia’s Blake prize (The Guardian, Australia)
Mar 26 – Wiradjuri artist SJ Norman has won the 2022 Blake prize for an artwork that saw him receive 147 wounds to his back, representing the number of Aboriginal deaths in police custody over the last decade in Australia.


Perth school threatens to charge by the minute if parents leave kids waiting at the gate (WA Today)
Mar 26 – A private Catholic school will report parents who regularly leave children without supervision at the site before or after school to child protection services, and is threatening to charge them $1 for each minute they are there.

Catholic Church

Pope invites world to join prayer for peace (The Australian)
Mar 22 – Australia’s Catholics to join in as Pope has plan to consecrate Russia as urged during the apparition at Fatima a century ago Russia.


Muslim Americans sue over US border officers’ ‘invasive’ questions on religion (The Guardian, Australia)
Mar 27 – Three Muslim Americans filed a lawsuit this week alleging that US border officers questioned them about their religious beliefs in violation of their constitutional rights when they returned from international travel.

Religious Violence

‘Everyone was crying’: Taliban backtracks on promise to open Afghan girls’ schools (Sydney Morning Herald)
Mar 24 – Kabul: The Taliban has backtracked on their announcement that high schools would open for girls, saying they would remain closed until a plan was drawn up in accordance with Islamic law for them to reopen.


‘A massive spiritual shift’: how the mindful movement of qigong can treat addiction (The Guardian, Australia)
Mar 26 – Adrian Miller tried many times to kick his addiction to drugs and alcohol.


SBW ‘too Muslim for Fox’: manager lifts lid on shock conversation (Sydney Morning Herald)
Mar 27 – Sonny Bill Williams’ promoter claims the boxer’s Muslim “appearance” was questioned by Fox Sports when they were negotiating a fight contract with the pay-TV network.


Tanya Plibersek talks up Labor’s Catholic ties in pre-election pitch to faith voters (Sydney Morning Herald)
Mar 24 – Senior Labor frontbencher and leading progressive Tanya Plibersek has described her Catholic upbringing as an influential force on her politics and said the party’s religious roots in social justice will guide a Labor government.

PM ‘shocked and disappointed’ by Houston resignation, not been a Hillsong member for 15 years (Sydney Morning Herald)
Mar 24 – Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he was “shocked and disappointed” that Hillsong global senior pastor Brian Houston had resigned from the church after he was found to have breached its moral code, but said he had not been a member of the church for 15 years.


Brian Houston resigns as Hillsong pastor (Sydney Morning Herald)
Mar 23 – Hillsong founder Brian Houston has stepped down as the global senior pastor of the church after he was found to have breached their moral code in his behaviour with two women.

Hillsong’s Brian Houston resigns from megachurch (The Guardian, Australia)
Mar 23 – Hillsong’s founding pastor, Brian Houston, has resigned from the megachurch he founded in Sydney two decades ago after internal investigations found he had engaged in inappropriate conduct of “serious concern” with two women.

Also: Scott Morrison joins growing chorus of allies to distance themselves from founder Brian Houston (ABC News)
Mar 24 – Three years ago, Hillsong Church founder Brian Houston tweeted: “Failure is never wasted if you are teachable, humble and transparent enough to grow and change.”

Also: Only a truly independent investigation into Brian Houston’s behaviour will get to the truth at Hillsong (Sydney Morning Herald)
Mar 24 – (Opinion: John Sandeman) The resignation of founder Brian Houston will not bring an end to the need for further investigations at Hillsong Church.