Religion News Australia

April 3 – 10, 2022

Religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)



Parramatta Diocese accused of using school funds to buy church properties (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 5 – The Parramatta Catholic diocese is under investigation by the NSW government over allegations it used school funds to buy parish properties, a parliamentary hearing has been told.

Schools chaplaincy provider bans cohabitation and ‘sexually intrusive’ behaviour in staff’s private life (The Guardian, Australia)
Apr 9 – Australia’s second biggest schools chaplaincy provider imposes a code that discriminates against staff based on relationship status and sexual conduct, a whistleblower has alleged.

Catholic Church

The rumblings of World War III may have begun decades ago (ABC News)
Apr 10 – Are we already in World War III? Pope Francis thinks so.


Australian Andrew Gosling jailed in Singapore for throwing wine bottle at elderly man, killing him (ABC News)
Apr 8 – A Singapore court has sentenced an Australian man to five and a half years in prison for killing an elderly man and hurting his wife with a thrown wine bottle, in what the judge called an act of religious hostility toward Muslims.


Morrison prepared to sign statutory declaration denying he used race in bid for seat (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 3 – Scott Morrison says he is willing to sign a statutory declaration denying allegations he racially vilified a competitor in a preselection battle to get into Parliament, as members of the Lebanese community who have known the Prime Minister for years have rejected the accusations.

Also: Racist campaign against Towke says more about Australia than Morrison (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 5 – (Opinion: Osman Faruqi) The allegations that Scott Morrison played an active role in white-anting one of his preselection rivals over his Lebanese heritage and false claims that he was a Muslim should spark big questions about Australia’s attitude to race, and inspire deep soul-searching about our country’s media and political institutions.

Jewish community ‘split’ in Wentworth as Spender lays claim to seat’s values (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 9 – A surprising proportion of Jewish voters are backing Allegra Spender in Wentworth, says Australian Jewish Association president David Adler, who gave the independent candidate his tick of approval amid criticism of the broader Climate 200 movement.

Gold Coast Mayor does not ‘recall’ Seven Mountains Mandate support (ABC News)
Apr 9 – Mayor Tom Tate says he does not remember whether he offered his support for a religious ideology that seeks to influence government according to evangelical beliefs.


Former Hillsong pastors say they were threatened by Brian Houston to hand over their church  (ABC News)
Apr 5 – Two former European pastors have accused Hillsong co-founder Brian Houston and the church’s general manager of sending threatening emails during a dispute over the transfer of their church, cash, and assets to Hillsong Australia.

Also: Brand or church? How Hillsong is facing a day of reckoning (The Guardian, Australia)
Apr 9 – It was an emotional sermon and Phil Dooley, the interim leader of the global evangelical megachurch Hillsong was preaching about pain.

Also: Brian Houston claims wife Bobbie made redundant from Hillsong (The Age, Melbourne)
Apr 9 – Hillsong founder Brian Houston has hit out at the church, accusing it of “losing its soul” in an angry social media post in which he claimed the church had made his wife Bobbie redundant.

Also: Hillsong founder Brian Houston says megachurch ‘losing its soul’ after it makes his wife redundant (The Guardian, Australia)
Apr 10 – The founder of Hillsong, Brian Houston, has accused the megachurch of “losing its soul” and says his wife has been made redundant by the church’s board “through no choice of her own”.

Australian Ethical, Christian Super in talks to create $9b ethical giant (Brisbane Times)
Apr 5 – Australian Ethical has started formal merger talks with Christian Super in a deal that could create a $9 billion superannuation fund, after the religious industry fund was singled out by the corporate regulator for underperformance and given a deadline to merge.

Conspiracy theories increased online during the COVID-19 pandemic (ABC News)
Apr 8 – In the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, a video started to circulate on social media.

Those who salve souls when disasters strike (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 8 – Among the devastation of the NSW floods have been heartwarming stories of everyday people – the tradies, the home cooks and many more — who are taking time out from paid work to help on site.

Religious Australians are pushing for climate action (ABC News)
Apr 10 – Most religions believe the universe and everything in it is a creation of God or gods, and most demand that we nurture God’s creation.