Religion News Australia

July 3 – 10, 2022

Religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)



Former Hillsong members detail PTSD from ‘abusive cult’ (The Saturday Paper)
July 10 – (Opinion: Tanya Levin) For more than 20 years, I’ve been talking to people who’ve left Hillsong.


‘Extraordinary TV’: This true-crime drama should be on your must-watch list (Brisbane Times)
July 9 – (Review) This exceptional true-crime drama arrives with a huge amount of gravity, being based as it is on the gruesome 1984 murders of Utah woman Brenda Lafferty and her 15-month-old daughter, Erica, by her Mormon extremist in-laws Ron and Dan Lafferty, who claimed they were obeying a revelation from God.


Catholics are under fire in battle against ‘woke’ church (The Australian)
July 9 – (Opinion: Greg Craven) A minority of self-serving lay Catholics appears hellbent on wresting control from the bishops.

The church with no faith in its women (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 9 – (Opinion: Julia Baird) “Embarrassing. Shocking. Scandalous and absolutely unacceptable.” The 86-year-old Benedictine nun Sister Joan Chittister was in bed this week – recovering from a bout of COVID – when she read that the plenary council of the Australian Catholic Church had refused to pass two pretty gentle, anodyne motions supporting women in positions of leadership in the church.


Hundreds of NSW private schools over-funded by almost $100 million last year, research finds (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 5 – NSW over-funded more than 200 private schools by almost $100 million last year, after dozens were given hundreds of thousands of dollars in extra state government money above what they were due.


Act of God? Who toppled Georgia’s ‘satanic’ standing stones? (The Guardian, Australia)
July 8 – A day after vandals destroyed the controversial monument in Georgia dubbed “America’s Stonehenge” and considered “satanic” by some members of the far right, questions continue to swirl about how it became a flashpoint for violence.


NT Muslims celebrate Eid al-Adha, with growing group of believers descending on stadium for prayers (ABC News)
July 10 – Years ago, the largest Islamic community events in Darwin took place at the city’s biggest mosque.


Fewer Toowoomba residents identify as religious according to 2021 Census results (ABC News)
July 3 – Pastor Bill Whyte has been answering the call of God for more than 20 years in “Christ-centred” Toowoomba in southern Queensland.

WA urged to ban all gay conversion therapy (Brisbane Times)
July 9 – Equality advocates are urging the West Australian government to introduce a comprehensive ban on gay conversion therapy which would expand the scope beyond healthcare settings.

On the Dalai Lama’s 87th birthday, one woman recalls how the he changed her life (ABC News)
July 6 – Around 3,000 Tibetans around Australia are celebrating the 87th birthday of Tibet’s former political leader, the Dalai Lama.

Religious group charged with murder over death of Toowoomba girl remanded in custody (ABC News)
July 6 – Twelve members of a religious group charged with murder over the death of an eight-year-old girl in southern Queensland have all been remanded in custody after appearing in court today.

Also: Police say group who prayed while girl was dying had ‘differing views’ (Brisbane Times)
July 9 – A tight-knit religious group in Queensland had “differing views” to “quite a number of things” before several members were arrested over the alleged murder of an eight-year-girl, police say.

Census reveals Melbourne’s Bible belt nestles around the airport (Brisbane Times)
July 7 – Katherine Taliana grew up going to Salvation Army church services but, when she was 17, she lost interest in religion.

Who cares for country? (ABC News)
July 10 – As Australia faces a gas crisis, Indigenous communities fear their millennia-old sacred sites will be collateral damage in the rush for fresh supplies.

The Sydney areas that embraced ‘no religion’ and those that are more devout (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 10 – In the lead-up to the 2021 census, social media was flooded with messages exhorting people to select “no religion” in the religious affiliation question.

I’m not religious, but my faith is beyond belief (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 10 – (Opinion: James Valentine) What do the 39 per cent of Australians who ticked the non-religious box on census night believe?