Religion News Australia

July 17 – 24, 2022

Religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)



Bernard Collaery’s divine intervener (The Saturday Paper)
July 17 – When the decision to end his prosecution was announced, one of the first people that whistleblower Bernard Collaery called was a 76-year-old, plain-clothed, straight-talking nun living in a south-western Sydney convent.

Catholic Church

Pope gave Vatican agents OK to bug British financier (The Australian)
July 24 – The target was Raffele Mincione, a millionaire financier who is the former fiance of the model Heather Mills, Paul McCartney’s ex-wife.


Send us a man to do your job so we can sack you, Taliban tell female officials (The Guardian, Australia)
July 18 – The Taliban have asked women employees at Afghanistan’s finance ministry to send a male relative to do their job a year after female public-sector workers were barred from government work and told to stay at home.

Religious Violence

‘Fear in the air’: Australian journalist freed by Taliban after forced denials (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 21 – An Australian foreign correspondent working in Afghanistan says she was detained by Taliban intelligence agents, forced to retract some of her articles, and coerced into making a public apology during what she described as three days of “cat-and-mouse” with regime authorities.

Taliban presiding over extensive rights abuses in Afghanistan, says UN (The Guardian, Australia)
July 21 – Taliban authorities have presided over widespread human rights abuses since they took control of Afghanistan last August, the UN said, including 160 killings of former government officials and members of the security forces, and dozens of cases of torture, arbitrary arrests and inhumane punishments.


On Greece’s Santorini, 13 cloistered nuns pray for the world (ABC News)
July 18 – Cruise-ship tourists crowding souvenir shops and couples chasing the perfect Instagram sunset throng the alleyway outside the Monastery of St Catherine, steps from Santorini’s world-famous volcanic cliffs.

Australian agronomist Tony Rinaudo is turning African deserts into forests (ABC News)
July 24 – By the side of a road in a desert in Niger, Tony Rinaudo had the eureka moment that would change not only his life but the lives of millions of people in West Africa and beyond.


Afghan women’s rights campaigner Mitra Hussaini settles in Australia, but her fight isn’t over (ABC News)
July 23 – Sitting at her office desk in Coffs Harbour, Mitra Hussaini is only now beginning to come to terms with the past 12 months of her life.


‘We don’t trust in governments’ or UN, Scott Morrison tells Margaret Court’s Perth church (The Guardian, Australia)
July 18 – Scott Morrison has said he and his fellow worshippers “don’t trust in governments” and “don’t trust in the United Nations” during a sermon at Margaret Court’s church, where the former prime minister also said God had a “plan” for him after his election defeat.

Also: ‘Don’t trust in governments’: Scott Morrison delivers Pentecostal church sermon (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 18 – Former prime minister Scott Morrison has urged churchgoers not to trust in governments, warning it would be a mistake to do so based on his experience in the upper echelons of power.

Also: Scott Morrison urges Perth churchgoers to put faith in God ‘not governments’ in mental health speech (ABC News)
July 19 – Former prime minister Scott Morrison has told churchgoers they should put their trust in God — not governments — during a speech focusing on anxiety in Perth.

Also: Albanese ‘astonished’ by Morrison’s anti-government comments (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 21 – Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has criticised his predecessor’s use of a “nonsense throwaway conspiracy line” about the United Nations in a church sermon on the weekend, suggesting it was unhelpful as he tries to rebuild Australia’s international standing.


Exclusive Brethren family smash Epping record buying $7.5 million house (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 24 – The family of Exclusive Brethren world leader Bruce D. Hales have emerged as the record $7.5 million buyers of a house in Epping.

Greek archbishop sues pensioners, critics for defamation (The Age, Melbourne)
July 24 – The leader of the Greek Orthodox Church in Australia is suing several of his and the church’s biggest critics, with the help of one of the country’s top defamation lawyers.