Religion News Australia

October 16 – 23, 2022

Religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)



Anglican church apologises to married couple given ultimatum over their same-sex relationship (The Guardian, Australia)
Oct 22 – A married couple who were caught in the Armidale Anglican diocese’s evangelical stance on same-sex relationships have received a rare apology from the church, albeit one the couple are “disappointed” with.


Plans scrapped to use ‘disrespectful’ reading at St Mary’s College graduation mass (ABC News)
Oct 18 – Tasmania’s Catholic Archbishop Julian Porteous has agreed to change a reading to be included in a graduation mass next week after backlash on social media and concerns it would be inappropriate.

Same-sex couple prompts backlash to Catholic schools’ musical (Sydney Morning Herald)
Oct 20 – Some parents of Catholic school students have complained about the staging of the musical School of Rock at the Catholic Schools Spectacular.


Christian school principal asked students if they knew unmarried teacher lived with boyfriend (The Guardian, Australia)
Oct 16 – The principal of a Queensland religious school interrogated students about whether they knew a teacher was living with her boyfriend, amid concerns the teacher’s “lifestyle” went against its “biblical moral standards”.

Queensland considers stronger regulations after students quizzed over teacher’s living arrangements (The Guardian, Australia)
Oct 18 – MP Grace Grace says schools should be ‘supportive environments’, after Livingstone Christian college principal’s investigation


Australia quietly drops recognition of West Jerusalem as capital of Israel (The Guardian, Australia)
Oct 16 – Australia has quietly dropped its recognition of West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, unwinding language adopted by Scott Morrison’s government after the US moved its own embassy from Tel Aviv.

Religious Violence

Concerns for Iranian climber Elnaz Rekabi, who competed without hijab amid Mahsa Amini protests (ABC News)
Oct 19 – There are concerns for the wellbeing of Iranian sport climber Elna Rekabi, after she competed at an event in South Korea without her nation’s mandatory headscarf covering.

Islamic State victims found in mass grave in historic town of Palmyra, Syria (ABC News)
Oct 22 – Syrian authorities have found a mass grave in the historic town of Palmyra with bodies of victims of the militant Islamic State group, which controlled the area years ago.


Japan’s PM orders Unification church investigation as scandal engulfs party (The Guardian, Australia)
Oct 16 – Japan’s prime minister, Fumio Kishida, has ordered an investigation into the Unification church as he attempts to revive his political fortunes amid a scandal linking his party to the religious group.


What politicians have in common with priests, or should (Brisbane Times)
Oct 16 – (Opinion: Sean Kelly) The Paris Review, a literary journal, presently publishes two interviews in each issue.

Reverend Fred Nile announces retirement from NSW parliament (ABC News)
Oct 19 – Controversial NSW upper house MP Reverend Fred Nile has announced his retirement after 41 years in parliament.

Also: Fred Nile to retire from parliament to make way for his wife (Sydney Morning Herald)
Oct 19 – The state’s longest-serving MP, the Reverend Fred Nile, will retire from parliament at the state election, with his second wife Silvana Nile to contest a seat in the upper house in a bid to replace him.

Fred Nile confesses: I’m sorry I prayed for rain on the Mardi Gras parade (Sydney Morning Herald)
Oct 23 – The Reverend Fred Nile has spent 41 years in the upper house of NSW parliament, lately representing the party of Revive Australia (Fred Nile Alliance).


Hillsong Church denies misleading Australian charities investigators in whistleblower Fair Work case (ABC News)
Oct 18 – Hillsong Church has denied whistleblower accusations it intentionally deceived the Australian charities regulator about its financial records, in a defence filed to the Federal Court.

Elizabeth Struhs’ mother Kerrie Struhs committed to stand trial for murder (ABC News)
Oct 20 – The mother of an eight-year-old girl who died after having her insulin withheld believed faith would heal her but stated that “God could take things to the extreme”, a court has heard.

Also: Faith healer parents of Elizabeth Struhs to face trial for her alleged murder (Brisbane Times)
Oct 20 – A woman accused of killing her daughter by actively encouraging her husband to withhold life-saving medicine has joined him, along with two others from a fringe Toowoomba religious group, in being ordered to stand trial for murder.

Diwali 2022: When is it and how are the five days of the Festival of Lights celebrated? (ABC News)
Oct 23 – Think luminous streets, jazzed up homes and mouth-watering feasts.

Australian Museum curator Gerard Krefft’s ill-fated fight against the creationist establishment (ABC News)
Oct 23 – Museums are no strangers to controversial exhibits and questionable collection practices.