Religion News Australia

November 27 – December 4, 2022

Religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)



Could this comedy about a reverend on the run be Netflix’s new local hit? (Sydney Morning Herald)
Dec 4 – Falling coconuts aren’t an everyday problem for your average American TV actor but, then again, neither are crocodiles and roaming cassowaries.


In good faith (ABC News)
Dec 3 – There’s a little-known religious code governing some public hospitals — but its implications are far-reaching.


Indonesia set to make sex outside marriage punishable by jail (The Guardian, Australia)
Dec 2 – Indonesia’s parliament is expected to pass a new criminal code that will penalise sex outside marriage, with a punishment of up to one year in jail, officials have confirmed.

Iran reviewing mandatory headscarf law amid ongoing protests (The Guardian, Australia)
Dec 4 – Iranian authorities said they would review a decades-old law that requires women to cover their heads, as the country struggles to quell more than two months of protests linked to the dress code.

Kanye West suspended from Twitter after posting swastika inside the Star of David (The Guardian, Australia)
Dec 2 – Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, has been suspended from Twitter after sharing a design blending a swastika with the Star of David, just hours after he praised Adolf Hitler and the Nazis in an interview.

Also: Trump had dinner with two avowed antisemites. Let’s call this what it is (The Guardian, Australia)
Dec 3 – (Opinion: Francine Prose) Let’s be clear about what happened and what didn’t happen on 22 November at Mar-a-Lago.

Religious Violence

Extremist group Al Shabaab storm Somali hotel in second attack in Mogadishu in a month (ABC News)
Nov 28 – The extremist group Al Shabaab has claimed responsibility for an armed attack on a hotel in the Somali capital, Mogadishu.

Modi’s India: the danger of exporting Hindu chauvinism (The Guardian, Australia)
Nov 28 – (Opinion: editorial)  When the US state department recently told a court that the Saudi Arabian crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, should have immunity in a lawsuit over the murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi, it portrayed its argument as a legal and not moral position.

Another ISIS leader bites the dust (The Australian)
Dec 2 – The leader of ISIS has been killed in battle, with the ­jihadist group on Thursday ­announcing a replacement to head up its sleeper cells.

Women in conservative region of Iran join Mahsa Amini protests (The Guardian, Australia)
Dec 3 – Black-clad women in Iran’s Sistan-Baluchistan province have joined nationwide protests on Friday sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini, in what a rights group called a rare move in the staunchly conservative region.

Iran state body reports 200 dead in protests, President Ebrahim Raisi hails ‘freedoms’ of country (ABC News)
Dec 3 – President Ebrahim Raisi has hailed Iran’s Islamic Republic as a guarantor of rights and freedoms, defending the ruling system amid a crackdown on anti-government protests that the United Nations says has cost more than 300 lives.


‘Visceral impact’: Hindus, Buddhists try to reclaim the swastika from its Nazi taint (Sydney Morning Herald)
Nov 28 – New York: Sheetal Deo was shocked when she got a letter from her Queens, New York apartment building’s co-op board calling her Diwali decoration “offensive” and demanding she take it down.

Buddhist temple left empty after all its monks test positive for meth (Sydney Morning Herald)
Dec 2 – Bangkok: A small Buddhist temple in northern Thailand has been left without monks after the entire monastery was found to have been using methamphetamine, according to local officials.

‘I couldn’t pretend any more’: readers on why they left the Christian faith (The Guardian, Australia)
Dec 3 – Diana, 44, a retail worker from Yorkshire, was raised in a Christian fundamentalist home and always struggled with her faith; concepts such as predestination and creationism “never made sense” to her.

Beyond beliefs: does religious faith lead to a happier, healthier life? (The Guardian, Australia)
Dec 4 – (Opinion: David Robson) In his Pensées, published posthumously in 1670, the French philosopher Blaise Pascal appeared to establish a foolproof argument for religious commitment, which he saw as a kind of bet.


Judge orders extradition of alleged Islamic State terrorist Neil Prakash from Darwin to Melbourne (ABC News)
Dec 2 – A Darwin court has been told alleged Islamic State fighter Neil Prakash has had his Australian citizenship reinstated, as a judge approved his extradition from Darwin to Melbourne to face terrorism-related charges.


Kylie Moore-Gilbert tells inquiry many Australians are being watched by Iran’s regime (ABC News)
Nov 29 – British-Australian academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert says the Iranian government has infiltrated Australia and has been monitoring her movements as well as the activities of Australians who speak out against its human rights abuses.

Originally built in 1891, this former catholic church has been preserved as a private residence (ABC News)
Nov 29 – A couple based out of south Broken Hill is taking home renovating to a whole new level.

Esther House inquiry uncovers allegations of exorcism and sexual assault (ABC News)
Dec 1 – Multiple sexual assault allegations, reports of gay conversion therapy, forcible restraint and unqualified pharmaceutical treatment are among the harrowing list of experiences described by former residents of a West Australian rehabilitation centre in the findings of an inquiry revealed on Thursday.

Ex-Manly hooker Manase Fainu jailed for stabbing Mormon youth leader (Sydney Morning Herald)
Dec 2 – Former NRL player Manase Fainu has been sentenced to eight years in prison after being convicted in August of stabbing a Mormon youth leader in Sydney’s south-west.

As an atheist, declining religion worries me (The Australian)
Dec 2 – (Opinion: David Aaronovitch) Our places of worship help to bind communities and we should focus on their role even as active faith is on the wane.