Religion News Australia

February 12 – 19, 2023

Religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)



‘Annihilating for survivors’: the Catholic church and its plaques to abuse perpetrators (The Guardian, Australia)
Feb 19 – For the past 10 years, on the grounds of one of Canberra’s most prominent Catholic schools, a small plaque has paid tribute to the service of a man named Brother Jerome Hickman.


Anglican archbishop apologises for promoting gay rights campaigner in newspaper ad (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 16 – The conservative Anglican archbishop of Sydney has apologised to clergy for causing them distress after the diocese’s newspaper mistakenly promoted a talk by a gay Anglican who is one of the world’s leading authorities on harm caused by conversion therapy.


Wall stories: a Franciscan friar’s wedding portrait is a call to compassion (The Guardian, Australia)
Feb 19 – The theologian Cath McKinney first encountered Brother Patrick Henigan at a community congregation in Melbourne’s inner-north decades ago.


As a Scots old boy, it’s not Tony Abbott’s visit that concerns me most (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 14 – (Opinion: Trevor Danos) I attended Scots College in the first half of the 1970s.

Public school exodus continues as parents go private despite cost-of-living pressures (ABC News)
Feb 15 – Mount Annan Christian College in Sydney’s south-west is a construction zone as well as a busy school.

Religious schools ‘lose faith’ in law reform (The Australian)
Feb 15 – (Opinion: Ellie Dudley) Two major Christian schooling associations have pulled out of a consultation process with the Australian Law Reform Commission over new anti-discrimination laws for religious schools.

Authentic culture of faith-based schools must be protected (The Australian)
Feb 15 – (Opinion: Mark Fowler) It is ludicrous to suggest that religious schools be required to hire staff who do not share their religious beliefs or who have no religious beliefs.


Could a democracy movement ‘led’ by Iran’s exiled prince Reza Pahlavi help free the country? (ABC News)
Feb 15 – As protests roil Iran, its exiled crown prince is taking a greater role, and winning more attention in some quarters.

Religious Violence

Bijan is wearing rainbows in public for Sydney WorldPride  (ABC News)
Feb 18 – For most of his adult life, Bijan Kardouni has flown the rainbow flag in secret.


The people of Tana Toraja have a different but ‘beautiful’ understanding of death (ABC News)
Feb 19 – Nestled in the rolling green hills in remote Indonesia, wooden, angular houses peep through the clearings of lush forests that line the mountainous South Sulawesi region.


Premier won’t say if he will back ban on gay conversion practices (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 14 – Premier Dominic Perrottet has refused to tell voters whether he will back a ban on so-called gay conversion therapy, insisting he cannot say if NSW should outlaw the harmful method until he has considered it with his cabinet.

Also: Church’s abhorrent therapy has no place in this state (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 15 – (Opinion: editorial) Quite unexpectedly the issue of church versus state has entered the NSW state election campaign, focusing attention on the Perrottet government’s continuing hardline stance against addressing the atrocious practice of so-called gay conversion therapy.

Also: Matt Kean backs push to outlaw gay conversion practices in NSW (The Guardian, Australia)
Feb 15 – The New South Wales treasurer, Matt Kean, says he “wholeheartedly” supports a push to outlaw gay conversion practices in the state, despite the premier, Dominic Perrottet, refusing to say whether he would support a ban.

Also: Bipartisan support pledged in NSW to ban gay conversion practices (ABC News)
Feb 17 – Both the NSW government and opposition have pledged to support legislation banning gay conversion practices in the state.


We need to talk about extremism and its links to Christian fundamentalism (The Guardian, Australia)
Feb 17 – (Opinion: Josh Roose) The announcement yesterday that Queensland police now consider the Wieambilla attacks to be a “religiously motivated terror attack” connected to a Christian extremist ideology should constitute a seismic shift in our understanding of the terror threat in Australia.

Retail workers’ union renews calls for Easter Sunday to be made public holiday in SA (ABC News)
Feb 19 – The union representing retail and fast food workers is renewing calls for the South Australian government to make Easter Sunday a public holiday.

‘I’ve got a demon in me’: Gay conversion fighter’s brave rise from hell on earth (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 19 – (Interview) Chris Csabs, 37, is the co-founder of Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity Change Efforts Survivors, which has pressed for a ban on so-called “LGBTQ conversion practices”.

‘I had to get out of there’: an Australian survivor of homosexuality ‘cures’ tells her story (The Guardian, Australia)
Feb 19 – Lee Clayton’s account of being hospitalised, sedated and almost undergoing brain surgery has inspired a storyline in a new play on at WorldPride.