Religion News Australia

February 19 – 26, 2023

Religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)



Former Penrhos College drama teacher on trial over alleged sexual abuse of five students (ABC News)
Feb 19 – A 75-year-old former teacher at one of Perth’s most prestigious girls’ schools is on trial in the District Court accused of sexually abusing five teenage students between 30 and 40 years ago.


Religious schools must be allowed to keep the right to discriminate (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 21 – (Opinion: Kevin Donnelly) Should religious schools and other education bodies have the right, as they now do, to discriminate when it comes to whom they employ and enrol?

Religious schools can still expel LGBTQ kids. That needs to change (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 24 – (Opinion: Liam Elphick) This weekend, Anthony Albanese will become the first prime minister to march in the Sydney Mardi Gras. It is a move that has been widely celebrated.

Religion class enrolments slump in state schools in decade since program changes (Brisbane Times)
Feb 26 – Religious instruction has almost disappeared from Victorian state schools, as government changes to make the program voluntary and shift its teaching to outside class hours prompted student enrolments to drop by 99 per cent in 10 years.

Catholic schools hang on for dear life to the shame of homosexuality (The Guardian, Australia)
Feb 26 – (Opinion: David Marr) Shame is the business model of most churches.

Anglican Church

Anglicans reject Justin Welby as head of global church amid anger at same-sex blessings (The Guardian, Australia)
Feb 21 – The leaders of Anglican churches in some developing countries, including South Sudan, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, have said they no longer recognise Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury, as the head of the global church.

Religious Violence

Notorious terrorist set for release (The Australian)
Feb 26 – The commonwealth will seek to have Abdul Nacer Benbrika placed on an ­extended supervision order – a clear sign he will be released from jail this year.

Iranian terror plotter named (The Australian)
Feb 26 – Mohammad Mehdi Mozayyani is under investigation for his role in plotting attacks on Iranian dissidents.


LDS Church fund made US$6bn in pandemic (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 22 – Mormon church made billions through its investment fund, Ensign Peak Advisors.

Also: Mormon church, investment manager fined by SEC for lack of disclosure (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 24 – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its investment arm, Ensign Peak Advisers, agreed to pay a total of $US5 million ($7.3 million) to settle a US regulator’s allegations that it failed to file proper disclosures and obscured the church’s massive investment portfolio.

Is Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni a fascist? (ABC News)
Feb 24 – There’s a TV clip of the 19-year-old Giorgia Meloni, out electioneering in 1996, where she makes a comment about Benito Mussolini.

Muslim minister shows Ukraine’s epic courage (The Australian)
Feb 26 – Emine Dzhaparova says Australia is holding together an international collective security system for Ukraine.


UN expert’s warning after Perrottet’s proposed gay conversion exemption (Brisbane Times)
Feb 26 – The United Nations’ lead on LGBTQ human rights says NSW should tread carefully when considering religious exemptions to its proposed conversion therapy ban, expressing concern they could fail to stop harmful practices.


‘Pure bigotry’: Star slams Fifa, NRL and NBL pride shame (The Australian)
Feb 21 – Australian cricket star Megan Schutt has called out rival codes for their meek efforts of promoting ‘inclusion’ – saying too many people hide behind religion while shunning inclusivity.

The partition of India in 1947 came suddenly, creating chaos, bloodshed and mass migration (ABC News)
Feb 21 – Before India was split into two separate states in 1947, 97-year-old Kailash Bhatnagar describes her life in the city of Lucknow in northern India as quiet and peaceful.

Logan’s harmony of faiths demonstrates Australia’s changing face of religion (ABC News)
Feb 22 – Far from the days of British colonial rule and strict Christianity, Australia’s religious diversity is increasing every year.

Nathaniel, Gareth and Stacey Train carried out a deadly police shooting.  (ABC News)
Feb 26 – Dragging his school-teacher wife by her hair up the stairs.

Meet the Sikh motorcycle club that rides with pride (The Age, Melbourne)
Feb 26 – Nine years ago, Parampreet Singh Rajput realised he was living life as though he were a machine.