Religion News Australia

April 30 – May 7, 2023

Religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)



Failure to defrock Peter Hollingworth undermines Anglican church’s credibility, groups say (The Guardian, Australia)
May 1 – Five leading child abuse prevention organisations have written to the Anglican church to criticise its “inadequate” decision on Peter Hollingworth, saying the failure to defrock him undermines the church’s credibility and fails to reflect the harm done to survivors.

Hollingworth ‘knew of sex abuse harm in 1995’ (The Australian)
May 4 – Former GG penned a foreword to his church’s sex abuse policy nearly 30 years ago that outlined his knowledge of the harms caused by pedophiles but he still allowed offenders to preach.

Marist Brothers lose bid to use paedophile’s death as shield against child abuse claims (The Guardian, Australia)
May 6 – A Catholic order has lost its latest attempt to use the death of a known paedophile clergy member to shield itself from allegations of child sexual abuse after a judge found that allowing such a course would “bring the administration of justice into disrepute”.


Sydney Anglicans celebrate the coronation with scones, DIY crowns, bowler hats and a sermon  (Sydney Morning Herald)
May 7 – At Sydney’s main Anglican cathedral on Sunday morning, the signs of celebration for the King’s coronation were everywhere.

Catholic Church

Missiles rain on Kyiv as Ukraine braces for broad Russian attack (Sydney Morning Herald)
May 1 – Ukrainian air defence crews destroyed most of the missiles launched by Russian forces in the early hours of Monday morning, the military said, as air raid sirens blared across the country for more than three hours.


Society exposes us all to anti-Jewish tropes and attitudes. The first step is to notice them (The Guardian, Australia)
May 6 – (Opinion: Jonathan Freedland) For a week now, I’ve been bombarded with variations on the same question: “So what do you think about that cartoon?”

Religious Violence

What we know about the Kenyan starvation cult and the pastors allegedly behind the deaths (ABC News)
May 3 – The bodies of more than 100 people have been found in a Kenyan forest since police began searching in mid-April for the remains of followers of a suspected Christian cult.


The pro-Trump pastors embracing ‘overt white Christian nationalism’ (The Guardian, Australia)
May 1 – A far-right religious group with ties to Donald Trump loyalists Roger Stone and retired Army Lt Gen Michael Flynn, is planning events with pastors in swing state churches in Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and elsewhere to spur more evangelical backing for the former US president’s 2024 campaign.

With staunch religious and political opposition, will same-sex marriage be accepted in India? (ABC News)
May 4 – Since at least 1980, there have been hundreds of stories of same-sex couples in India getting married unofficially by religious rites, according to gender studies expert and author Ruth Vanita.

Seoul’s LGBT festival blocked by Christian concert outside city hall, organisers say (ABC News)
May 5 – Seoul’s city government has effectively blocked South Korea’s largest annual LGBT festival from taking place outside city hall this year after granting a permit for a Christian youth concert instead, the LGBT event’s organisers said this week.


‘He is loved’: Christian crusader Fred Nile supports Alex Greenwich (Sydney Morning Herald)
May 4 – NSW’s long-time Christian crusader Fred Nile has offered an impassioned defence of Alex Greenwich, insisting he wants the openly gay Sydney MP to know he is loved and does not deserve to be subjected to personal attacks based on his sexuality.


On the lookout for the god within (The Australian)
May 1 – (Opinion: John Carroll) Who will ‘save us’ in this post-religious and increasingly self-satisfied world?

Who is Andrew Dillon, the new AFL chief executive set to take over from Gillon McLachlan? (ABC News)
May 2 – It was a long, exhaustive search that ended when Gillon McLachlan stepped into the office next to his at AFL headquarters and asked Andrew Dillon if he would do him the honour of being the next AFL boss.

AI ‘could create religion of the future’ (The Australian)
May 4 – The world could soon see the first religion that attracts devotees with sacred texts created by AI, historian Yuval Noah Harari warns.

God, British Empire out … what binds Australians? (The Australian)
May 4 – (Opinion: Bernard Salt) Britain and Christian beliefs brought us closer in the past. While times have changed, there remains a last bastion of Australian togetherness.

Frustration building for Griffith Sikh community as years go by and there is still no local crematorium (ABC News)
May 7 – Sikh families in a multicultural New South Wales city are becoming increasingly frustrated as they are unable to practise the essential rite of cremation close to home.

Natasha Lechner died minutes after using frog poison in ‘Kambo’ vomiting ritual, inquest told (ABC News)
May 7 – “It’s not good.” Those were the last words uttered by Natasha Lechner, just moments after she had taken part in a purging ritual known as Kambo.