Religion News Australia

May 28 – June 4, 2023

Religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)



Former Malka Leifer student settles abuse claim with ultra-Orthodox school (Sydney Morning Herald)
May 30 – A former student has settled a legal claim against Adass Israel School, the former employer of convicted rapist Malka Leifer, over new allegations of abuse connected to the ultra-Orthodox inner-Melbourne religious college.

Police re-open investigation into school’s role in helping Malka Leifer flee Australia (ABC News)
June 4 – Police have re-opened an investigation into the school that was allegedly involved in former principal and convicted rapist Malka Leifer fleeing Australia.


Why is a 40-year-old Pink Floyd performance suddenly controversial? (Sydney Morning Herald)
June 2 – In the 1982 musical film dramatisation of Pink Floyd’s iconic album The Wall, an authoritarian character addresses a rapturous crowd, dressed in a Nazi-style uniform bearing a red armband emblazoned with crossed hammers.

This tale of true crime is difficult to watch, or to turn away from (Sydney Morning Herald)
May 31 – (Review) In 2004 in the tiny town of Knutby in Sweden, a man and a woman were shot by the 26-year-old nanny of the local pastor.


Father Brennan tells Albanese and Dutton to find common ground on Voice (Sydney Morning Herald)
June 4 – Rome: One of the Catholic Church’s leading proponents of the Indigenous Voice to parliament fears the referendum will leave Australians divided – no matter the result – and he lays the blame on both sides of politics for not striving harder to find common ground.

Religious Violence

Uganda enacts law imposing death penalty for LGBTQ ‘serial offenders’ (Sydney Morning Herald)
May 30 – Kampala: Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni signed one of the world’s toughest anti-LGBTQ laws, including the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality”, drawing Western condemnation and risking sanctions from aid donors.


Bible banned from US schools ‘due to vulgarity, violence’ (The Age, Melbourne)
June 4 – Salt Lake City: The Good Book is being treated like a bad book in Utah after a parent frustrated by efforts to ban materials from schools convinced a suburban district that some Bible verses were too vulgar or violent for younger children.

Utah school district that banned Bible considers removing Book of Mormon (The Guardian, Australia)
June 4 – A school district in Utah that last week banned the Bible from school libraries is now being asked to consider a further title for removal: the Book of Mormon.

Council orders removal of ‘mean and ugly’ witch mural for mocking village history (WA Today)
June 4 – A Scottish council has ordered the removal of a giant mural of a hook-nosed witch with warts from the side of a village pub because it was based on “historically inaccurate false narratives”.


From upcycled burqas to traditional embroidery, Afghan women are sewing new lives in Australia
June 4 – Samira Yama was sweating under a blue burqa as she stood in the long queue to cross the border from Afghanistan into Pakistan. It was October 2021, and for the first time in her life the 28-year-old Afghan fashion designer and feminist had been forced to cover her face and body.


‘Beautiful life’: The religious festival that celebrates ice cream (Sydney Morning Herald)
May 28 – (Opinion: By Nomi Kaltmann) Shavuot is a Jewish dairy festival that celebrates the giving of the Torah.


Psychic scams are swindling Australians out of thousands, but no one is going after the culprits (ABC News)
May 30 – When Nasser Zahr was approached by a man purporting to be a psychic on the main road in Sydney’s Burwood in December 2019, he was at his lowest ebb.

Son of man jailed for aiding wife’s death loses appeal bid (Sydney Morning Herald)
May 30 – For months, Graham Robert Morant tried to persuade his wife to end her life.

The Hillsong experiment is over. Christianity was never meant to be cool (Sydney Morning Herald)
May 30 – (Opinion: Cherie Gilmour) There is a version of the Bible called The Message by Eugene Peterson.

‘Coming for you’: Man faces court for allegedly abusing ABC broadcaster Stan Grant (Sydney Morning Herald)
May 31 – A self-described right-wing Christian conservative has faced a Sydney court accused of threatening Indigenous ABC broadcaster Stan Grant and his family after the high-profile presenter stepped down, citing a wave of abuse.

Bali visitors to be issued do’s and don’ts lists on arrival (Sydney Morning Herald)
June 2 – Australians heading to Bali will soon receive a list of do’s and don’ts on arrival, under new rules set by the Indonesian government that take aim at unruly tourist behaviour.

At the end of life, no one wishes they worked longer hours (Sydney Morning Herald)
June 4 – “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”