Religion News Australia

Nov 12 – Dec 3, 2023

Religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)



The Catholic Church said an abuse victim deserved $250,000. A jury gave him $3 million (Brisbane Times)
Nov 10 – A Victorian jury has delivered a stinging rebuke to the Catholic Church, awarding $3.3 million to the victim of a notorious paedophile after the church argued compensation should only be $250,000.


Yoga ‘guru’ who promised enlightenment arrested for sexual abuse (Sydney Morning Herald)
Dec 2 – To his followers, he was “Grieg”, their guide through tantra yoga toward enlightenment and a higher state of consciousness.

Catholic Church

Pope’s eviction of Cardinal a ‘denial of free speech’ (The Australian)
Dec 3 – Pope Francis removed Cardinal Burke from his apartment and salary after accusing him of using his privileges against the Church.

Religious Violence

Six teens in French court over alleged connection with beheading of school teacher (ABC News)
Nov 27 – Six teenagers have gone on trial behind closed doors on Monday in connection with the beheading of French history teacher Samuel Paty in 2020, a murder that shocked the country.

Four killed in ‘terrorist’ bombing during Catholic mass (Brisbane Times)
Dec 3 – Manila: Philippine forces were on high alert on Sunday after a bomb killed four people and wounded several during a Catholic Mass in a university gymnasium in the south of the country, an attack the authorities called Islamist terrorism.

First Hamas fighters raped her. Then they shot her in the head (The Australian)
Dec 3 – The terrorists were ‘on a mission’ to carry out sexual attacks on October 7.

‘We now just wish to be killed’: the Palestinians under fire in southern Gaza (The Guardian, Australia)
Dec 3 – On Friday morning, Reham Shaheen had a rare chance to talk to her husband, Muhanad, who had been sheltering with their family in Deir al-Balah, in the southern half of Gaza, shortly after Israel’s military restarted its campaign of bombing.

Charging Jews with genocide is to declare them guilty of precisely what was done to them (The Guardian, Australia)
Dec 3 – (Opinion: Howard Jacobson) When is a genocide a genocide?

German tourist killed and two others injured in central Paris attack (The Guardian, Australia)
Dec 3 – A man who had served a prison sentence for planning a radical Islamist attack and who was undergoing psychiatric treatment allegedly stabbed a German tourist to death and wounded two others in a neighbourhood near Paris’s Eiffel tower on Saturday night.


Pop star Pink to give away 2,000 ‘banned’ books at her concerts in Florida (ABC News)
Nov 16 – Pop star Pink says she is “fighting back against the nonsense” by giving away 2,000 banned books at her upcoming concerts in Florida.

An icon in her lifetime, Diana became the face of modern devotion (Sydney Morning Herald)
Nov 17 – Gaudy streetside shrines marked the public outpouring of grief that followed Princess Diana’s death in August 1997.


‘It’s off the charts’: How antisemitism surged after October 7 (Sydney Morning Herald)
Nov 17 – Throughout the past week in federal parliament, Liberal MP Julian Leeser has done something unusual: worn his kippah.


All faith, no faith: Daylesford flocks to church as a town unites in tragedy (Brisbane Times)
Nov 11 – In the days after the tragic collision that claimed five lives, Reverend Neil Fitzgerald, of the Anglican Parish of Daylesford, watched an intimacy re-emerge in the town’s streets as residents united in shock and grief.

Palestinian-Australian burger chain owner moves family into safe house after death threat (ABC News)
Nov 13 – The Palestinian-Australian owner of a popular Melbourne burger chain says he has moved his wife and young child into a safe house after receiving a threat on his life over social media.

Laura’s parenting style is ‘hands-off’ due to her strict, religious upbringing (Sydney Morning Herald)
Nov 19 – Being raised under strict religious doctrine can have knock-on effects that impact all parts of life, particularly parenting, says Dr Cathy Kezelman, president of Blue Knot Foundation, an organisation that provides information and support to those suffering complex trauma.

No jury for religious group charged over death of girl (Sydney Morning Herald)
Nov 27 – A group of 14 people charged with killing an eight-year-old girl by denying her medical care will stand trial without a jury present due to the “notoriety” and complexity of the case.

Can you be Muslim and vegan? What about Jewish or Christian? It depends who you ask (ABC News)
Nov 28 – When Lujayn Hawari decided to become a vegan, she knew her parents would not take it well.

‘A moral injustice’: a small Victorian town is fighting to save its 130-year-old church (The Guardian, Australia)
Dec 1 – When the Uniting church signalled it intended to sell the Carngham church in Snake Valley, the community rallied round to save it

Roblox used by extremists to recruit children, police warn (Sydney Morning Herald)
Dec 3 – Extremists are recruiting children as young as 12 on popular chat and online forums, the Australian Federal Police have warned, with a rising number of children being investigated for radicalised ideologies.

‘It was sheer agony’: Israeli families of Hamas attack victims rally Australian support (The Guardian, Australia)
Dec 3 – But the 49-year-old Israeli found himself united in grief on the foreshore of Bondi Beach on Thursday, surrounded by cardboard cut-outs representing the people who were taken hostage or killed in Hamas’ 7 October attacks.