Religion News Australia

April 14 – 27, 2023

Religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)


Religious violence

‘Why the silence? Why the inaction?’: Malala and Jennifer Lawrence take on the Taliban (The Guardian, Australia)
Apr 19 – The Oscar-winner and the Nobel laureate have teamed up to make Bread & Roses, a new film about the abuse of women in Afghanistan.

Israeli leaders criticise expected US sanctions against military unit that could further strain ties (ABC News)
Apr 22 – Israeli leaders have harshly criticised an expected decision by the United States to impose sanctions on a unit of ultra-Orthodox soldiers in the Israeli military.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi accused of using anti-Muslim ‘hate speech’ at election rally (ABC News)
Apr 24 – India’s main opposition party has accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of using hate speech after he called Muslims “infiltrators,” days after the country began its weeks-long general election.


Why is Trump Bible bashing? Because even his religious faithful are about to be shocked (The Age, Melbourne)
Apr 12 – (Opinion: Bruce Wolpe) As Donald Trump, the first US president ever indicted, faces justice in a Manhattan courtroom, he is channelling his inner Aaron Burr, the first vice president to be indicted and brought to trial.

The price of spirituality (ABC News)
Apr 19 – In Samoa, churches spend millions building cathedrals to connect communities to God.


The ‘real’ Scott Morrison: former PM says Australians didn’t know who he was (Brisbane Times)
Apr 27 – Australians did not know the “real” Scott Morrison when he occupied the nation’s top political office, the former prime minister says, adding he largely kept his faith private during his four years in power.

Labor silence on anti-Semitism ‘a disgrace’ (The Australian)
Apr 27 – With university chancellors poised to address an ‘alarming’ rise in anti-Semitism on campuses, Education Minister Jason Clare has been accused of ‘weak leadership’.


‘Nothing without him’: The deep religious faith driving Tigers star Bula (The Age, Melbourne)
Apr 13 – Rising Wests Tigers star Jahream Bula has opened up about his strong faith, revealing how he reads passages from the Bible minutes before he takes the field in the NRL.

WA Uniting Church closes congregations, sells property to fund payouts to sexual abuse victims (The Age, Melbourne)
Apr 16 – The Uniting Church in WA is selling millions of dollars’ worth of property in some of Perth’s wealthiest enclaves to fund at least $10 million in payouts to survivors of sexual abuse.

Whippings, ram raids: Troubled history of man questioned in anti-terror raids (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 27 – Anti-terrorism police have spoken with a Sydney man who was visited in jail by people who assisted fighters in Syria and sent money to Islamic State as part of widespread raids.

Wakely church knife attack

What we know about Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel, who was stabbed in the Sydney church attack (ABC News)
Apr 16 – Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel is a prominent conservative leader of the Assyrian Orthodox Christ the Good Shepherd Church in Wakeley in Western Sydney.

Bishop questioned Islam before livestreamed terror attack (The Australian)
Apr 16 – Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel has expressed support for Palestinians in Gaza, even visiting the hotspot, but he also raised a ‘question mark with Islam’, as authorities investigate the motive for his stabbing, triggering a riot in Sydney’s west.

Teenager arrested over Sydney church attack received good behaviour bond for previous knife crime (ABC News)
Apr 16 – The teenage boy arrested over last night’s stabbing attack inside a Sydney church was placed on a good behaviour bond after facing court for a knife crime just three months ago.

Emergency responders were confronted with ‘chaotic and violent’ scenes after stabbing (ABC News)
Apr 16 – When police and paramedics arrived at Christ The Good Shepherd Church in Wakeley last night, they were confronted with chaotic scenes.

Police say 51 officers injured in riot outside Sydney church where bishop was stabbed (ABC News)
Apr 18 – More than 50 police officers were injured during a riot in south-west Sydney following a knife attack at a south-west Sydney Church, the NSW police commissioner says.

Alleged church rioter says joining unrest and posting to Instagram ‘was a mistake’ (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 18 – Dani Mansour was the first person arrested over the violence that erupted in western Sydney after the stabbing of Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel on Monday night.

‘I forgive you’: Stabbed bishop breaks his silence, calls for calm as arrests begin (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 18 – “The Lord Jesus never taught us to retaliate, the Lord Jesus never said to us ‘an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth,’” the bishop said in an audio message released on Thursday.

Teenage boy who allegedly stabbed bishop charged with committing a terrorist act (ABC News)
Apr 18 – A teenage boy has been charged with a terrorism offence by police after he allegedly stabbed a bishop in Sydney’s south-west on Monday night.

Sydney church stabbing: police charge 16-year-old boy with terrorism offence (The Guardian, Australia)
Apr 18 – Police have charged a 16-year-old boy alleged to have stabbed a bishop and priest at a western Sydney church with a terrorism offence.

Teenager charged with terror offence has case heard in children’s court  (ABC News)
Apr 19 – The teenage boy charged with a terrorism offence after allegedly attacking a bishop during a live-streamed sermon has a long history of behaviour consistent with mental health issues, a court has heard.

Teen charged with Wakeley terrorism attack travelled 90 minutes to church: police (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 19 – The teenager charged with stabbing a bishop in a church in Sydney’s west has a “long history of behaviour” consistent with mental health issues, a court heard.