Religion News Australia

May 31 – June 7, 2020

Religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)



Inner West Council to press pause on controversial private school park deal (Sydney Morning Herald)
June 4  – The Inner West Council will halt its plans to grant a private school exclusive access to a public park in exchange for funding upgrades, following community opposition to the multi-million dollar partnership.


In battle for soul of America, Biden meets with black leaders at church (The Age, Melbourne)
June 2  – Wilmington: Joe Biden met with community leaders at a predominantly African American church in Delaware on Monday morning, leaving home for a second consecutive day to address exploding racial tensions that have begun to reshape the upcoming presidential election.

‘Outrageous’: bishop of Washington DC rejects Trump use of church as prop during protests (The Guardian, Australia)
June 2  – The Episcopal bishop of Washington DC has said she is “outraged” after officers used teargas to clear a crowd of peaceful protesters from near the White House to make way for Donald Trump.

Also: ‘He wears the armor of God’: evangelicals hail Trump’s church photo  (The Guardian, Australia)
June 3 – No one accuses Donald Trump of subtlety.

Also: US protester responds to Donald Trump’s church photo as George Floyd demonstrations continue (ABC News)
June 3 – Protesters in the US have had a “visceral reaction” to Donald Trump’s staged photo opportunity outside a church near the White House, one protest organiser says.


Australia’s drug regulator launches court action against church touting bleach as Covid-19 cure (The Guardian, Australia)
June 1 – Australia’s drug regulator has started court proceedings against a “healing church” that promoted a solution containing industrial bleach as a cure for coronavirus, after the church failed to remove advertisements promoting the product from its website.

Rio Tinto investors ‘shocked’, want answers on rock shelter blast (
June 2  – Rio Tinto is under pressure to explain the destruction of a 46,000-year-old Aboriginal rock shelter site in Western Australia with a leading investor group saying its members were shocked and wanted answers.

Also: WA Government rules out further protections for Aboriginal heritage sites at risk of  demolition (ABC News)
June 4 – Western Australia’s Government has ruled out further protections for Aboriginal heritage sites at risk of demolition following the destruction of a 46,000-year-old site in the Pilbara.

Why I’m offended by Trump using the Bible as a stage prop (Brisbane Times)
June 4 – (Opinion: Michael Jensen) As someone who proudly owns the name “Bible-believing Christian”, I don’t think I’ve ever been more offended by a political leader than by President Donald Trump’s waving around of the Bible as a stage prop in his pantomime of power.

Religious rows return as lockdowns ease (The Australian)
June 4  – The pandemic has exacerbated tension between church and state, and between religious figures, in many places.

Widow of ‘cult leader’ loses case against NSW Police over his suicide (Brisbane Times)
June 5 – The co-founder of a Sydney “sect” has lost her court case against NSW Police over an allegation her “cult leader” partner took his own life because officers maliciously sent him a letter which caused psychological harm.

A new energy’: Back to church for the tiny flock made whole by refugees (The Age, Melbourne)
June 6 – Before weekly sermons included Swahili, and before the soaring voices of the choir – before the joyful chaos of children, colourful dresses and dancing – Sunday mornings at Shepparton’s only Lutheran church had become perilously quiet.

Pandemic pause opens window to a more contemplative world (Brisbane Times)
June 7 – (Opinion: Janine Joseph) The last words a dear friend and colleague offered me as she lay dying in a hospital bed were a maxim that has taken on ever more significance in the years since passed: “Don’t forget to stop and smell the roses.”