Religion News Australia

July 19 – 26, 2020

Religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)



Perth magistrate forced to delay trial after state government refuses lawyer entry to WA (
July 23 – The trial of two Trinity College teachers accused of failing to report the sexual abuse of a student while on a school trip has been delayed after border restrictions saw one of their lawyers refused entry to Western Australia.


Pell court savaged in landmark legal study (The Australian)
July 22 – Just months after the High Court quashed its Pell ruling, a report reveals the Court of Appeal has been overturned by the nation’s top judges 18 times.

Media companies heading to mediation over Pell contempt charges (The Age, Melbourne)
July 23 – News outlets will go to trial on contempt of court charges over reporting connected with Cardinal George Pell’s conviction unless mediation resolves the case.


Student with Down syndrome has enrolment ‘cancelled’ by Launceston school (ABC News)
July 22 – The family of a 15-year-old girl who lives with Down syndrome says she had her enrolment at a Launceston Catholic school “cancelled” after her parents refused to sign off on the learning plan proposed by the school and submit her to a psychological test.

Three Sydney schools forced to close as Victoria marks grim day (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 25 – Three Catholic schools in Sydney’s west have been forced to close, with students and staff urged to get tested as the Thai Rock restaurant outbreak continues to swell.

Most expensive private schools qualify for JobKeeper (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 26 – Some of the state’s most expensive private schools have been accessing the JobKeeper subsidy to keep staff amid deep financial uncertainty caused by COVID-19.


Turkey’s benign dictator panders to the Islamists (The Australian)
July 25 – (Opinion: Angela Shanahan ) Converting the Hagia Sophia into a mosque has handed one of the Eastern and Western world’s great jewels back to the Islamists.


In a first, Labour Party admits it defamed BBC journalist, former staffers (Brisbane Times)
July 23 – London: Labour leader Keir Starmer and his predecessor Jeremy Corbyn are on course for an ugly public showdown following an unprecedented admission that the party had defamed a prominent BBC journalist and seven staffers who blew the whistle on anti-Semitism.

Religious Violence

Afghan girl Qamar Gul grabs AK-47, kills Taliban attackers who murdered her parents (ABC News)
July 22 – A teenage girl in Afghanistan has been praised for her bravery after killing two Taliban militants who attacked her home and killed her parents.


The power of Falun Gong (ABC News)
July 21 – They’re a familiar sight exercising and meditating in suburban parks.

Gomeroi custodians lose bid to protect sacred sites from NSW Shenhua coalmine (The Guardian, Australia)
July 22 – The Gomeroi people have lost their legal bid to protect significant areas of Aboriginal cultural heritage within the footprint of the Shenhua Watermark open-cut coalmine on the Liverpool Plains in north-west New South Wales, but said they will fight on a new front.

Cub Sport’s Tim Nelson on gender, religion and Like Nirvana (The Guardian, Australia)
July 23 – In another world, Tim Nelson would be spending the day of our interview recovering after his band, Cub Sport, wrapped a US tour in support of their fourth record, Like Nirvana, which was meant to come out in May.

What young South Asian Australians have to say about arranged marriages (ABC News)
July 23 – When Manimekalai*, a 31-year-old Indian Australian, was choosing a husband through the traditional arranged marriage process, the main thing on her mind was not personality, looks or career.

Fairfield woman tests positive to COVID-19 after attending funeral, church services  (ABC News)
July 25 – Health authorities are urging worshippers and funeral attendees to watch for COVID-19 symptoms after a woman who attended a number of Catholic services in Sydney’s south west tested positive to the virus.

Also: Concerns for churchgoers amid growing western Sydney coronavirus cluster (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 26 – A growing coronavirus cluster in western Sydney is responsible for more than half of NSW’s15 new cases announced on Saturday, with concerns for attendees of five funeral and church services who may have been exposed to a woman who tested positive during the past week.

Seventh-day Adventists advocate a vegetarian diet — but it’s not because of animal ethics (ABC News)
July 26 – Paul Rankin has spent his life as a vegetarian.