Religion News Australia

August 30 – Sept 6, 2020

Religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)


‘This is about abuses of power’: the shocking true story of the Nxivm cult (The Guardian, Australia)
Sept 2 – If you’ve heard of Nxivm in the last couple of years, it was probably because of shocking, salacious headlines – sex cult, starvation diets, initials branded on women’s crotches, “master slaves” organized by the former Smallville actor Allison Mack.

Fatima is strictly for the true believers (The Age, Melbourne)
Sept 6 – (Review)  The events portrayed in Fatima are known to millions of Catholics worldwide, if not necessarily to those of other creeds.


St Kevin’s appoints its first female principal (The Age, Melbourne)
Sept 1 – After 10 months of scandals, Catholic boys’ college St Kevin’s has appointed its first female principal in its 102-year history.

How the Catholic school system takes from the poor to give to the rich (ABC News)
Sept 2 – Retail worker Kate McMahon was a single mother when Ashton, now eight, was born.


Israel’s Supreme Court rejects Malka Leifer’s appeal against Australian extradition (ABC News)
Sept 3 – Israel’s Supreme Court has rejected an appeal by a former school principal Malka Leifer wanted in Australia on charges of child sex abuse, saying her mental condition does not prevent her extradition.

Catholic Church

Pope to leave Rome for first time since lockdown (ABC News)
Sept 6 – Pope Francis will travel from Rome for the first time in months but he will not be mingling with crowds during his planned visit to Assisi.

Religious Violence

Ayatollahs understand a single word: coercion (The Australian)
Sept 1 – (Opinion: Cameron Khansarinia ) If the West works together we can stop Iran’s murder squads. Those who oppose the ayatollahs today can feel safe nowhere.

Charlie Hebdo reprints controversial cartoons ahead of terror trial (The Age, Melbourne)
Sept 2 – London: Charlie Hebdo, the magazine attacked by terrorists during a deadly wave of assaults in Paris five years ago, has republished controversial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad on the eve of a major court case.

The Christchurch testimonies (The Guardian, Australia)
Sept 4 – More than 90 people – the wounded, the mourning, the defiant – spoke at the sentencing hearing for the gunman responsible for New Zealand’s most deadly terrorist attack, explaining how the massacre changed their lives forever.

Afghan soldier who murdered Australians poised for transfer to Qatar ahead of US-Taliban talks (ABC News)
Sept 5 – A rogue Afghan soldier who murdered three Australian personnel he was serving with in 2012 looks set to be moved to Qatar ahead of peace talks between the Taliban and Afghanistan.


South Korea is experiencing another wave. It has led to a clash between church and state (ABC News)
Sept 4 – South Korea was touted as one of the world’s COVID-19 success stories after managing to contain a huge outbreak in March.


High Court asked to define an Islamic State member after woman’s conviction overturned (ABC News)
Sept 3 – How do you join a terrorist organisation? That’s the question before the High Court today.


Sydney Anglicans, religious schools declare support for Latham discrimination bill (The Age, Melbourne)
Sept 6 – A number of powerful interest groups including the Sydney Anglican Diocese, the Association of Independent Schools and Catholic Schools NSW have declared support for One Nation leader Mark Latham’s bill to amend the state’s discrimination laws in favour of religious freedom.


Getting devout and dirty: will the Falwells’ fall from grace hurt Trump’s evangelical vote? (The Age, Melbourne)
Sept 4 – (Opinion: Julia Baird) For some in the far right of American politics, the worst thing a man can be called is a “cuckservative”.

What the pocket monsters of Pokémon can teach us about Japan’s Shinto faith (ABC News)
Sept 6 – With its cute, mousey mascot and the rousing catchcry “gotta catch ’em all”, Pokémon has won the hearts of gamers globally since it was released in 1996.