Religion News Australia

Sept 6 – 13, 2020

Religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)



Salvation Army to re-examine claim against serial paedophile James Michael Brown (ABC News)
Sept 10 – He was known as “king of the kids”, but beneath his charming veneer was a paedophile journeyman who infiltrated three religious groups over 20 years.

Queensland passes law to jail priests for not reporting confessions of child sexual abuse (ABC News)
Sept 9 – Priests in Queensland will now be compelled to break the seal of confession to report child sexual abuse or face three years in jail.

Also: Queensland Bishop says priests will not break seal of confession to report abuse, despite new law (ABC News)
Sept 12 – A Queensland bishop says priests in his diocese will not break the “seal of confession” and report known or suspected cases of sexual abuse to police, despite State Parliament passing legislation this week that requires them to do so.


Pakistani journalist arrested, accused of defaming military (Sydney Morning Herald)
Sept 12 – Karachi: A Pakistani journalist who has been a vocal critic of the military, government, and religious extremist groups, has been arrested on charges of defaming the country’s powerful army and spreading religious hatred.

Religious Violence

US urges peace on Taliban (The Australian)
Sept 13 – Peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government have opened with the US calling them ‘truly momentous’.


Thought capitalism couldn’t get worse? Meet the workplace ‘spiritual consultants’ (The Guardian, Australia)
Sept 7 – (Opinion: Jessa Crispin) Do you feel lost? Like your life has been drained of meaning or purpose?

Islamists and ‘Wokeists’ have much in common (The Australian)
Sept 13 – (Opinion: Ayaan Hirsi Ali) A generation has been inculcated with an ideology that has much more in common with the intolerant doctrines of a religious cult than with the secular political thought.


Sydney Anglicans, religious schools declare support for Latham discrimination bill (Sydney Morning Herald)
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.


Kyle Sandilands ‘overstepped the mark’ with Virgin Mary comments, says watchdog (Sydney Morning Herald)
Sept 8 – Commercial radio presenter Kyle Sandilands breached standards of decency with last year’s on-air comments about the Virgin Mary, according to a ruling handed down this week by the Australian media watchdog.

From the ‘Jihadi Jew’ to a hijabi Instagrammer: when spirituality meets social media (ABC News)
Sept 13 – In Lee Weissman’s newly religious days, he carried his truth like a holy sledgehammer, he says, wielding it against unreceptive family and friends.