Religion News Australia

December 27, 2020 – January 3, 2021

Religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)


Catholic Church

Argentina legalises abortion in historic vote (Sydney Morning Herald)
Dec 30 – Buenos Aires: Argentina on Wednesday became the largest nation in Latin America to legalise abortion, a landmark vote in a conservative region and a victory for a grassroots movement that turned years of rallies into political power.

Vatican says $2.3 billion transferred to Australia ‘like science fiction’ (Sydney Morning Herald)
Jan 1 – Vatican City: The Vatican and the Australian Catholic Church have both denied knowledge of transfers worth US$1.8 billion ($2.3 billion) which Australia’s financial watchdog says have been sent from Rome to Australia in the past seven years.

Pell’s Vatican money trail probe hits home (The Australian)
Jan 2 – (Opinion: Dennis Shanahan) Suspicions of money laundering or bribery have cast a pall over the Church amid brave reforms instigated by Cardinal Pell.


Indonesia outlaws influential hardline Islamic group (The Age, Melbourne)
Dec 30 – Jakarta: Indonesia has banned the controversial but politically influential hardline group the Islamic Defender’s Front, the country’s chief security minister announced on Wednesday.

Australian citizen and campaigner for ex-Muslim women Zara Kay arrested in Tanzania (ABC News)
Jan 3 – An Australian woman who has renounced her Islamic faith and campaigns globally for women’s rights has been arrested and charged in Tanzania, the country of her birth.

Also: Australian woman arrested in Tanzania for satirical post (The Age, Melbourne)
Jan 3 – An Australian woman has been arrested and charged in Tanzania shortly after criticising the Tanzanian President’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in a satirical social media post.

Religious Violence

The obstacles that have made the Afghan peace talks so deadly (The Age, Melbourne)
Jan 2 – Kabul: After four decades of grinding combat in Afghanistan, peace negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban have raised at least a possibility that the long cycle of violence might someday end.

Journalist dies in Afghanistan as targeted killings continue (The Guardian, Australia)
Jan 2 – An Afghan journalist and human rights activist has been shot and killed by unidentified gunmen in western Afghanistan, the fifth journalist to be killed in the war-ravaged country in the past two months, a provincial spokesman said.


Spirituality is all very well but don’t let it turn you into a smug monster (The Guardian, Australia)
Jan 2 – (Opinion: Barbara Ellen) It would appear that the mindfulness movement is overrun by preening narcissists.