Religion News Australia

April 11 – 18, 2021

Religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)



Catholic schools split over Mark Latham’s anti-trans education bill (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 18 – Catholic schools have split over Mark Latham’s proposal to ban any discussion of gender diversity in NSW classrooms, with the state’s main Catholic education body supporting the bill but the large Parramatta diocese lodging a strong objection.


The priest was idolised but his accusers say the price for his charity was too high (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 16 – Dili: It was the same every night.


‘It didn’t need a redesign’: Iraqis hit out at plan to rebuild Mosul mosque destroyed by IS
Apr 17 – The UN’s plan to restore the historic mosque where Islamic State famously declared its caliphate has been labelled a modernist carbuncle, with architects and archaeologists slamming the “Gulf-inspired” cubist redesign in the historic centre of Iraq’s second city.


Isi Leibler, key advocate for Jewish ‘refuseniks’, dies in Israel (Brisbane Times)
Apr 13 – Isi Leibler, a prominent leader of the Australian Jewish community, has died in Israel.

Also: Feisty Isi Leibler changed his world (The Australian)
Apr 13 – Businessman, activist, and philanthropist Isi Leibler made friends and enemies, but had ‘no peer in Jewish diaspora leadership’.

Religious Violence

Christchurch mosque killer launches legal appeal over ‘terrorist status’ (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 14 – Christchurch: Christchurch mosque killer Brenton Tarrant has launched a high court appeal to have his designation as a terrorist revoked.

Yazidi women fail in claim for compensation in Australia for actions of Isis fighter Khaled Sharrouf (The Guardian, Australia)
Apr 14 – Five Yazidi women who say they were held as slaves by the notorious Australian terrorist Khaled Sharrouf have failed in a high court bid for compensation.

China ramps up media war on Xinjiang as censors blur Western brands (ABC News)
Apr 17 – What is happening inside China’s Xinjiang region?

Afghans brace for return of Taliban (The Australian)
Apr 17 – Across Afghanistan, millions of women and girls and men fear the fate that awaits them after the last coalition troops leave.

Escaped girls tell of insurgents’ mass abductions in Mozambique (The Guardian, Australia)
Apr 18 – Insurgents in Mozambique have abducted hundreds of women and girls, forcing many into sexual relations with fighters and possibly trafficking others elsewhere in Africa, interviews with some who have escaped the extremists reveal.


Harrods stops selling Ganesha handbag after backlash from Hindus (The Guardian, Australia)
Apr 14 – Harrods has stopped selling a luxury handbag after the accessory caused offence among the Hindu community.

Bhutan went from no jabs to being a world leader in COVID-19 vaccine rollout in three weeks (ABC News)
Apr 16 – When the tiny Himalayan nation of Bhutan was gifted 150,000 doses of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine in January, they decided to consult the stars before rolling them out.

Yoga can leave you injured, psychotic and a Hindu, Christian groups claim (The Guardian, Australia)
Apr 17 – Jeremy Gray, a state lawmaker in Alabama, has been practicing yoga for years, initially as a workout after college football matches and later as a means of instilling in himself the virtues of focus and patience.

Liberty University sues scandal-hit ex-president Jerry Falwell Jr for $10m (The Guardian, Australia)
Apr 17 – The prominent evangelist Jerry Falwell Jr is facing a $10m lawsuit from the Christian university founded by his father, and which he served as president until resigning in the wake of a sordid extortion scandal last year.


What is Ramadan and the rules people follow for fasting during the day? (ABC News)
Apr 12 – Ramadan Mubarak! If you ask your friend out for lunch this month and they say no, don’t take it personally.

Muslims and non-Muslims in Australia on sharing the spirit of Ramadan (ABC News)
Apr 13 – The month of Ramadan begins this evening, with Muslims all around the world fasting from dawn to dusk until May 11.

Muslims open Ramadan with socially distanced prayers, vaccines (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 13 – Jakarta: Muslims began marking Ramadan with communal prayers on Tuesday in a socially distanced contrast to the empty mosques of a year ago when Islam’s holiest month coincided with the start of the coronavirus pandemic.


Can we support survivors while not seeing alleged perpetrators as ‘guilty’? (ABC News)
Apr 14 – Whether you follow politics or reality TV, it can feel like allegations of assault and abuse against high-profile figures are surfacing online daily.

Greek Orthodox Church took tens of millions in rent from aged care home  (ABC News)
Apr 16 – A group of taxpayer-funded aged care homes funnelled $31 million back into the coffers of one of Australia’s largest churches, an ABC investigation has found.

Outrage after WA decides not to prosecute over alleged destruction of sacred site (The Guardian, Australia)
Apr 17 – Traditional owners say they are outraged by the Western Australian government’s decision not to prosecute a mining company for allegedly destroying a sacred site in the Kimberley and exporting granite from the site to China.