Religion News Australia

May 9 – 16, 2021

Religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)



Christian soldier’s toughest mission (The Australian)
May 15 – (Opinion: Greg Sheridan ) Sydney’s new Archbishop confronts a culture which is hostile and a Christianity which is in a kind of slow crisis in Australia.


Stop suppressing Catholics, outspoken nun tells Australian church leaders (Sydney Morning Herald)
May 16 – An outspoken US nun who was recently embroiled in a censorship row with Melbourne’s Archbishop has warned Australia’s Catholic Church it faces an inevitable decline unless it stops suppressing rank-and-file members pushing for reform.


Palestinian Muslims prepare for end-of-Ramadan feast as Hamas and Israel exchange fire  (ABC News)
May 13 – Thousands of Palestinian Muslims gathered at the al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem early on Thursday to take part in prayers marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Muslim veil stands in the way of French local elections candidate (Sydney Morning Herald)
May 13 – Paris: French President Emmanuel Macron’s LREM party is under pressure after dropping its support for a candidate because she appeared on a local election campaign poster wearing a headscarf.

Religious Violence

Never mind who started it, it’s clear who benefits from the violence in Gaza and Israel right now (Sydney Morning Herald)
May 13 – (Opinion: Gwynne Dyer) “Objective allies” generally don’t even talk to each other.

Also: Violence spreads to West Bank, Lebanese border as death toll rises in Gaza (ABC News)
May 15 – Tensions between Israel and Gaza have spilled over into the West Bank and Lebanese border, as Israel barraged the northern Gaza Strip with tank fire and air strikes while Palestinian protesters in at least nine towns burned tyres and threw stones at Israeli troops.

Also: West Bank erupts in protest amid more Israel-Hamas fighting (Sydney Morning Herald)
May 15 – Gaza City: Turmoil from the battle between Israel and Hamas on the Gaza Strip border has spilt over into the West Bank on the other side of the country, where young demonstrators clashed with Israeli troops who killed at least 11 people.

Also: The UN’s 1947 proposed partition of Palestine: 70-year-old map at heart of intractable Israel crisis (
May 15 – The deadly violence in Israel and Palestine may have been triggered just days ago but its origins go back decades – to a hand-drawn map.

Also: Far-right Jewish groups and Arab youths claim streets of Lod as Israel loses control (The Guardian, Australia)
May 15 – A smell of petrol lingered in the air and the synagogue’s metal gate had been completely ripped from its hinges.

Also: Once this violence in Israel and Gaza ends, there can be no return to ‘normal’ (The Guardian, Australia)
May 15 – (Opinion: Jonathan Freedland) If Groundhog Day were a horror movie, it would look like this.

Also: ‘They know they’re going to die’: Australians fear for their relatives in Gaza as fighting  escalates (The Guardian, Australia)
May 15 – Ibrahim Abdo struggles to answer when asked how he comforts his family in the Gaza Strip.

Also: Israeli forces destroy media outlets’ Gaza base, says it housed ‘Hamas military intelligence’ (ABC News)
May 16 – An Israeli air strike has destroyed a high-rise building that housed international media offices in the Gaza Strip, as the Hamas militant group continued a stream of rocket volleys into Israel.

Also: Biden makes first call to Abbas amid Israel-Gaza fighting as protests erupt worldwide (ABC News)
May 16 – US President Joe Biden has had his first phone call with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas since taking office, amid heavy fighting between Israel and Palestinian militant groups in the Gaza Strip.

Also: Shouts, a hurried evacuation, and then the bombs came (The Age, Melbourne)
May 16 – Gaza City: My colleagues’ shouts awakened me, and the pounding of my heart drowned out the racing of my mind.

Also: Israel turns fire on to Hamas tunnels (The Australian)
May 16 – The most intense fighting since 2014 has seen Israeli soldiers amassing on the edge of the blockaded territory of Gaza.

Also: Israel PM Netanyahu vows to continue Gaza attacks for ‘as long as necessary’ (The Guardian, Australia)
May 16 – Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has said attacks in Gaza will continue “as long necessary”, amid continuing hostilities that have so far killed 148.


As India’s health system falters, COVID quackery gets a boost  (ABC News)
May 16 – As India’s health system sags under the weight of an unprecedented second wave of COVID-19, medical quackery is growing in the gaps.


Australian Muslims prepare for Eid celebrations as Ramadan draws to a close (ABC News)
May 12 – As Amar Hamed and her family gathered at their Western Sydney home to break their fast, the conversation quickly turned to preparations for Eid al-Fitr.

Eid al-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan — here’s what it is and when it starts (ABC News)
May 12 – After a month of abstaining from food and water, Muslims around the world celebrate the end of Ramadan with a feast.

A sombre Eid for Uyghur Australians with families detained in Xinjiang (ABC News)
May 15 – As many Australian Muslims gathered with families and friends during the holy month of Ramadan, Rayhangul Abliz was feeling guilty about celebrating the Islamic holy month.

‘I can’t be that careless’: Australian Uyghur activist targeted online (The Guardian, Australia)
May 16 – A Uyghur activist in Australia who has been the target of cyber-attacks by hacker groups in China says the Australian government needs to do more to educate the Uyghur community in Australia to protect themselves online.


Calls to ban the Nazi swastika in Queensland after train vandalism (Brisbane Times)
May 13 – Jewish groups have called for the Nazi swastika to be banned in Queensland amid concerns anti-Semitism is rising in the community.


Presbyterian Church of Queensland put into receivership (ABC News)
May 13 – The Presbyterian Church of Queensland (PCQ), which also operates a Toowoomba private school and aged care provider PresCare, has been placed into receivership.

Also: Shock as major church placed in receivership (The Australian)
May 13 – A Christian church organisation has gone into receivership in a move set to shock thousands of employees, students, aged care residents and congregations.