Religion News Australia

June 6 – 13, 2021

Religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)



Domestic abuse more prevalent among Anglican churchgoers, new report finds (ABC News)
June 13 – A landmark report has found the incidence of domestic abuse is greater amongst Anglicans in Australia than the general population.

Also: The church stripped bare: high rate of domestic abuse among Anglicans exposed (Sydney Morning Herald)
June 12 – (Opinion: Julia Baird) The Anglican Church has a serious, dangerous problem with women.


Nothing brightens lockdown like a holy triumph (The Australian)
June 7 – (Opinion: Peter Craven ) Listening to the Bible orated by some of our finest Shakespearean actors has opened up my world.

Move to make Christchurch massacre film all about Jacinda Ardern sparks anger (The Guardian, Australia)
June 11 – Plans for a Hollywood film focusing on prime minister Jacinda Ardern’s response to the Christchurch mosque terror attacks have prompted frustration and disgust in New Zealand, with accusations that Muslim victims have been sidelined.

Also: Christchurch mosque attack film will focus on ‘heroes’, says producer (The Age, Melbourne)
June 12 – Christchurch: The New Zealand producer of a film about the aftermath of the Christchurch mosque attacks has defended it against accusations of “white saviourism”, saying it will instead acknowledge a host of heroes.

Monica Dux blows figurative raspberries at the Catholic Church (Sydney Morning Herald)
June 12 – (Review) In 1993, I was cast as Mary in my pre-school’s nativity play as a four-year-old with no English and an Asian face.


Pioneer in the ways of being a nun in the modern world (Sydney Morning Herald)
June 10 – Sister Noni Mitchell IBVM, former province leader of the Loreto Sisters in Australia and superior general of the sisters internationally, died on April 28, 2021; she was 92.


The disgraced priest, the children’s shelter and a fight for justice in East Timor (Sydney Morning Herald)
June 7 – Singapore: The road up to the village of Kutet in East Timor’s western enclave of Oecusse is so rough that most highlanders walk the jungle trail when they need to visit the coast.

Catholic Church

Pope’s ‘pain’ but no apology for stolen kids (The Australian)
June 7 – Francis expressed his ‘pain’ over the discovery of the remains of 215 children in a mass grave at a church-run boarding school.


Saudi Arabia restricts foreigners from hajj pilgrimage due to COVID-19 (ABC News)
June 13 – Saudi Arabia has announced this year’s hajj pilgrimage will be limited to no more than 60,000 people, all of them from within the kingdom, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Religious Violence

Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau kills himself in Nigeria during battle with Islamic State (ABC News)
June 7 – Boko Haram’s leader Abubakar Shekau killed himself during a fight against rival jihadist fighters from the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) according to audio from the group released on Sunday, two weeks after reports emerged that he had died.

Australia urged to do the ‘right thing’ and evacuate Afghan allies at risk of being killed by Taliban (The Guardian, Australia)
June 7 – The Australian government is under increasing pressure to evacuate Afghan staff who have supported its diplomats and soldiers across Afghanistan, as the US and UK announce plans to pull thousands of at-risk allies from the country.

China’s Xinjiang a ‘dystopian hellscape’ for Muslims, new Amnesty report says (ABC News)
June 10 – Even after Mahabbat* was released from a Chinese detention camp, the camp “followed” her.

French soldiers kill Mali jihadist blamed for RFI journalists’ murder (The Guardian, Australia)
June 12 – French soldiers have killed a Malian jihadist suspected of being responsible for the kidnapping and death of two French journalists in 2013.

Muslim family members killed in alleged hate crime farewelled, coffins draped with Canadian flags (ABC News)
June 13 – Hundreds of mourners have joined a public funeral service to bid farewell to a Canadian Muslim family run over and killed by a man in a ute last Sunday in what police have said was a hate crime.


Did Brazil’s evangelical superstar have her husband killed? (The Guardian, Australia)
June 11 – Flordelis grew up in a Rio favela, but rose to fame after adopting more than 50 children, becoming a hugely successful gospel singer and winning a seat in congress.

Did Trump destroy evangelical Christianity? (The Australian)
June 12 – (Opinion: Greg Sheridan) In a tragic and bitter irony, American Christians are deeply divided in the wake of Donald Trump’s presidency.

Riz Ahmed calls for urgent change in ‘toxic portrayals’ of Muslims on screen (The Guardian, Australia)
June 12 – Riz Ahmed has announced a new initiative to combat the “problem of Muslim misrepresentation” on screen, saying: “The Islamophobia industry is one that measures its cost in blood.”

Buddhist monastery in Scotland calls for firearms exclusion zone (The Guardian, Australia)
June 12 – When the gunfire starts it is like a thunderclap, the monks and nuns explain, and the sound reverberates up the valley.


Nicolle Flint slams Liberal membership move as ‘undemocratic’ amid party tensions (ABC News)
June 13 – South Australian Liberal MP Nicolle Flint has slammed her party’s state executive, describing a decision to deny memberships to some recent applicants as the “most extraordinary and undemocratic act” in her time in politics.


Michael Kirby warns against ‘excessive protection’ of religious freedoms (The Guardian, Australia)
June 11 – The former high court justice Michael Kirby has warned against the “excessive protection” of religious freedom that could diminish the rights of non-believers and minorities, as a report reveals 70% of Australians say religion is not personally important to them.

Do Australians trust religious leaders? (ABC News)
June 13 – Trust in religious leaders is dropping, but some Australians say they’ve never been ‘closer to God’. So what’s going on?

An 800-year-old carved goddess was stolen from a Kathmandu Valley temple  (ABC News)
June 13 – An international tug-of-war is continuing over a religious carving stolen from one of Nepal’s oldest temples, which is now a prized exhibit at the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW) in Sydney.

Tasmanian woman defends deceased mother’s wishes against autopsy in court (ABC News)
June 13 – A devoutly religious woman has failed to stop an autopsy of her mother’s body, which was found in a southern Tasmanian river earlier this week.

‘It’s complicated’: My faith guides me without containing me (Sydney Morning Herald)
June 13 – (Opinion: Anu Krishnan) During a visit to emergency, the triaging nurse asked what religion I belonged to.

Scientology should lose charitable status over its attacks on mental health: McGorry (Sydney Morning Herald)
June 13 – Two of Australia’s top mental health advocates and researchers have described Scientology’s anti-psychiatry campaigning as dangerous and harmful to the community and said the church should be stripped of its tax-free status.