Religion News Australia

January 5 – 12, 2020

Religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)



Pell moved after drone incident (The Australian)
Jan 11 – George Pell allegedly moved from Melbourne prison cell to high-security regional facility after drone scare sparks spying fears.

Also: George Pell reportedly moved to regional prison after drone flown over Melbourne CBD jail (The Guardian, Australia)
Jan 12 – Disgraced Cardinal George Pell has reportedly been moved from his central Melbourne prison to a high security facility in regional Victoria after a drone was flown over the jail.

Catholic Church

Why Italians don’t find the pope sexy (The Guardian, Australia)
Jan 8 – (Opinion) A papal visit could be an effective method of birth control.

My atheist family was appalled when I converted to Catholicism – but it’s given me great peace (The Guardian, Australia)
Jan 9 – (Opinion: Adrian Chiles) Thirteen years ago, not long before my 40th birthday, I decided to become a Roman Catholic.


Under Boris Johnson, Islamophobia will reach a sinister new level (The Guardian, Australia)
Jan 5 – (Opinion: Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan) Boris Johnson is one of the most openly racist and Islamophobic politicians in recent British history.

The imperfect vessel: why white evangelicals see Trump as King Cyrus (The Guardian, Australia)
Jan 8 – (Opinion: Adam Gabbatt) Before the end of 2016 there was little in Donald Trump’s life, or frequently offensive political campaign, to suggest that as president he would be hailed as God’s appointee on Earth, be beloved by born-again Christians, or compared to a biblical king.


Fresh scrutiny for evangelical Christian GP Richard Scott (The Guardian, Australia)
Jan 12 – The General Medical Council is reviewing its decision not to investigate a doctor accused of evangelising about his Christian faith to patients in the latest twist in a high-profile battle about the limits of religious freedom.

My journey into the dark, hypnotic world of a millennial guru (The Guardian, Australia)
Jan 9 – Towards the end of 2017, Bentinho Massaro, a 29-year-old self-styled spiritual teacher with a considerable online following, chose the town of Sedona, Arizona, as the location for a 12-day-long spiritual bootcamp.

Brazilian judge orders Netflix to remove ‘gay Jesus’ comedy (The Guardian, Australia)
Jan 9 – A Brazilian judge on Wednesday ordered Netflix to stop showing a Christmas special that some called blasphemous for depicting Jesus as a gay man and which prompted a bomb attack on the satirists behind the programme.

The ‘ex-closeted gay jihadist’ bringing meditation to Jakarta (The Guardian, Australia)
Jan 11 – When Bagia Arif Saputra was growing up in a university town near Jakarta, becoming a jihadist seemed a natural choice for young men like him, who were steeped in the teachings of Islamic fundamentalism.

Catholic church in Spain launches years-long marriage training for couples (The Guardian, Australia)
Jan 11 – The Roman Catholic church in Spain has unveiled a premarital guidance course lasting two to three years designed to prepare couples for the long haul and bring down the country’s high divorce rate.


Religious bill to test our identity (The Australian)
Jan 8 – (Opinion: Steve Chavura) The Morrison government must be careful to balance liberal freedoms with social wellbeing.

Christian right groups say PM Scott Morrison stole their thunder (Sydney Morning Herald)
Jan 12 – Some of Australia’s most extreme Christian-right parties have withdrawn from politics, claiming the election of Prime Minister Scott Morrison had rendered them redundant.


‘Profoundly significant’: 3000yo drawing’s bombshell religious claim (
Jan 12 – On the surface, it looks like a crude scribble on an old broken pot.

Greek drama at Blessing of the Waters swim (Sydney Morning Herald)
Jan 12 – Melbourne’s Greek Orthodox bishop has condemned the actions of three men who broke the rules to grab the coveted wooden cross during the Blessing of the Waters swim.