Religion News Australia

July 18 – 25, 2021

Religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)



Father Mick is Mount Isa’s priest with a purpose and locals say he’s turning troubled lives around (ABC News)
July 24 – It’s just 4 degrees outside on a chilly Mount Isa morning.

Old elites make way as church moves on (The Australian)
July 24 – Soaring demand in the outer suburbs is changing the way the Catholic Church does business.


Satanists play devil’s advocate over religious instruction in court fight (The Age, Melbourne)
July 20 – Satanists are crying foul about their human rights being breached after being refused access into Queensland state schools to teach religious instruction classes.

Catholic school sector pushes for HSC exams to be delayed (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 22 – The NSW Catholic school sector wants the 2021 HSC written exams to be delayed, saying the present wait-and-see approach was putting too much stress on students and the extra time would allow schools to organise COVID-safe measures.

Top private school’s attempt to climb out of the legal trenches and start to heal (The Age, Melbourne)
July 24 – For a few years now, the principal of Melbourne’s Xavier College, William Doherty, has wanted to do something meaningful beyond apologising to students whose lives have been irreparably damaged by sexual abuse perpetrated at the school in the past.

Religious Violence

Top US general admits ‘complete Taliban takeover’ looms in Afghanistan (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 22 – Washington DC: The US military’s top officer has offered a glum assessment of the security situation in Afghanistan, saying the Taliban had seized “strategic momentum” over Afghan military forces who were falling back to protect important cities, including the capital Kabul.

The Taliban conquest of a thin strip of land could change Afghanistan (The Age, Melbourne)
July 24 – When a small group of armed insurgents in cars arrived in a village in the Wakhan Corridor, it put a sharp focus on Beijing’s role in this nation shattered by more than four decades of war.

Local men left to fight Taliban in Kandahar (The Australian)
July 24 – After the Afghan army’s collapse, the police are all that remain to thwart the Islamists’ return to Kandahar, the city that spawned them.


A Hindu married a Muslim for love. Her parents called the police (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 22 – Srinagar, Kashmir: Manmeet Kour Bali had to defend her marriage in court.

Radicalism mixed with openness: How Desmond Tutu used his gifts to help end apartheid (ABC News)
July 24 – A court in Colombia has recently been working to uncover the dread secrets of a long and bloody civil war.

Vaccine sceptic who joked he ‘got 99 problems but a vax ain’t one’ dies from COVID-19 (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 25 – New York: A California vaccine sceptic and Hillsong church member said to have “so much in front of him” has died from COVID-19.


Here’s when Eid al-Adha is and what the feast of sacrifice is all about (ABC News)
July 19 – In the final month of the Islamic lunar calendar, Muslims around the world celebrate Eid al-Adha.

Outback Muslims say they are ‘blessed’ to celebrate Eid al-Adha festivities during pandemic (ABC News)
July 24 – For most Muslims across Australia, COVID-19 lockdowns have put an end to large celebrations of Eid al-Adha — the Feast of the Sacrifice — but that is not the case in Alice Springs.


Liberal MPs want ‘Folau’s law’ removed from Religious Discrimination Bill (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 24 – A group of Liberal MPs has warned Attorney-General Michaelia Cash that several parts of the draft Religious Discrimination Bill are unacceptable to them, including the so-called “Israel Folau law” that would give legal protection to “statements of belief” made in the name of religion.

‘Lipstick on a pig’: Sydney MPs scorn safeguards in assisted dying bill (The Age, Melbourne)
July 25 – MPs opposed to voluntary euthanasia say they are not satisfied with the “conservative” safeguards in Alex Greenwich’s bill and have warned its passage is not a fait accompli, vowing to marshall a wall of opposition across suburban Sydney.


The Nun in the Nightgown – Brigid Partridge and the scandal that put Wagga Wagga on the map (ABC News)
July 22 – A new art exhibit at the Wagga Wagga art gallery is bringing fresh attention to a piece of Australian history – a century-old tale of scandal, abuse, and sectarian conflict.

These Australians were cast out by their religions. But they have no regrets (ABC News)
July 24 – After taking on one the world’s most powerful institutions, Peter Kennedy has spent more than a decade living “in exile”.

Dozens of religious clergy and assistants granted travel exemptions to enter Australia (Brisbane Times)
July 25 – The Australian government granted exemptions for 75 foreign nationals with critical skills in religion or theology to enter the country in the first half of this year.

Deeds, not words, the essence of faith (The Age, Melbourne)
July 25 – (Opinion: Ray Cleary) Like many other people in our community, I spend a great deal of time at present reflecting on issues that have arisen during the pandemic and associated lockdowns