Religion News Australia

August 15 – 22, 2021

Religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)



Catholic organisations admit liability for now-deceased paedophile priest Bryan Coffey (ABC News)
Aug 17 – Two Catholic organisations have admitted liability in the Supreme Court related to the actions of a now-deceased paedophile priest.

‘Truth has prevailed’: Boys abused by priest were called liars, court told (Sydney Morning Herald)
Aug 18 – When 12 young boys were sexually abused by a priest at a boarding school in the NSW Southern Highlands, many summoned the courage to tell trusted adults in the hope they would be believed and protected.


The urgent case for Jesus (The Australian)
Aug 21 – (Review) For an intellectual of such range, so engaged with the current world, religion somehow brings out a homespun streak in Greg Sheridan.


As the West reels, Beijing swoops to firm up ties with Taliban (Sydney Morning Herald)
Aug 17 – Singapore: Beijing has laid the groundwork for a fresh relationship with the Taliban, moving to maintain its diplomatic presence in Kabul and boost investment as the West reels from the collapse of its two-decade military and political campaign in Afghanistan.

The Taliban say they will preserve women’s rights under sharia law. But what does that mean? (ABC News)
Aug 21 – In their first press conference since seizing control of the Afghan capital, the Taliban have assured women their rights would be respected “within the limits of Islam”.

Religious Violence

Australians in Afghanistan say the Taliban will kill them, urge government to help (ABC News)
Aug 16 – Afghan Australians stuck in Kabul are pleading with the federal government to get them on evacuation flights to safety, saying they fear being killed by the Taliban if they are left behind.

The world must not look away as the Taliban sexually enslaves women and girls (ABC News)
Aug 16 – Since the withdrawal of American and NATO forces from Afghanistan in July, the Taliban have swiftly taken control of large parts of the country.

Who are the Taliban and what do they want?  (ABC News)
Aug 16 – The President of Afghanistan has fled and Taliban insurgents have taken the capital Kabul after a lightning offensive.

‘I will fight for my rights’: Afghans fear a return to brutal rule despite Taliban vow (Sydney Morning Herald)
Aug 16 – Istanbul: As the Taliban mass at the gates of Kabul, they are promising a new era of peace in Afghanistan, with amnesty for those they have been battling for two decades and a return to normal life.

Pakistan’s proxies have facilitated the Taliban’s resurgence (The Australian)
Aug 16 – (Opinion: Mahmoud Saikal) Instead of celebrating the world’s triumph over terror this September 11, we will be facing a catastrophic renewal of medieval brutality.

Taliban’s capture of Kabul forces many to flee as Afghanistan’s women fear for their future (ABC News)
Aug 17 – It was the sound of distant gunfire that signified life in the Afghan capital was about to change suddenly and drastically.

The Taliban has seized power in Afghanistan and Kabul has fallen. What will happen now? (ABC News)
Aug 17 – The music stopped when the Taliban seized power.

The Taliban has retaken Afghanistan. Here’s what it wants (Sydney Morning Herald)
Aug 17 – Washington: Two decades after it was ousted from power by the United States, the Taliban have seized control of Afghanistan.

Taliban leader emerges: hunted, jailed and now free (The Australian)
Aug 17 – Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, a co-founder of the Taliban who spent most of the past decade under arrest in Pakistan, is now the public face of the movement.

Taliban 2.0: Richer, more powerful and even more dangerous (The Australian)
Aug 17 – (Opinion: Catherine Philp) Afghans are once again reading the entrails of their dismembered country and trying to see what the latest iteration of their former rulers will bring.

The Taliban’s victory in Afghanistan has laid bare the magnitude of western hubris (The Guardian, Australia)
Aug 17 – (Opinion: Polly Toynbee) Here ends the west’s grotesque delusion that it could use its military might to turn Afghanistan into a stable democracy, a shining path of moderate Islam.

‘Beheadings, sex slaves’ as the Taliban roll in (The Australian)
Aug 18 – Despite pledges to be magnanimous, the Taliban are accused of murdering prisoners, gouging out eyes and executing hundreds.

Return of the Taliban will boost jihadists in the West (The Australian)
Aug 18 – The warning from MI5’s director general that the Taliban’s victory will inspire young jihadists in the West confirms fears that another wave of terror will follow the fall of Kabul.

Taliban in power may find themselves fighting their own insurgents (The Guardian, Australia)
Aug 18 – Joe Biden has said the US will maintain an “over the horizon” counter-terrorism capability to neutralise the threat posed by Islamist extremist groups in Afghanistan.

Targeted killings by Taliban reported in Afghanistan as US pledges to get all Americans out (ABC News)
Aug 21 – Reports of targeted killings in areas overrun by the Taliban are fuelling fears Afghanistan will be returned to the repressive rule they imposed when they were last in power.

The Taliban is promising Afghan women more freedom, but many aren’t buying their claims (ABC News)
Aug 22 – Growing up in Afghanistan, university student Shkula Zadran has good reason to fear the Taliban.

UK-educated son of warlord vows to resist Taliban from valley fortress (Brisbane Times)
Aug 22 – Beirut: The son of a legendary Afghan warlord, who dreams of peace and of one day becoming a physics teacher, has vowed to lead a bloody war against the Taliban’s unjust rule.

‘Progress is on the line’: former Afghan ambassador warns of women’s fate under Taliban rule (The Guardian, Australia)
Aug 22 – The embassy of Afghanistan occupies a handsome redbrick mansion in a serene and tree-lined Washington neighbourhood, deserted apart from dog-walkers and joggers, as distant from the gunfire and panic of Kabul as could be imagined.

Progress was always fitful. Many Afghan women felt unsafe before the Taliban’s arrival
Aug 22 – (Opinion: Sippi Azarbaijani-Moghaddam) I am thinking about Farkhunda.


Hospital staffer posts anti-Semitic rant (The Australian)
Aug 17 – The Royal Melbourne Hospital worker made the comment after an illegal engagement party attended by members of the Orthodox Jewish community.


Sleepless nights and ‘complete despair’ for safety of family in Afghanistan (Sydney Morning Herald)
Aug 16 – Sydney’s Afghan community have had sleepless nights worrying about friends and family, with some making anxious efforts over the weekend to help loved ones flee Kabul where the Taliban flag now flies above the Presidential Palace.

Australian Afghan and Hazara communities in shock and fear as Taliban take Kabul (ABC News)
Aug 17 – It was a sleepless night on Sunday for Adelaide woman Zahra Rahimi, who scrambled to reach her loved ones as the Taliban closed in on Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul.

Taliban more mature, but still extremist (The Australian)
Aug 17 – (Opinion: Greg Sheridan  ) Millions of Afghan women and children, and the whole world, wait with bated breath to find out whether the Taliban have changed.

Bill to ban slave labour imports gains support as Uyghurs long for missing relatives (ABC News)
Aug 21 – At a time when China continues to impose tariffs on Australian imports, a push to ban imports linked to Uyghur labour in China is continuing in Australia.

Catholic hospitals’ revolt on euthanasia (The Australian)
Aug 21 – Catholic hospitals will defy Queensland euthanasia laws that force them to allow doctors to administer end-of-life drugs in their facilities.

Christian leaders urge Morrison to take more Afghan refugees (Brisbane Times)
Aug 22 – Christian leaders have called on Prime Minister Scott Morrison to accept more refugees from Taliban-controlled Afghanistan and offer permanent protection to the Afghan asylum seekers already in Australia.

For some, being a tradwife is about more time with family. For others, it’s a dangerous ideology (ABC News)
Aug 22 – Growing veggies, making clothes from scratch and ditching the office job to stay at home.