Religion News Australia

August 22 – 29, 2021

Religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)



Vatican accepts resignation of Broome Bishop Christopher Saunders (ABC News)
Aug 29 – The Vatican has accepted the resignation of one of Australia’s longest-serving Catholic Bishops, leaving the future of its investigation into his conduct unclear.

Also: Pope replaces Broome bishop at the centre of alleged misconduct probe (WA Today)
Aug 29 – Vatican City: Pope Francis has replaced an Australian bishop who stepped down amid a Vatican investigation into reported allegations of sexual misconduct.

Religious Violence

World must ‘wait and see’ whether Taliban has changed, says mediator (Sydney Morning Herald)
Aug 26 – Singapore: A former moderator in peace talks with the Taliban says the future of Afghanistan hinges on the Taliban demonstrating they are no longer the brutal regime that traumatised the nation at the turn of the century, and being recognised by other countries as a legitimate government.

The ISIS offshoot that thinks the Taliban is too soft (The Australian)
Aug 26 – (Opinion: Catherine Philp ) Amid fears of a terror attack at Kabul airport, military planners warn the chaos in Afghanistan could give rise to a more extreme threat than even the Taliban.

Talibanomics: forget sanctions, we must talk to the Taliban (The Australian)
Aug 26 – (Opinion: Roger Boyes) The Afghan economy is collapsing, but cutting aid will play the hands of the jihadists, who can fall back on control of the illicit economy.

Pathway to freedom: hostile journey awaits Afghans fleeing the Taliban (The Guardian, Australia)
Aug 26 – It is a treacherous journey of thousands of miles that crosses arid deserts, steep mountains, rivers, armed checkpoints, barbed wire and metres-high concrete walls.

‘I am an Australian citizen’: man beaten by Taliban while trying to flee Afghanistan (The Guardian, Australia)
Aug 26 – An Australian citizen has been beaten and kidnapped by the Taliban as he tried to leave the country, before being released after pleas from his family.

Kabul international airport bombing leaves 60 dead, Afghan officials say (ABC News)
Aug 27 – Afghan officials say at least 60 people have been killed in suicide bombings outside Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport (HKIA).

Who is ISIS-K, the Islamic State offshoot in Afghanistan that has the Taliban worried? (ABC News)
Aug 27 – Deadly explosions have rocked the edge Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport overnight killing and injuring locals wanting to flee Afghanistan after the Taliban’s takeover, as well as US military personnel trying to help the evacuation effort.

Islamic State claims responsibility for Kabul airport blasts (The Guardian, Australia)
Aug 27 – The claim of responsibility from the Islamic State for the devastating suicide bombing at Kabul airport came as little surprise to analysts.

At least 60 Afghans and 13 US soldiers dead after Kabul airport blasts (The Guardian, Australia)
Aug 27 – Multiple bomb blasts and at least one attack by a gunman in Kabul on Thursday killed dozens of civilians and at least 13 US service personnel, and plunged the evacuation of western forces from Afghanistan into deeper crisis.


Auckland church at the centre of NZ outbreak becomes target of racist comments (ABC News)
Aug 26 – More than 500 people across multiple church groups are believed to have attended a “special event” just two days before authorities in New Zealand discovered the Delta variant had breached the border and was spreading throughout the community.


‘People fear police’: Leader says decades of collaboration are being undone (Sydney Morning Herald)
Aug 26 – A prominent Australian Muslim leader and human rights campaigner has said the intense police focus on south-western Sydney risks undoing decades of collaboration between law enforcement and marginalised communities.


When services resume, Orthodox Jewish women deserve more of a say (Sydney Morning Herald)
Aug 29 – (Opinion: Nomi Kaltmann) One of the oldest synagogues in the world is the Altneuschul in Prague, which was completed in 1270.


LGBTQI+ group protest outside controversial Australian Christian Lobby event (ABC News)
Aug 24 – A group of protestors say the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) has been promoting gay conversion therapy during a controversial speaking tour of Western Australia.

Almost $50,000 in fines handed out to churchgoers who broke COVID rules  (ABC News)
Aug 26 – Almost $50,000 in fines have been handed out to churchgoers who broke public health orders by attending a service in Sydney’s west.

Australian Christian Lobby says believers should push for COVID freedoms, not ‘fear death’ (Sydney Morning Herald)
Aug 28 – The Australian Christian Lobby has called on its supporters not to “fear death” and instead push state governments to end COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions.