Religion News Australia

August 29 – Sept 5, 2021

Religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)



The church’s silence is deafening, but these men are righting its wrongs (ABC News)
Sept 5 – For a long time, Jarrod Luscombe thought he was the only one.


Calls to extend school chaplaincy program to help deal with pandemic (Sydney Morning Herald)
Sept 1 – School chaplains would gain more federal funding to help young students through the pandemic under a proposal from Coalition MPs to extend what Prime Minister Scott Morrison called a signature government program.

Emails revive elite school jab scandal (The Australian)
Sept 2 – A NSW health official made a ‘personal approach’ to secure Pfizer vaccines for 163 students at St Joseph’s College in Sydney.

Catholic Church

Pope inadvertently quotes Vladimir Putin in Afghanistan comment (The Guardian, Australia)
Sept 2 – Pope Francis has criticised the west’s recent involvement in Afghanistan – inadvertently quoting Vladimir Putin in doing so.

Religious Violence

The last US plane has departed Kabul, so what now for the people of Afghanistan? (ABC News)
Sept 1 – After the last American plane left Kabul, the city’s skyline lit up with gunfire — a Taliban celebration of the “complete independence” they have achieved over Afghanistan.

British-born Islamic State suspect set to plead guilty to charges in US (The Guardian, Australia)
Sept 1 – One of two British-born men charged in the US with joining Islamic State and conspiring to torture and behead American and European hostages in Syria is scheduled to plead guilty to criminal charges.

US suggests it may coordinate with Taliban in fight against Islamic State group in Afghanistan (ABC News)
Sept 2 – A United States military commander has said it is “possible” the US will seek to coordinate with the Taliban on counter-terrorism strikes in Afghanistan against Islamic State (IS) group militants.

We’ve emboldened jihadis for a new age of insecurity (The Australian)
Sept 2 – (Opinion: Roger Boyes ) As the US surrenders the narrative on Afghanistan, jihadis will all want to take a swing at the West. We’ve traded an unwinnable war for an unpeace full of moral jeopardy.

Women can continue working in Afghan government, say Taliban (The Guardian, Australia)
Sept 2 – Women can continue to work in government in Afghanistan but are not guaranteed cabinet or other senior positions, a Taliban spokesman has said.

‘Don’t be afraid’: Dozens of women take to streets in Afghanistan to protest Taliban rule (Sydney Morning Herald)
Sept 3 – Kabul: Despite the dangers, dozens of Afghan women took to the streets in western Afghanistan on Thursday in a rare public demonstration against Taliban restrictions on their right to work and seek education.

Islamic State ‘Beatle’ pleads guilty to torture, beheading of hostages (The Age, Melbourne)
Sept 3 – Alexandria: A British national has admitted in a US federal courtroom that he played a leadership role in an Islamic State scheme to torture, hold for ransom and eventually behead American hostages.

New Zealand police shoot dead ‘extremist’ inspired by Islamic State after stabbing attack in Auckland (ABC News)
Sept 3 – New Zealand police have shot and killed a “violent extremist” who was known to the police, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, after he stabbed and injured at least six people in a supermarket in the city of Auckland.

‘Violent extremist’ shot dead within 60 seconds of Auckland attack (Sydney Morning Herald)
Sept 3 – Wellington: Earlier attempts to prosecute the Islamic State sympathiser who stabbed six people in an Auckland shopping mall were stymied when New Zealand’s High Court ruled that preparing a terrorist attack was not an offence under the country’s anti-terrorism laws.

New Zealand terrorist attack: What we know about the knife-wielding extremist  (ABC News)
Sept 5 – New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has refused to name the attacker who injured seven people in a terrorist attack in Auckland yesterday.

‘Good’ Taliban, ‘bad’ Taliban and IS-K: For Afghanistan, it’s never a simple story (ABC News)
Sept 5 – I was sitting in Starbucks in Doha looking out at the water in the middle of a lush green park when I tapped my son on the leg and pointed to a group of men out for a morning stroll.

‘Our freedoms are dead — like a TV going blank’ (The Australian)
Sept 5 – As the Taliban discover snooker, cappuccinos and the Apple store, the undercurrent of fear is palpable on the once-vibrant streets of Kabul.

NZ terrorist’s family ‘heartbroken’ over attack (The Australian)
Sept 5 – The family of the attacker responsible for the NZ knife attack tell how he was radicalised as surgeons recover a knife tip from one of the victims.

‘Hambali doesn’t hate anyone’ (The Australian)
Sept 5 – In West Java the family of one of Indonesia’s most notorious terrorists want him home and insist he is no longer a threat.

New Zealand stabbings: officials tried for years to deport terrorist prior to Auckland attack (The Guardian, Australia)
Sept 5 – New Zealand had tried for years to deport the terrorist who stabbed shoppers in an Auckland supermarket on Friday before being shot dead by the police officers tasked with watching him, the country’s prime minister has said.


Paper COVID-19 vaccines burned as latest essential item for Hungry Ghosts Festival (ABC News)
Sept 1 – For weeks Raymond Shieh has been meticulously crafting syringes and vials out of paper.


Pat Dodson condemns ‘rogue’ Christian groups spreading anti-vax propaganda in remote WA (The Guardian, Australia)
Sept 1 – Pat Dodson has condemned fringe Christian groups for promoting anti-vaccination propaganda in remote Western Australia, saying people who spread fear and misinformation around coronavirus vaccines are “evil”.

Aboriginal health service asks Kimberley churches to counter Covid vaccine misinformation (The Guardian, Australia)
Sept 3 – The Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services has written to local churches asking them to counter dangerous misinformation promoting vaccine hesitancy among Aboriginal communities.

Australian Christian Lobby received JobKeeper despite revenue surge (Brisbane Times)
Sept 5 – The Australian Christian Lobby received $138,000 in JobKeeper payments last year despite reporting surging revenue, while the organisation’s managing director Martyn Iles bemoaned that the federal government was “out of money.”