Religion News Selection

December 19 – 26, 2021

A selection of religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)



Catholic schools ‘open’ to fast-tracking protections for gay students (Sydney Morning Herald)
Dec 21 – The Catholic education sector is open to fast-tracking protections for LGBTQI+ students as the Federal Parliament considers proposed religious discrimination laws, but it warns that this must be done carefully to avoid unintended consequences.


‘Horrendous crimes’: East Timor priest jailed for 12 years for child sex abuse (Sydney Morning Herald)
Dec 21 – Singapore: Richard Daschbach, the defrocked American priest whose child sex abuse trial has shaken deeply Catholic East Timor, has been found guilty and sentenced to 12 years in prison.


Getting Covid booster follows ‘teaching of Jesus Christ’, says Boris Johnson (The Guardian, Australia)
Dec 24 – Boris Johnson has invoked the teaching of Jesus Christ to urge the public to get a Covid booster jab, in a message issued to mark a Christmas he said would be “significantly better” than last year’s.


Grants help fortify Jewish schools, community sites amid attack fears (Brisbane Times)
Dec 22 – Millions of dollars in federal government funding is being used by Jewish schools and community groups to fortify buildings, including the installation of blast-resistant walls, air-lock entrances, security cameras and safe rooms.


‘Constantly on watch’: Inquiry hears about toll of online abuse (The Age, Melbourne)
Dec 22 – Lawyer and human rights advocate Nyadol Nyuon no longer shares pictures of her children online, fearing for their safety as a result of the sustained abuse she has experienced on social media.


The Christmas story evokes a warm-heartedness the world needs (Sydney Morning Herald)
Dec 24 – (Opinion: Philip Huggins) Last week I listened to the Dalai Lama talking about what is most needed now. Embodying universal wisdom he said,“warm-heartedness”.

The scientific reason why believing in Santa is good for children (Brisbane Times)
Dec 24 – (Opinion: Stuart Layt) Believing in Santa is not only harmless fun, it can actually help children as their brains develop, experts say.

Remember at Christmas that Jesus’s radical message was to embrace the excluded (The Guardian, Australia)
Dec 25 – (Opinion: Brad Chilcott) Whether you celebrate it religiously or socially, it’s hard to be distant from loved ones at Christmas.