Religion News Selection

November 27 – December 4, 2022

A selection of religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)



In good faith (ABC News)
Dec 3 – There’s a little-known religious code governing some public hospitals — but its implications are far-reaching.


Indonesia set to make sex outside marriage punishable by jail (The Guardian, Australia)
Dec 2 – Indonesia’s parliament is expected to pass a new criminal code that will penalise sex outside marriage, with a punishment of up to one year in jail, officials have confirmed.

Iran reviewing mandatory headscarf law amid ongoing protests (The Guardian, Australia)
Dec 4 – Iranian authorities said they would review a decades-old law that requires women to cover their heads, as the country struggles to quell more than two months of protests linked to the dress code.

Religious Violence

Women in conservative region of Iran join Mahsa Amini protests (The Guardian, Australia)
Dec 3 – Black-clad women in Iran’s Sistan-Baluchistan province have joined nationwide protests on Friday sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini, in what a rights group called a rare move in the staunchly conservative region.


‘Visceral impact’: Hindus, Buddhists try to reclaim the swastika from its Nazi taint (Sydney Morning Herald)
Nov 28 – New York: Sheetal Deo was shocked when she got a letter from her Queens, New York apartment building’s co-op board calling her Diwali decoration “offensive” and demanding she take it down.

Buddhist temple left empty after all its monks test positive for meth (Sydney Morning Herald)
Dec 2 – Bangkok: A small Buddhist temple in northern Thailand has been left without monks after the entire monastery was found to have been using methamphetamine, according to local officials.

‘I couldn’t pretend any more’: readers on why they left the Christian faith (The Guardian, Australia)
Dec 3 – Diana, 44, a retail worker from Yorkshire, was raised in a Christian fundamentalist home and always struggled with her faith; concepts such as predestination and creationism “never made sense” to her.

Beyond beliefs: does religious faith lead to a happier, healthier life? (The Guardian, Australia)
Dec 4 – (Opinion: David Robson) In his Pensées, published posthumously in 1670, the French philosopher Blaise Pascal appeared to establish a foolproof argument for religious commitment, which he saw as a kind of bet.


Kylie Moore-Gilbert tells inquiry many Australians are being watched by Iran’s regime (ABC News)
Nov 29 – British-Australian academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert says the Iranian government has infiltrated Australia and has been monitoring her movements as well as the activities of Australians who speak out against its human rights abuses.

Esther House inquiry uncovers allegations of exorcism and sexual assault (ABC News)
Dec 1 – Multiple sexual assault allegations, reports of gay conversion therapy, forcible restraint and unqualified pharmaceutical treatment are among the harrowing list of experiences described by former residents of a West Australian rehabilitation centre in the findings of an inquiry revealed on Thursday.

As an atheist, declining religion worries me (The Australian)
Dec 2 – (Opinion: David Aaronovitch) Our places of worship help to bind communities and we should focus on their role even as active faith is on the wane.