Religion News Selection

June 29 – July 5, 2020

A selection of religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)



Government names institutions which did not sign up to National Redress Scheme for abuse victims (ABC News)
July 1 – Six institutions, including the Jehovah’s Witnesses, have been publicly named by the Federal Government for failing to sign up to the National Redress Scheme for victims of institutional child sexual abuse.

Also: Jehovahs hold out over sex abuse (The Australian)
July 2 – The Jehovah’s Witnesses is openly defying the child sex abuse royal commission, refusing to implement its recommendations.

Documents reveal church stayed quiet on sexual misconduct allegations against Broome Bishop  (ABC News)
July 4 – The Catholic Church was told of sexual misconduct allegations against a Western Australian bishop nearly a year before it took action, according to new documents obtained by the ABC.


Why on-screen mobsters, from The Godfather to The Sopranos, are so obviously Catholic (ABC News)
July 5 – From Michael Corleone to Tony Soprano, on-screen mobsters are far more violent than virtuous.


Jewish deaths in UK more than double amid pandemic, data shows (The Guardian, Australia)
July 1 – Jewish burials in the UK between March and May were more than double the number recorded in the same period last year, revealing the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on the community.

Israel’s ultra-Orthodox Jews ‘least stressed’ by Covid-19, says study (The Guardian, Australia)
July 4 – Ultra-Orthodox Jews in Israel have been happier and less stressed during the Covid-19 pandemic than others, including secular Jews, according to new research.

Religious Violence

Why do Muslim states stay silent over China’s abuse of the Uighurs? (The Guardian, Australia)
July 5 – (Opinion: Nick Cohen) When China imposed trade sanctions on Norway in 2010 for honouring the imprisoned dissident Liu Xiaobo with the Nobel peace prize, it spat out a word we weren’t used to hearing from propagandists for an atheist communist regime, but should get used to today. “It’s a blasphemy,” a party mouthpiece said.


260,000 sign petition to block film starring Paris Jackson as Jesus (The Guardian, Australia)
July 1 – A forthcoming film starring Paris Jackson as Jesus has been denounced as “Christianophobic garbage” in an online petition to prevent its release, which has attracted more than 260,000 signatures.

Emperor Constantine’s statue and the culture war that wasn’t (The Guardian, Australia)
July 5 – Sprawled on a throne, sword in hand, the statue of Constantine the Great is a familiar fixture outside York Minster.


Experts split over constitutionality of JobKeeper for priests, imams, rabbis (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 5 – Legal experts are split over the constitutionality of extending JobKeeper wage subsidies to priests, imams and rabbis, sparking a call for the government to release the advice underpinning its decision.


Faith is key to our lives, even for atheists (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 5 – (Opinion: Barney Zwartz) Atheists like to define faith as “belief without evidence”, or the opposite of knowledge.