Religion News Selection

July 5 – 12, 2020

A selection of religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)



Public schools still missing out on funding (The Saturday Paper)
July 11 – (Opinion: Royce Kurmelovs.) When Daniel Hogan first returned to the classroom eight years ago, not as a student but as a working teacher, the first lesson was how little in schools had changed.


Turkey’s President makes Hagia Sophia a mosque after decision that turned it into a museum (ABC News)
July 11 – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has formally reconverted Istanbul’s iconic sixth-century Hagia Sophia into a mosque and declared it open to Muslim worship, hours after a high court annulled a 1934 decision that had turned it into a museum.

Also: Why is there controversy over Turkey declaring Hagia Sophia a mosque? (ABC News)
July 12 – The President of Turkey has recently formally converted Istanbul’s sixth-century Hagia Sophia back into a mosque and declared it open for Muslim worship, a decision that many Muslims have celebrated.

Also: Hagia Sophia is too complex for Erdoğan’s cleansing (The Guardian, Australia)
July 12 – (Opinion: Kenan Malik) “Solomon, I have outdone thee.” So remarked Justinian, the Roman emperor who commissioned Hagia Sophia, the great cathedral at the heart of Constantinople, now Istanbul.

Religious Violence

Hope for Islamabad’s first Hindu temple razed (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 9 – Delhi: A Hindu temple planned for Islamabad, the city’s first, was supposed to be a symbol of tolerance.

Islamic State never needed a caliphate to keep menacing the world. Now it’s regrouping (ABC News)
July 11 – To the rest of the world it might have appeared as if the Islamic State group had finally been conquered, but Juma’a Qasim Al-Rubaie knew better.


The Guardian view on Trump and the Christian vote: doubting Donald (The Guardian, Australia)
July 8 – (Opinion: Editorial) Donald Trump has suggested that the Bible is his favourite book. When pressed to say more, he has shiftily declined to name a single chapter or verse.

Sudan bans FGM as it breaks with hardline Islamist policies (The Guardian, Australia)
July 13 – Sudan is to ban female genital mutilation (FGM), cancel prohibitions against religious conversion from Islam and permit non-Muslims to consume alcohol in a decisive break with almost four decades of hardline Islamist policies, its justice minister has said.


Christian soldiers and climate deniers: inside the fight for control of the Queensland LNP (The Guardian, Australia)
July 5 – After the 2015 Queensland election, the Liberal National party’s inquest identified a “single most important issue” to explain how Campbell Newman took a record majority to an unexpected defeat.


Queenslanders want ‘Maroonprint’ for community recovery (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 10 – A Queensland-based alliance of 35 high-profile unions, and conservation, education and faith organisations representing 1.7 million Queenslanders has emerged before the state election in October.