Religion News Selection

Oct 25 – Nov 1, 2020

A selection of religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)


Catholic Church

Pope Francis: ‘People are taking risks on my behalf’ to fight corruption (Sydney Morning Herald)
Oct 31 – Rome: The Catholic Church has had a problem with corruption for centuries, Pope Francis said in a Friday interview, adding that he faces obstacles and resistance as he tries to tackle this.


Anger towards Emmanuel Macron grows in Muslim world (The Guardian, Australia)
Oct 28 – On the front page of a hardline Iranian newspaper, he was the “Demon of Paris”.

Religious Violence

Fatal knife attack in French city of Nice described as terrorism (Sydney Morning Herald)
Oct 29 – Paris: An attacker with a knife killed three people and injured several more at a church in the French city of Nice on Thursday, police said, in an incident the city’s mayor described as terrorism.

Also: Mahathir stands by ‘kill millions’ comments, says were taken out of context (Brisbane Times)
Nov 1 – Kuala Lumpur: Former Malaysian leader Mahathir Mohamad stood by his widely condemned comments on attacks by Muslim extremists in France, saying Friday that they were taken out of context and criticising Twitter and Facebook for removing his posts.

Also: Macron’s clash with Islam sends jolt through France’s long debate about secularism (The Guardian, Australia)
Oct 28 – On 6 October, when Samuel Paty, a popular history and geography teacher at a school in a quiet Paris suburb, presented a copy of the cartoons of the prophet Muhammad that provoked the attack on Charlie Hebdo magazine five years ago, he self-evidently had no idea of the tragic consequence for his own life, French society or France’s relations with the Islamic world.

Also: How cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed placed France in the firing line of radical Islam (ABC News)
Oct 31 – In the wake of two terrorist attacks, anti-French protests have erupted across the Muslim world in an escalating backlash against the European nation’s strict form of secularism that upholds blasphemy and satire as freedom of speech.

Priests, bishops murdered during Duterte’s drug war (Sydney Morning Herald)
Oct 29 – Bishops, priests, ministers, pastors and lay members of Christian churches in the Philippines have been murdered, intimidated and harassed for speaking out against extra-judicial killings and President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.


Sex cult NXIVM head Keith Raniere sentenced to 120 years in prison (ABC News)
Oct 28 – Keith Raniere, the founder of the cult-like group NXIVM where women were kept on starvation diets, branded with his initials, and ordered to have sex with him, has been jailed for 120 years for sex trafficking and other crimes.

In the Bible Belt it’s love thy neighbour, not thy politics (Brisbane Times)
Oct 28 – (Opinion: Monique McCullough) Since Jesus was a boy, politics and religion have never made good bedfellows.

Donald Trump’s border wall is ‘desecrating’ sacred Indigenous sites, tribal leaders say.  (ABC News)
Oct 29 – Depending on who you ask, the border that separates the US and Mexico is a symbol of defence or distress.

The evangelical vote is more diverse than you think. Meet the evangelicals who aren’t for Trump (ABC News)
Nov 1 – Jerushah Duford is the granddaughter of Billy Graham, a prominent evangelical icon who preached the gospel to millions of people in packed stadiums around the world — and a man whose name has become synonymous with conservative politics.


How community leaders in Melbourne’s north helped drive down coronavirus outbreaks (ABC News)
Oct 29 – When imam Abu Hamzah saw a group of young men protesting against the lockdown near his Broadmeadows mosque, he called them in for pizza and a chat.


NSW Jewish Board of Deputies chief executive Vic Alhadeff resigns (Sydney Morning Herald)
Oct 28 – NSW Jewish Board of Deputies chief executive Vic Alhadeff has resigned from his position after a marathon stint leading the community organisation.


What do these sacred trees tell us about Aboriginal heritage in Australia? (The Age, Melbourne)
Nov 1 – The shadow is gone – the roots, the bark, almost nothing is left of a tree that had given shade for hundreds of years to generations of local Djab Wurrung people in western Victoria.