Religion News Selection

Nov 1 – 8, 2020

A selection of religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)



Abuse law expert warns the Anglican Church of Tasmania’s liability may increase (ABC News)
Nov 3 – A lawyer representing survivors of sexual abuse has warned the Anglican Church of Tasmania may need to further increase its estimate of liability as more survivors seek compensation.


When an IS soldier returns to Sydney’s western suburbs (Sydney Morning Herald)
Nov 8 – (Review)  Jamal Alamein has returned to his family home in Sydney’s western suburbs to see his dying mother. But first he has to run the gauntlet — a series of lacerating encounters with loved ones he betrayed with his decision to go to Syria and join Islamic State.

Catholic Church

Pope shakes up Vatican finance handling after scandals (Brisbane Times)
Nov 6 – Rome: Pope Francis is giving the Vatican Secretariat of State three months to transfer all of its financial holdings to another Vatican office following its bungled management of hundreds of millions of euros in donations and investments that are now the subject of a corruption investigation.


UAE announces loosening of Islamic laws for personal freedoms (ABC News)
Nov 8 – The United Arab Emirates has announced a major overhaul of the country’s Islamic personal laws, allowing unmarried couples to cohabitate, loosening alcohol restrictions and criminalising so-called “honour killings”.


How one man escaped the Holocaust and saved his family by performing as a clown (The Guardian, Australia)
Nov 3 – As a child, Ralph Horowitz’s grandfather often lulled him to sleep with bedtime stories about the brave clowns who escaped the big, bad Nazis.

Religious Violence

Muslims’ rage at Macron threatens to escalate tensions across Europe (The Guardian, Australia)
Nov 2 – (Opinion: Simon Tisdall) Maybe he knew what he was doing. Maybe he didn’t.

Islamic State attacks in Europe risk a violent backlash from the far right (ABC News)
Nov 6 – The attack in Vienna this week — where an armed assailant killed four people and injured others — was claimed by the Islamic State and was one in a string of recent attacks in Europe this week, following three other jihadist motivated killings in Paris and Nice.


Jon Toogood reveals how love and the Christchurch attack made him rethink his staunch atheism (ABC News)
Nov 6 – As the frontman for Shihad, Jon Toogood won plenty of fans by wearing his anti-authoritarianism on his sleeve.

Inside star-studded life of Hillsong pastor sacked for cheating on his wife (
Nov 8 – Until Wednesday, Carl Lentz was best known as the fashionably dressed pastor who spent his days playing basketball with celebrities like Justin Bieber and Drake.


White evangelicals want a puncher, not a preacher, in the Oval Office (Sydney Morning Herald)
Nov 3 – (Opinion: Simon Smart) Earlier this year at a huge “Evangelicals for Trump” rally in Miami, Florida, a pastor welcomed the President by shouting a prayer that sounded like the introduction to a heavyweight title bout: “Lord I thank you,” he bellowed.

Gay conversion practices to be outlawed by the Victorian Government (ABC News)
Nov 8 – The Victorian Government is consulting gay conversion ‘therapy’ survivors as it prepares legislation to outlaw the practice.

Has America lost its soul? (Brisbane Times)
Nov 7 – (Opinion: Peter Singer) As I write, the US presidential election remains undecided.