Religion News Selection

January 31 – February 7, 2021

A selection of religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)



Whiff of evil’ in Pell’s war (The Australian)
Feb 7 – (Opinion: Gerard Windsor) As well as revealing the off-duty human being, George Pell’s Prison Journal shows him to be a warrior Prince who waged war even in jail.

Religious Violence

‘Horrific abuses’: Uighur report reveals first-hand accounts of torture (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 3 – Australian Liberal and Labor senators have accused the Chinese Communist Party of unspeakable human rights abuses after first-hand accounts of systematic rape, sexual abuse and torture in Uighur detention camps in China were aired by the BBC.


Muslim women on breaking down misconceptions and why wearing a hijab is empowering (ABC News)
Feb 6 – Sara Awamleh says wearing a hijab makes her feel empowered.


Also: Conversion bill debate reveals Church’s hypocrisy (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 2 – (Opinion: Daniel Comensoli) I feel uncomfortable writing this; and wondered whether it was even worth it.

Also: Here is what we know about Victoria’s gay conversion bill (ABC News)
Feb 4 – A bill banning LGBTIQ+ conversion practices looks set to pass the Victorian Upper House today despite concerns from the Opposition, religious leaders, and health professionals who believe the law may have “unintended consequences”.

Also: Victoria bans gay conversion practices after 12-hour debate (The Guardian, Australia)
Feb 5 – Gay conversion practices have been banned in Victoria following a lengthy debate in parliament overnight, during which two Liberal MPs broke with party ranks to vote against the bill.


Folau to agree to social media conditions as part of $1m Dragons offer (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 2 – Israel Folau has indicated to St George Illawarra officials he would agree to conditions limiting his ability to publicly express his religious beliefs if the NRL was to register a two-year, $1 million deal to join the Dragons.

Also: They may be bigots, but here’s why we can’t gag Israel Folau or Margaret Court (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 3 – (Opinion: Pru Goward) He’s baaack! Just as we had gotten used to the idea that a so-called religious bigot had been awarded Australia’s highest honour for being Australia’s greatest ever tennis player of any gender, another religious figure, with a similar antipathy for homosexuals as Margaret Court AC, is in the news.

‘I’m on the ‘strayed sheep’ list’ (The Australian)
Feb 6 – Poh Ling Yeow on travelling the Outback, working with two ex-husbands — and why the Mormons are still trying to get her back.