Religion News Selection

April  25 – May 2, 2021

A selection of religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)



St Paul’s, once known for its sexist culture, considers enrolling women (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 29 – St Paul’s College, Australia’s oldest university residential college that was once known for its sexist culture, is considering opening its doors to female undergraduates after 165 years of accepting only young men.

Religious Violence

Here’s what’s behind the latest Israeli-Palestinian violence (ABC News)
Apr 26 – The holy city of Jerusalem, a tinderbox of competing religious and political claims, has repeatedly triggered bouts of Israeli-Palestinian violence.

Two women tortured in latest sorcery-related attack in Papua New Guinea (The Guardian, Australia)
Apr 27 – Two women have been brutally attacked in Port Moresby by up to 20 men after being accused of witchcraft, in the latest instance of sorcery-related violence in Papua New Guinea.

Meet the Afghan woman staring down the Taliban (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 29 – Fatima Gailani was recovering from cancer at the height of the pandemic when she got the call that dragged her out of retirement for the third time.


Cult or church? This Korean sect has thousands of devotees, but ex-believers lost faith and money (ABC News)
May 1 – At 24, Kim Eun-kang was pursuing her dream of becoming a traditional Korean music singer. But she gave it all up to compete for a chance at immortality.


Australia examines modern slavery laws amid concerns over products linked to Uyghur abuse (The Guardian, Australia)
Apr 27 – The Australian government has left the door open to toughening up the nation’s laws against modern slavery amid concerns about human rights abuses in China’s Xinjiang region.

When Zara feared for her safety in Tanzania she thought the Australian high commission would help  (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 29 – When Zara Kay began fearing for her safety in Tanzania, she asked her adopted country, Australia, for help.


Time for tolerance on Morrison’s faith, but time to be upfront as well (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 27 – (Opinion: David Crowe) Australians have always been interested in their prime ministers’ personal faith for the simple reason that it can be essential to the way someone leads the nation.

Scott Morrison is not the first prime minister with religious beliefs. What is different this time? (The Guardian, Australia)
Apr 29 – (Opinion: Marion Maddox) What does our Pentecostal prime minister think of the devil?

Religion is at the heart of the PM (Brisbane Times)
May 1 – (Opinion: Annika Smethurst) Labor learnt a valuable lesson at the last federal election; attacking Scott Morrison’s religion doesn’t work.

Scott Morrison wants Australians to know he’s a Pentecostal Christian, but…  (The Guardian, Australia)
May 1 – (Opinion: Katharine Murphy) It’s long forgotten now, but one of the most interesting speeches Tony Abbott made on the road to becoming prime minister was a meditation on faith.

Scott Morrison’s partisan interpretation of biblical passages is disturbing for democracy (The Guardian, Australia)
May 1 – (Opinion: Kevin Rudd) When the federation’s founding fathers were framing Australia’s constitution in the 1890s, there was intense debate about whether organised religion should get a guernsey.

More Australians are becoming less religious, so what’s with our PMs? (Sydney Morning Herald)
May 2 – (Opinion: Peter FitzSimons) David Day, one of Australia’s foremost historians and biographer of Curtin, Chifley and other prime ministers, makes no bones about it. When it comes to their religious beliefs, we have never had a prime minister like Scott Morrison.