Religion News Selection

January 5 – 12, 2020

A selection of religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)


Catholic Church

Why Italians don’t find the pope sexy (The Guardian, Australia)
Jan 8 – (Opinion) A papal visit could be an effective method of birth control.

My atheist family was appalled when I converted to Catholicism – but it’s given me great peace (The Guardian, Australia)
Jan 9 – (Opinion: Adrian Chiles) Thirteen years ago, not long before my 40th birthday, I decided to become a Roman Catholic.


Under Boris Johnson, Islamophobia will reach a sinister new level (The Guardian, Australia)
Jan 5 – (Opinion: Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan) Boris Johnson is one of the most openly racist and Islamophobic politicians in recent British history.

The imperfect vessel: why white evangelicals see Trump as King Cyrus (The Guardian, Australia)
Jan 8 – (Opinion: Adam Gabbatt) Before the end of 2016 there was little in Donald Trump’s life, or frequently offensive political campaign, to suggest that as president he would be hailed as God’s appointee on Earth, be beloved by born-again Christians, or compared to a biblical king.


Fresh scrutiny for evangelical Christian GP Richard Scott (The Guardian, Australia)
Jan 12 – The General Medical Council is reviewing its decision not to investigate a doctor accused of evangelising about his Christian faith to patients in the latest twist in a high-profile battle about the limits of religious freedom.

My journey into the dark, hypnotic world of a millennial guru (The Guardian, Australia)
Jan 9 – Towards the end of 2017, Bentinho Massaro, a 29-year-old self-styled spiritual teacher with a considerable online following, chose the town of Sedona, Arizona, as the location for a 12-day-long spiritual bootcamp.

Brazilian judge orders Netflix to remove ‘gay Jesus’ comedy (The Guardian, Australia)
Jan 9 – A Brazilian judge on Wednesday ordered Netflix to stop showing a Christmas special that some called blasphemous for depicting Jesus as a gay man and which prompted a bomb attack on the satirists behind the programme.

The ‘ex-closeted gay jihadist’ bringing meditation to Jakarta (The Guardian, Australia)
Jan 11 – When Bagia Arif Saputra was growing up in a university town near Jakarta, becoming a jihadist seemed a natural choice for young men like him, who were steeped in the teachings of Islamic fundamentalism.


Christian right groups say PM Scott Morrison stole their thunder (Sydney Morning Herald)
Jan 12 – Some of Australia’s most extreme Christian-right parties have withdrawn from politics, claiming the election of Prime Minister Scott Morrison had rendered them redundant.


‘Profoundly significant’: 3000yo drawing’s bombshell religious claim (
Jan 12 – On the surface, it looks like a crude scribble on an old broken pot.