Religion News Selection

August 8 – 15, 2021

A selection of religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)



Journalist fleshes out White House state dinner scoop involving Scott Morrison and Brian Houston (ABC News)
Aug 10 – The US journalist who broke the story of Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s involvement in trying to secure an invitation to a 2019 White House dinner for Hillsong founder Brian Houston says sources described a “sphere of bad news” and “scandal” surrounding the controversial pastor.


Steph Lentz was sacked this year for being gay. It was perfectly legal (Sydney Morning Herald)
Aug 9 – Steph Lentz won’t be going to heaven.

Also: I lost my job for coming out as gay. This needs to change (Sydney Morning Herald)
Aug 12 – (Opinion: Steph Lentz) On a sunny morning in January, in a meeting that lasted little more than 10 minutes, I was fired from my job as an English teacher.

Devil in the detail as satanists’ fight with Education Dept hits Supreme Court (Brisbane Times)
Aug 12 – A group of self-described satanists enlisted the Devil himself as a “political tool” and held a Black Mass in their fight against the might of Queensland’s Education Department, which reached the Supreme Court on Thursday.


Eight-year-old becomes youngest person charged with blasphemy in Pakistan (The Guardian, Australia)
Aug 9 – An eight-year-old Hindu boy is being held in protective police custody in east Pakistan after becoming the youngest person ever to be charged with blasphemy in the country.


Brazil: evangelical superstar expelled from congress over alleged role in husband’s murder (The Guardian, Australia)
Aug 12 – Brazilian lawmakers have voted to expel the gospel star turned congresswoman Flordelis over her alleged involvement in the murder of the husband with whom she had raised more than 50 children.


Uniting Church leader targets vaccine hesitancy and climate change (Sydney Morning Herald)
Aug 11 – The Uniting Church has elected a woman from Tonga, whose priorities include COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in the Pacific Island community, climate change and rising domestic violence, as its next leader in NSW and the ACT.

Pet carers can leave lockdown to do their job, but not a priest to tend his flock (Sydney Morning Herald)
Aug 13 – (Opinion: Ann-Marie Boumerhe) [A]s a devout Maronite Catholic, I can’t help but notice that people of faith aren’t getting the spiritual support they need to get through this.