Religion News Selection

September 5 – 12, 2021

A selection of religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)



Jehovah’s Witnesses among 34 additional organisations to formally sign up to national scheme (ABC News)
Sept 10 – The Jehovah’s Witnesses have formally signed up to the national redress scheme for survivors of institutional child sexual abuse, more than a year after they were named and shamed for holding out.

Religious Violence

Taliban beat protesters and arrest journalists at women’s rally in Kabul (Sydney Morning Herald)
Sept 9 – Kabul, Afghanistan: After being shut out from the Taliban’s new government, women increased pressure on Afghanistan’s new rulers with a number of protests, at least one of which was broken up by Taliban fighters who whipped some demonstrators and arrested local journalists.

The Taliban held their own women’s march, with armed guards and scripts for the protesters (ABC News)
Sept 12 – The Taliban have raised their flag over the Afghan presidential palace, as the US and the world marked the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks.

Afghanistan’s shrinking horizons: ‘Women feel everything is finished’ (The Guardian, Australia)
Sept 12 – In two months, Parwana estimates she has crossed the threshold of her home perhaps four times.


US Evangelical Lutheran Church installs first openly transgender bishop (The Guardian, Australia)
Sept 12 – The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America has installed its first openly transgender bishop in a service held in San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral on Saturday.


How the 9/11 attacks affected the lives of Australian Muslims (ABC News)
Sept 12 – It was already late evening in Sydney on September 11, 2001, when Randa Abdel-Fattah heard her father in the next room say something about two planes crashing in New York.


Behaviour of a minority does not represent values of Jewish tradition (Sydney Morning Herald)
Sept 8 – (Opinion: Deborah Stone) I am one of the many Jewish Melburnians who has had a very hard week, celebrating Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, in lockdown for a second year.

Also: Ultra-Orthodox prayer groups have breached lockdowns since last year (Sydney Morning Herald)
Sept 10 – The scenes were confronting and, for the children involved, no doubt frightening.


‘I think I’ve accidentally joined a cult’ (ABC News)
Sept 8 – Alex’s bible classes started taking over his life.

Descriptions of hypnosis and a ‘domineering’ priest heard in first week of inquest  (ABC News)
Sept 12 – As the new coronial inquest into the 1980 murder of Maria James got underway this week, the past collided with the present.

‘Stand up and say no’: Churches fight government over vaccine mandate (Sydney Morning Herald)
Sept 12 – Health Minister Brad Hazzard is standing firm behind plans to require churchgoers to show proof of vaccination when NSW reopens, despite religious leaders pushing for an exemption on the grounds no one should be turned away from church.

Losing my religion: facing the trauma of leaving a faith (Sydney Morning Herald)
Sept 12 – Sherrie D’Souza can still see the look on the faces of “friends” when she first encountered them in the street after abandoning the Jehovah’s Witnesses in 2017.