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Fri, 18 Aug 2017

Judge dismisses Northern Ireland same-sex marriage ban challenges

Judge dismisses Northern Ireland same-sex marriage ban challenges

Two landmark court challenges against the ban on same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland have been dismissed. The judge ruled that it was for the Stormont assembly to decide policy.

Belfast Telegraph

Intergenerational perspectives on caste in the UK

Intergenerational perspectives on caste in the UK

In a recent study, Rina Arya investigated how attitudes to caste varied between generations in the Hindu Punjabi community living in Greater Manchester. She says her research points to the continuing – albeit evolving – significance of caste in the diaspora.

LSE blog

Spanish police kill suspects in second attack after 13 die in Barcelona

Spanish police kill suspects in second attack after 13 die in Barcelona

Thirteen people died and dozens were hurt when a van hit crowds on Las Ramblas, Barcelona on Thursday. Spain's PM Mariano Rajoy described it as a "jihadist attack". Islamic State said it carried it out. Spanish police say they have killed five suspected terrorists in a second vehicle attack.

BBC

Sarah Champion was ‘right and badly let down’

Sarah Champion was ‘right and badly let down’

The Labour MP said Britain had a problem with grooming among British-Pakistani men. Denis Macshane says she unfairly accused of bigotry towards Muslims.

The Times (£)

The ‘community leaders’ doing nothing to solve the grooming scandal

The ‘community leaders’ doing nothing to solve the grooming scandal

Douglas Murray says Britain and Europe lack the will to deal with the organised abuse of children. He says Muslim and Jewish 'community leaders' are instead responding by attacking those who acknowledge the problem.

Spectator

Imams join forces in pursuit of a ‘more progressive’ British Islam

Imams join forces in pursuit of a ‘more progressive’ British Islam

Britain's most senior Muslim clerics are planning to set up their first national council to issue religious rulings. The Times says the council will promote a progressive interpretation of Islam.

The Times (£)

Writer says jobs can help stop extremism

Writer says jobs can help stop extremism

Europe could face a new wave of extremism from radicalised refugees if newcomers are not better integrated into society, according to an author who has spent time with jihadists in the Middle East.

The Times (£)

Catholic priests must confess to regain our shaken faith

Catholic priests must confess to regain our shaken faith

Nick O'Malley argues that a royal commission was right to recommend criminal prosecutions for clergy who fail to report child sex abuse. He adds that "the Catholic Church has an inexplicable hold over Australian politicians".

Sydney Morning Herald

Catholic Church mobilising against equal marriage in Australia

Catholic Church mobilising against equal marriage in Australia

Catholic Archbishops in Australia are leading the charge against same-sex marriage, ahead of a postal vote on the issue.

Pink News

Trump's evangelical panel remains intact. Who are his religious cheerleaders?

Trump's evangelical panel remains intact. Who are his religious cheerleaders?

As three other advisory boards disband following the president's response to the Virginia violence, his religious advisory board is still in place. The Guardian has a guide to the people on it.

The Guardian

Silicon Valley and free speech: Tim Cook edition

Silicon Valley and free speech: Tim Cook edition

Apple has donated $1m to the Southern Poverty Law Centre after President Trump's response to events in Charlottesville. Andrew Stuttaford says this is helping a group which has smeared people with false accusations of being anti-Muslim extremists.

National Review

Thu, 17 Aug 2017

World first as joint £17m Catholic and Jewish school opens to pupils

World first as joint £17m Catholic and Jewish school opens to pupils

A new joint campus which brings together schools serving both the Catholic and Jewish faiths has opened in East Renfrewshire.

Glasgow Evening Times

Pope vows crackdown on sexual abusers and protectors

Pope vows crackdown on sexual abusers and protectors

In the foreword to a new book, the Pope has branded sexual abuse of children by Roman Catholic priests a "monstrosity" and pledged action against perpetrators and bishops who protected them.

Reuters

‘I was treading on eggshells when I described the problem of some Muslim men’

‘I was treading on eggshells when I described the problem of some Muslim men’

Trevor Kavanagh responds to criticism over his recent article which used the phrase "the Muslim Problem".

The Sun

Survey suggests churches’ social role is “invisible”

Survey suggests churches’ social role is “invisible”

Three quarters of UK adults cannot name any of the activities that take place inside their local church other than regular services and religious festivals, research released by the Church of England's insurer Ecclesiastical has found.

Christian Today

Don't ban secular music from churches

Don't ban secular music from churches

Melanie McDonagh argues that there is a difference between church music and music performed in church.

The Telegraph

Trump’s double standard for white supremacists and Muslims

Trump’s double standard for white supremacists and Muslims

Wajahat Ali argues that the US president is quicker to condemn Islamist attacks than those by white supremacists.

Washington Post

Indian state passes law restricting religious conversions

The Jharkhand Freedom of Religion Act 2017 mandates a prison sentence or fine for people and organisations converting women, minors and people from the Dalit and tribal communities through inducement or blackmail.

Telegraph India

Wed, 16 Aug 2017

More than 100 MPs call for action over ‘Muslim Problem’ article in Sun newspaper

More than 100 MPs call for action over ‘Muslim Problem’ article in Sun newspaper

More than 100 cross-party politicians have signed an open letter demanding action over a column in The Sun. They say the column used "Nazi-like language".

The Independent

Liverpool church accused of running 'gay cure' therapies in undercover sting

Liverpool church accused of running 'gay cure' therapies in undercover sting

A church in Liverpool is being accused of running 'gay cure' therapies after being targeted by an undercover investigation.

Christian Today

The hijab is not for children. It was right to drop these distasteful images

The hijab is not for children. It was right to drop these distasteful images

Amina Lone argues that complaints about Transport for London's traffic safety campaign which showed a four-year-old in a headscarf were justified.

The Guardian

DUP’s stance on gay rights is shifting at last

DUP’s stance on gay rights is shifting at last

Stephen O'Brien says the party's positivity around the Belfast Pride march marks a welcome shift in attitude.

The Times (£)

Catholics 'too wishy-washy', says Scottish archbishop

Catholics 'too wishy-washy', says Scottish archbishop

Scottish Catholics are "too wishy-washy" about standing up for their beliefs, the Archbishop of Glasgow has said.

The Herald

Halal meat: What does it involve and is it cruel to animals?

Halal meat: What does it involve and is it cruel to animals?

A guide to halal meat and the controversy surrounding it.

The Week

US slams China, Turkey, Saudi Arabia for religious repression

US slams China, Turkey, Saudi Arabia for religious repression

The state department's annual report on international religious freedom was highly critical of a number of countries, including China and Saudi Arabia, a key US ally.

CNN

Kim Jong-un 'no longer seen as God' as worshipping North Koreans 'place their faith elsewhere'

Kim Jong-un 'no longer seen as God' as worshipping North Koreans 'place their faith elsewhere'

The US government's report said North Korea continues to persecute anyone practising religion within its borders, but reports from within the country suggest that more people are turning to religion.

The Telegraph

Why an archbishop and a priest wouldn't report a confession to police

Why an archbishop and a priest wouldn't report a confession to police

The Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne and a high-profile Catholic priest say they would break the law before reporting institutional child sex abuse which they learnt about through confessions.

Radio Australia

Tue, 15 Aug 2017

Forced marriage law 'is failing'

Forced marriage law 'is failing'

Only one in 30 suspected forced marriages in England is leading to a prosecution.

The Times

Catholic leaders to meet Scottish government over religious hate crime

Catholic leaders to meet Scottish government over religious hate crime

Catholic Church leaders are to hold talks with the Scottish government amid escalating concerns about the level of religious hate crime in Scotland.

The Scotsman

Proms conductor in row with musicians' church after it bans 'non-religious' concerts

Proms conductor in row with musicians' church after it bans 'non-religious' concerts

A London church has become embroiled in a row with one of Britain's best-known composers after it announced it would close its doors to choirs and orchestras because their music was not religious.

The Telegraph

Misogyny and homophobia on the rise among French Jews

Misogyny and homophobia on the rise among French Jews

A Jewish centre in Marseille has hosted an event where women were allowed to read from the Torah alongside men. There has been a vitriolic reaction among some Jews.

The Freethinker

Nepal's battle for souls

Nepal's battle for souls

Many Dalits (former "untouchables") are turning away from Hinduism and embracing Christianity. Caste discrimination and foreign organisations which promote Christianity may be causing the trend.

Guardian

India plans to deport all 40,000 Rohingya Muslims, minister says

India plans to deport all 40,000 Rohingya Muslims, minister says

The central government has ordered state authorities to round up all those in country without permission, including refugees fleeing persecution in Buddhist-majority Burma.

The Independent

Hindu today, Muslim tomorrow

Hindu today, Muslim tomorrow

What reports of forced conversion in Pakistan say about the country on the 70th anniversary of its creation.

The Atlantic

Same-sex marriage ‘will leave faithful at risk of coercion’

Same-sex marriage ‘will leave faithful at risk of coercion’

Kevin Donnelly of the Australian Catholic University argues that religious groups will be "forced" to behave in a way that contradicts their beliefs.

The Australian

Mon, 14 Aug 2017

Councillor calls for restriction on number of places of worship in 'secular' Leicester

Councillor calls for restriction on number of places of worship in 'secular' Leicester

Places of worship can cause conflict within communities and there should be a restriction on their numbers in 'secular' Leicester, a councillor has said. Rita Patel added that she was concerned that council-owned buildings were being sold off for religious use.

Leicester Mercury

Hijab girl in children’s books ‘is sexualising four-year-olds’

Hijab girl in children’s books ‘is sexualising four-year-olds’

Transport chiefs have been forced to drop a children's road safety campaign depicting a nursery schoolgirl wearing a religious headscarf.

The Times (£)

Crucial test for Benedictine monks’ new leader as order faces sex abuse inquiry

Crucial test for Benedictine monks’ new leader as order faces sex abuse inquiry

A new abbot president is taking over as the Catholic order is under intense scrutiny. Richard Scorer believes that the sometimes rarified social ambience surrounding the Benedictines has not been conducive to openness or transparency.

Guardian

Anne Marie Waters – from secular campaigner to far-right idol

Anne Marie Waters – from secular campaigner to far-right idol

Anne Marie Waters's transition from secular campaigner to far-right idol poses some uncomfortable questions. But defenders of religious privilege who believe Waters' name can become a way to silence rational secular argument are weakening their own position and strengthening hers.

Conatus News

Catholic inmates outnumber Anglicans for the first time

Catholic inmates outnumber Anglicans for the first time

Anglicanism has been toppled as the biggest religious denomination among prisoners in England and Wales for the first time.

The Times (£)

Ranking countries by their blasphemy laws

Ranking countries by their blasphemy laws

A new report from the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom assesses 71 countries that punished blasphemy.

The Economist

Australian clergy who fail to report child abuse heard in confession should be charged – royal commission

Australian clergy who fail to report child abuse heard in confession should be charged – royal commission

Clergy who refuse to report child sexual abuse because the information was received during a religious confession could face charges if recommendations for new institutional criminal offences are accepted.

Guardian

Religious conservatives and transgender rights

Religious conservatives and transgender rights

Iran has the second highest number of gender reassignment surgeries in the world. But Dr T.M. Murray says ultra-conservative religious organisations are throwing their weight behind transgender rights while remaining steadfastly homophobic.

Open Democracy

Fri, 11 Aug 2017

UK could face Islamist threat for decades, former MI5 chief warns

UK could face Islamist threat for decades, former MI5 chief warns

The UK may continue to face the threat of Islamist terrorism for another "20 to 30 years", the former head of MI5 has said.

BBC

On abuse, it's time to call a spade a spade

On abuse, it's time to call a spade a spade

Trevor Phillips, former chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, says it is not "Islamophobic" to point out that the perpetrators of sex abuse in Newcastle were mainly Muslims.

Telegraph

Abolish the oath: moral prejudice against atheists may bias courtroom decisions

Abolish the oath: moral prejudice against atheists may bias courtroom decisions

Ryan McKay and Colin Davis argue that moral suspicion of atheists is widespread and deeply entrenched – and has important implications in the judicial system. They say this means the religious oath taken in court is in need of reform.

The Conversation

Is scientology having a second coming?

Is scientology having a second coming?

Scientology is back in the headlines, after followers set up a tent outside a Grenfell relief centre and an affiliate group was found offering anti-drugs lectures in schools.

Evening Standard

Animal fat £5 notes here to stay

Animal fat £5 notes here to stay

The Bank of England says alternatives to the notes, which some Hindu temples and vegetarian cafes refused to accept, are too expensive and carry 'environmental risks'.

The Week

Blasphemy laws worldwide

Blasphemy laws worldwide

A map of the 71 countries with blasphemy laws and a link to a new report on the issue from the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.

Washington Post

Tennessee Christian school refused to report sexual abuse, lawsuit alleges

Tennessee Christian school refused to report sexual abuse, lawsuit alleges

Lawsuit files say the headmaster told 12-year-old rape victim "to turn the other cheek" and that "everything in God's kingdom happens for a reason".

Independent

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