Fri, 18 Aug 2017
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.
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.
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.
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 (£)
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.
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 (£)
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 (£)
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 Archbishops in Australia are leading the charge against same-sex marriage, ahead of a postal vote on the issue.
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.
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.
Thu, 17 Aug 2017
A new joint campus which brings together schools serving both the Catholic and Jewish faiths has opened in East Renfrewshire.
Glasgow Evening Times
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.
Trevor Kavanagh responds to criticism over his recent article which used the phrase "the Muslim Problem".
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.
Melanie McDonagh argues that there is a difference between church music and music performed in church.
Wajahat Ali argues that the US president is quicker to condemn Islamist attacks than those by white supremacists.
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.
Wed, 16 Aug 2017
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".
A church in Liverpool is being accused of running 'gay cure' therapies after being targeted by an undercover investigation.
Amina Lone argues that complaints about Transport for London's traffic safety campaign which showed a four-year-old in a headscarf were justified.
Stephen O'Brien says the party's positivity around the Belfast Pride march marks a welcome shift in attitude.
The Times (£)
Scottish Catholics are "too wishy-washy" about standing up for their beliefs, the Archbishop of Glasgow has said.
A guide to halal meat and the controversy surrounding it.
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.
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 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.
Tue, 15 Aug 2017
Only one in 30 suspected forced marriages in England is leading to a prosecution.
Catholic Church leaders are to hold talks with the Scottish government amid escalating concerns about the level of religious hate crime in Scotland.
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.
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.
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.
The central government has ordered state authorities to round up all those in country without permission, including refugees fleeing persecution in Buddhist-majority Burma.
What reports of forced conversion in Pakistan say about the country on the 70th anniversary of its creation.
Kevin Donnelly of the Australian Catholic University argues that religious groups will be "forced" to behave in a way that contradicts their beliefs.
Mon, 14 Aug 2017
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.
Transport chiefs have been forced to drop a children's road safety campaign depicting a nursery schoolgirl wearing a religious headscarf.
The Times (£)
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.
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.
Anglicanism has been toppled as the biggest religious denomination among prisoners in England and Wales for the first time.
The Times (£)
A new report from the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom assesses 71 countries that punished blasphemy.
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.
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.
Fri, 11 Aug 2017
The UK may continue to face the threat of Islamist terrorism for another "20 to 30 years", the former head of MI5 has said.
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.
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.
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.
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'.
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.
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".
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