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Thu, 21 Sep 2017

‘Anti-Muslim’ terror laws should be scrapped, says legal watchdog

‘Anti-Muslim’ terror laws should be scrapped, says legal watchdog

The independent reviewer of terrorism legislation says terrorism laws are seen as stigmatising Muslims and should be scrapped. He says terrorists could be dealt with under existing criminal laws.

The Times (£)

Archbishop of Canterbury joins new international UN board on mediation

Archbishop of Canterbury joins new international UN board on mediation

Justin Welby has been asked by the UN Secretary-General António Guterres to join a new, high-level advisory board on mediation.

Christian Today

Court decision no longer required in right-to-die cases, judge rules

Court decision no longer required in right-to-die cases, judge rules

A landmark ruling means legal permission will no longer be needed before life-support treatment is withdrawn from patients with severe illnesses in England and Wales.

The Guardian

Claims of ‘religious discrimination’ over bereavement price hike

Claims of ‘religious discrimination’ over bereavement price hike

Kirklees Council has recommended significant rises in the prices of burials, cremations and out-of-hours services. Some claim the change will "disproportionately" affect faith groups, especially Muslims, Jews, Catholics and Buddhists.

Huddersfield Daily Examiner

‘Why freedom of expression still matters’

‘Why freedom of expression still matters’

Terri Murray argues that allowing our best ideas to be challenged forces us to remain aware of why we hold these cherished beliefs.

Conatus News

Brazil overturns gay ‘conversion therapy’ ban

Brazil overturns gay ‘conversion therapy’ ban

A Brazilian judge has overturned an 18-year ban on gay 'conversion therapy'. The decision came after an evangelical Christian psychologist who claims homosexuality is a "disease" had her license revoked last year for offering to 'convert' gay people to heterosexuality.

Gay Times

Wife appeals to UN over Saudi blogger’s 1,000 lashes

Wife appeals to UN over Saudi blogger’s 1,000 lashes

The wife of jailed blogger Raif Badawi has told the UN human rights council that Saudi Arabia should earn its seat on the world body by releasing her husband from prison.

The Times (£)

Amazon pulls 'Gayer' Bible, only to reinstate it later

Amazon pulls 'Gayer' Bible, only to reinstate it later

A popular YouTuber has published a version of the Bible which includes references to gay sex and chooses celebrities to replace the figures in the original. Amazon took it off its site, then put it back on and said its original email was "sent in error".

Christian Today

ACLU sues Michigan over religious exemptions for adoptions

ACLU sues Michigan over religious exemptions for adoptions

The American Civil Liberties Union is to challenge Michigan's practice of allowing adoption agencies to spurn potential LGBT parents under the guise of religion.

USA Today

Wed, 20 Sep 2017

PM appoints Cardinal to lead panel on slavery

PM appoints Cardinal to lead panel on slavery

Theresa May has appointed Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Westminster, as chair of a special panel to make recommendations on tackling slavery. She says "the churches have huge networks in countries where people fall victim to slavery that can be used to support victims".

The Independent

‘Multiculturalism is Europe’s new faith’

‘Multiculturalism is Europe’s new faith’

Ed West argues that Islamist terror attacks will change our way of life, despite protestations to the contrary.

Spectator

Church bells silenced at night after complaints from pub

Church bells silenced at night after complaints from pub

A timer has been installed at St Andrew's Church in Coniston to stop its bells chiming between 11pm and 7am. The owner of the adjacent pub said his guests had complained of sleepless nights.

Christian Today

Ban conservative bishops for time being, Church told

Ban conservative bishops for time being, Church told

A senior Anglican academic is calling on the Church of England not to appoint any 'traditionalists' – those opposed to women priests – until a third of all bishops are women.

Christian Today

In Turkey’s new curriculum, Ataturk, Darwin and jihad get face-lifts

In Turkey’s new curriculum, Ataturk, Darwin and jihad get face-lifts

High school students are preparing to arrive in Turkey for the upcoming term. They will find Charles Darwin absent from biology classes; fewer references to Ataturk; and teachers promoting the non-violent meaning of the word 'jihad'. The changes have angered secularists.

New York Times

Angry response to condom adverts in India ahead of Hindu festival

Angry response to condom adverts in India ahead of Hindu festival

Dozens of billboards featuring a porn star to promote condoms ahead of a Hindu festival of prayer have been torn down by furious Indian authorities.

Daily Mail

‘Tunisia leads the Muslim world on women’s rights’

‘Tunisia leads the Muslim world on women’s rights’

Tunisia's president has moved to give women equal inheritance rights to men. Johanna Higgs says women in the country are doing well because they are willing to speak up for their rights.

Huffington Post

Muslim popstar receives abuse after being wrongly accused of watching porn

Muslim popstar receives abuse after being wrongly accused of watching porn

Canadian singer Mozhdah Jamalzadah was branded a "slut" and told to "burn in hell" after being accused of watching an X-rated film.

Daily Mirror

Tue, 19 Sep 2017

Priest jailed over child sexual abuse

Priest jailed over child sexual abuse

Jonathan Graves, a former Church of England vicar in Sussex, has been jailed for abusing and humiliating two boys for his sexual pleasure.

BBC

Indian diaspora divided over caste ban legislation in UK - NSS quoted

Indian diaspora divided over caste ban legislation in UK - NSS quoted

The UK government's dithering approach to the issue of caste discrimination has been criticised in many quarters. Keith Porteous Wood says the government is more intent on "listening to and giving weight to those opposed to the legislation" than doing the right thing.

Little India

Angry confrontation as police officers walk into mosque wearing shoes

Angry confrontation as police officers walk into mosque wearing shoes

Thames Valley Police were called to a mosque in High Wycombe after an argument broke out between worshippers. Mobile phone footage showing the worshippers turning on them for wearing shoes has been viewed more than 134,000 times.

Daily Mirror

US Senator defends 'religious test' questioning of Catholic judicial nominee

US Senator defends 'religious test' questioning of Catholic judicial nominee

Dianne Feinstein has faced criticism for discussing the Catholic beliefs of Amy Coney Barrett, a judicial nominee, in a hearing this month. Feinstein now says Barrett has made "some statements which deserve questions".

Christian Post

Malaysian beer festival canned after Muslim uproar

Malaysian beer festival canned after Muslim uproar

A beer festival aimed at non-Muslims in Kuala Lumpur has been called off after objections from an Islamist political party.

Asian Correspondent

Central African Republic ‘turns a blind eye to the persecution of Muslim minority’

Central African Republic ‘turns a blind eye to the persecution of Muslim minority’

Sandra Jolley and Jackie Wolcott say targeted killings based on religious identity have dramatically increased since May. They urge the US to pay more attention to CAR.

The Hill

Myanmar and India crack down on fleeing Rohingya Muslims

Myanmar and India crack down on fleeing Rohingya Muslims

More than 400,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled Buddhist-majority Myanmar in recent weeks. A top United Nations official has described events there as "a textbook example of ethnic cleansing." Now they face expulsion from India, amid pressure from right-wing Hindus.

Los Angeles Times

Religious protection causes Australian Government rift ahead of same-sex marriage survey

Religious protection causes Australian Government rift ahead of same-sex marriage survey

Coalition opponents disagree over whether to outline the steps the Government will take to protect 'religious freedom'.

Radio Australia

Muslim leaders using sermons to urge no vote in same-sex marriage plebiscite

Muslim leaders using sermons to urge no vote in same-sex marriage plebiscite

Islamic leaders are ramping up a campaign against same-sex marriage, using their sermons in mosques across Australia to urge the Muslim community to vote no.

Daily Telegraph (Australia)

Melbourne school's turban ban discriminatory

Melbourne school's turban ban discriminatory

A Christian school in Melbourne discriminated against a Sikh boy after refusing to enrol him because he wore a turban, a tribunal has ruled.

9 News

Mon, 18 Sep 2017

Private faith schools repeatedly fail standards but stay open

Private faith schools repeatedly fail standards but stay open

Almost 200 small independent schools are still open despite repeatedly failing to reach Ofsted standards, according to new Schools Week analysis. Half of these are faith schools.

Schools Week

Schools do not offer religious education, research suggests

Schools do not offer religious education, research suggests

Research from the National Association for RE teachers suggests that more than a quarter of England's secondary schools do not offer religious education.

BBC

Untouchables: Anish Kapoor backs Dalits discriminated against by British Hindus

Untouchables: Anish Kapoor backs Dalits discriminated against by British Hindus

A six-month-long public consultation on a proposed ban on caste-based discrimination ends today. The sculptor has voiced his support for legislation which would help to protect Britain's Dalit community.

The Sunday Times (£)

Majority of Scots say they are 'not religious'

Majority of Scots say they are 'not religious'

Figures from Humanist Society Scotland suggest 23.6% of Scots are religious and 72.4% are not. The society's chief executive says there may be "as much as a 15% difference between 'official statistics' and the reality of religion's place in the Scottish public daily lives".

BBC

Church of England 'did not anticipate' Bishop of Sheffield row

Church of England 'did not anticipate' Bishop of Sheffield row

The Church of England failed to anticipate the opposition to appointing a bishop who would not ordain women priests, a report has found.

BBC

The practice of Christianity in the UK – NSS cited

The practice of Christianity in the UK – NSS cited

Alan Duval reflects on recent statistics publicised by the National Secular Society on religion and belief in Britain. He also says "the people who continue to claim that Britain is a Christian country are also those who show little compassion".

Patheos

Lancashire schools halal row is back on the menu

Lancashire schools halal row is back on the menu

Lancashire County Council's cabinet has decided to re-open the question of whether it should use meat from animals which had not been stunned before slaughter.

This is Lancashire

‘This is why we need to start teaching humanism on the national curriculum’

‘This is why we need to start teaching humanism on the national curriculum’

Shappi Khorsandi says "the children of atheists and humanists are frequently confronted with ideas and beliefs at school that are totally at odds with what their parents believe".

The Independent

Christian man sentenced to death for ‘blasphemy’ in Pakistan

Christian man sentenced to death for ‘blasphemy’ in Pakistan

Nadeem James was said to have committed blasphemy by insulting Muhammad in a poem he sent on WhatsApp.

The Independent

Popular priest disinvited from Catholic University’s seminary over his LGBT book

Popular priest disinvited from Catholic University’s seminary over his LGBT book

The Rev. James Martin has been disinvited from giving an address at Catholic University's seminary. Martin has become the target of protests since his book encouraging a bridge between the LGBT community and the Catholic Church was published in June.

Washington Post

Hardline Israeli rabbis use tough checks on Jewish identity to block marriages

Hardline Israeli rabbis use tough checks on Jewish identity to block marriages

An ultra-orthodox religious court is infringing human rights by demanding Israelis prove their Jewish status, critics say.

The Observer

Fri, 15 Sep 2017

Most Church of England Christians never read the Bible, survey finds

Most Church of England Christians never read the Bible, survey finds

The Church's own polling shows that 60 per cent of self-declared followers of the Church admit they never read the Bible, and 36 per cent say they never attend church. One in three said they never pray.

Daily Telegraph

Brexit bill puts human rights ‘at risk’, academic warns

Brexit bill puts human rights ‘at risk’, academic warns

Dr Tobias Lock, a senior lecturer in EU law at Edinburgh University, said the wording of the Government's controversial EU Withdrawal Bill poses a threat to individual rights.

The Independent

Bishop says Church should not panic over religious affiliation statistics

Bishop says Church should not panic over religious affiliation statistics

A leading bishop says the decline in the number of self-identified religious people and in particular Anglicans does not mean the Church has failed or that Britain has become an atheist country.

Christian Today

Should the Church discuss forgiveness after abuse?

Should the Church discuss forgiveness after abuse?

A new report from the Church of England's Faith and Order Commission concludes that forgiveness "matters in the aftermath of abuse" but should not be "the immediate focus of what the Church says and does".

Church Times

Former priest Jonathan Graves guilty of sex abuse attacks

Former priest Jonathan Graves guilty of sex abuse attacks

A former Church of England priest has been found guilty of torturing and sexually abusing two schoolboys in the 1980s and 90s.

BBC

Rastafarian mum accuses school of 'religious discrimination' after teachers order son to cut dreadlocks

Rastafarian mum accuses school of 'religious discrimination' after teachers order son to cut dreadlocks

A 12-year-old boy was told to cut his dreadlocks because they did not conform to the appearance policy at Fulham Boys School in West London. His mother is now claiming the decision is "religious discrimination".

Daily Mirror

‘Does the increasingly secular West understand the Muslim world?’

‘Does the increasingly secular West understand the Muslim world?’

Douglas Murray says Westerners need "a degree of religious literacy" to understand groups such as ISIS.

UnHerd

‘The best guarantee of religious freedom is keeping religion out of politics’

‘The best guarantee of religious freedom is keeping religion out of politics’

Matt Holden argues that Australia's proposal to legalise same-sex marriage does not threaten religious freedom. He adds that the "sudden defence of religious freedom by churches and religious lobby groups just doesn't wash".

WA Today

California lawmakers back bill to protect workers' reproductive health choices

California lawmakers back bill to protect workers' reproductive health choices

A bill has passed California's legislature which will mean employees do not risk losing their jobs for choices such as having an abortion, in-vitro fertilization or a child out of wedlock. The measure aims in particular at codes of conduct at religious institutions, who have strongly opposed it.

Los Angeles Times

Australian church cancels wedding because bride supported gay marriage on Facebook

Australian church cancels wedding because bride supported gay marriage on Facebook

A church in Victoria cancelled a wedding because the bride-to-be expressed support for same-sex marriage on Facebook.

Sydney Morning Herald

Tunisia lifts ban on Muslim women marrying non-Muslim men

Tunisia lifts ban on Muslim women marrying non-Muslim men

The government announced the lifting of a decades-old ban prohibiting Muslim women from marrying non-Muslim men without mandatory conversion to Islam.

International Business Times

‘Liberals are wrongly supporting a Muslim victimhood narrative’

‘Liberals are wrongly supporting a Muslim victimhood narrative’

Farzana Hassan writes that motion M103, a proposed law in Canada, "gives official sanction to a persecution complex which is already widespread".

Toronto Sun

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