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Mon, 11 Sep 2017

Politics and religion are a dangerous mix

Politics and religion are a dangerous mix

Janice Turner says non-believers make up a majority in Britain, but zealots of all faiths are drowning out the sane voices of secularism.

The Times (£)

In defence of secularism

In defence of secularism

Andrew Copson says secularism is under threat from Turkey to Trump's America. We all have a duty to defend it.

Prospect

‘Hundreds’ of children from Catholic care home buried in mass grave

‘Hundreds’ of children from Catholic care home buried in mass grave

The bodies of hundreds of children are believed to be buried in a mass grave in Lanarkshire, according to a BBC News investigation. The children were all residents of a care home run by Catholic nuns.

BBC

‘Inclusivity must include the views of Jacob Rees-Mogg’

‘Inclusivity must include the views of Jacob Rees-Mogg’

Janet Street-Porter says holding views that are outside the mainstream "ought not to be a sign of weakness or inadequacy".

The Independent

Christian parents 'to sue school' because boy in son's class was allowed to wear dress

Christian parents 'to sue school' because boy in son's class was allowed to wear dress

A Christian couple are reportedly threatening to sue a Church of England primary school because it allowed a boy in their son's class to wear a dress.

The Independent

Punish Muslims for ‘hate speech’, says Merkel ‘heir’

Punish Muslims for ‘hate speech’, says Merkel ‘heir’

Jens Spahn, a rising star of Angela Merkel's party who has been tipped as a future chancellor is calling for hate speech laws to be used to prosecute Muslims who refer to non-believers as infidels.

The Times (£)

Advertising watchdog investigates complaints about Australian lamb advert

Advertising watchdog investigates complaints about Australian lamb advert

Australia's advertising watchdog will investigate an advert for lamb which featured gods and prophets from different faiths after receiving 50 complaints about it.

The Drum

The ‘dogma’ of Dianne Feinstein

The ‘dogma’ of Dianne Feinstein

Sohrab Ahmari argues that liberals have a "tolerance blind spot" for the views of Christians. His piece comes after a Senate confirmation hearing focused on the nominee's religious views.

New York Times

Trump judicial nominee rejects separation of church and state

Trump judicial nominee rejects separation of church and state

President Trump has nominated Jeff Mateer to be a judge on the US District Court in Texas. In 2013 Mateer said the separation of church and state was not in the US constitution.

Patheos

Belfast’s mayor skipping grace has sparked an over-reaction

Belfast’s mayor skipping grace has sparked an over-reaction

Hemant Mehta critiques a column from Alf McCreary, who attacked Nuala McAllister for not saying grace at her installation dinner in the Belfast Telegraph.

Patheos

Fri, 08 Sep 2017

The disestablishment of the church is now ‘necessary and inevitable’

The disestablishment of the church is now ‘necessary and inevitable’

Giles Fraser addresses this week's study which said that over half the UK population have no religion. He says the church should stop courting "the establishment" and "reclaim" its role as a "social alternative to the dominant culture of secular and capitalist individualism".

The Guardian

Bishops unfazed by surge among the non-religious

Bishops unfazed by surge among the non-religious

Two Church of England bishops have responded with equanimity to the latest British Social Attitudes survey.

Church Times

Man jailed for posting 'kill every Muslim' on Facebook following Manchester bombing

Man jailed for posting 'kill every Muslim' on Facebook following Manchester bombing

Keegan Jakovlevs has been sent to prison for a year after pleading guilty to publishing material with the intention of stirring up religious hatred.

International Business Times

Britain’s clampdown on FGM is ‘leaving young girls traumatised’

Britain’s clampdown on FGM is ‘leaving young girls traumatised’

Nadifa Mohamed argues that fears over the numbers at risk have been exaggerated.

The Guardian

Catholic anger as Corbyn accepts communion

Catholic anger as Corbyn accepts communion

The Labour leader accepted a communion wafer during a funeral. A spokesperson for the Latin Mass Society said Catholics would find the act "completely disrespectful".

Daily Mirror

Religion is ‘not going away’ and science ‘will not destroy it’

Religion is ‘not going away’ and science ‘will not destroy it’

Peter Harrison argues that global secularisation is not inevitable and, when it does happen, it is not caused by science.

Aeon

Trump administration sides with Christian who refused to bake cake for gay couple

Trump administration sides with Christian who refused to bake cake for gay couple

The US Justice Department has filed a court brief saying it backs the Masterpiece Cakeshop. The shop is at the centre of a case over anti-LGBT discrimination which is due to be heard at the Supreme Court.

Pink News

US appeals court rules against Trump on scope of travel ban

US appeals court rules against Trump on scope of travel ban

On Thursday an appeals court ruled against President Trump's effort to broadly enforce a travel and refugee ban on people from some Muslim-majority countries.

CNBC

Senior Indian journalist-activist’s murder leaves behind fear, anger and unanswered questions

Senior Indian journalist-activist’s murder leaves behind fear, anger and unanswered questions

A look at the work of Gauri Lankesh, who was shot on Tuesday night, and the questions that her murder has provoked.

The Independent (Singapore)

Thu, 07 Sep 2017

Jeremy Paxman on the Church of England’s fight to survive

Jeremy Paxman on the Church of England’s fight to survive

In this lengthy feature, the former BBC presenter says the Church of England is "tottering from irrelevance to the edge of extinction" as congregations dwindle.

Financial Times

A majority of Britons now follow no religion – NSS mentioned

A majority of Britons now follow no religion – NSS mentioned

Only 15% of people now call themselves Anglicans. The National Secular Society says this makes the vestiges of Anglican privilege look all the stranger. But, the Economist says, don't bet on the Church losing its official role any time soon.

The Economist

Religion is on the decline – yet our society ‘is underpinned by faith’

Religion is on the decline – yet our society ‘is underpinned by faith’

This editorial says that while fewer of us call ourselves Christian, we "remain a country steeped in Christian values".

The Spectator

Impact of the decline of religion in Britain

Impact of the decline of religion in Britain

A series of letters to the editor focus on the results of the latest British Social Attitudes survey.

The Times (£)

Religious marriages in decline in Scotland

Religious marriages in decline in Scotland

The number of Catholic weddings in Scotland has fallen to a 75-year low. Half of all marriages carried out in Scotland in 2016 were civil ceremonies, and the number of religious marriages has fallen by 44% since 1975.

The Scotsman

Ulster GPs will not face arrest for abortion referrals

Ulster GPs will not face arrest for abortion referrals

Doctors in Northern Ireland will no longer face arrest for referring women to abortion services in England, the director of public prosecutions has said.

The Times (£)

Jacob Rees-Mogg sets out anti-gay marriage and abortion beliefs - but won't rule out leadership bid

Jacob Rees-Mogg sets out anti-gay marriage and abortion beliefs - but won't rule out leadership bid

Rees-Mogg – tipped by some to become a Conservative leadership contender – said yesterday he opposed gay marriage and abortion in all circumstances. He added that his views come from his Catholic faith but would not be a party-political issue.

The Telegraph

Schools risk being over-sensitive by allowing girls to wear hijabs, says Ofsted head

Schools risk being over-sensitive by allowing girls to wear hijabs, says Ofsted head

Amanda Spielman said teachers were at risk of being "over-sensitive" towards young girls from Muslim backgrounds by allowing them to wear hijabs at school.

LBC

Discrimination ‘holding back Muslims in workplace’, study suggests

Discrimination ‘holding back Muslims in workplace’, study suggests

The head of the government-sponsored Social Mobility Commission has blamed discrimination for the underrepresentation of Muslims in the workplace.

The Guardian

All the president’s clergymen: a close look at Trump’s ‘unprecedented’ ties with evangelicals

All the president’s clergymen: a close look at Trump’s ‘unprecedented’ ties with evangelicals

A detailed study of the role evangelical leaders are playing in the Trump White House, and how far they are shaping policies and appointments.

Religion News Service

The demography of Christianity in America

The demography of Christianity in America

A new study has shown that white non-Hispanic Christians now make up 43% of the American population. This figure has been in long-term decline, but almost three-quarters of the US population remains Christian.

Washington Post

Wed, 06 Sep 2017

Questions raised about prominent FGM campaigner

Questions raised about prominent FGM campaigner

A BBC Newsnight investigation has revealed a series of concerns about some aspects of the work of a celebrated FGM campaigner.

BBC

Row over ‘gay cure therapist’ on Good Morning Britain

Row over ‘gay cure therapist’ on Good Morning Britain

Some viewers have criticised the decision to invite Dr Michael Davidson on to the ITV show.

The Independent

Cormac Murphy O'Connor obituary - NSS mentioned

Cormac Murphy O'Connor obituary - NSS mentioned

This obituary for the former Archbishop of Westminster mentions the National Secular Society's objection when he was offered a peerage.

The Independent

Should we care that Britain’s lost its religion?

Should we care that Britain’s lost its religion?

Danny Finkelstein says it is possible the decline of religion will leave a hole that will be filled by "something worse".

The Times (£)

‘British society deserves an economy rooted in the common good’

‘British society deserves an economy rooted in the common good’

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, writes that Britain's economic model is "broken".

Financial Times

‘What is the point of Archbishop Welby?’

‘What is the point of Archbishop Welby?’

Quentin Letts asks why the Archbishop is spending more time focusing on the economy than filling the pews.

Daily Mail

Gauri Lankesh: Indian journalist shot dead in Bangalore

Gauri Lankesh: Indian journalist shot dead in Bangalore

A prominent Indian journalist critical of Hindu nationalist politics has been shot dead. Activists say Indian reporters are being increasingly targeted by radical Hindu nationalists.

BBC

LGBT crackdown feared in Indonesia after 12 women evicted from home

LGBT crackdown feared in Indonesia after 12 women evicted from home

Twelve women have been evicted from their home after a complaint from religious leaders that the women's living arrangements was "against the teaching of Islam". The eviction has led to renewed fears of a crackdown on sexual diversity.

The Guardian

Hindus and Anglicans condemn Australian lamb advert

Hindus and Anglicans condemn Australian lamb advert

An advert by Meat and Livestock Australia features a number of gods at the same dinner table. It includes jokes about different religious groups. Some Hindu groups have called for it to be banned, and an Anglican bishop has criticised it.

The Guardian

Tue, 05 Sep 2017

More than half UK population has no religion, finds survey – NSS quoted

More than half UK population has no religion, finds survey – NSS quoted

For the first time, more than half the population say they have no religion, and the generation gap on religious affiliation is widening, according to the British Social Attitudes survey. NSS president Terry Sanderson responded by calling for "a serious debate about the place of religion in our society".

The Guardian

Non-believers outnumber the faithful by widest margin yet – NSS mentioned

Non-believers outnumber the faithful by widest margin yet – NSS mentioned

The National Secular Society said the figures in the BSA survey should prompt a rethink about the places granted to bishops in the House of Lords and about church-run state schools.

The Times (£)

Duncan Barkes show – NSS featured

Duncan Barkes show – NSS featured

NSS campaigns director Stephen Evans appeared on BBC London to discuss the implications of the BSA survey. The relevant section begins after 8:17 and ends after 20:11.

BBC London (radio)

Church vicar promoted after he was caught abusing choirboy – NSS council member quoted

Church vicar promoted after he was caught abusing choirboy – NSS council member quoted

Rev John Roberts was allowed to carry on working for 24 years, and promoted, after he was convicted of indecently assaulting a choirboy in Liverpool. The NSS's Richard Scorer says "questions need to be answered as to how this scandal was allowed to happen".

Liverpool Echo

Home schooling is blamed for rise of extremist Islam

Home schooling is blamed for rise of extremist Islam

Unregulated education including home schooling and the segregation of some communities are helping to create extremists and future terrorists, the national police counterterrorism co-ordinator warned.

The Times (£)

Edinburgh law student who ridiculed Isis is accused of hate crime

Edinburgh law student who ridiculed Isis is accused of hate crime

Edinburgh University is investigating a student over claims that he mocked Islamic State on social media and put "minority students at risk and in a state of panic and fear". Robbie Travers wrote that it was "excellent" that the US administration had "ordered an accurate strike on an IS network of tunnels in Afghanistan".

The Times (£)

Lidl removes crosses from Greek church on food packaging

Lidl removes crosses from Greek church on food packaging

Lidl has come under fire for editing a cross at the top of a church out of an image it uses on the packaging for its own-brand range of Greek-style food. A spokesperson said the supermarket was "extremely sorry for any offence caused".

The Independent

Tower Hamlets is the ‘bleak end-point of diversity’

Tower Hamlets is the ‘bleak end-point of diversity’

Douglas Murray argues that recent events in Tower Hamlets and on Channel 4 show "a different mono-culture asserting itself in the way it knows how".

Spectator

Can’t talk about Muslims? It seems ‘we do little else’ in the UK

Can’t talk about Muslims? It seems ‘we do little else’ in the UK

Nesrine Malik argues that there is an inaccurate narrative that people in the UK cannot criticise Muslims.

The Guardian

Persecution of all Muslims in Myanmar on the rise, rights group says

Persecution of all Muslims in Myanmar on the rise, rights group says

The systematic persecution of minority Muslims is on the rise across Buddhist-majority Myanmar, a rights group said on Tuesday.

Reuters

Mon, 04 Sep 2017

Take hijab off uniform lists, campaigners urge primary schools

Take hijab off uniform lists, campaigners urge primary schools

A survey by The Sunday Times found that a fifth of 800 primary schools, including Church of England schools, list the hijab as part of their uniform. In some cases children as young as three are wearing the garment. Campaigners say school authorities are causing classroom divisions and putting pressure on Muslim girls to cover up.

The Times (£)

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