Thu, 21 Sep 2017
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
Terri Murray argues that allowing our best ideas to be challenged forces us to remain aware of why we hold these cherished beliefs.
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.
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".
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.
Wed, 20 Sep 2017
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".
Ed West argues that Islamist terror attacks will change our way of life, despite protestations to the contrary.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Canadian singer Mozhdah Jamalzadah was branded a "slut" and told to "burn in hell" after being accused of watching an X-rated film.
Tue, 19 Sep 2017
Jonathan Graves, a former Church of England vicar in Sussex, has been jailed for abusing and humiliating two boys for his sexual pleasure.
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.
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.
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".
A beer festival aimed at non-Muslims in Kuala Lumpur has been called off after objections from an Islamist political party.
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.
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
Coalition opponents disagree over whether to outline the steps the Government will take to protect 'religious freedom'.
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)
A Christian school in Melbourne discriminated against a Sikh boy after refusing to enrol him because he wore a turban, a tribunal has ruled.
Mon, 18 Sep 2017
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.
Research from the National Association for RE teachers suggests that more than a quarter of England's secondary schools do not offer religious education.
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 (£)
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".
The Church of England failed to anticipate the opposition to appointing a bishop who would not ordain women priests, a report has found.
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".
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
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".
Nadeem James was said to have committed blasphemy by insulting Muhammad in a poem he sent on WhatsApp.
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.
An ultra-orthodox religious court is infringing human rights by demanding Israelis prove their Jewish status, critics say.
Fri, 15 Sep 2017
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.
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.
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.
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".
A former Church of England priest has been found guilty of torturing and sexually abusing two schoolboys in the 1980s and 90s.
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".
Douglas Murray says Westerners need "a degree of religious literacy" to understand groups such as ISIS.
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".
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
A church in Victoria cancelled a wedding because the bride-to-be expressed support for same-sex marriage on Facebook.
Sydney Morning Herald
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
Farzana Hassan writes that motion M103, a proposed law in Canada, "gives official sanction to a persecution complex which is already widespread".
Thu, 14 Sep 2017
The former Archbishop of Westminster's funeral has taken place. The Archbishop of Cardiff, who gave the homily, claimed O'Connor had learned "a huge lesson" when handling claims of child sex abuse by the clergy.
Theresa May has hosted dozens of Jewish community leaders, volunteers and religious figures in Downing Street. She touched on policy matters including education and tackling antisemitism.
The Jewish Chronicle
James Williams argues that an improving education system is encouraging the young to think rationally, and they have responded by becoming less religious.
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