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Fri, 25 Aug 2017

Yearning for the end of the world

Yearning for the end of the world

In the Guardian's long read, Dina Nayeri tells her story of belonging to a secret Christian church in Iran where the Rapture was welcomed as a rescue. Later, as a refugee in the US, she saw how apocalyptic prophecies masked a reactionary nihilism.

The Guardian

Former Catholic school pupil wins five-figure compensation payout over abuse

Former Catholic school pupil wins five-figure compensation payout over abuse

Dave Sharp was 'repeatedly raped, beaten and hung by the neck' at the Christian Brothers School in Fife. The payment is likely to allow hundreds of other Scottish victims to win compensation for historical abuse at various organisations.

Daily Mirror

Leading musicians protest St Sepulchre’s ban on secular bookings

Leading musicians protest St Sepulchre’s ban on secular bookings

More than 50 leading figures from the classical music world have signed a letter urging St Sepulchre-without-Newgate, the 'musicians' church', to reverse its decision to ban 'non-religious hiring' of its facilities.

Rhinegold Publishing

Commission warns Sikh temple after police called to disturbances

Commission warns Sikh temple after police called to disturbances

The Charity Commission has issued an official warning to a Sikh temple in Coventry. Its concerns include repeated breaches of the peace, disagreements between trustees, unauthorised payments and the circulation of inappropriately political or extremist material.

Third Sector

Pig’s head left at Islamic centre in County Down

Pig’s head left at Islamic centre in County Down

A pig's head was dumped outside an Islamic centre in Newtownards in an incident being treated as a hate crime.

Belfast Telegraph

Why is the Southern Poverty Law Centre targeting liberals?

Why is the Southern Poverty Law Centre targeting liberals?

Ayaan Hirsi Ali says those such as Apple, who have donated to the SPLC after recent events in Charlottesville, are taking the wrong approach to combating bigotry and racism.

New York Times

Religion ‘should have a voice’ on same-sex marriage

Religion ‘should have a voice’ on same-sex marriage

Australian senator James Paterson argues that his country should extend the freedom to marry to same-sex couples, but "at the same time protect the religious liberty of those who disagree".

The Australian

Thu, 24 Aug 2017

Moderate Muslims need help from all of us

Moderate Muslims need help from all of us

David Aaronovitch argues that moderates are walking a tightrope between those who "pretend there is no problem" and "a way of thinking that casts an entire global religion and its billions of adherents as, a priori, adversaries".

The Times (£)

Church buildings largely exempt from new business rates – NSS speaks out

Church buildings largely exempt from new business rates – NSS speaks out

The National Secular Society's Alistair McBay says the churches should pay their taxes in a letter.

The Herald

How the English far-right co-opted Christianity

How the English far-right co-opted Christianity

Katie Edwards says Britain First is using Christianity to cover for its white nationalism.

The Conversation

Allah-Las gig in Rotterdam cancelled due to terrorism warning

Allah-Las gig in Rotterdam cancelled due to terrorism warning

A threat caused the cancellation of a rock concert by an American band with the word 'Allah' in their name. The band have explained why they chose their name.

The Guardian

French MP calls Charlie Hebdo response to Barcelona “extremely dangerous”

French MP calls Charlie Hebdo response to Barcelona “extremely dangerous”

A former French minister is among those criticising Charlie Hebdo for publishing a cartoon criticising Islam. The magazine's editor has defended the cartoon, saying debate over the role of Islam in terror attacks has "completely disappeared".

International Business Times

Dating shows too hot for Turkish TV

Dating shows too hot for Turkish TV

Dating shows will disappear from Turkey's television screens after the country's broadcasting watchdog branded them harmful. The government has said they do not fit with the country's Islamic customs and values.

The Times (£)

Shout ‘Allahu akbar’ and you will be shot, warns mayor of Venice

Shout ‘Allahu akbar’ and you will be shot, warns mayor of Venice

Luigi Brugnaro said at a conference: "If anyone runs into St Mark's Square shouting 'Allahu akbar', we will take him down".

The Times (£)

American football coach suspended for evangelising loses appeal case

American football coach suspended for evangelising loses appeal case

High school students joined a Christian American football coach in prayers on the field, and he gave motivational speeches with religious content. He has lost his bid to be reinstated and allowed to worship in front of students.

LA Times

Atheist group asks Marco Rubio to stop tweeting Bible verses

Atheist group asks Marco Rubio to stop tweeting Bible verses

The Freedom From Religion Foundation has written to the Florida senator. It says tweets from his official account are government speech, so his repeated references to scripture violate the US constitution.

Christian Post

Wed, 23 Aug 2017

Don’t waste police time on the online bigots

Don’t waste police time on the online bigots

Clare Foges argues that new CPS guidelines on online abuse will undermine free speech and add an "enemy of the state glamour" to extremist and bigoted movements.

The Times (£)

Is the Church of England dying in the countryside?

Is the Church of England dying in the countryside?

The Spectator's Holy Smoke podcast discusses the decline of the Church in rural England.

Spectator

Australian PM backs gay marriage

Australian PM backs gay marriage

Malcolm Turnbull says he will vote in favour of same-sex marriage as the country prepares for a referendum on whether it should be legalised.

The Times (£)

Police accuse Christian commune of smuggling and raping children

Police accuse Christian commune of smuggling and raping children

Police have accused key leaders of the Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps in New Mexico of horrific acts, including some that resulted in a child's death.

Vice

Saudi police detain 14-year-old boy for dancing in the street

Saudi police detain 14-year-old boy for dancing in the street

A teenager filmed performing the 1990s dance hit Macarena has been held for 'improper public behaviour' in Jeddah.

The Guardian

The online abuse hurled at Malaysia's Muslim women

The online abuse hurled at Malaysia's Muslim women

Surekha Ragavan asks if Malay Muslim women encounter more rage on social media.

BBC

Devil worshipper sues district schools for harassment over his faith

Devil worshipper sues district schools for harassment over his faith

The leader of a group that worships the 'real Devil" and participates in black masses is suing several schools in Oklahoma for harassment over his 'alternative faith'.

International Business Times

Hindu extremists ‘attack Christians’ at gospel event in India

Hindu extremists ‘attack Christians’ at gospel event in India

A Christian pastor and members of his ministry team were reportedly attacked with poles and sticks by members of a fundamentalist Hindu organization during a Gospel outreach event in Rajasthan.

Christian Post

Tue, 22 Aug 2017

Heterosexual couple take civil partnership case to Supreme Court

Heterosexual couple take civil partnership case to Supreme Court

A heterosexual couple who want to enter a civil partnership instead of getting married have been granted the right to take their case to the Supreme Court. As part of their case, they argue that marriage comes with religious connotations.

BBC

Tory councillors reinstated in Stirling

Tory councillors reinstated in Stirling

Two Conservative councillors have been allowed to return to the party after being suspended for tweets which were deemed offensive. One of them mocked the Catholic church's record on child abuse.

Daily Record

Terror experts, politicians and church leaders to debate ‘religious unity’ in UK cities

Terror experts, politicians and church leaders to debate ‘religious unity’ in UK cities

Senior politicians, terror experts and Christian leaders will come together for a major two-day conference in October. Attendees will include Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, chief constable Olivia Pinkney and the head of the UK Catholic Church, Cardinal Vincent Nichols.

Christian Today

Triple talaq: India court bans Islamic instant divorce

Triple talaq: India court bans Islamic instant divorce

India's top court has ruled the practice of instant divorce in Islam unconstitutional. The cases were filed by five Muslim women who had been divorced in this way and two rights groups. The court called the practice unconstitutional and "un-Islamic".

BBC

The right to blasphemy: is this the boundary between civilisation and barbarism?

The right to blasphemy: is this the boundary between civilisation and barbarism?

A profile of former Charlie Hebdo journalist Zineb El Rhazoui, who featured in the recent International Conference on Freedom of Conscience and Expression. She has said Islamists "wouldn't sleep until my body and head were separated".

Open Democracy

‘We are not illiberal, we just do not want unfair religious privilege’

‘We are not illiberal, we just do not want unfair religious privilege’

A series of letter-writers respond to Kevin McKenna's attack on secularism, which we featured in In The Media yesterday.

The Herald

Religious backers of Trump ‘embarrass themselves’

Religious backers of Trump ‘embarrass themselves’

Jennifer Rubin argues that lack of principle has been par for the course for the vast number of politically active Christian conservatives who endorsed and defended President Trump.

Washington Post

Official prayers in Australia’s federal parliament should be scrapped

Official prayers in Australia’s federal parliament should be scrapped

Each sitting day in federal parliament begins with the speaker of the House and the president of the Senate leading prayers. Luke Beck, a senior lecturer in constitutional law, says this is divisive and unconstitutional.

The Conversation

Rebel female bishop on Northern Ireland crusade to recruit women into Catholic priesthood

Rebel female bishop on Northern Ireland crusade to recruit women into Catholic priesthood

A female Catholic 'bishop' excommunicated by the Vatican is in Northern Ireland on a recruitment drive to expand her movement of women priests.

Belfast Telegraph

Mon, 21 Aug 2017

Catholic Church claimed child sex abuse victims ‘consented’

Catholic Church claimed child sex abuse victims ‘consented’

The Catholic Church and British local authorities have been accused of using a legal loophole to avoid paying compensation to victims of child sex abuse.

Independent

Football sectarianism law dismissed as pointless

Football sectarianism law dismissed as pointless

A change in the law in Scotland intended to curb sectarian football violence is a waste of time, according to lawyers.

The Times (£)

More British Jews considering move abroad as anti-Semitism fears grow – poll

More British Jews considering move abroad as anti-Semitism fears grow – poll

Almost one in three British Jews has considered moving abroad in the past two years, a survey suggests.

Sky News

‘Why I know that ISIS is a problem of my religion’

‘Why I know that ISIS is a problem of my religion’

Activist Sara Khan writes that counter-radicalisation efforts must look at why so many young people are seduced by extreme Salafi-Jihadism.

Mail on Sunday

Why a growing number of people are planning not to have a funeral

Why a growing number of people are planning not to have a funeral

Although they represent only around 5% of all cremations in the UK, direct cremations are an increasingly popular option.

Telegraph

A conversation with Peter Tatchell: Islamism, multiculturalism, and LGBT rights

A conversation with Peter Tatchell: Islamism, multiculturalism, and LGBT rights

Peter Tatchell speaks about the rise of Islamism, his takes on identity politics and multiculturalism, the failures of the Left to defend LGBT Muslims, and police handling of death threats against him by Islamist extremists.

Conatus News

‘It is time to stand up to those who wish to criminalise faith’

‘It is time to stand up to those who wish to criminalise faith’

Kevin McKenna writes an extraordinary attack on secularists. He claims that the Catholic Church and the Orange Order now face "a common enemy: an illiberal and feral anti-religious movement which wants to criminalise faith".

The Herald

Theologians doubt the Pope is a Catholic

Theologians doubt the Pope is a Catholic

Anxious theologians and conservative cardinals have attacked the Pope by arguing that his attempts to modernise church teaching are heretical.

The Times (£)

Australia's Catholic Church threatens to fire staff who marry same sex

Australia's Catholic Church threatens to fire staff who marry same sex

The Catholic Church of Australia has threatened to sack staff who wed their same-sex partner if gay marriage is legalised in the country.

Newshub

Catholic brother guilty of 'very grave' Queensland teen sexual abuse

Catholic brother guilty of 'very grave' Queensland teen sexual abuse

A Catholic brother who sexually abused nine "vulnerable and marginalised" boys at a Queensland orphanage has been sentenced to eight years behind bars for his historic crimes.

Brisbane Times

Christian boy in Pakistan faces death penalty for allegedly burning Koran

Christian boy in Pakistan faces death penalty for allegedly burning Koran

A teenage boy from the minority Christian community in Pakistan has been arrested over blasphemy charges for allegedly burning pages of the Quran.

International Business Times

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 (£)

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