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Tue, 15 Aug 2017

Catholic leaders to meet Scottish government over religious hate crime

Catholic leaders to meet Scottish government over religious hate crime

Catholic Church leaders are to hold talks with the Scottish government amid escalating concerns about the level of religious hate crime in Scotland.

The Scotsman

Proms conductor in row with musicians' church after it bans 'non-religious' concerts

Proms conductor in row with musicians' church after it bans 'non-religious' concerts

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.

The Telegraph

Misogyny and homophobia on the rise among French Jews

Misogyny and homophobia on the rise among French Jews

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.

The Freethinker

Nepal's battle for souls

Nepal's battle for souls

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.

Guardian

India plans to deport all 40,000 Rohingya Muslims, minister says

India plans to deport all 40,000 Rohingya Muslims, minister says

The central government has ordered state authorities to round up all those in country without permission, including refugees fleeing persecution in Buddhist-majority Burma.

The Independent

Hindu today, Muslim tomorrow

Hindu today, Muslim tomorrow

What reports of forced conversion in Pakistan say about the country on the 70th anniversary of its creation.

The Atlantic

Same-sex marriage ‘will leave faithful at risk of coercion’

Same-sex marriage ‘will leave faithful at risk of coercion’

Kevin Donnelly of the Australian Catholic University argues that religious groups will be "forced" to behave in a way that contradicts their beliefs.

The Australian

Mon, 14 Aug 2017

Councillor calls for restriction on number of places of worship in 'secular' Leicester

Councillor calls for restriction on number of places of worship in 'secular' Leicester

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.

Leicester Mercury

Hijab girl in children’s books ‘is sexualising four-year-olds’

Hijab girl in children’s books ‘is sexualising four-year-olds’

Transport chiefs have been forced to drop a children's road safety campaign depicting a nursery schoolgirl wearing a religious headscarf.

The Times (£)

Crucial test for Benedictine monks’ new leader as order faces sex abuse inquiry

Crucial test for Benedictine monks’ new leader as order faces sex abuse inquiry

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.

Guardian

Anne Marie Waters – from secular campaigner to far-right idol

Anne Marie Waters – from secular campaigner to far-right idol

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.

Conatus News

Catholic inmates outnumber Anglicans for the first time

Catholic inmates outnumber Anglicans for the first time

Anglicanism has been toppled as the biggest religious denomination among prisoners in England and Wales for the first time.

The Times (£)

Ranking countries by their blasphemy laws

Ranking countries by their blasphemy laws

A new report from the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom assesses 71 countries that punished blasphemy.

The Economist

Australian clergy who fail to report child abuse heard in confession should be charged – royal commission

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.

Guardian

Religious conservatives and transgender rights

Religious conservatives and transgender rights

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.

Open Democracy

Fri, 11 Aug 2017

UK could face Islamist threat for decades, former MI5 chief warns

UK could face Islamist threat for decades, former MI5 chief warns

The UK may continue to face the threat of Islamist terrorism for another "20 to 30 years", the former head of MI5 has said.

BBC

On abuse, it's time to call a spade a spade

On abuse, it's time to call a spade a spade

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.

Telegraph

Abolish the oath: moral prejudice against atheists may bias courtroom decisions

Abolish the oath: moral prejudice against atheists may bias courtroom decisions

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.

The Conversation

Is scientology having a second coming?

Is scientology having a second coming?

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.

Evening Standard

Animal fat £5 notes here to stay

Animal fat £5 notes here to stay

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'.

The Week

Blasphemy laws worldwide

Blasphemy laws worldwide

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.

Washington Post

Tennessee Christian school refused to report sexual abuse, lawsuit alleges

Tennessee Christian school refused to report sexual abuse, lawsuit alleges

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".

Independent

Will hardline Islamic attitudes stop Lombok being the ‘new Bali'?

Will hardline Islamic attitudes stop Lombok being the ‘new Bali'?

The unspoilt island offers western buyers exciting opportunities – but it is also developing a 'sharia tourism' industry.

Financial Times

Nepal passes law to end practice of exiling women for menstruating

Nepal passes law to end practice of exiling women for menstruating

Nepal's parliament has strengthened its laws against the ancient Hindu customs of demanding dowry payments for marriage and exiling women who are menstruating.

Independent

Paedophile remains a priest in New Zealand

Paedophile remains a priest in New Zealand

The Catholic Church is defending its decision not to defrock a paedophile priest who abused boys in Dunedin.

NZ Herald

Per Research: US Muslims more accepting of homosexuality than Evangelicals

Per Research: US Muslims more accepting of homosexuality than Evangelicals

Despite widespread issues with homophobia, 52% of US Muslims believe homosexuality should be accepted by society, compared to 34% of white Evangelical Protestants and acceptance of homosexuality appears to be growing faster among American Muslims.

Thu, 10 Aug 2017

Extremist suspects could be forced to join Prevent scheme

Extremist suspects could be forced to join Prevent scheme

People deemed at risk of extremism could be forced to take part in a deradicalisation programme, under plans being considered by the Home Office.

The Times (£)

I won’t back down on abortion, Foster tells pro-life group

I won’t back down on abortion, Foster tells pro-life group

Arlene Foster has said that the DUP will do "everything in its power" to resist calls from the UK to relax anti-abortion laws in Northern Ireland.

The Times (£)

Paris attack ‘related to terrorism’

Paris attack ‘related to terrorism’

The Paris prosecutor has described an attack on anti-terror soldiers yesterday as "attempted killings... in relation to a terrorist undertaking".

BBC

Kirk ‘facing a crisis of confidence over falling numbers’

Kirk ‘facing a crisis of confidence over falling numbers’

The Church of Scotland is facing a crisis of confidence amid falling numbers of churchgoers, its moderator has warned.

The Times (£)

Twenty objections to schools sharing site

Twenty objections to schools sharing site

The government has defended a decision to co-locate two schools – one of them a Church of England school – in Douglas on the Isle of Man. Some parents have expressed concern about a potential religious divide between pupils.

IoM Today

Pope orders Belgian Catholic hospitals to end euthanasia

Pope orders Belgian Catholic hospitals to end euthanasia

Pope Francis has ordered Belgian psychiatric hospitals run by the Brothers of Charity to cease offering euthanasia.

Catholic Culture

Leading Catholic bioethicist compares genetic breakthrough to eugenics

Dr Albert Jones, director of the Anscombe Bioethics Centre, in Oxford, says a gene-editing experiment which removed a mutation that causes sudden heart failure is the "essence of eugenics".

The Tablet

White House adviser suggests Minnesota bombing may be left-wing plot

White House adviser suggests Minnesota bombing may be left-wing plot

Sebastian Gorka has claimed the Minnesota mosque bombing may have been a left-wing plot.

Independent

Muslim man suing Virgin Atlantic 'after being thrown off flight for mentioning 9/11'

A Muslim man is embroiled in a legal battle with Virgin Atlantic after claiming he was removed from a plane for mentioning 9/11. He says the reference was "harmless".

Evening Standard

Wed, 09 Aug 2017

Pope Francis says the growing acceptance of trans people is ‘terrible’

Pope Francis says the growing acceptance of trans people is ‘terrible’

Pope Francis is being criticised for denouncing schools that are accepting of transgender children.

Pink News

Why Americans won’t vote in an atheist president

Why Americans won’t vote in an atheist president

A new study shows that people think the worst of non-believers. What does this mean for US voters?

Guardian

Donald Trump given the authority to wipe out Kim Jong-un by God, Christian pastor boasts

Donald Trump given the authority to wipe out Kim Jong-un by God, Christian pastor boasts

President Trump has been granted the authority "by God" to "take out Kim Jong–un" with "fire and fury", a senior pastor at a huge Texas church has declared.

Express

Peter Kosminsky on the need to humanise jihadis in Channel 4 drama

Peter Kosminsky on the need to humanise jihadis in Channel 4 drama

The creator of a new series, The State, says dismissing the young British people who joined Islamic State as "insane" won't help us understand the problem.

Radio Times

Saudia Airlines warn passengers of strict dress code

Saudia Airlines warn passengers of strict dress code

Some may not be surprised to see a strict dress code on Saudi Arabian planes, since the country follows a conservative version of Sunni Islam, but others on social media think it has gone too far.

BBC

Ancient fairy curse is causing dips in road, claims Irish MP

Ancient fairy curse is causing dips in road, claims Irish MP

An Irish MP has blamed damage to a road on fairies, saying that disturbance to their forts caused a dip in the tarmac.

Telegraph

Tue, 08 Aug 2017

A picture of Malaysian atheists has led to a government crackdown on ex-Muslims

A picture of Malaysian atheists has led to a government crackdown on ex-Muslims

A group of atheists took a photo at a gathering in Malaysia. The government has responded by threatening to punish any "Muslims" involved, while some Malaysians have called for the imprisonment or death of apostates over social media.

Patheos

Minnesota mosque bombing 'act of terror'

Minnesota mosque bombing 'act of terror'

An explosive that shattered windows and damaged a room at a Minnesota mosque was "a criminal act of terrorism", the state's governor Mark Dayton has said.

BBC

The serial killer test: biases against atheists emerge in study

The serial killer test: biases against atheists emerge in study

Most people around the world, whether religious or not, presume that serial killers are more likely to be atheists than believers in any god, suggests a new study.

New York Times

Australian archbishops say same-sex marriage bill fails to protect religious freedom

Sydney's Catholic Archbishop Anthony Fisher and his Anglican counterpart, Archbishop Glenn Davies, have criticised a proposed bill to permit same-sex marriage in Australia as failing to protect religious freedom.

The Tablet

Trump's evangelical advisers request meeting with Pope Francis

Trump's evangelical advisers request meeting with Pope Francis

Evangelical advisers to Donald Trump are requesting a meeting with Pope Francis after Vatican-backed condemnation aimed at the White House and at the political leanings of American Catholics.

Christian Today

Transgender 'bathroom bill' leaves Texas Christians deeply divided

Transgender 'bathroom bill' leaves Texas Christians deeply divided

A bill that aims to restrict transgender people's access to restrooms has split progressive and conservative faith groups in an increasingly diverse state

Guardian

Atheists denounce White House Bible study at taxpayer expense

Atheists denounce White House Bible study at taxpayer expense

In a contentious appearance on Fox and Friends, Andrew Seidel of the Freedom From Religion Foundation questioned the wisdom and propriety of weekly Bible studies being held at the White House, and attended by top government officials.

Patheos

Mon, 07 Aug 2017

Prevent criticism 'stems from ignorance'

Prevent criticism 'stems from ignorance'

One of Scotland Yard's most senior police officers says some criticism of the government's Prevent programme comes from parts of the community that "don't want Prevent to work in the first place".

BBC

Christian convention sparks Lake District tourism row

Christian convention sparks Lake District tourism row

Angry traders say their takings plummet by as much 90 per cent when the 142-year-old Keswick Convention sets up camp for three weeks at the height of summer.

iNews

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