Tue, 15 Aug 2017
Catholic Church leaders are to hold talks with the Scottish government amid escalating concerns about the level of religious hate crime in Scotland.
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.
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.
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.
The central government has ordered state authorities to round up all those in country without permission, including refugees fleeing persecution in Buddhist-majority Burma.
What reports of forced conversion in Pakistan say about the country on the 70th anniversary of its creation.
Kevin Donnelly of the Australian Catholic University argues that religious groups will be "forced" to behave in a way that contradicts their beliefs.
Mon, 14 Aug 2017
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.
Transport chiefs have been forced to drop a children's road safety campaign depicting a nursery schoolgirl wearing a religious headscarf.
The Times (£)
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.
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.
Anglicanism has been toppled as the biggest religious denomination among prisoners in England and Wales for the first time.
The Times (£)
A new report from the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom assesses 71 countries that punished blasphemy.
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.
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.
Fri, 11 Aug 2017
The UK may continue to face the threat of Islamist terrorism for another "20 to 30 years", the former head of MI5 has said.
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.
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.
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.
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'.
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.
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".
The unspoilt island offers western buyers exciting opportunities – but it is also developing a 'sharia tourism' industry.
Nepal's parliament has strengthened its laws against the ancient Hindu customs of demanding dowry payments for marriage and exiling women who are menstruating.
The Catholic Church is defending its decision not to defrock a paedophile priest who abused boys in Dunedin.
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
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 (£)
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 (£)
The Paris prosecutor has described an attack on anti-terror soldiers yesterday as "attempted killings... in relation to a terrorist undertaking".
The Church of Scotland is facing a crisis of confidence amid falling numbers of churchgoers, its moderator has warned.
The Times (£)
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.
Pope Francis has ordered Belgian psychiatric hospitals run by the Brothers of Charity to cease offering euthanasia.
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".
Sebastian Gorka has claimed the Minnesota mosque bombing may have been a left-wing plot.
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".
Wed, 09 Aug 2017
Pope Francis is being criticised for denouncing schools that are accepting of transgender children.
A new study shows that people think the worst of non-believers. What does this mean for US voters?
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.
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.
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.
An Irish MP has blamed damage to a road on fairies, saying that disturbance to their forts caused a dip in the tarmac.
Tue, 08 Aug 2017
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
A bill that aims to restrict transgender people's access to restrooms has split progressive and conservative faith groups in an increasingly diverse state
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.
Mon, 07 Aug 2017
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".
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.
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