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Wed, 20 Dec 2017

Malaysian airlines’ flight attendants’ uniforms deemed “too sexy”

Malaysian airlines’ flight attendants’ uniforms deemed “too sexy”

Malaysian politicians say budget airlines' uniforms are too revealing and do not represent the country's official Muslim status.

The Independent

Tue, 19 Dec 2017

‘Why we must update sex and relationships education’

‘Why we must update sex and relationships education’

A consultation on sex and relationships education has opened this morning. The education secretary, Justine Greening, explains how she wants to change this part of the curriculum.

TES

New bishop of London to sit in House of Lords

New bishop of London to sit in House of Lords

The Right Reverend Sarah Mullally has been named as the first female bishop of London. She will become the third most senior official in the Church of England and immediately take a seat in the House of Lords.

iNews

Bishop says C of E may split over teachings on homosexuality

Bishop says C of E may split over teachings on homosexuality

On BBC Newsnight Rod Thomas, the bishop of Maidstone, said disagreements over sexuality in the C of E were "a primary issue" with the capacity to "split the Church".

Daily Express

Ofcom reprimands radio station which told listeners to ignore non-Muslim doctors

Ofcom reprimands radio station which told listeners to ignore non-Muslim doctors

A Muslim radio station has been reprimanded by Ofcom after an Islamic scholar advised a sick listener to ignore the advice of non-Muslim doctors.

The Times (£)

Priest charged with child sex offences

Priest charged with child sex offences

A Church of England priest who served as a vicar at a village church has been charged with historic sex offences against a girl.

Mid Sussex Times

Pennsylvania’s governor vetoes bill to add abortion restrictions

Pennsylvania’s governor vetoes bill to add abortion restrictions

The governor of Pennsylvania has vetoed a bill on abortion passed by the Republican-controlled legislature in the state. It would have limited abortions to the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. Opponents also say it would have outlawed the most common method of second-trimester abortion.

The Washington Post

President Trump loses fight to allow churches to get more involved in politics

President Trump loses fight to allow churches to get more involved in politics

President Trump personally pushed allies to pressure Congress to repeal a law prohibiting churches and tax-exempt institutions from political organising in its upcoming tax bill. But the change has been blocked.

Time

Louisiana mother sues school district alleging promotion of Christianity

Louisiana mother sues school district alleging promotion of Christianity

A mother's lawsuit against her daughter's school district details more than 30 specific incidents of allegedly unconstitutional use of religion in schools. These include science teachers calling evolution a "fairy tale," teachers waving a Bible at students and teachers punishing or criticising students who refused to participate in classroom prayers.

USA Today

‘Muslim women shouting #MeToo must be heard’

‘Muslim women shouting #MeToo must be heard’

Alia Waheed says cultural pressures make it difficult for many Muslim women to speak out about sexual abuse, but "the #MeToo effect" could help to start changing attitudes.

The Telegraph

Claims about abortion to be fact-checked before Irish referendum

Claims about abortion to be fact-checked before Irish referendum

Claims about abortion will be fact checked by Ireland's referendum commission during next year's campaign, Ireland's prime minister Leo Varadkar has said.

The Times (£)

Chinese university bans Christmas

Chinese university bans Christmas

A Chinese university has banned Christmas in a bid to help young people resist the "corrosion of Western religious culture".

Daily Express

Mon, 18 Dec 2017

Recommendations to protect church abuse survivors 'have been ignored'

Recommendations to protect church abuse survivors 'have been ignored'

A safeguarding expert who wrote a review of sex abuse within the Church of England said his recommendations for better practice to protect survivors have been ignored.

Premier Christian Radio

Ofsted chief receives threats over private faith school criticism

Ofsted chief receives threats over private faith school criticism

The head of Ofsted says she has received threats and abuse after accusing private faith schools run by religious conservatives of deliberately resisting British values and equalities law.

The Guardian

‘Why does the UK allow schools to discriminate due to religion?’ – NSS mentioned

‘Why does the UK allow schools to discriminate due to religion?’ – NSS mentioned

Around the world, there are very few countries which allow schools to pick pupils on the basis of their faith. The UK is one of them, and groups such as the NSS argue that faith-based admissions are bad for society.

Rights Info

‘Pro-life’ group gives Scotland’s top doctor legal ultimatum over abortion

‘Pro-life’ group gives Scotland’s top doctor legal ultimatum over abortion

Lawyers acting for the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children Scotland have written to Dr Catherine Calderwood, the country's chief medical officer. The society says Dr Calderwood will face legal action if she does not stop allowing women to take the abortion pill at home by 5 January.

The Telegraph

Carey lashes out at Welby’s call for his resignation over sex abuse

Carey lashes out at Welby’s call for his resignation over sex abuse

The former archbishop of Canterbury George Carey has attacked his successor, Justin Welby, in a Christmas letter to friends. This year Welby asked Carey to resign an honorary post over his involvement in a high-profile sexual abuse case. Lord Carey has called the demand "shocking" and "quite unjust".

The Guardian

Christmas Day is not the time to search for bargains, says bishop

Christmas Day is not the time to search for bargains, says bishop

The Bishop of Chelmsford has said he regrets online sales beginning on Christmas Eve and he would support laws to prevent all but essential services operating on 25th December.

The Times (£)

Secular Americans not alone in doubting Christmas story

Secular Americans not alone in doubting Christmas story

Fewer Americans today believe the biblical accounts of Jesus's birth are reflected in the way the culture observes the season, the Pew Research Centre has found. Pew also said "most U.S. adults believe the religious aspects of Christmas are emphasised less now than in the past — even as relatively few Americans are bothered by this trend".

Baptist News Global

Pre-Christmas suicide bombing at Pakistani church kills at least nine

Pre-Christmas suicide bombing at Pakistani church kills at least nine

At least nine Christian worshippers were killed and 50 wounded when two suicide bombers attacked a church in the southwestern city of Quetta on Sunday. Islamic State quickly claimed responsibility.

The Washington Post

Australia’s Catholic Church rejects calls to end mandatory celibacy and the secrecy of confession

Australia’s Catholic Church rejects calls to end mandatory celibacy and the secrecy of confession

The Catholic Archbishop of Sydney has responded to a royal commission report making recommendations over child sex abuse. He said breaking the secrecy of confession was a "distraction" and ending celibacy would not guarantee an end to the abuse claims.

Daily Express

Germany needs anti-Semitism commissioner, says interior minister

Germany needs anti-Semitism commissioner, says interior minister

Germany's interior minister has called for the creation of an anti-Semitism officer to tackle increasing violence against Jews in the country.

The Telegraph

Philippines’ Duterte says he supports gay marriage

Philippines’ Duterte says he supports gay marriage

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday expressed his support for same-sex unions, in an about-face that may displease bishops in the mainly Roman Catholic country.

New York Post

The secret scourge of family violence and murder in Australian Hindu and Sikh communities

The secret scourge of family violence and murder in Australian Hindu and Sikh communities

There has been an alarming increase in domestic violence in Hindu and Sikh communities in Australia. Advocates say this is due to myriad factors, including the influence of ancient texts which relegate women to inferior status, clerical reluctance to raise the subject and Australia's failure to outlaw dowry abuse.

ABC News

Fri, 15 Dec 2017

Illegal faith schools a ‘growing menace’ in England - NSS quoted

Illegal faith schools a ‘growing menace’ in England - NSS quoted

Children being educated illegally in unregistered faith schools are left "unprepared for life in modern Britain," according to a report published this week by England education watchdog Ofsted.

Arab News

Church apology over Bishop George Bell abuse inquiry

Church apology over Bishop George Bell abuse inquiry

The Church of England has apologised to the relatives of a bishop for the way it investigated child abuse claims made against him decades after his death.

BBC

Australia child abuse inquiry finds 'serious failings'

Australia child abuse inquiry finds 'serious failings'

A five-year inquiry into sexual abuse in Australia has released its final report, saying institutions had "seriously failed" to protect children.

BBC

Letter: Filling the Church of England’s cathedrals? - NSS mentioned

Letter: Filling the Church of England’s cathedrals? - NSS mentioned

A letter in response to the bishop of Bedford's swipe that the National Secular Society over its call for disestablishment.

The Guardian

Butlin's faces legal action over dodgems 'hijab ban'

Butlin's faces legal action over dodgems 'hijab ban'

A Muslim man has launched a discrimination case against the holiday company Butlins after he claims his teenage daughter was barred from using the dodgems because she was wearing a hijab.

The Guardian

Law Commission to explore leasehold and chancel repair liability

Law Commission to explore leasehold and chancel repair liability

News that chancel repair liability (an ancient law that can force homeowners to pay for some ancient Anglican parish church repairs) is among the 14 projects that the Law Commission will look at over the next three years.

Law Gazette

Labour leader is heckled as he tells Jewish group that he's tough on anti-Semitism

Labour leader is heckled as he tells Jewish group that he's tough on anti-Semitism

The Labour leader was accused of hating Jewish people as he delivered a speech to the Jewish Labour Movement's Chanukah party.

Mail Online

MSF estimates more than 6,700 Rohingya killed in Myanmar

MSF estimates more than 6,700 Rohingya killed in Myanmar

Based on surveys of refugees in Bangladesh, the number is much higher than Myanmar's official figure of 400.

BBC

Hindu man raised £3,500 after video of him 'murdering a Muslim man' went viral

Hindu man raised £3,500 after video of him 'murdering a Muslim man' went viral

Police in India's western Rajasthan state have frozen the bank account of a Hindu zealot who received public donations of around £3,500 days after he is alleged to have brutally murdered a Muslim labourer, burnt his body and circulated videos of the incident on social media.

The Telegraph

Religious freedom review appointee has argued for limited sharia law in Australia

Religious freedom review appointee has argued for limited sharia law in Australia

The Turnbull government has appointed an academic who has argued that recognising religious freedom should include acceptance of a limited form of sharia law to the Ruddock review.

The Guardian

Six men sentenced to death in India for Dalit 'honour' killing

Six men sentenced to death in India for Dalit 'honour' killing

Shankar, 22, was hacked to death in Tamil Nadu by a gang of men including his wife's father, because they did not approve of him marrying above his caste.

The Guardian

"U.S. religion is increasingly polarised"

"U.S. religion is increasingly polarised"

"More moderate forms of organized religion could become increasingly irrelevant in the United States," a sociologist says.

Science News

Thu, 14 Dec 2017

‘Sooner or later we’re going to have to deal with disestablishment’ – by NSS CEO

‘Sooner or later we’re going to have to deal with disestablishment’ – by NSS CEO

There is a responsibility on all of us that want to live in a fairer, more egalitarian society to challenge religious privilege and push for disestablishment, argues Stephen Evans.

Huffington Post

Some faith schools not teaching English, says Ofsted chief

Some faith schools not teaching English, says Ofsted chief

Amanda Spielman, Ofsted's chief inspector, said yesterday that some schools were deliberately illegal and unregistered, so they did not have to meet education requirements. She said children at many illegal faith schools left education with limited or no ability to read and write in English, no qualifications and no work skills.

The Times (£)

Teaching extremism: Squalid faith schools 'undermining British values', warns Ofsted

Teaching extremism: Squalid faith schools 'undermining British values', warns Ofsted

A rising number of conservative faith schools are actively undermining British values and thus increasing the risk of extremism in society, the head of Ofsted has warned.

International Business Times

Birmingham council backs buffer zone around abortion clinic

Birmingham council backs buffer zone around abortion clinic

Anti-abortion campaigners could be banned from gathering outside a Marie Stopes clinic in Edgbaston.

Birmingham Mail

‘England’s shift to opt-out organ donation will save many lives’

‘England’s shift to opt-out organ donation will save many lives’

John Chisholm says it has been a travesty that hundreds of people die due to a lack of transplant organs and an opt-out donation scheme is long overdue in England.

New Scientist

Story of mixed-religion housing Belfast estate White City told in new memoir

Story of mixed-religion housing Belfast estate White City told in new memoir

Marianne Elliott has returned to her former home in Belfast's White City estate for her latest book, Hearthlands. She discusses the relative harmony on the estate before the Troubles – partly aided by Governments defying vested interests like the Orange Order to bring in mixed-religion housing.

Irish News

Christian ‘legal army’ in hundreds of court battles worldwide

Christian ‘legal army’ in hundreds of court battles worldwide

Women's rights advocates say a controversial US legal advocacy group, Alliance Defending Freedom, is "exporting extreme ideologies worldwide" against sexual and reproductive rights.

Open Democracy

‘There's a war on secularism, not Christmas’

‘There's a war on secularism, not Christmas’

Nicky Pessaroff says claims of a 'war on Christmas' in America are really a means of eroding the separation between church and state.

Las Cruces Sun-News

‘Doug Jones’s victory shows Democrats don’t have to abandon abortion rights to win’

‘Doug Jones’s victory shows Democrats don’t have to abandon abortion rights to win’

Marie Solis says Jones's win in Alabama shows pro-choice candidates can win American elections, even when the electorate seems hostile to their position on abortion.

Newsweek

Irish committee calls for liberalisation of laws on abortion

Irish committee calls for liberalisation of laws on abortion

Politicians have made clear-cut calls to repeal Ireland's eighth amendment, allow abortion up to 12 weeks' pregnancy and decriminalise the act.

Irish Examiner

Indonesian constitutional court refuses to ban sex outside marriage

Indonesian constitutional court refuses to ban sex outside marriage

Indonesia's Constitutional Court has narrowly rejected a petition asking it to criminalize all sex outside marriage. The decision is a blow to religious conservatives who have been gaining influence in the secular, Muslim-majority country.

The New York Times

El Salvador court upholds 30-year jail sentence in stillbirth case

El Salvador court upholds 30-year jail sentence in stillbirth case

An El Salvador court has rejected the appeal of a woman sentenced to 30 years in prison over what she says was a stillbirth. El Salvador is one of four Latin American countries with total bans on abortion.

The Guardian

Beijing collects DNA samples from millions in Xinjiang

Beijing collects DNA samples from millions in Xinjiang

China is collecting a huge trove of personal data including fingerprints, eye scans and DNA samples from millions of people in the western region of Xinjiang. Critics say the Muslim Uighur population is bearing the brunt of a security crackdown.

The Times (£)

Wed, 13 Dec 2017

Gradually dismantle royal family’s links to Church when Prince Charles crowned King, says NSS report

Gradually dismantle royal family’s links to Church when Prince Charles crowned King, says NSS report

Prince Charles's accession to the throne will offer a "particularly opportune moment" to disestablish the Church of England, according to an NSS report.

Daily Express

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