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Tue, 23 Jan 2018

Sadiq Khan backs Jewish community over coroner who refuses to prioritise religious burials

Sadiq Khan backs Jewish community over coroner who refuses to prioritise religious burials

The Mayor of London has backed the Board of Deputies in a row with a coroner who treats the dead equally regardless of religion. Sadiq Khan has urged Mary Hassell to show "respect for families and faith communities".

The Jewish Chronicle

‘Two Muslim cultures are emerging in Britain’

‘Two Muslim cultures are emerging in Britain’

Nick Cohen says events at St Stephen's primary school in Newham reveal mainstream society's willingness to "leave behind an impoverished Muslim working class confined in its ghettos".

The Spectator (£)

Free Sunday parking for Woking churches extended – NSS quoted

Free Sunday parking for Woking churches extended – NSS quoted

Church-goers in Woking will continue to enjoy free parking on Sundays after the council executive voted to extend the policy. NSS president Keith Porteous Wood has called on the council to charge people for parking equally.

Get Surrey

Academic says Blackburn is increasingly divided after BBC Panorama show

Academic says Blackburn is increasingly divided after BBC Panorama show

A leading academic has said Blackburn is becoming more segregated after a BBC Panorama documentary looked at the divide between Muslim Asians and the white population in the town.

Lancashire Telegraph

Finsbury Park attacker was ‘obsessed’ with Muslims, court told

Finsbury Park attacker was ‘obsessed’ with Muslims, court told

A man accused of carrying out the Finsbury Park attack had repeatedly expressed anti-Muslim sentiments and blamed Muslims for the rise in terrorism and the Rotherham child sex scandal, a court has been told.

Bristol Post

Salford man pleads guilty to 16 terrorism charges

Salford man pleads guilty to 16 terrorism charges

A Muslim convert from Salford has pleaded guilty to 16 terrorism charges.

BBC

‘The pope apologises to abuse victims but again doubts them’

‘The pope apologises to abuse victims but again doubts them’

The pope's remarks on sexual abuse on Sunday, when he apologised but expressed doubts about the veracity of victims' claims, have prompted criticism.

The New York Times

Priest criticises Today programme presenters who called Thought for the Day inappropriate

Priest criticises Today programme presenters who called Thought for the Day inappropriate

Rev Giles Fraser, a Church of England priest and broadcaster, has blasted John Humphrys for calling the religious slot on the Today programme "deeply boring".

Daily Mail

‘Thou shalt not challenge the status quo’

‘Thou shalt not challenge the status quo’

A blogger in the Western Isles writes about the difficult task of taking on Sabbatarians on Lewis.

Hebrides Writer

Satanic Temple’s religious challenge to abortion law heads to Missouri Supreme Court

Satanic Temple’s religious challenge to abortion law heads to Missouri Supreme Court

A lawsuit filed by a member of the Satanic Temple challenging Missouri's restrictive abortion law on religious grounds is going to the state Supreme Court today. Plaintiff Mary Doe says the law violated her rights to religious liberty.

Huffington Post

New trials shake Algeria's Ahmadi minority

New trials shake Algeria's Ahmadi minority

Algerian authorities have stepped up trials of members of the Ahmadiyya religious minority on charges related to the exercise of their religion, Human Rights Watch has said.

Ekklesia

Mon, 22 Jan 2018

St Stephen’s Newham backs down on hijab ban after online abuse

St Stephen’s Newham backs down on hijab ban after online abuse

MPs and education experts rallied behind the best primary school in England yesterday after it came under such criticism that it reversed its ban on children under eight wearing hijabs.

The Times

East London primary school backs down over hijab ban

East London primary school backs down over hijab ban

St Stephen's primary school in Newham, east London, hit the headlines at the weekend after it banned Muslim girls under the age of eight from wearing headscarves, to the delight of campaigners who argued it enforces religious conformity on children.

The Guardian

Unregulated schools: ‘Government must act urgently’, says Hackney Mayor

Unregulated schools: ‘Government must act urgently’, says Hackney Mayor

A new report by the council's Children and Young People's Scrutiny Commission (CYPSC) identifies up to 29 "yeshiva" schools in the borough which operate outside the authority of the Department for Education (DfE).

Hackney Citizen

Leading creationist Dr Nagy Iskander reappointed to sit on South Lanarkshire council education committee as unelected religious representative

Leading creationist Dr Nagy Iskander reappointed to sit on South Lanarkshire council education committee as unelected religious representative

A medical doctor described as one of Europe's most active creationists has been reappointed to sit on the education committee of South Lanarkshire council.

The Herald Scotland

Luton Islamic school complains over critical Ofsted report

Luton Islamic school complains over critical Ofsted report

Governors at an Islamic school have lodged a complaint over a highly critical report. Ofsted found pupils at the independent Olive Tree Primary School in Luton had to ask for toilet paper and wash their cutlery in toilet sinks, and raised concerns over extremist materials.

BBC

Church bells protected from noise complaints under new planning laws

Church bells protected from noise complaints under new planning laws

Ministers are changing planning guidance in England for new houses after parishes whose bells have chimed for centuries were forced to comply with noise abatement orders by disgruntled neighbours who had recently moved to the area. The updated guidance shows the government is 'standing up for churches', ministers said.

Christian Today

Jewish leaders call on Inner North London coroner to quit

Jewish leaders call on Inner North London coroner to quit

Jewish leaders have called for the resignation of a coroner in north London after she refused to prioritise burials on religious grounds.

BBC

Witch trials in the context of the Reformation

Witch trials in the context of the Reformation

A new study by two economists argues that witch hunts were a result of "non-price competition" between the Catholic and Protestant churches. That competition was for the hearts and minds of a population that was pious, superstitious and easily persuaded of the need to stamp out evil.

The Economist

Ireland: Plans to withdraw state funding from Catholic counselling agencies discriminating against LGBT couples

Ireland: Plans to withdraw state funding from Catholic counselling agencies discriminating against LGBT couples

At the moment, the Department of Children and Youth Affairs is paying at least €1.6 million to religious counselling groups that have policies of refusing homosexual couples for marriage or relationship counselling.

The Times

Pope Francis accuses sex abuse victims of slander

Pope Francis accuses sex abuse victims of slander

Pope Francis has accused victims of Chile's most notorious paedophile of slander – an astonishing end to a visit meant to help heal the wounds of a sex abuse scandal that has cost the Catholic Church its credibility in the country.

The Herald Scotland

Kenya is on the verge of either decriminalising gay sex, or making the current laws worse

Kenya is on the verge of either decriminalising gay sex, or making the current laws worse

A landmark case where three judges are set to review the existing penal code which outlaws "unnatural sex" has the potential to decriminalise gay sex, or make the law a lot worse. The law is currently being reviewed, as it is seen to be too "vague."

Gay Times

Christian UKIP MEP resigns over shifting on religious issues

Christian UKIP MEP resigns over shifting on religious issues

Jonathan Arnott MEP has resigned from his position and said UKIP has "significantly shifted its position on cultural and religious issues".

Premier Christian Radio

Tanmanjeet Dhesi: Britain's first turban-wearing Sikh MP reveals 'disillusioning' extent of racial abuse

Tanmanjeet Dhesi: Britain's first turban-wearing Sikh MP reveals 'disillusioning' extent of racial abuse

From having his turban ripped off at school, Tanmanjeet Dhesi went on to excel and has now reached the House of Commons. He tells Robin de Peyer about his journey from the Punjab to Parliament.

Evening Standard

Jewish Labour group accuses party of failing to act on antisemitism complaints

Jewish Labour group accuses party of failing to act on antisemitism complaints

The bitter Labour party controversy over antisemitism erupted again on Saturday night, as the main organisation representing its Jewish members accused the leadership of failing to deal with a "vast backlog" of complaints and of allowing a second inquiry into Ken Livingstone to get "stuck in limbo".

The Guardian

Indonesia: Christian ‘chooses’ sharia punishment for selling alcohol in Indonesia

Indonesia: Christian ‘chooses’ sharia punishment for selling alcohol in Indonesia

Jono Simbolon was whipped on Friday, 19 January, in front of a large cheering crowd, making him the third non-Muslim in the country to suffer a public flogging. He was forced to kneel as a masked man whipped him repeatedly outside a mosque in Aceh, Indonesia's only province to enact Sharia law.

International Business Times

USA: Supreme Court to decide if Trump's so-called Muslim ban is legal

USA: Supreme Court to decide if Trump's so-called Muslim ban is legal

The US Supreme Court has said it will decide the legality of Donald Trump's so-called Muslim travel ban – a case that will likely be an examination of his presidential powers.

The Independent

Fri, 19 Jan 2018

The Government mustn't dance to the Catholic Church's tune on faith schools - NSS article

The Government mustn't dance to the Catholic Church's tune on faith schools - NSS article

Plans to create more religiously selective faith schools appear to be back on the table. Stephen Evans says the Government risks recklessly neglecting the civic purpose of state education if it presses ahead with lifting the 50% cap on faith-based admissions.

Huffington Post

Senior Tory Crispin Blunt plots rebellion against plan to scrap faith school cap

Senior Tory Crispin Blunt plots rebellion against plan to scrap faith school cap

A senior Tory MP today said he will vote against Theresa May's plan to allow new faith schools to apply 100% religious discrimination in admissions. Mr Blunt is the third backbench Tory this week to signal reservations about scrapping the rule that new faith schools must offer half their places to pupils regardless of their religious background.

Evening Standard

Church of England report calls for more state funding of England's cathedrals

Church of England report calls for more state funding of England's cathedrals

The Church of England - one of the richest organisations in the country – has called more state funding for cathedrals. A significant number of England's 42 historic Anglican cathedrals are at "severe financial risk" and some have ineffective and under-resourced management, an investigation set up by the archbishops of Canterbury and York has found.

The Guardian

Fear of coroner prompts Jews to move before they die

Fear of coroner prompts Jews to move before they die

Claims that Jews are now considering moving if they don't get special priority from the St Pancras coroner.

Jewish Chronicle

Home Office rejects claim of humanist asylum seeker unable to identify Plato or Aristotle

Home Office rejects claim of humanist asylum seeker unable to identify Plato or Aristotle

The Home Office has rejected a claim for asylum on the grounds that the claimant, when asked to name ancient Greek philosophers who were humanists, did not name Plato and Aristotle. The claimant, Hamza bin Walayat, an ex-Muslim 'apostate' and member of Humanists UK, would, as a humanist, face ostracism, violence and persecution if returned to his native Pakistan.

Ekklesia

USA: New federal office will help medical providers discriminate and deny treatment on religious grounds

USA: New federal office will help medical providers discriminate and deny treatment on religious grounds

The Trump administration is creating an office to protect the 'religious rights' of medical providers, including those who may oppose abortion or transgender rights, in a decision that is likely to be a lightning rod for controversy.

The Guardian

USA: Donald Trump claims he supports gay equality, one day after supporting legal discrimination

USA: Donald Trump claims he supports gay equality, one day after supporting legal discrimination

Donald Trump has claimed he supports gay equality, one day after he signed a proclamation supporting legal discrimination against gay people. The US leader this week signed a Presidential proclamation on religious freedom that appeared to back the freedom to discriminate against LGBT people.

Pink News

Campaigner Leyla Hussein on why FGM is a British problem too

Campaigner Leyla Hussein on why FGM is a British problem too

The psychotherapist talks about her 'haven' and being attacked for calling the brutal practice child abuse.

Financial Times

Rights activists, religious freedom ‘under attack’ in Malaysia

Rights activists, religious freedom ‘under attack’ in Malaysia

With elections due in August this year, the Malaysian government continued to shift toward a more conservative Islam while cracking down on critics in 2017, despite promoting itself as an administration that upholds moderation, a human rights group said.

Asian Correspondent

Ban on Bollywood film Padmaavat lifted despite beheading threat against actress

Ban on Bollywood film Padmaavat lifted despite beheading threat against actress

India's supreme court has overturned a ban imposed by several states on the release of a controversial Bollywood film about a mythical Hindu queen.

Sky News

MPs shocked by tales of Christian persecution

MPs shocked by tales of Christian persecution

MPs have spoken of their shock at hearing first-hand accounts from Christians around the world who are being persecuted for their faith. Several politicians including Labour's Ben Bradshaw and the Conservative's Fiona Bruce attended a briefing at Parliament on Wednesday night which highlighted nations where persecution is most severe.

Premier Christian Radio

Thu, 18 Jan 2018

Bid to scrap Scottish law policing behaviour at football takes step forward

Bid to scrap Scottish law policing behaviour at football takes step forward

MSPs have backed efforts to repeal the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications Act. The legislation has been criticised as infringing upon free speech on religious issues while failing to make any difference tackling sectarianism.

The Herald

Hackney committee votes to prioritise dealing with illegal schools

Hackney committee votes to prioritise dealing with illegal schools

In a meeting of Hackney Council's children and young people's scrutiny commission last night, members voted to lobby government to strengthen legislation so children in unregistered schools are safe. The move came despite criticism from some Jewish groups.

Hackney Gazette

Archbishop's claims against bishop 'irresponsible and dangerous'

Archbishop's claims against bishop 'irresponsible and dangerous'

The Archbishop of Canterbury has shamed his office with "irresponsible and dangerous" claims that Bishop George Bell of Chichester may have been a paedophile, leading historians have said.

The Telegraph

Catholic divorce shake-up makes remarriage easier

Catholic divorce shake-up makes remarriage easier

Divorced Catholics will find it quicker and easier to remarry in church in England and Wales after an overhaul of the process that can declare a first marriage void in the eyes of God.

The Times (£)

Pakistani humanist denied UK asylum after failing to identify Plato

Pakistani humanist denied UK asylum after failing to identify Plato

A Pakistani man who renounced his Muslim faith and became a humanist has had his application for asylum in the UK rejected. The Home Office said his knowledge of humanism was "rudimentary at best" and rejected his claim he would face persecution for his beliefs in Pakistan.

The Guardian

Second lawsuit lodged against Belgium’s ban on non-stunned meat

Second lawsuit lodged against Belgium’s ban on non-stunned meat

Lawyers have lodged a second lawsuit against an incoming ban on non-stunned meat in the Flanders area of Belgium. Several Jewish groups claim the law "tramples on" religious freedom.

Jewish News

New US Government agency to allow health workers to opt out from providing services on religious grounds

New US Government agency to allow health workers to opt out from providing services on religious grounds

The Trump administration will create a new conscience and religious freedom division within the Health and Human Services Department to ease the way for doctors, nurses and other medical professionals to opt out of providing services that violate their moral or religious beliefs.

The Washington Post

‘Why a gay couple took their cake case to the US Supreme Court’

‘Why a gay couple took their cake case to the US Supreme Court’

A ruling over a cakeshop owner's refusal to serve a same-sex couple could erode civil rights protections for LGBT Americans or bolster them. Lucia Graves speaks to Charlie Craig and David Mullins.

The Guardian

Trump says no American should have to choose between faith and the law

Trump says no American should have to choose between faith and the law

On 'Religious Freedom Day' on Tuesday, President Trump said no American should have to choose between faith and the law. The statement appears to be part of a campaign to keep evangelical support.

Christian Today

US atheists urge defence secretary to end religious favouritism in the military

US atheists urge defence secretary to end religious favouritism in the military

Two atheist groups in the US have sent a letter to James Mattis calling for an end to "coerced prayers" in the military.

Patheos

Irish parliamentary debate focuses on women who’ve travelled for abortions

Irish parliamentary debate focuses on women who’ve travelled for abortions

The experiences of thousands of Irish women who travel to the UK every year for an abortion have been recounted during a key debate on a proposed referendum on the issue.

The Belfast Telegraph

China bans children in predominantly Muslim county from attending religious events during winter holidays

China bans children in predominantly Muslim county from attending religious events during winter holidays

A predominantly Muslim county in western China has banned children from attending religious events during the winter holidays, as authorities step up control of religious education.

The Independent

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