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Fri, 11 Aug 2017

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

Concerns raised about plans to scrap discretionary subsidised transport to faith schools

Concerns raised about plans to scrap discretionary subsidised transport to faith schools

Concerns have been raised about plans to remove bus subsidies for children attending faith schools following a consultation.

The Lancaster and Morecambe Citizen

Why is the U.K. thinking of an anti-caste law? – NSS cited

Why is the U.K. thinking of an anti-caste law? – NSS cited

Campaigners are determined to continue chasing the government for anti-caste discrimination, with some prepared to take it to court if need be.

The Hindu

Class divide at church must be addressed, new study suggests

Class divide at church must be addressed, new study suggests

The Church in the UK is dominated by the middle class, who must eschew superior attitudes and empower working-class culture if the dearth of working-class people in their congregations is to be reversed.

Church Times

US bishops urge Trump to ease contraceptive mandate

US bishops urge Trump to ease contraceptive mandate

The president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops has called on President Trump to ease the "onerous" contraceptive mandate under the Affordable Care Act, arguing that it violates religious freedom.

The Tablet

The Berlin mosque breaking Islamic taboos

The Berlin mosque breaking Islamic taboos

At Berlin's newest mosque, men and women pray together, women are allowed to lead Friday prayers, and gay, lesbian and transgender people are welcome.

BBC

The future of sex in Africa

The future of sex in Africa

Stigma and growing religious fundamentalism are preventing women from fully accessing a range of reproductive health services.

Open Democracy

Christian support for same-sex marriage is growing in Australia

Christian support for same-sex marriage is growing in Australia

Many Christians are finding that the reasons being offered in opposition to marriage equality are not strong. And, Rev Dr Keith Mascord says, they're losing patience with those who claim to speak on their behalf.

The Guardian

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