Thu, 04 Jan 2018
Germany's Catholic Church received a record £5.3 billion in tax money last year, a newspaper investigation has found. The country's 27 dioceses have a fortune of at least €26 billion.
Rioting in western India brought major cities to a standstill yesterday amid anger at discrimination and violence suffered by 'low-caste' communities. On Monday right-wing Hindu groups raided Dalit celebrations of the 200th anniversary of a battle when Dalit soldiers defeated a 'high-caste' ruler's forces, sparking days of clashes.
The Times (£)
Bob Churchill of The International Humanist and Ethical Union speaks about the 2017 Freedom of Thought Report.
A primary election in Massachusetts looks set to be moved to avoid a clash with Yom Kippur or Rosh Hashanah.
Wed, 03 Jan 2018
The Government has re-stated its interest in labelling halal and kosher meat to indicate the method of slaughter after Brexit. Farming minister George Eustice said the Government will consider the move so shoppers can make an "informed choice". His words back up a similar statement from Lord Gardiner of Kimble to the NSS in November.
Jeremy Corbyn is under pressure to speak out about the unrest in Iran. The Labour leader has a longstanding interest in the country but has yet to comment on the protests there, which are partly motivated by opposition to theocracy.
The Times (£)
Brian McClinton says the BBC's plan to devote more time to religious issues appears to be "a retrograde step".
Belfast News Letter
A Jewish group in North London says it will lodge a judicial review against a coroner's decision to withdraw a special arrangement on burials. The arrangement meant most Jewish people who died at home in north London could be immediately sent to a funeral home instead of going to a public mortuary, as is standard.
Ham & High
Abortion clinics are among a new group of healthcare services which will have to publicly display official ratings from the CQC.
A new fly-on-the-wall documentary about the life of a priest in a rural community will begin on BBC Two next week.
Maliha Aqueel says Muslim women who speak out about violence in their own communities are often silenced by accusations that they are helping anti-Muslim bigots.
Catholic groups are threatening a series of legal actions against the Irish Government over plans to prohibit primary schools from giving priority to baptised children when they are over-subscribed.
The Irish Times
At least 38 people — most of them children — have died from diphtheria in the last year in Indonesia. There are several contributing factors but one is that some fundamentalist Muslims think vaccines violate Islamic law.
British Columbia has announced it will pay for a pill which terminates pregnancies within the first nine weeks. It will become the sixth Canadian province to provide free access to the drug.
Ohio's largest abortion clinic has launched an advertising campaign aimed at challenging the stigma around abortion.
Tue, 02 Jan 2018
The Government has announced plans for Britain to mark this year's 100th anniversary of the end of the first world war. Events on 11 November will conclude with a service at Westminster Abbey in London along with services in Glasgow, Cardiff and Belfast.
A man who was abused as a child at a Catholic school in London has spoken of a "culture of violence" at the institution, where a former headmaster was jailed just before Christmas for rape and other sexual offences.
The Catholic Church has been accused of failing to establish contact with victims of historic child abuse as it pledged to do in response to an independent review.
Mothers' names could be included on marriage certificates under proposed reforms to the way unions are registered. The reforms have cross-party support.
The Times (£)
Nine more people have been killed overnight as clashes between protesters and security forces continue in Iran for a sixth day, according to state media.
Demonstrators in multiple Iranian cities have defied restrictions on free speech in the Islamic republic. Some have torn down pictures of Iran's leaders, and some women have removed their headscarves.
Los Angeles Times
Beatrix von Storch, deputy leader of the AfD, accused Cologne police of appeasing "barbaric, gang-raping Muslim hordes of men" after the force tweeted a new year message in Arabic. Her Twitter account was suspended for 12 hours and the authorities are considering whether she should be charged with incitement to hatred, a criminal offence.
Last year Germany passed a sweeping anti-hate speech law requiring websites to promptly investigate reports of posts illegal under German law and delete them. The grace period before the law would begin being enforced expired yesterday.
A Paris hospital's decision to reject a trainee doctor because of his beard has been backed by a court, which agreed that patients may have seen it as a religious symbol.
Ireland's Minister for Health has insisted the Government is committed to holding a referendum on the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution this summer.
The Irish Times
A masked gunman shot dead two Christian brothers at their alcohol shop south of Cairo yesterday, security sources said. The incident took place just days after attacks on a Coptic church and another Christian-owned shop also south of the Egyptian capital that killed more than 10 people.
President Trump and his conservative evangelical supporters topped the list of the 10 most important religion news stories of the year, compiled by America's largest organisation of religion journalists.
Fri, 22 Dec 2017
The National Secular Society (NSS) has written a formal complaint to the BBC over an episode of Radio 4's Today programme.
The online retailer took the product - which sold for up to £456 - offline after a complaint from the National Secular Society complained that the product normalised an unnecessary and risky practice.
Laurence Soper, 74, fled to Kosovo with £182,000 from the Vatican bank in a bid to avoid prosecution for abusing boys at the independent St Benedict's School, in Ealing, where he taught.
The European Court of Justice said member states must decide for themselves whether to recognise "private divorces", such as those performed in Sharia courts.
Stephen Lambert: "The stark reality is that Prevent, despite its imperfections, has helped to thwart the level of violent terrorism."
A Liverpool-born Muslim convert was caught trying to join IS after his pregnant wife "snitched" on him - and has been jailed for five years.
The couple, who are from an east African country, listened to the proceedings via an interpreter and swore on the Koran that they would not to apply for travel documents after they were ordered to surrender their passports.
Pope Francis offered a short benediction at the funeral Thursday of Cardinal Bernard Law, a move that disappointed some sex-abuse survivors who said the pontiff should not dignify the former Boston archbishop who resigned in disgrace over the Catholic Church's sex-abuse scandal.
An Afghan-Australian refugee who plowed a car through a teeming intersection in the heart of Australia's second-largest city made rambling references to God, the mistreatment of Muslims and Australia's domestic security service after he was arrested, officials said Friday.
Daniela Sala: "After years of arduous, badly paid work in the fields of southern Italy, Singh reported his employer to the police. But in a country where justice moves at a glacial pace, abused migrant workers have scant incentive to come forward"
A second federal court Thursday blocked the Trump administration from letting employers with religious or moral objections deny women insurance coverage for contraceptives.
Women held at compound run by guru appear drugged, with city's commissioner for women fearful it is a site for sexual exploitation.
The Indonesian police have appealed to Islamic hardliners not to raid businesses to check whether Muslim employees were being forced to wear Santa Claus hats or other Christmas outfits over the festive season.
Thu, 21 Dec 2017
NSS chief executive Stephen Evans called the BBC's religion and ethics review "a missed opportunity". He added that the personal views of the man heading it were an irrelevance.
Amazon has removed circumcision training kits from its UK website after the NSS complained that they normalised unnecessary and risky practice.
The NSS's complaints led to Amazon pulling the kits and practice dummies for sale from its UK site.
David Aaronovitch says that if the corporation insists on more coverage of faith, we have the right to criticise and question, not simply venerate.
The Times (£)
Amid the fallout from the BBC's review, the Catholic Church is pressurising BBC Scotland to appoint its own religious affairs editor.
The court of appeal has said a ruling that stopped a transgender woman seeing her five children did not address issues of human rights and discrimination. The original ruling came after the woman was shunned by the orthodox Jewish community.
A Government review said a network of community support advisers should be created to give advice to churches. The advisers would help churches talk to local councils about how their buildings can be better used in the community, to make sure they get enough funds to stay open.
A student whose brother was a suicide bomber in Iraq has been jailed for ten years after plotting a terrorist attack using a slingshot and ball bearings that he had bought on eBay. Officers found that he had an Islamic State guide for using "primitive" weapons.
The Times (£)
Jewish 'representatives' in London and Manchester have accused Lancashire County Council of having a "dismissive attitude" following its recent decision to ban non-stunned meat from schools.
Boxer Amir Khan received abuse and threats after posting a picture of his Christmas tree on social media. Some Muslims accused him of "betraying" his religion.
Manchester Evening News
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