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Mon, 23 May 2022

NSS mentioned: Children’s author banned from reading his new book at school because it features a witch

NSS mentioned: Children’s author banned from reading his new book at school because it features a witch

Andy Sagar's novel Yesterday Crumb and the Storm in a Teacup is about a young girl who joins a flamboyant witch in a travelling tea shop. But the London-based faith school where he was due to read from it on Friday cancelled because it did not want to be seen "promoting witchcraft".

The Sun

Kirk assembly gathers ahead of gay marriage vote

Kirk assembly gathers ahead of gay marriage vote

The Church of Scotland could make history by approving religious same-sex marriage.

BBC

Man who had ‘extremely harmful’ ISIS terrorist manuals jailed

Man who had ‘extremely harmful’ ISIS terrorist manuals jailed

A man who possessed "extremely harmful" ISIS manuals has been jailed, the Met Counter Terrorism Command has said.

Evening Standard

Teaching union calls for action on ‘Islamophobia in schools’

Teaching union calls for action on ‘Islamophobia in schools’

A teaching union is calling for more action to tackle Islamophobia in Scottish schools, saying understanding the issue should be integrated into the curriculum.

The Scotsman*

Parliamentarians launch all-party group to tackle Jewish divorce refusal

Parliamentarians launch all-party group to tackle Jewish divorce refusal

MPs have launched an all-party group on get refusal in the wake of a high-profile case in which a recalcitrant husband was jailed for refusing his wife a Jewish religious divorce.

Jewish News

Nicola Sturgeon ‘let women down’ by posing with anti-abortion politician

Nicola Sturgeon ‘let women down’ by posing with anti-abortion politician

Nicola Sturgeon has been accused of "sending a negative message to women in Scotland" after she held a meeting with a congressman during her US tour who campaigned to repeal abortion rights.

The Times*

‘The Bill of Frights?’

‘The Bill of Frights?’

Russell Sandberg explains how the UK government's proposed Bill of Rights might affect freedom of religion or belief.

The Freethinker

Ireland: TD and Minister for Education clash over sex education rollout

Ireland: TD and Minister for Education clash over sex education rollout

The quality of relationships and sexuality education (RSE) has been the subject of criticism on the basis that many students say they either do not receive it or find that it is outdated.

The Irish Times*

Afghanistan: Female TV presenters defy Taliban order to cover faces on air

Afghanistan: Female TV presenters defy Taliban order to cover faces on air

Female presenters on Afghanistan's leading TV channels have appeared on air without covering their faces, defying a Taliban order that they conceal their appearance to comply with the group's austere brand of Islam.

ABC News

US: Top Southern Baptists stonewalled sex abuse victims, report says

US: Top Southern Baptists stonewalled sex abuse victims, report says

Leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention, America's largest Protestant denomination, stonewalled and denigrated survivors of clergy sex abuse over almost two decades while seeking to protect their own reputations, according to a scathing 288-page investigative report issued Sunday.

The Independent

US: Study indicates that religious engagement in prison does not protect against reincarceration

US: Study indicates that religious engagement in prison does not protect against reincarceration

The study found no evidence that religious engagement in prison was associated with reduced recidivism among a group of inmates with substance abuse problems.

PsyPost

Imams speak out amid furore over Canadian university’s LGBTQ poster

Imams speak out amid furore over Canadian university’s LGBTQ poster

Local Muslim leaders say their goal is "understanding and harmony" amid pushback against the depiction of two women in hijabs about to kiss on a Western University poster promoting gay rights.

The London Free Press*

Fri, 20 May 2022

Survey: Six per cent of adults in the UK are practising Christians

Survey: Six per cent of adults in the UK are practising Christians

Just six per cent of adults in the UK are practising Christians — down one per cent from seven years ago, a new survey suggests.

Church Times*

Abortion in NI: Health officials told to set up services

Abortion in NI: Health officials told to set up services

Stormont's Department of Health must start setting up a fully-funded abortion service for Northern Ireland "within days to weeks", Brandon Lewis has said.

BBC

Scottish Greens launch bill to create protest-free zones outside abortion clinics

Scottish Greens launch bill to create protest-free zones outside abortion clinics

Healthcare staff and campaigners call for action in face of growing anti-abortion activity across Scotland.

The Guardian

Gay marriages could be considered as soon as next year by the Church of England

Gay marriages could be considered as soon as next year by the Church of England

The church is pulling together comments from congregations all over the country who have been asked to reflect on whether same-sex couples should be allowed to marry in church.

ITV

Marriage rates for opposite-sex couples drop to new record low

Marriage rates for opposite-sex couples drop to new record low

Marriage rates for opposite-sex couples in England and Wales fell to a new record low before the Covid-19 pandemic, figures show.

The Independent*

QC to lead inquiry into antisemitism claims at NUS

QC to lead inquiry into antisemitism claims at NUS

Allegations of antisemitism in the National Union of Students are to be investigated by an independent inquiry.

The Times*

‘The rise and rise of the Strictly Orthodox’

‘The rise and rise of the Strictly Orthodox’

According to a new report, four out of every ten UK Jews are projected to be Charedi by 2040.

The Jewish Chronicle

Oklahoma passes bill banning most abortions after conception

Oklahoma passes bill banning most abortions after conception

Oklahoma legislators have passed a law banning abortion after conception, which critics say is the most restrictive such measure in the US.

BBC

Afghanistan's female TV presenters must cover their faces, say Taliban

Afghanistan's female TV presenters must cover their faces, say Taliban

The Taliban have ordered female Afghan TV presenters and other women on screen to cover their faces while on air.

BBC

‘Italy's Catholic Church at crossroads over sexual abuse investigation’

‘Italy's Catholic Church at crossroads over sexual abuse investigation’

Francesco Zanardi has spent the past 12 years documenting sexual abuse of minors by Catholic priests in Italy, filling a vacuum he says is caused by the refusal of the country's Church thus far to launch a major investigation.

Reuters*

‘Hong Kong: Why Catholics are worried over free speech’

‘Hong Kong: Why Catholics are worried over free speech’

Following the arrest of pro-democracy Cardinal Joseph Zen, some Catholic community members in Hong Kong worry the government may now shift the focus of its crackdown to the religious community.

Deutsche Welle

‘In India, “looking Muslim” could cost your life’

‘In India, “looking Muslim” could cost your life’

Mob lynchings of Muslims who look visibly Muslim have arisen in the past, say Akanksha Singh and Roshan Abbas.

CNN

Thu, 19 May 2022

New sex education programme for Catholic primaries

New sex education programme for Catholic primaries

A new relationship and sex education (RSE) programme, 'Flourish' has been provided to Catholic Primary schools in Northern Ireland. Topics covered do not include contraception.

BBC

Police arrest 13-year-old boy on suspicion of sharing extreme Islamist material

Police arrest 13-year-old boy on suspicion of sharing extreme Islamist material

A schoolboy aged just 13 has been arrested in west London on suspicion of being Britain's youngest jihadi.

Mail Online

Media project to change the narrative around Christianity

Media project to change the narrative around Christianity

The Church of England is creating a new website to help "change the narrative about Christianity in the English speaking world". The initial four year project will cost more than £1 million.

Religion Media Centre

‘They’re killing us’: West Yorkshire FGM survivors speak out

‘They’re killing us’: West Yorkshire FGM survivors speak out

Survivors of female genital mutilation (FGM) in West Yorkshire have spoken out about the pain and suffering they have endured in a bid to encourage other women to get help.

ITV

Sex abuse suit filed against Oklahoma City Catholic school

Sex abuse suit filed against Oklahoma City Catholic school

Current and former students of Mount St. Mary Catholic High School in Oklahoma City and six parents or guardians are suing the private school, alleging it fostered "a rape culture" for more than 10 years.

Mail Online

In India, Hindu nationalists embolden challenges to atheism

In India, Hindu nationalists embolden challenges to atheism

Organisations that support and promote atheism in India are being attacked by Hindutva activists.

Religion News Service

Gyanvapi mosque: India dispute could become a religious flashpoint

Gyanvapi mosque: India dispute could become a religious flashpoint

In Varanasi, one of the world's oldest living cities, Hindus and Muslims have prayed close to each other in a temple and a mosque that sit cheek by jowl. Now the place is in the throes of a dispute which could stoke fresh tensions in Hindu-majority India, where Muslims are the largest religious minority.

BBC

Mexico's Guerrero state becomes ninth to allow abortions

Mexico's Guerrero state becomes ninth to allow abortions

Lawmakers in Mexico's southwestern state of Guerrero voted on Tuesday to allow abortions, making it the ninth of the country's 32 federal entities where women can legally end pregnancies amid a recent wave of loosening restrictions around the procedure.

Reuters*

‘What happens when a country bans abortion'

‘What happens when a country bans abortion'

When Romania's communist dictator outlawed termination and contraception he condemned thousands of women to death and set his regime on the road to ruin, says Poppy Koronka.

The Times*

‘Deborah Yakubu: Murder most vile’

‘Deborah Yakubu: Murder most vile’

"Extremist mobs share the same motivation with terrorist groups. Both are bent on forcing their interpretation of their faith on everyone."

Punch

Wed, 18 May 2022

London school bans niqab from being worn on their premises

London school bans niqab from being worn on their premises

A London school has banned the niqab from being worn on their premises, following a look at their dress-code policy.

SW Londoner

‘Hostile’ Home Office officials blamed for leaking report calling for more scrutiny of Islamist extremism

‘Hostile’ Home Office officials blamed for leaking report calling for more scrutiny of Islamist extremism

Allies of William Shawcross, the author of the report, claimed it was a political leak to undermine a key recommendation that Prevent should be refocused on Islamic rather than Right-wing extremism as the biggest threat to public safety.

The Telegraph*

‘Extremism review must take a tough stance on Islamism’

‘Extremism review must take a tough stance on Islamism’

Is the government effectively addressing the challenge posed by extremist ideologies in the UK, asks Paul Stott.

The Times*

Franklin Graham: Mark Drakeford says he cannot stop US evangelist's event

Franklin Graham: Mark Drakeford says he cannot stop US evangelist's event

Mark Drakeford said he "regrets" that a US evangelist will appear at a conference centre which is partly owned by the Welsh government.

BBC

Prince Charles promises Canada 'healing and understanding' over schools scandal

Prince Charles promises Canada 'healing and understanding' over schools scandal

Last year, hundreds of human remains were found at former church-run schools. From the 19th century until the 1970s, more than 150,000 indigenous children were forced to attend such schools.

Sky News

Checks on kosher meats 'insane' Boris Johnson tells Belfast Jewish community

Checks on kosher meats 'insane' Boris Johnson tells Belfast Jewish community

Checks on kosher meats entering Northern Ireland from Britain are "insane", Boris Johnson has told members of Belfast's Jewish community. The Reverend David Kale, minister for Belfast's Jewish community, last year called for an exemption to be made on religious grounds.

The Irish News*

US supreme court abortion reversal would be global ‘catastrophe’ for women

US supreme court abortion reversal would be global ‘catastrophe’ for women

The probable demise of abortion as a federal right in the US will be a "catastrophe" for women in low and middle-income countries, with an emboldened anti-choice movement likely to raise renewed pressure on hard-won gains, doctors and activists have warned.

The Guardian

States pursue extreme restrictions in crafting post-Roe abortion law

States pursue extreme restrictions in crafting post-Roe abortion law

What had been a slow, deliberate erosion of abortion rights over the 50 years since the court's ruling in Roe now seemed to be a flash flood of increasingly severe restrictions and proposals cropping up at the state level, abortion rights advocates say, as antiabortion Republicans envision a post-Roe world.

The Washington Post*

New Mexico Catholic diocese forks out $121.5million to settle bankruptcy case caused by sex abuse scandal

New Mexico Catholic diocese forks out $121.5million to settle bankruptcy case caused by sex abuse scandal

One of the oldest Catholic dioceses in the United States announced a settlement agreement on Tuesday to resolve a bankruptcy case in New Mexico that resulted from a clergy sex abuse scandal.

Mail Online

Afghanistan: ‘Inside a secret school for girls’

Afghanistan: ‘Inside a secret school for girls’

Hidden away in a residential neighbourhood is one of Afghanistan's new "secret" schools - a small but powerful act of defiance against the Taliban.

BBC

Tue, 17 May 2022

Leaked Prevent review attacks ‘double standards’ on far right and Islamists

Leaked Prevent review attacks ‘double standards’ on far right and Islamists

The government's counter-terrorism programme has been too focused on rightwing extremism and should now crack down on Islamist extremism, according to leaked draft extracts from a landmark review of the Prevent strategy.

The Guardian

Anti-gay street preacher pleads not guilty after arrest

Anti-gay street preacher pleads not guilty after arrest

The case against an open air preacher from Loughbrickland has come before the courts for the first time since he was arrested.

News Letter

‘Futureproofing our schools’

‘Futureproofing our schools’

Many children in NI are segregated by academic performance and even gender, but the main criterion for division is that of religion, says David Bell.

Slugger O'Toole

France: Grenoble allows women to wear burkinis in public pools despite political opposition

France: Grenoble allows women to wear burkinis in public pools despite political opposition

The French city of Grenoble has formally allowed Muslim women to wear burkinis, or swimming costumes covering the whole body, in public pools.

Euronews

US report details church-state collusion on Native schools

US report details church-state collusion on Native schools

A new Interior Department report on the legacy of boarding schools for Native Americans underscores how closely the U.S. government collaborated with churches to Christianise them as part of a project to sever them from their culture, their identities and ultimately their land.

The Associated Press

Anti-abortion groups target women with misleading ads

Anti-abortion groups target women with misleading ads

In many US states, BBC News has seen misleading websites advertising anti-abortion 'clinics' appearing high up in Google search results, while genuine abortion providers are having their ads rejected and accounts restricted.

BBC

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