Thu, 26 Apr 2018

British institutions 'prioritise reputation of political leaders over children', warns child abuse inquiry

British institutions are prioritising the reputation of political leaders and their staff over the sexual abuse of children, according to the interim report from the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. The inquiry is studying evidence from a range of institutions including the Anglican and Catholic churches.

The Independent

Report recommends NI abortion law change

A working group has recommended a change to Northern Ireland's laws to allow abortion in cases of fatal foetal abnormality. The change would provide for termination of pregnancy "where the abnormality is of such a nature as to be likely to cause death before, during or in the early period after birth".


‘The battle for British Muslims' integration’ – refers to NSS research

A lengthy feature from John Ware on the integration of Muslims and the efforts by some 'community groups' to resist it. The piece refers to NSS research on schools which have made the hijab compulsory.


Appeal judges reject plea to let Vatican take Alfie Evans

The parents of the terminally ill toddler Alfie Evans have lost their latest legal challenge to allow their child to be cared for in Italy.

The Times (£)

Chaplaincy services budget under review in Guernsey

A review of spending on chaplaincy services at a Guernsey hospital is under way amid concerns that they are too strongly linked with the Church of England.

Guernsey Press

Plans for independent Muslim school in west Sussex

Broadfield Mosque, in Crawley in west Sussex, has applied for permission to open an independent faith school. If approved, the primary school - a free school - will be built adjacent to the mosque and will cater for 180 children, aged 4-11 and 27 teaching staff.

Crawley Observer

Labour divisions on display at hearing into anti-semitism

Dozens of Labour MPs have marched in support of a Jewish colleague as she prepared to give evidence at a disciplinary hearing of a party member accused of anti-semitism. A small group of protesters supported the accused member. The development comes amid further fallout from a meeting between Jeremy Corbyn and Jewish leaders this week.

The Independent

Christian Conservative council candidate in Herts suspended over calls for execution of gay people

A Conservative candidate for election to Stevenage Borough Council in Hertfordshire has been suspended from the party after it emerged he had once argued that gay people should face the death penalty. The candidate has referred to himself as a "fundamentalist" Christian and a "cult" member.

Hertfordshire Mercury

US Supreme Court’s conservative justices appear to back Trump’s authority for travel ban

The conservative majority on the US Supreme Court seemed to agree Wednesday that President Trump has the authority to ban travellers from certain majority-Muslim countries if he thinks that it is necessary to protect the country.

The Washington Post

‘Israel's weakening secularism’

Zvi Bar'el says "religion itself is becoming Israel's raison d'etre".


US cannot cut teen pregnancy prevention grants, says judge

A federal judge has blocked US president Donald Trump's administration from terminating grant funding for teen pregnancy prevention programs run by affiliates of Planned Parenthood, saying the decision was arbitrary.


Wed, 25 Apr 2018

Judge rules ill boy’s parents may not take him abroad

A High Court judge has said there is no substance to a family's application to take the seriously ill toddler Alfie Evans to Italy for treatment. Alfie's parents have vowed to challenge the ruling with the backing of the Christian Legal Centre.


Alfie Evans activists ‘doing more harm than good’

A judge yesterday warned Alfie Evans's father that not all of his supporters "had his back". He said advice from the Christian Legal Centre had undermined "the relationship between the parents and their official legal advisers and seriously distorted their views about their legal rights".

The Times (£)

‘Life and the Law’

The Times says the heartrending case of Alfie Evans has been exploited by groups more anxious to advance a broad 'pro-life' agenda than to support a family in desperate circumstances.

The Times (£)

Councillors in south Wales unhappy at 'discriminatory attitudes' of religious education committee members

Councillors have spoken out about alleged discriminatory attitudes held by some members of the Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education (SACRE) in Monmouthshire.

South Wales Argus

Church of Scotland officials set to be allowed to refuse to take part in same-sex weddings

Church of Scotland officers will not have to play any part in same sex marriage ceremonies if they do not wish to do so, according to the church's legal guidance. The report also says organists will be able to opt out of playing at same sex weddings.

The Herald

UK 40th in World Press Freedom rankings

The UK remains 40 out of 180 countries on the 2018 World Press Freedom Index amid a "climate of hostility towards the media", according to an annual index compiled by Reporters without Borders.

Press Gazette

Times distorted Muslim foster case, regulator finds

The press regulator has ruled the Times "distorted" its coverage of a five-year-old girl from a Christian family who was placed with Muslim foster carers.


Proposal to end infant genital cutting in Denmark likely to fail amid opposition from Liberals

Denmark's ruling Liberal Party has come out against a ban on cutting young boys' genitals for non-medical reasons, meaning the citizen's proposal is unlikely to make it through parliament.

The Local (Denmark)

Iceland could drop plans to ban infant genital cutting, suggests Board of Deputies president

Senior figures from Britain's religious communities have met Icelandic MPs and officials in Reykjavik to lobby the island's government to oppose a proposed ban on cutting infants' genitals for non-medical reasons.

The JC

German state orders all government buildings to display a Christian cross

The German state of Bavaria has ordered that Christian crosses should be placed on the entrance of all government buildings.

The Independent

Germany's Jews urged not to wear kippahs after attacks

A Jewish leader in Germany has advised Jews to avoid wearing traditional skullcaps following anti-Semitic attacks.


Trump's travel ban faces US Supreme Court reckoning

President Donald Trump's administration goes before the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday to defend the legality of his travel ban targeting people from several Muslim-majority countries.


Tue, 24 Apr 2018

More councils consider abortion clinic buffer zones

Eight councils in England are considering setting up abortion clinic buffer zones after pro-choice groups said the number of "intimidating" protests was on the rise.

The Guardian

Greening speaks out against DfE plan to lift faith school cap

The former education secretary Justine Greening has warned that removing the cap on faith-based admissions to faith schools would not bring children together or prepare them for life in modern Britain.


House of Lords defeats government plans to scrap EU rights charter after Brexit

Peers have voted to keep a key EU human rights charter as part of British law.

The Independent

Man fined for hate crime after filming pug's 'Nazi salutes'

A man who filmed a pet dog giving Nazi salutes before putting the footage on YouTube has been fined £800. Mark Meechan has said he will appeal the sentence.


Religion an important source of social division in UK and Europe

Most Europeans believe their countries are more polarised than 10 years ago, a poll for the BBC has suggested. In the UK respondents said religion was the second most significant source of division.


Motive unclear in Toronto van attack

Canadian investigators are piecing together information about the man accused of driving a van into multiple pedestrians in Toronto yesterday, killing 10 and injuring 15. Officials are not currently calling the incident a terrorist attack.


Report recommends closure for Catholic school in Scottish Borders

A report has recommended the closure of a Roman Catholic primary in the Scottish Borders. Councillors will decide the fate of St Margaret's Primary in Hawick when they meet later this week.


Jeremy Corbyn set to meet Jewish leaders

Jeremy Corbyn is set for a meeting with Jewish leaders to discuss his response to anti-Semitism in the Labour Party.


Labour council candidate apologises for sharing video criticising tolerance of ‘illegal’ homosexuality

A Labour candidate for the council in Milton Keynes has apologised for sharing a video from a Muslim preacher criticising homosexuality.

Pink News

Mon, 23 Apr 2018

C of E warns American Anglicans of 'consequences' over gender neutral wedding services

The Church of England has warned Anglicans in the US that there could be "stringent consequences" if proposed plans for gender neutral wedding services receive the go-ahead.

Premier Christian Radio

Fresh bid to legalise assisted suicide for the dying in Scotland

A fresh bid to introduce assisted suicide in Scotland is under way, with one MSP backing the prospect of cross-party legislation to give dying Scots the right to end their lives.

The Scotsman

Waiting lists for Jewish school places shorten

Waiting lists for state-aided Jewish secondary schools in London are almost a third lower than they were this time last year. The supply of new places appears to be the main reason for the trend.

The JC

Bishop George Bell investigation dropped by Sussex Police

A police investigation into former bishop of Chichester George Bell has been dropped amid criticism of the Archbishop of Canterbury for smearing his name.

The Telegraph

Corbyn changes plans for roundtable on relations with British Jews

Jeremy Corbyn's roundtable discussion with Jewish 'community leaders' has been postponed. Labour sources indicated that a series of meetings would be held in the coming weeks – with the first on Tuesday being with the "most representative groups".

Jewish News

Bid to build Sikh temple in Northamptonshire rejected

An application to build a Sikh temple in the Northamptonshire town of Kettering has been turned down by planners.

Northants Telegraph

Religious leaders visit Iceland to oppose ban on infant circumcision

Jewish and Muslim leaders from Britain met Icelandic MPs and officials in Reykjavik this week to lobby the island's government to oppose a ban on cutting infants' genitals for non-medical reasons.

The Times (£)

‘The stark differences in how the Trump and Obama administrations talk about human rights’

The US State Department published its first human-rights report under the Trump administration on Friday. The rights deemed worthy of promotion and protection, however, appear trimmed – particularly regarding the rights of women.


Algerian woman denied French citizenship over handshake refusal

A French appeals court has upheld a ruling denying an Algerian woman citizenship after she refused to shake the hand of a senior official. The woman said her "religious beliefs" prevented her from shaking the hand of the male official in the citizenship ceremony.


French Jews ‘face ethnic cleansing by Islamists’

More than 300 political leaders, intellectuals and celebrities have signed a manifesto claiming that French Jews have fallen victim to a form of ethnic cleansing perpetrated by Islamist radicals, amid official indifference.

The Times (£)

‘Why should France tolerate Islamic intolerance?’

In rejecting the citizenship application of a woman who refused a handshake, Gavin Mortimer says, the French have demonstrated that they won't tolerate the intolerance of extremists.

The Spectator

‘Poland shatters a fragile peace with its Jews’

Legislation passed three months ago has confirmed some growing fears about anti-Semitism in Poland.


Fri, 20 Apr 2018

Faith schools must teach British values, Lords report says

Faith schools should not be exempted from the requirement to teach "shared values of British citizenship", a House of Lords committee has said.

Church Times

Exeter Mosque denies links to extremism after receiving donations from radical al-Qaeda-supporting cleric

Exeter Mosque is being asked to reveal details of donations from a radical cleric, with fears it has benefited from terrorism-related activity.

Devon Live

Official human rights body in NI partners with evangelical Christians to produce video

The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission has partnered with the Evangelical Alliance to produce a video on the importance of freedom of conscience, thought and religion.

News Letter

Report reveals social segregation on religious lines in Scotland

A survey conducted by the Scottish government has revealed that Catholics and Muslims are among those who tend to live in the most deprived parts of the country.

Scottish Catholic Observer

Danish political party wants minimum age for male genital cutting

The health spokesperson for the Socialist People's Party in Denmark has said it will vote in favour of a minimum age for male circumcision if the issue is put to a vote.

The Local (Denmark)

Bangladesh blogger: the wrath of a father demanding justice for his son's murder

An interview with Ajoy Roy, the father of the murdered blogger Avijit. For three years he has been waiting for answers on his son's murder – but no lawsuit has been concluded.


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