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Fri, 05 Mar 2021

Religious exemption of teachers from NI fair employment law 'past sell-by date'

Religious exemption of teachers from NI fair employment law 'past sell-by date'

The exemption of teachers from fair employment legislation "has passed its sell-by date," MLAs have been told. The recruitment of teachers is exempt from legislation outlawing religious discrimination in Northern Ireland.

BBC

Religious divorce refusal can now be recognised as a criminal offence

Religious divorce refusal can now be recognised as a criminal offence

A husband who refuses a 'get' (Jewish religious divorce) can now be viewed as exerting controlling and coercive behaviour, listed as a criminal offence under the Serious Crime Act.

Jewish News

Backlash after Aldi removes ‘offensive’ wording on beef label over complaints from Hindus

Backlash after Aldi removes ‘offensive’ wording on beef label over complaints from Hindus

Aldi has removed a label on its beef dish after the supermarket received complaints from Hindu customers. However, the supermarket came up against yet more backlash as shoppers pointed out that not all Hindus adhere to the no-beef rule.

My London

Council ‘wrong to offer Charedi Jewish teen respite care at non-Jewish home’

Council ‘wrong to offer Charedi Jewish teen respite care at non-Jewish home’

Council bosses were wrong to offer a disabled Orthodox Jewish teenager 12 weeks of respite care at a residential home which was not "exclusively Orthodox Jewish", a judge has concluded.

Jewish News

Mother hits out at son's 'anti-Semitic' RE homework

Mother hits out at son's 'anti-Semitic' RE homework

A mother has hit out at her seven-year-old son's 'anti-Semitic' homework that claimed Jews were responsible for the death of Jesus Christ.

Mail Online

Judge rules that belief in English nationalism is a 'protected characteristic'

Judge rules that belief in English nationalism is a 'protected characteristic'

English nationalists can be protected from discrimination in the same way followers of a religion or philosophical belief are, a judge has ruled.

Mail Online

Three Covid rule breakers met for prayer and 'religious gathering' in Nottingham

Three Covid rule breakers met for prayer and 'religious gathering' in Nottingham

Three people who attended a religious gathering at a house have been fined after a "deliberate breach" of the Covid-19 regulations.

Nottinghamshire Live

Author shares story of coming out as gay and Muslim: ‘My father asked a witch doctor to cure me’

Author shares story of coming out as gay and Muslim: ‘My father asked a witch doctor to cure me’

Author and criminal barrister Mohsin Zaidi has been praised after appearing on Jeremy Vine's Radio 2 show to discuss his coming-out memoir 'A Dutiful Boy'.

Pink News

US bishops speak out against Equality Act

US bishops speak out against Equality Act

In a letter to all members of Congress, the US bishops' conference voiced strong opposition to the Equality Act, a series of measures designed to end discrimination against US citizens on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Tablet*

Tasmania's House of Assembly passes Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill

Tasmania's House of Assembly passes Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill

Tasmania's House of Assembly has passed a Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill, making the legislation all but certain to become law.

ABC News

‘Abortion is no longer a crime in Australia. But legal hurdles to access remain’

‘Abortion is no longer a crime in Australia. But legal hurdles to access remain’

South Australia this week became the final Australian jurisdiction to partially decriminalise abortion. While this is a positive step, important legal hurdles to abortion access remain in South Australia and around the country, say Erica Millar and Barbara Baird.

The Conversation

‘Israel army faces battle over beards’

‘Israel army faces battle over beards’

Bar Pinto and Gilad Levi have taken issue with a system that grants exemptions to that rule on religious grounds, while the faces of nonreligious troops must remain smooth.

France 24

Thu, 04 Mar 2021

Nurses from strict religious backgrounds more likely to have “negative attitudes” towards LGBT+ patients

Nurses from strict religious backgrounds more likely to have “negative attitudes” towards LGBT+ patients

Calls have been made to ensure nurses across Europe are trained to be "compassionate and culturally aware" towards LGBT+ people, after new research found staff from strict religious backgrounds were more likely to have "negative attitudes" towards these patients.

Nursing Times

Regulator upbraids Sikh charity that had to call police to several trustee meetings

Regulator upbraids Sikh charity that had to call police to several trustee meetings

The Charity Commission said it had concluded a long-running inquiry into the Central Gurdwara (British Isles) London Khalsa Jatha after a new board of trustees was appointed to oversee the charity, which operates a temple in Shepherd's Bush, west London.

Third Sector*

PR guru resigns after saying firm does not hire 'blacks, gays or Catholics'

PR guru resigns after saying firm does not hire 'blacks, gays or Catholics'

The founder of a PR company has resigned as chairman over a social media post where he said the firm does not hire "blacks, gays or Catholics". He added that the company only takes on "talented people" and does not care about their skin colour, sexual orientation or religion.

Daily Record

Priest ‘sexually and physically’ abused boys at Belvedere College in 1970s

Priest ‘sexually and physically’ abused boys at Belvedere College in 1970s

A Jesuit priest abused boys at Belvedere College in Dublin's city centre when he taught there in the 1970s, the congregation has confirmed, two years after being confronted by a former victim about the secrecy surrounding the case.

The Irish Times

Swiss to vote on banning face veils in referendum criticised as ‘Islamophobic’

Swiss to vote on banning face veils in referendum criticised as ‘Islamophobic’

Opinion polls suggest most Swiss will back it and the ban will become law.

Reuters

Cyprus’s Eurovision entry draws protests from religious groups

Cyprus’s Eurovision entry draws protests from religious groups

Performed by Elena Tsagkrinou, this year's Cypriot Eurovision entry is titled 'El Diablo' – Spanish for 'The Devil' – and features lyrics such as, "I gave my heart to El Diablo / Because he tells me I'm his angel"

Complete Music Update

Amazon issues apology in India after complaints that series ‘hurt Hindu beliefs’

Amazon issues apology in India after complaints that series ‘hurt Hindu beliefs’

Amazon.com Inc's Prime Video streaming service on Tuesday issued a rare apology to its Indian viewers for some scenes in its original political drama series "Tandav", which allegedly offended Hindu religious beliefs.

Reuters

Australia: Jehovah's Witnesses to join abuse redress scheme

Australia: Jehovah's Witnesses to join abuse redress scheme

Authorities are urging the Jehovah's Witnesses to contact them to get the ball rolling on the religious group's decision to join the national redress scheme for child sexual abuse survivors.

7News

‘Inside China's scheme to transfer Uighur Muslims into work’

‘Inside China's scheme to transfer Uighur Muslims into work’

China's policy of transferring hundreds of thousands of Uighur Mulsims and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang to new jobs often far from home is leading to a thinning out of their populations, according to a high-level Chinese study.

BBC

Argentina: ‘Can one country's change of abortion law alter a continent?’

Argentina: ‘Can one country's change of abortion law alter a continent?’

The only places where abortions are currently legal in Latin America are Uruguay, Cuba, Guyana and parts of Mexico. And now, of course, Argentina.

BBC

Wed, 03 Mar 2021

Polish court acquits activists who put LGBT rainbow on Catholic icon

Polish court acquits activists who put LGBT rainbow on Catholic icon

A Polish court on Tuesday acquitted three activists who had been accused of 'desecration' and 'offending religious feelings' for producing and distributing images of a Roman Catholic icon altered to include the LGBT rainbow.

The Independent

Independent review of NI’s fractured education system to start in summer

Independent review of NI’s fractured education system to start in summer

The Integrated Education Fund (IEF) said the system should bring children, parents, staff and governors from Catholic and Protestant traditions, as well as those of other faiths or none and of other cultures, together.

The Irish News

High Covid cases in Charedi Jewish community due to ‘cultural factors’

High Covid cases in Charedi Jewish community due to ‘cultural factors’

A government equalities minister said higher rates of Covid deaths in the Charedi community are due to "cultural factors".

Jewish News

Aldi agrees to remove sticker from stores after label offends Hindus

Aldi agrees to remove sticker from stores after label offends Hindus

Aldi has removed a sticker from a meat dish in all its stores after the label caused offence amongst the Hindu community.

My London

LGBT+ Tory MPs urged to pile pressure on PM over conversion therapy ban

LGBT+ Tory MPs urged to pile pressure on PM over conversion therapy ban

LGBT+ Conservatives are being urged to use their weight in parliament to demand that Boris Johnson deliver on his long-awaited pledge to ban conversion therapy.

Pink News

Workplace habits may ‘make Muslim colleagues uncomfortable’, says report

Workplace habits may ‘make Muslim colleagues uncomfortable’, says report

Employers and workers should be aware that handshakes, direct eye contact and socialising in the pub may be awkward for Muslim colleagues, says a report on Islamophobia produced by the Muslim Council of Britain.

The Guardian

Jewish groups blast BBC for holding debate questioning whether Jews count as an ethnic minority

Jewish groups blast BBC for holding debate questioning whether Jews count as an ethnic minority

The Politics Live show aired a segment which debated the issue after MP Angela Rayner declared Scottish Labour's newly-elected leader Anas Sarwar as 'the first ever ethnic minority leader of a political party anywhere in the UK'.

Mail Online

Head of French clerical abuse inquiry says 10,000 victims possible

Head of French clerical abuse inquiry says 10,000 victims possible

The head of an independent inquiry investigating clerical child abuse in France said that there might have been up to 10,000 victims since 1950.

RTE

US Catholic group tells followers to avoid Johnson & Johnson vaccine

US Catholic group tells followers to avoid Johnson & Johnson vaccine

An American Catholic church body on Tuesday urged its followers to avoid the coronavirus vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson, alleging that it was "developed, tested and produced using abortion-derived cell lines."

The Independent

US: Major evangelical adoption agency will now serve gay parents nationwide

US: Major evangelical adoption agency will now serve gay parents nationwide

One of the country's largest adoption and foster care agencies, Bethany Christian Services, announced on Monday that it would begin providing services to LGBT+ parents nationwide effective immediately, a major inflection point in the fraught battle over many faith-based agencies' longstanding opposition to working with same-sex couples.

The New York Times*

Tue, 02 Mar 2021

Serious concerns over sex education resource at Herefordshire Catholic school

Serious concerns over sex education resource at Herefordshire Catholic school

The Catholic sex and relationship resource A Fertile Heart, which has the approval of the Archdiocese of Cardiff, says contraception is wrong and that gay and lesbian people cannot marry and must abstain from sex.

Hereford Times

Christian magistrate struck off for anti-LGBT+ bias loses court appeal against sacking

Christian magistrate struck off for anti-LGBT+ bias loses court appeal against sacking

A former family court magistrate who claimed children were better off with straight parents has been told by the Court of Appeal that his firing was "lawful and inevitable".

Pink News

Church leaders call for end to Scottish Government Covid rule on congregation size

Church leaders call for end to Scottish Government Covid rule on congregation size

The Catholic Church in Scotland has called for the Scottish Government's 20-person cap on worshippers for when churches reopen to be scrapped.

The Herald*

Growing calls to make gay conversion therapy illegal in Scotland

Growing calls to make gay conversion therapy illegal in Scotland

Scotland should introduce new laws that would make any form of conversion therapy for gay people a criminal offence, the Liberal Democrats have said.

iNews

US: Republicans launch Equality Act rival that would ‘undermine’ LGBT+ rights

US: Republicans launch Equality Act rival that would ‘undermine’ LGBT+ rights

Republicans are launching a rival to the Equality Act which will allow them to discriminate against LGBT+ people on the basis of religious freedom.

Pink News

Pakistani court grants bail to Christian in blasphemy case

Pakistani court grants bail to Christian in blasphemy case

A Pakistani court on Monday granted bail to a Christian man convicted in 2018 while still a teenager of 'insulting Islam' by posting a picture of the Kaaba in Mecca on social media, a defence lawyer said.

The Washington Post*

Pakistan expert: Religiosity aiding spike in militancy

Pakistan expert: Religiosity aiding spike in militancy

Militant attacks are on the rise in Pakistan amid a growing religiosity that has brought greater intolerance, prompting one expert to voice concern the country could be overwhelmed by religious extremism.

Associated Press

Israel’s high court says non-Orthodox converts are Jews

Israel’s high court says non-Orthodox converts are Jews

Israel's Supreme Court on Monday ruled that people who convert to Judaism through the Reform and Conservative movements in Israel are also Jewish and entitled to become citizens.

The Washington Post*

Tanzania leader says prayer will cure Covid, as hospitals overflow

Tanzania leader says prayer will cure Covid, as hospitals overflow

Grieving relatives of Covid-19 victims, health experts and opposition politicians in Tanzania have accused President John Magufuli of causing thousands of deaths in the east African country and undermining the fight against the pandemic across the continent.

The Guardian

‘Delhi Muslims fear they will never see justice for religious riot atrocities’

‘Delhi Muslims fear they will never see justice for religious riot atrocities’

A year after the city was engulfed by violence, victims are harassed into silence by police and find the law has turned against them, say Hannah Ellis-Petersen and Shaikh Azizur Rahman.

The Guardian

Mon, 01 Mar 2021

Church of England should have a louder political voice, says Archbishop of York

Church of England should have a louder political voice, says Archbishop of York

The Church of England should be more involved in politics, the Archbishop of York has said.

iNews

Don't repeal Easter booze laws, clerics tell Stormont

Don't repeal Easter booze laws, clerics tell Stormont

The Northern Ireland Assembly's Communities committee is examining new legislation on liquor licensing including pub opening times and restrictions.

Belfast Telegraph

Shamima Begum cannot return to UK, Supreme Court rules

Shamima Begum cannot return to UK, Supreme Court rules

Shamima Begum, who left the UK for Syria to join the Islamic State group as a teenager, will not be allowed to return and fight her citizenship case, the Supreme Court has ruled.

BBC

Three Bristol primary faith schools to close

Three Bristol primary faith schools to close

The council has agreed to the closure of St Pius X Catholic Primary School in south Bristol, and St George's and St Michael's Church of England primary schools in the city centre, because of falling pupil numbers.

ITV

Number of new FGM cases referred to NHS in England down by a quarter

Number of new FGM cases referred to NHS in England down by a quarter

The number of new female genital mutilation cases referred to NHS services in England has fallen by a quarter, prompting charities and campaigners to warn that the drop may be down to difficulties in accessing services during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Guardian

Time to hang up your lightsabers, Jedi urged ahead of 2021 Census

Time to hang up your lightsabers, Jedi urged ahead of 2021 Census

The trend of people jokingly identifying as Jedi is leading to an under-counting of non-religious people, campaigners say.

iNews

‘How Scotland’s Hate Crime Bill ignited a freedom of speech row’ – NSS mentioned

‘How Scotland’s Hate Crime Bill ignited a freedom of speech row’ – NSS mentioned

When the Scottish government published its Hate Crime and Public Order Bill last April, a major backlash followed.

Prospect

‘Abstinence and shame: Sex education in a church school’

‘Abstinence and shame: Sex education in a church school’

Nora Redmond shares her experiences of sex education in a Christian girls' school in Ireland.

Varsity

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