Mon, 22 Jan 2018
Jewish leaders have called for the resignation of a coroner in north London after she refused to prioritise burials on religious grounds.
A new study by two economists argues that witch hunts were a result of "non-price competition" between the Catholic and Protestant churches. That competition was for the hearts and minds of a population that was pious, superstitious and easily persuaded of the need to stamp out evil.
Ireland: Plans to withdraw state funding from Catholic counselling agencies discriminating against LGBT couples
At the moment, the Department of Children and Youth Affairs is paying at least €1.6 million to religious counselling groups that have policies of refusing homosexual couples for marriage or relationship counselling.
Pope Francis has accused victims of Chile's most notorious paedophile of slander – an astonishing end to a visit meant to help heal the wounds of a sex abuse scandal that has cost the Catholic Church its credibility in the country.
The Herald Scotland
A landmark case where three judges are set to review the existing penal code which outlaws "unnatural sex" has the potential to decriminalise gay sex, or make the law a lot worse. The law is currently being reviewed, as it is seen to be too "vague."
Jonathan Arnott MEP has resigned from his position and said UKIP has "significantly shifted its position on cultural and religious issues".
Premier Christian Radio
Tanmanjeet Dhesi: Britain's first turban-wearing Sikh MP reveals 'disillusioning' extent of racial abuse
From having his turban ripped off at school, Tanmanjeet Dhesi went on to excel and has now reached the House of Commons. He tells Robin de Peyer about his journey from the Punjab to Parliament.
The bitter Labour party controversy over antisemitism erupted again on Saturday night, as the main organisation representing its Jewish members accused the leadership of failing to deal with a "vast backlog" of complaints and of allowing a second inquiry into Ken Livingstone to get "stuck in limbo".
Jono Simbolon was whipped on Friday, 19 January, in front of a large cheering crowd, making him the third non-Muslim in the country to suffer a public flogging. He was forced to kneel as a masked man whipped him repeatedly outside a mosque in Aceh, Indonesia's only province to enact Sharia law.
International Business Times
The US Supreme Court has said it will decide the legality of Donald Trump's so-called Muslim travel ban – a case that will likely be an examination of his presidential powers.
Fri, 19 Jan 2018
Plans to create more religiously selective faith schools appear to be back on the table. Stephen Evans says the Government risks recklessly neglecting the civic purpose of state education if it presses ahead with lifting the 50% cap on faith-based admissions.
A senior Tory MP today said he will vote against Theresa May's plan to allow new faith schools to apply 100% religious discrimination in admissions. Mr Blunt is the third backbench Tory this week to signal reservations about scrapping the rule that new faith schools must offer half their places to pupils regardless of their religious background.
The Church of England - one of the richest organisations in the country – has called more state funding for cathedrals. A significant number of England's 42 historic Anglican cathedrals are at "severe financial risk" and some have ineffective and under-resourced management, an investigation set up by the archbishops of Canterbury and York has found.
Claims that Jews are now considering moving if they don't get special priority from the St Pancras coroner.
The Home Office has rejected a claim for asylum on the grounds that the claimant, when asked to name ancient Greek philosophers who were humanists, did not name Plato and Aristotle. The claimant, Hamza bin Walayat, an ex-Muslim 'apostate' and member of Humanists UK, would, as a humanist, face ostracism, violence and persecution if returned to his native Pakistan.
USA: New federal office will help medical providers discriminate and deny treatment on religious grounds
The Trump administration is creating an office to protect the 'religious rights' of medical providers, including those who may oppose abortion or transgender rights, in a decision that is likely to be a lightning rod for controversy.
Donald Trump has claimed he supports gay equality, one day after he signed a proclamation supporting legal discrimination against gay people. The US leader this week signed a Presidential proclamation on religious freedom that appeared to back the freedom to discriminate against LGBT people.
The psychotherapist talks about her 'haven' and being attacked for calling the brutal practice child abuse.
With elections due in August this year, the Malaysian government continued to shift toward a more conservative Islam while cracking down on critics in 2017, despite promoting itself as an administration that upholds moderation, a human rights group said.
India's supreme court has overturned a ban imposed by several states on the release of a controversial Bollywood film about a mythical Hindu queen.
MPs have spoken of their shock at hearing first-hand accounts from Christians around the world who are being persecuted for their faith. Several politicians including Labour's Ben Bradshaw and the Conservative's Fiona Bruce attended a briefing at Parliament on Wednesday night which highlighted nations where persecution is most severe.
Premier Christian Radio
Thu, 18 Jan 2018
MSPs have backed efforts to repeal the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications Act. The legislation has been criticised as infringing upon free speech on religious issues while failing to make any difference tackling sectarianism.
In a meeting of Hackney Council's children and young people's scrutiny commission last night, members voted to lobby government to strengthen legislation so children in unregistered schools are safe. The move came despite criticism from some Jewish groups.
The Archbishop of Canterbury has shamed his office with "irresponsible and dangerous" claims that Bishop George Bell of Chichester may have been a paedophile, leading historians have said.
Divorced Catholics will find it quicker and easier to remarry in church in England and Wales after an overhaul of the process that can declare a first marriage void in the eyes of God.
The Times (£)
A Pakistani man who renounced his Muslim faith and became a humanist has had his application for asylum in the UK rejected. The Home Office said his knowledge of humanism was "rudimentary at best" and rejected his claim he would face persecution for his beliefs in Pakistan.
Lawyers have lodged a second lawsuit against an incoming ban on non-stunned meat in the Flanders area of Belgium. Several Jewish groups claim the law "tramples on" religious freedom.
New US Government agency to allow health workers to opt out from providing services on religious grounds
The Trump administration will create a new conscience and religious freedom division within the Health and Human Services Department to ease the way for doctors, nurses and other medical professionals to opt out of providing services that violate their moral or religious beliefs.
The Washington Post
A ruling over a cakeshop owner's refusal to serve a same-sex couple could erode civil rights protections for LGBT Americans or bolster them. Lucia Graves speaks to Charlie Craig and David Mullins.
On 'Religious Freedom Day' on Tuesday, President Trump said no American should have to choose between faith and the law. The statement appears to be part of a campaign to keep evangelical support.
Two atheist groups in the US have sent a letter to James Mattis calling for an end to "coerced prayers" in the military.
The experiences of thousands of Irish women who travel to the UK every year for an abortion have been recounted during a key debate on a proposed referendum on the issue.
The Belfast Telegraph
China bans children in predominantly Muslim county from attending religious events during winter holidays
A predominantly Muslim county in western China has banned children from attending religious events during the winter holidays, as authorities step up control of religious education.
Wed, 17 Jan 2018
Survivors of abuse committed at a Catholic school attended by the education secretary, Damian Hinds, are asking him to press for the publication of an independent review. They say the review's findings have been hushed up.
A Conservative MP who is also the president of the Catholic Union of Great Britain is pressing the education secretary to scrap a cap on faith-based admissions to faith schools. Others say the Government should be "slow and careful".
Ealing Council's cabinet had voted to ban anti-abortion protesters from outside a Marie Stopes clinic. The campaigners have been accused of "harassing" and "intimidating" women outside the clinic.
The Bishop of Chichester, Martin Warner, has become a member of the House of Lords.
Brighton & Hove News
On a trip to Chile, Pope Francis has said he is "pained and ashamed" over the "irreparable damage" priests inflicted on minors. But victims of clerical sexual abuse in Chile said the pope's words rang hollow.
The New York Times
Maryam Namazie, the founder of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain, speaks about subjects including 'apostasy', atheism and the protests in Iran.
Jon O'Brien and Larry Decker say the true meaning of religious liberty is getting lost in current debates in the US.
A couple accused of locking up and starving their children had 13 of them because they thought it was "God's calling", according to the siblings' grandparents. They also said the children were given "very strict home-schooling" and they would learn long passages of the Bible, with some striving to memorise it entirely.
Police have said a widely-reported incident in which an 11-year-old girl alleged her hijab had been cut with scissors did not happen. J.J. McCullough says "there is something unmistakably perverse about the bizarre appetite many Canadians, particularly those on the left or in elite positions, seem to have" for tales of outlandish anti-Muslim bigotry.
The Washington Post
Tue, 16 Jan 2018
Senior Tory MPs have warned Theresa May to be "slow and careful" before allowing faith schools to take fewer pupils from outside their own religious background.
The head of an unregistered Islamic school in Birmingham has been banned from teaching after inspectors repeatedly raised safeguarding issues at his school over a number of years.
The chair of governors at one of the best-rated primary schools in England has called on the Government to publish guidance on the hijab and fasting in schools. St Stephen's in east London has banned girls under eight from wearing the hijab and encourages children not to fast during school time.
Disgraced priest who sexually abused Smyllum Park boys to give evidence at Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry
Sex offender Bernard Traynor has been called to give his testimony after allegations about him were made to the inquiry by former residents at the Smyllum Park orphanage.
The Scottish Sun
The Commons International Development Committee has raised "grave concern" about the plight of thousands of Rohingya people being returned to Myanmar.
Two suicide bombers blew themselves up at a busy street market in central Baghdad on Monday in back-to-back explosions that killed at least 38 people, Iraqi health and police officials said.
Leo Varadkar has signalled for the first time that the Irish Government will accept the recommendations of a parliamentary committee on the Eighth Amendment. This means legislation will be prepared to allow for abortion on request up to 12 weeks into a pregnancy.
The Irish Times
The militant Islamist group Boko Haram released a video on Monday which purported to show some of the girls kidnapped from the Nigerian town of Chibok nearly four years ago, saying they do not wish to return home.
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