Mon, 05 Oct 2020

Macron unveils separatism bill aimed at promoting secularism

Macron unveils separatism bill aimed at promoting secularism

President Emmanuel Macron on Friday outlined new legislation aimed at groups considered hostile to France and French values.

France24

US: Report finds flaws in Catholic Church abuse-prevention plans

US: Report finds flaws in Catholic Church abuse-prevention plans

Child-protection policies adopted by Roman Catholic leaders to curb clergy sex abuse in the United States are inconsistent and often worryingly incomplete, according to a think tank's two-year investigation encompassing all 32 of the country's archdioceses.

Associated Pres

US: Freedom From Religion group sues Alabama over ‘So help me God’ voter oath

US: Freedom From Religion group sues Alabama over ‘So help me God’ voter oath

The Freedom From Religion Foundation has filed a federal lawsuit challenging Alabama's mandatory religious oath for voter registration.

AL.com

New Zealand ruling party vows to ban efforts to alter sexual orientation

New Zealand ruling party vows to ban efforts to alter sexual orientation

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's centre-left government vowed on Monday to ban conversion therapy, which aims to change a person's sexual orientation.

Reuters

'Has Mubarak Bala been killed?'

'Has Mubarak Bala been killed?'

There are speculations that the president of the Humanist Association of Nigeria, Mubarak Bala, has been murdered in prison in Kano, Northern Nigeria. He was arrested after criticising Islam.

Modern Ghana

'India’s caste system is broken – it’s time to tear it down and rebuild the nation'

'India’s caste system is broken – it’s time to tear it down and rebuild the nation'

We must stand up for our brothers and sisters' rights and privileges, no matter what class-system they are in, says Peony Hirwani.

The Independent

Fri, 02 Oct 2020

Equality law failing to protect people from faith-based discrimination, says report - NSS quoted

Equality law failing to protect people from faith-based discrimination, says report - NSS quoted

The National Secular Society report, which marks the 10th anniversary of Equality Act, says religious exceptions within the Act means discrimination against the non-religious and members of religious minorities remains lawful across key areas of public life.

Ekklesia

Medical director with incurable cancer calls for a review of assisted dying laws

Medical director with incurable cancer calls for a review of assisted dying laws

A leading professor with incurable cancer has called for a review of assisted dying laws saying "I want some control in my final days".

Sky News

Christian street preacher loses appeal against conviction for ranting ‘all Muslims are going to hell’

Christian street preacher loses appeal against conviction for ranting ‘all Muslims are going to hell’

A Christian street preacher, once awarded £2,500 for 'wrongful arrest' and the confiscation of his Bible, has lost his appeal against conviction for ranting: 'All Muslims are going to hell.'

Mail Online

Teenage boy ‘developed extreme views and made homemade bombs during lockdown’

Teenage boy ‘developed extreme views and made homemade bombs during lockdown’

A 14-year-old boy developed extreme views influenced by Islamic State and attempted to make homemade bombs during the coronavirus lockdown, a court has heard.

The Evening Standard

Leading Irish atheist criticises disinvitation of Richard Dawkins

Leading Irish atheist criticises disinvitation of Richard Dawkins

The chair of Atheist Ireland Michael Nugent has written to the Historical Society at Trinity College Dublin asking it to reconsider its recent decision to drop Professor Richard Dawkins from its 2021 list of speakers.

The Freethinker (Patheos)

UN calls on Nigeria to scrap death penalty for musician who shared a ‘blasphemous’ song

UN calls on Nigeria to scrap death penalty for musician who shared a ‘blasphemous’ song

The UN has called on Nigeria to scrap the death sentence handed to a musician by a Sharia court for sharing a 'blasphemous' song on WhatsApp.

Mail Online

US: Roman Catholic diocese declares bankruptcy to protect itself from wave of sexual abuse lawsuits

US: Roman Catholic diocese declares bankruptcy to protect itself from wave of sexual abuse lawsuits

A Roman Catholic diocese in New York City's suburbs has become the largest in the US to declare bankruptcy to protect itself from a wave of lawsuits filed over past sexual abuse by clergy members.

Mail Online

US: Lawsuits challenge Virginia's sexual orientation protections

US: Lawsuits challenge Virginia's sexual orientation protections

A conservative legal group has filed lawsuits challenging a new Virginia law that bars discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

ABC News

US: Amy Coney Barrett supported group that said life begins at fertilization

US: Amy Coney Barrett supported group that said life begins at fertilization

Amy Coney Barrett, the Trump administration's supreme court nominee, publicly supported an organization in 2006 that has said life begins at fertilization.

The Guardian

Canada reintroduces bill banning LGBT conversion therapy

Canada reintroduces bill banning LGBT conversion therapy

Canada has reintroduced a bill on Thursday that will criminalize LGBT conversion therapy, a federal minister said after an earlier effort to ban the practice failed as the parliament was discontinued due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Reuters

Proposal to ease Malawi's strict abortion laws faces religious opposition

Proposal to ease Malawi's strict abortion laws faces religious opposition

Religious leaders in the mainly Christian country strongly oppose widening access to abortion and are threatening to protest if the new bill is tabled.

Reuters

Japan Catholic Church sued for damages in alleged sex abuse

Japan Catholic Church sued for damages in alleged sex abuse

A woman has filed a suit against the Roman Catholic Church in Japan alleging that a priest raped her four decades ago, as the church's unfolding worldwide sexual abuse crisis gradually reaches Japan.

The Japan Times

Thu, 01 Oct 2020

Scottish Government look to extend 'abortion at home' beyond pandemic

Scottish Government look to extend 'abortion at home' beyond pandemic

Restrictions on abortions at home could soon be lifted permanently, with the Scottish Government looking to keep emergency changes made as a result of the coronavirus beyond the pandemic.

The National

Anti-abortion protesters deter women from going into clinics, say providers

Anti-abortion protesters deter women from going into clinics, say providers

Anti-abortion protesters have deterred women seeking abortions from going into clinics as well as entering healthcare services to hunt down staff, frontline service providers warned.

The Independent

John Cleese speaks out about 'disastrous' Scots hate crime bill

John Cleese speaks out about 'disastrous' Scots hate crime bill

Comedian John Cleese has spoken out over a "disastrous" attack on free speech during a debate on Scotland's hate crime bill.

The Herald

Ex-Vatican treasurer Pell heads back to Rome from Australia

Ex-Vatican treasurer Pell heads back to Rome from Australia

Former Vatican treasurer George Pell is traveling to Rome this week for the first time since he was acquitted of child sex abuse charges in Australia, a Catholic church spokeswoman has confirmed.

Reuters

Sri Lanka government decides to ban cattle slaughter

Sri Lanka government decides to ban cattle slaughter

An analyst said the decision was politically motivated to please the Buddhist majority and would harm dairy farmers.

The Independent

Ex-Muslims release “persecution tracker” to catalogue alleged blasphemy cases

Ex-Muslims release “persecution tracker” to catalogue alleged blasphemy cases

Ex-Muslims of North America says it is tracking "accounts of hate and violence motivated by Islamic intolerance."

Patheos (Friendly Atheist)

'Caste in India: What are Dalits and how prevalent is casteism in modern-day society?'

'Caste in India: What are Dalits and how prevalent is casteism in modern-day society?'

The brutal gang-rape and death of a woman from India's Dalit community, formerly known as the untouchables, has again put a spotlight on the country's rigid system of Hindu hierarchy.

The Independent

Facing IS, last embattled Sikhs, Hindus leave Afghanistan

Facing IS, last embattled Sikhs, Hindus leave Afghanistan

Afghanistan's dwindling community of Sikhs and Hindus is shrinking to its lowest levels ever.

The Independent

Jihadists attempted terror attacks every fortnight in Europe since ISIS fall, study finds

Jihadists attempted terror attacks every fortnight in Europe since ISIS fall, study finds

The Counter Extremism Group catalogued 33 known plots in Europe over 15 months since the Islamic State collapsed.

The Telegraph (£)

'I’m a feminist everywhere except at church'

'I’m a feminist everywhere except at church'

"I still can't help feeling like less of an important member of the church than the male members because of rules that place them on a blatant pedestal."

Metro

Wed, 30 Sep 2020

Equality law gaps ‘leading to unnecessary religious discrimination’ - NSS quoted

Equality law gaps ‘leading to unnecessary religious discrimination’ - NSS quoted

Gaps in equality law are leading to "undesirable and unnecessary religious discrimination" in schools and the workplace and fuelling segregation, a new report from the National Secular Society has found.

Evening Express

Concerns for safety of pupils at Islamic school after 'inadequate' rank from Ofsted

Concerns for safety of pupils at Islamic school after 'inadequate' rank from Ofsted

Concerns around the safeguarding of pupils at the independent Al Jamiatul Islamiyah school in Deane were raised by regulator Ofsted in a report published in June 2020.

Manchester Evening News

Government issues clarification after Humanist ceremonies were excluded from same rules as religious weddings

Government issues clarification after Humanist ceremonies were excluded from same rules as religious weddings

Couples having humanist weddings can have up to 15 guests, the Government has confirmed, after confusion over whether the ceremonies would be included under the same rules as religious events.

iNews

Uighurs could be allowed to seek genocide ruling against China in UK

Uighurs could be allowed to seek genocide ruling against China in UK

Uighurs and other Muslim minorities would be given the right to petition a UK high court judge to declare that genocide is taking place in China, requiring the UK government to curtail trade ties with Beijing, under proposals brought by MPs and peers.

The Guardian

Manchester Arena bomber's brother found with ISIS propaganda almost two years before attack, inquiry hears

Manchester Arena bomber's brother found with ISIS propaganda almost two years before attack, inquiry hears

The Manchester Arena bomber's brother posted extremist images and Islamic State propaganda on social media before the attack, the inquiry into the bombing has heard.

Mail Online

Man downloaded 'enormous' amount of extremist Islamist material despite receiving warning

Man downloaded 'enormous' amount of extremist Islamist material despite receiving warning

Liam Fenn came onto the radar of the Prevent scheme after they became aware of his 'fascination' with Islamic extremism.

Manchester Evening News

Almost half of Conservative Party members believe Islam is 'a threat' to the British way of life, poll finds

Almost half of Conservative Party members believe Islam is 'a threat' to the British way of life, poll finds

The survey of rank-and-file activists showed 47 per cent thought the religion was incompatible with British values.

Mail Online

Former pastor abused children and adults at Christian camps over almost 30 years

Former pastor abused children and adults at Christian camps over almost 30 years

Benjamin Thomas committed many of the assaults at Christian camps and conferences dating back to 1990, Mold Crown Court was told on Tuesday.

Shropshire Star

'Democrats aren't anti-Catholic bigots for questioning Amy Coney Barrett'

'Democrats aren't anti-Catholic bigots for questioning Amy Coney Barrett'

The Republican party has cannily repackaged valid scrutiny as religious bigotry. But liberals are right to ask hard questions of Trump's pick, says Jill Filipovic.

The Guardian

Mexican women demanding legalization of abortion clash with police

Mexican women demanding legalization of abortion clash with police

Women charged police lines and threw Molotov cocktails at officers in Mexico City on Monday during protests demanding the legalization of abortion in the majority Roman Catholic country.

Reuters

Tue, 29 Sep 2020

Humanist ceremonies limited to ‘rule of six’ despite 15 guests allowed for civil and religious weddings

Humanist ceremonies limited to ‘rule of six’ despite 15 guests allowed for civil and religious weddings

The 'rule of six', rather than the 15-person limit for legally-binding weddings, is being applied to humanist ceremonies.

iNews

Belfast hotel apologises to minister for forcing him to halt religious talk

Belfast hotel apologises to minister for forcing him to halt religious talk

A minister who launched legal action against a Belfast hotel after claiming he was told by staff to stop a religious event promoting marriage has been refunded the cost of his booking, campaigners have said.

Belfast Telegraph

Historical institutional abuse: NI institutions urged to help with compensation

Historical institutional abuse: NI institutions urged to help with compensation

It is a "moral imperative" that some NI institutions and religious orders contribute to compensation for historical abuse victims, First Minister Arlene Foster has said.

BBC

'New "online harm" legislation is a threat to free speech'

'New "online harm" legislation is a threat to free speech'

There is a problem online and it is causing real harm, but banning language rather than engaging in education sounds like a political fix rather than an actual solution, says Index on Censorship's Ruth Smeeth.

The Independent

Charlie Hebdo: Stabbings suspect 'was trying to target magazine'

Charlie Hebdo: Stabbings suspect 'was trying to target magazine'

A man suspected of injuring two people with a meat cleaver in Paris has admitted to deliberately targeting the former offices of the satirical Charlie Hebdo magazine, French media report.

BBC

'Let’s unite to defend freedom'

'Let’s unite to defend freedom'

An open letter in Charlie Hebdo says "the enemies of freedom must understand that we stand together as their resolute adversaries, whatever our differences of opinion or belief."

Charlie Hebdo

Trinity College Dublin society rescinds invitation to Richard Dawkins

Trinity College Dublin society rescinds invitation to Richard Dawkins

The College Historical Society (the Hist) has rescinded its invitation to Richard Dawkins to address the society next year.

University Times

UN experts urge Nigeria to lift singer's death sentence for 'blasphemy'

UN experts urge Nigeria to lift singer's death sentence for 'blasphemy'

UN rights experts asked Nigeria on Monday to release a 22-year-old singer who was condemned to death over an allegedly blasphemous song, and said the sentence broke international law.

Reuters

Auschwitz memorial director offers to share Nigerian boy's blasphemy jail term

Auschwitz memorial director offers to share Nigerian boy's blasphemy jail term

The head of Poland's Auschwitz Memorial has written to Nigeria's president offering to serve part of a 10-year jail term handed to a 13-year-old boy for blasphemy.

Reuters

'Equality of believers and non-believers in northern Nigeria'

'Equality of believers and non-believers in northern Nigeria'

If the controversy over blasphemy allegations has revealed anything, it is the entrenched unequal relationship between believers and non-believers in the region, says Leo Igwe.

Sahara Reporters

Mon, 28 Sep 2020

Christian Concern loses Court of Appeal bid over home abortions

Christian Concern loses Court of Appeal bid over home abortions

The Christian advocacy group pursued action against the Department for Health and Social Care over its change to the regulations due to the pandemic, allowing women to have medical abortions at home following a phone or video consultation.

Evening Standard

SNP supporters hit out at controversial Hate Crime Bill

SNP supporters hit out at controversial Hate Crime Bill

Supporters of the SNP and independence have criticised the SNP for the controversial Hate Crime Bill, a freedom of information request by the Scottish Conservatives has shown.

The Scotsman

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