Mon, 11 May 2020

Sikh doctors in Canada take ‘extremely difficult decision’ to shave beards amid Covid-19

Sikh doctors in Canada take ‘extremely difficult decision’ to shave beards amid Covid-19

Two Sikh doctor brothers in Canada have made an "extremely difficult decision" to shave off their beards so they can wear the masks necessary to treat patients suffering from coronavirus.

The Tribune

Thu, 07 May 2020

Cardinal Pell 'knew of' clergy abuse, says Australian royal commission

Cardinal Pell 'knew of' clergy abuse, says Australian royal commission

Cardinal George Pell knew of child sexual abuse by priests in Australia as early as the 1970s but failed to take action, a landmark inquiry has found.

BBC

Court upholds ban on anti-abortion poster targeting Stella Creasy

Court upholds ban on anti-abortion poster targeting Stella Creasy

An anti-abortion campaigner who is banned from displaying a poster featuring an image of a dead foetus alongside a picture of the Labour MP Stella Creasy has failed to overturn a council order against him.

The Guardian

Far-right extremist who had Christchurch terror attack manifesto was collecting bomb components

Far-right extremist who had Christchurch terror attack manifesto was collecting bomb components

A far-right extremist who called police support for LGBT Pride events the "death of European culture" has admitted terror and explosives offences.

The Independent

Alleged Iwerne abuser now under police investigation

Alleged Iwerne abuser now under police investigation

Two alleged abusers from Iwerne Christian camps are currently being investigated, including one by the police, according to a spokesperson for the victims.

Anglican Ink

‘Abortion rules in chaos as Northern Ireland struggles to cope with new rules imposed by travel restrictions’

‘Abortion rules in chaos as Northern Ireland struggles to cope with new rules imposed by travel restrictions’

In a cruel twist, women were faced with the worst access to abortion services in more than 50 years in early April.

SW Londoner

Mother desperate for help after 14-year-old Christian girl abducted by Islamic gang in Pakistan

Mother desperate for help after 14-year-old Christian girl abducted by Islamic gang in Pakistan

A 14-year-old Christian girl has been abducted by an Islamic gang in Pakistan. Her mother has said she is terrified her daughter will be raped, forcefully converted to Islam or even executed.

Premier Christian News

US Supreme Court hears case on "Obamacare" birth control coverage changes

US Supreme Court hears case on "Obamacare" birth control coverage changes

The US Supreme Court justices seemed concerned Wednesday about the scope of Trump administration rules that would allow more employers who cite a religious or moral objection to opt out of providing no-cost birth control to women.

CBS News

Coronavirus: Texas banned abortions - how did that affect women?

Coronavirus: Texas banned abortions - how did that affect women?

Texas was one of a handful of states to deem abortions non-essential procedures during the pandemic. But what impact has that decision had?

BBC

‘Virus misinformation fuels hatred against India's Muslims’

‘Virus misinformation fuels hatred against India's Muslims’

As the misinformation has exploded, so too has real-world violence and anger against Muslims.

Mail Online

Wed, 06 May 2020

Atheists launch #FreeMubarakBala to help Nigerian activist accused of blasphemy

Atheists launch #FreeMubarakBala to help Nigerian activist accused of blasphemy

There's been a remarkable show of support for endangered Nigerian Humanist Mubarak Bala online, with people asking where they can make donations and how they can help.

The Friendly Atheist (Patheos)

Alliance criticises religious background question in 2021 census in NI

Alliance criticises religious background question in 2021 census in NI

Next year's census unnecessarily entails a "ridiculous" headcount of Protestants and Catholics, Alliance has said, as it objected to proposals set out yesterday.

News Letter

Ofsted head answers criticism over handling of censorious Orthodox Jewish school

Ofsted head answers criticism over handling of censorious Orthodox Jewish school

Ofsted chief inspector Amanda Spielman has written to the Jewish Chronicle to deny that she publicly humiliated a strictly Orthodox school.

The Jewish Chronicle

MSP criticises Scottish hate crime bill

MSP criticises Scottish hate crime bill

Hate crime laws being proposed in Scotland would trigger a "full-frontal assault on free speech", a senior politician has claimed.

The Times (£)

‘It’s always worse than you realised’

‘It’s always worse than you realised’

A woman who was driven out of a Chasidic Jewish community for going against its rules reflects on the Netfix series Unorthodox.

Jewish News

Scottish anti-abortion student group investigated, but no action taken

Scottish anti-abortion student group investigated, but no action taken

After complaints that a pro-life event held by the Aberdeen Life Ethics Society violated a 'safe space policy', an investigation has resulted in no action being taken against the 'pro-life' group.

Catholic News Agency

Australian 'healing church' defends bleach sales after US coronavirus cure claims

Australian 'healing church' defends bleach sales after US coronavirus cure claims

Representatives of an international group that calls itself a "healing church" and promotes industrial bleach as a cure for coronavirus say they should be allowed to continue selling the potentially toxic "miracle" solution in Australia on religious freedom grounds.

The Guardian

Report finds nonreligious people face stigma and discrimination in the US

Report finds nonreligious people face stigma and discrimination in the US

A new study has found that nonreligious people in the US face discrimination and stigma, conceal their nonreligious identities, and largely see themselves as atheists and humanists.

Religion News Service

‘Files suggest wartime pope was more sinner than saint’

‘Files suggest wartime pope was more sinner than saint’

Who knows how many Jews could have been saved had the pope made a public intervention?

Jewish News

Former Canberra journalist who threatened to behead Christians walks free

Former Canberra journalist who threatened to behead Christians walks free

A man who threatened to behead Christians on his front lawn in retaliation for the Christchurch massacre has walked free from court with a suspended sentence.

ABC News Australia

Tue, 05 May 2020

Yeshivas could face inspections for first time following schools consultation

Yeshivas could face inspections for first time following schools consultation

A government consultation on the definition of schools could lead to more settings, including some religious educational institutions, being classed as 'independent schools' and subject to inspection.

Jewish News

NHS says “reasonable adjustments” should be made for religious beards during coronavirus outbreak

NHS says “reasonable adjustments” should be made for religious beards during coronavirus outbreak

A Sikh doctors' group and the Sikh Council have complained after a doctor who refused to shave his beard was moved to a different role because his mask would not fit. In response the national medical director has said "reasonable adjustments should be made by providers in this area".

The Telegraph

Former Pope Benedict XVI links gay weddings to ‘the Antichrist’

Former Pope Benedict XVI links gay weddings to ‘the Antichrist’

The former pope has vented about subjects including gay marriage and society's treatment of homophobes.

Pink News

Coronavirus: MPs urge churches to allow small funerals

Coronavirus: MPs urge churches to allow small funerals

A group of Tory MPs are calling on the Church of England to ease restrictions during the coronavirus outbreak to allow small-scale funerals in churches.

BBC

Report gives Pakistan failing grade on human rights

Report gives Pakistan failing grade on human rights

An annual human rights report released this week gives Pakistan a failing grade. It cites failings including unabated honour killings, forced conversions of minority Hindu under-age girls and continued use of a blasphemy law that carries the death penalty.

The New York Times (£)

‘Why religious freedom stokes coronavirus protests in the US, but not Canada’

‘Why religious freedom stokes coronavirus protests in the US, but not Canada’

The two countries have very different national attitudes about individual and collective responsibility for public health – and very different histories of using religious freedom as a rallying cry.

The Conversation

France may ease coronavirus curbs on worship earlier than planned, says its PM

France may ease coronavirus curbs on worship earlier than planned, says its PM

France's prime minister has said the country might allow religious services to resume before the end of May, depending on the impact of a gradual easing of lockdown rules.

Reuters

‘Religious leaders with a sideline in snake oil’

‘Religious leaders with a sideline in snake oil’

Andrew Brown says the religious contribution to the news was not something to be proud of this week.

Church Times

New Zealand marriage rates lowest since 1960s, new data reveals

New Zealand marriage rates lowest since 1960s, new data reveals

Marriages are at an all-time low in New Zealand, new data shows.

NZ Herald

Mon, 04 May 2020

Barbara Smoker obituary

Barbara Smoker obituary

Barbara Smoker, who has died aged 96, was president of the National Secular Society for a quarter of a century and a humanist activist for 70 years.

The Guardian

Fears for Nigerian humanist held for blasphemy in sharia state

Fears for Nigerian humanist held for blasphemy in sharia state

A prominent Nigerian humanist accused of blasphemy has been arrested and taken to the northern city of Kano, according to figures close to him.

The Guardian

Christian fostering agency takes Ofsted to the High Court over policy of only working with evangelical married heterosexual carers

Christian fostering agency takes Ofsted to the High Court over policy of only working with evangelical married heterosexual carers

A court battle is set to take place between Ofsted and a Christian fostering agency over the company's policy of only working with straight married couples.

Mail Online

Coronavirus could cause rise in witchcraft and possession allegations in UK, police say

Coronavirus could cause rise in witchcraft and possession allegations in UK, police say

Witchcraft accusations against children and vulnerable people could rise in Britain because of the coronavirus outbreak, police have warned.

The Independent

Sunday trading laws could be scrapped during lockdown

Sunday trading laws could be scrapped during lockdown

Sunday trading laws could be scrapped under plans to kick start Britain's economic recovery.

The Sun

Quarter of UK adults have tuned into religious services during lockdown, says survey

Quarter of UK adults have tuned into religious services during lockdown, says survey

A quarter of adults in the UK have watched or listened to a religious service since the coronavirus lockdown began, according to a survey commissioned by a Christian aid agency.

The Observer

Catholic Church draws up plans to reopen in Scotland

Catholic Church draws up plans to reopen in Scotland

The Catholic Church in Scotland is to approach the Scottish government with plans for the phased reopening of parishes, according to a senior bishop.

Daily Record

India cracks down on Muslims under cover of coronavirus

India cracks down on Muslims under cover of coronavirus

Indian police are arresting high-profile Muslim activists and ordinary civilians under the cover of the coronavirus pandemic in a crackdown that follows anti-government protests and communal riots this year.

Financial Times

US states use coronavirus to ban abortions, leaving women desperate

US states use coronavirus to ban abortions, leaving women desperate

Eight US states have worked to try and halt abortions entirely during the pandemic as clinics report a rise in demand.

The Guardian

White supremacists ‘encourage spreading virus to Jews’ in US

White supremacists ‘encourage spreading virus to Jews’ in US

White supremacist groups in the United States are encouraging supporters who contract coronavirus to spread the virus on to Jews and police officers, an FBI intelligence report has claimed.

The Jewish Chronicle

Israel deems women’s ritual baths essential, leaving some conflicted over virus risk

Israel deems women’s ritual baths essential, leaving some conflicted over virus risk

Even as Israel closed down its public sphere to stem the spread of the coronavirus, the government deemed that some 700 of these ritual baths were essential and permitted them to remain open along with supermarkets and pharmacies.

The Washington Post (£)

Fri, 01 May 2020

Coronavirus: Camberwell church continuing to sell fake Covid-19 cure

Coronavirus: Camberwell church continuing to sell fake Covid-19 cure

A church in south London has continued selling a fake Covid-19 cure, despite being under investigation by the charity watchdog.

BBC

‘An eternity in heaven – that would be hell’: remembering former NSS president Barbara Smoker

‘An eternity in heaven – that would be hell’: remembering former NSS president Barbara Smoker

An obituary for Barbara Smoker, the NSS's president from 1972 to 1996.

London News Online

‘Why the Home Office should publish its grooming gang research’

‘Why the Home Office should publish its grooming gang research’

The victims and the public deserve to know the truth, says Hardeep Singh.

The Spectator

Sudan makes female genital cutting a crime in 'new era' for women's rights

Sudan makes female genital cutting a crime in 'new era' for women's rights

Sudan has criminalised female genital mutilation, making it punishable by three years in jail, a move campaigners said ushered in a "new era" for women's rights in the African nation.

Reuters

Wartime Vatican archive shows how much Pius knew about the Holocaust, says researcher

Wartime Vatican archive shows how much Pius knew about the Holocaust, says researcher

The long-awaited opening of Pope Pius XII's wartime records only lasted a week before the coronavirus shut the Vatican archives down again, but that was long enough for documents to emerge that reflect badly on the pontiff accused of silence during the Holocaust, according to published reports.

Religion News Service

Yusuf Islam, aka Cat Stevens, to lead BBC Ramadan series

Yusuf Islam, aka Cat Stevens, to lead BBC Ramadan series

The 1970s singer-songwriter formerly known as Cat Stevens, who converted to Islam and renounced his life as a musician, is to lead a series of spiritual reflections for the BBC during Ramadan.

The Guardian

Giving homework passes to Catholic children ruled as discrimination in Ireland

Giving homework passes to Catholic children ruled as discrimination in Ireland

Catholic schools that reward pupils who attend religious ceremonies are discriminating against non-Catholic pupils, an Irish commission has found.

The Irish Times

Police in New York crack down on another large Orthodox Jewish funeral

Police in New York crack down on another large Orthodox Jewish funeral

Tensions between police and members of New York City's Hasidic Jewish community flared again on Thursday as officers interrupted a crowded funeral procession to crack down on social distancing violators.

NBC New York

'A phantom plague': America's Bible Belt played down the pandemic and even cashed in. Now dozens of pastors are dead

'A phantom plague': America's Bible Belt played down the pandemic and even cashed in. Now dozens of pastors are dead

Dozens of pastors across the Bible Belt have succumbed to coronavirus after churches and televangelists played down the pandemic and actively encouraged churchgoers to flout self-distancing guidelines.

The Independent

Mosques get noise exemption for call to prayer during Ramadan in Ottawa

Mosques get noise exemption for call to prayer during Ramadan in Ottawa

The Canadian city of Ottawa is exempting mosques from local noise bylaws during Ramadan to allow them to play a five-minute call to prayer at sundown, as the pandemic prevents people from gathering and hearing it inside.

CBC News

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