Wed, 19 Dec 2018

MPs campaign for separate Sikh ethnicity on UK census

MPs campaign for separate Sikh ethnicity on UK census

A group of MPs has launched a year-long campaign to lobby for Sikhism to be added as a separate ethnicity tick box in the next UK census in 2021.

The Tribune (India)

Teenage Isis supporter who encouraged girlfriend to behead her 'disbeliever' parents jailed

Teenage Isis supporter who encouraged girlfriend to behead her 'disbeliever' parents jailed

A teenage Isis supporter who encouraged his girlfriend to behead her own parents has been jailed.

The Independent

Catholic bishops to attend extraordinary conference on sexual abuse in February

Catholic bishops to attend extraordinary conference on sexual abuse in February

Pope Francis has summoned the heads of 110 national Catholic bishops' conferences and dozens of leaders of religious orders to the Vatican for an extraordinary gathering dedicated to the sexual abuse crisis.

Reuters

‘Caste underpins the blasphemy crisis in Pakistan’

‘Caste underpins the blasphemy crisis in Pakistan’

Faisal Devji says caste discrimination against Christians, whose ancestors were lower-caste Hindus, persists in Pakistan.

The New York Times

Cuba removes gay marriage constitutional amendment

Cuba removes gay marriage constitutional amendment

The commission in charge of writing Communist-run Cuba's new constitution has revised an original draft to remove the concept of marriage altogether after originally amending it to open the doorway to same-sex unions. The commission has come under pressure from evangelical churches on the issue.

Reuters

Tue, 18 Dec 2018

Council leader rejects claim that a review of faith school transport charges is 'discriminatory'

Council leader rejects claim that a review of faith school transport charges is 'discriminatory'

Some politicians have suggested a possible review of free transport to faith schools in Wrexham in north Wales would be 'discriminatory'. The council's lead member for environment and transport has rejected the charge.

The Leader

‘The Catholic Church’s number three has been convicted of sexual abuse. Where is the reckoning?’

‘The Catholic Church’s number three has been convicted of sexual abuse. Where is the reckoning?’

This editorial says George Pell's conviction is simply the latest among countless pieces of evidence that broad, deep and painful reforms are needed to tackle abuse in the Catholic Church.

The Washington Post

Catholic leaders complain about apparent lack of nativity scenes in Scottish shopping centres

Catholic leaders complain about apparent lack of nativity scenes in Scottish shopping centres

Leaders of the Catholic Church have complained that 'only' four Scottish shopping centres have nativity scenes.

The Times (£)

Sadiq Khan claims politicians need to learn kindness from Christians

Sadiq Khan claims politicians need to learn kindness from Christians

The mayor of London is encouraging politicians to look to the Church to learn lessons in kindness.

Premier Christian Radio

Church of England releases Christmas advert

Church of England releases Christmas advert

The Church of England has launched its first national film advert for Christmas.

The Independent

Offenders with Muslim names are not jailed for longer, study finds

Offenders with Muslim names are not jailed for longer, study finds

Offenders who have Muslim names do not appear to be receiving unfairly long sentences from crown courts in England and Wales, according to criminology research.

The Guardian

Labour suspends its top official in the West Midlands over anti-Semitism allegations

Labour suspends its top official in the West Midlands over anti-Semitism allegations

Labour has suspended its most senior official in the West Midlands after he was accused of sharing racist material blaming Jews for "all the wars in the world".

Birmingham Live

Overhaul of schools sex education programme is planned in Ireland

Overhaul of schools sex education programme is planned in Ireland

Catholic schools in Ireland will have to teach children about gay, lesbian and transgender relationships under recommendations in a new report on sex education.

The Independent (Ireland)

El Salvador court frees woman jailed under anti-abortion laws

El Salvador court frees woman jailed under anti-abortion laws

A woman who was jailed for attempted murder under El Salvador's strict anti-abortion laws has been freed. The law is a reflection of the Catholic Church's heavy influence over public life in the country.

BBC

China's pre-Christmas church crackdown raises alarm

China's pre-Christmas church crackdown raises alarm

A recent surge of police action against churches in China has raised concerns the government is getting even tougher on unsanctioned Christian activity.

BBC

New year brings altered landscape for abortion battle in US

New year brings altered landscape for abortion battle in US

Those engaged in the battle over abortion in the United States are gearing up for what is on the horizon in 2019.

CNN

US Hindu leader criticises yoga class in Pennines

US Hindu leader criticises yoga class in Pennines

A Hindu elder in the American state of Nevada has criticised a yoga class in the Pennines.

The Yorkshire Post

Mon, 17 Dec 2018

Catholic Church under fire for suggesting 'gay conversion' therapy to parents

Catholic Church under fire for suggesting 'gay conversion' therapy to parents

The Catholic Church in the Scottish diocese of Paisley has come under fire after advising parents of LGBT children to seek help from a controversial American 'gay conversion' group.

The National

‘How RE teachers see religion – and why it can be bad for pupils’

‘How RE teachers see religion – and why it can be bad for pupils’

David Smith, Graeme Nixon and Jo Pearce say young people need to be encouraged to develop a mature view which is able to encompass and reflect the best and worst of religious expression – and all the shades in between.

The Conversation

Campaigners offer to fund Lewis swimming pool Sunday openings

Campaigners offer to fund Lewis swimming pool Sunday openings

Campaigners are to renew an offer to pay the cost of trial Sunday openings of a leisure centre and its swimming pool in Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis.

BBC

Council meeting in West Yorkshire sees criticism over non-stun halal in schools

Council meeting in West Yorkshire sees criticism over non-stun halal in schools

Kirklees Council has been accused of being "deficient" in its handling of non-stun halal in schools at a full council meeting.

Examiner Live

Demand for religious Christmas stamps falls

Demand for religious Christmas stamps falls

Around six in ten festive stamps bought by members of the public are now secular ones, up from around four in ten five years ago.

The Telegraph

Labour MSP claims ‘rise in anti-Catholic sentiment’

Labour MSP claims ‘rise in anti-Catholic sentiment’

Elaine Smith, MSP for Central Scotland, has claimed there is a rise in anti-Catholic sentiment. She cited a tweet criticising religious schools as an example.

Scottish Catholic Observer

An interview with Asia Bibi’s lawyer

An interview with Asia Bibi’s lawyer

Saif ul-Malook talks to Iram Ramzan about fearing for his life and defending Asia Bibi from blasphemy.

The Spectator

Milestone conviction in India’s deadly 1984 anti-Sikh riots

Milestone conviction in India’s deadly 1984 anti-Sikh riots

A senior Congress party politician has been jailed for life in what is being seen as the most important conviction so far over India's 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

BBC

‘Is hardline Hindu politics failing India's PM?’

‘Is hardline Hindu politics failing India's PM?’

Last week's electoral losses in five states for India's ruling party has led to suggestions that its agenda of promoting hardline Hindu politics has backfired.

BBC

Chinese 're-education camps' for Uighur Muslims run like 'concentration camps', says Amnesty

Chinese 're-education camps' for Uighur Muslims run like 'concentration camps', says Amnesty

Mass re-education camps used to hold Uighur and other Muslim minorities in China are being run like "wartime concentration camps", Amnesty has said.

The Independent

‘In Australia’s religious freedom debate, the bullies are playing the victim’

‘In Australia’s religious freedom debate, the bullies are playing the victim’

Julei Szego says religious institutions enjoy privileged status in Australia but are claiming victim status amid a debate over discrimination.

Sydney Morning Herald

Fri, 14 Dec 2018

Leading Catholic in England and Wales accused of sexual abuse cover-up

Leading Catholic in England and Wales accused of sexual abuse cover-up

The leader of Roman Catholics in England and Wales was accused of covering up child sex abuse allegations against a priest, an inquiry heard yesterday. Cardinal Vincent Nichols, currently the archbishop of Westminster, denied suppressing a note about child abuse while he was archbishop of Birmingham in the 2000s.

BBC

More than 50 parliamentarians back definition of ‘Islamophobia’

More than 50 parliamentarians back definition of ‘Islamophobia’

More than 50 cross-party parliamentarians have said the government should adopt a new definition of 'Islamophobia'. The NSS has spoken out against the proposed definition.

The Independent

Secularists criticise faith school provision – NSS mentioned

Secularists criticise faith school provision – NSS mentioned

Between 45,000 and 60,000 families live in areas where the availability of secular schools is "extremely restricted" and their three closest schools are faith schools, an NSS report has revealed. (Scroll down to read).

Church Times

Bermuda appeals to London high court to enforce gay marriage ban

Bermuda appeals to London high court to enforce gay marriage ban

Bermuda's government on Thursday filed an appeal to a high court in London seeking to uphold a law challenged in local courts that would ban gay marriage in the British overseas island.

Euronews

Islamist Christmas bomb suspect ‘woke his neighbours with prayers’

Islamist Christmas bomb suspect ‘woke his neighbours with prayers’

A suspected Islamist believed to have been plotting a Christmas bomb attack was reported to the council after allegedly calling neighbours Satan and waking them up with prayer music.

The Times (£)

Irish abortion bill passes all parliamentary stages

Irish abortion bill passes all parliamentary stages

A bill to legalise abortion services in the Republic of Ireland has passed all stages of the Oireachtas (Irish parliament).

BBC

Canada is on the brink of repealing its blasphemy libel law

Canada is on the brink of repealing its blasphemy libel law

Canada is just a royal assent away from finally repealing a blasphemy libel law that has been on the books since 1892.

Patheos

Appeals court blocks Trump birth control rules in five US states

Appeals court blocks Trump birth control rules in five US states

A US appeals court on Thursday blocked Trump administration rules that would allow businesses to claim moral and religious exemptions to a mandate to provide contraception coverage.

The Hill

Australian religious freedom review heard evidence of faith-based discrimination against LGBT students

Australian religious freedom review heard evidence of faith-based discrimination against LGBT students

Australia's full review into religious freedoms, conducted by former Attorney-General Philip Ruddock, details hearing from people who had experienced discrimination for being LGBTI at religious schools.

Star Observer

Former judge attacks faith-based discrimination in Australia

Former judge attacks faith-based discrimination in Australia

A former High Court justice has taken aim at laws allowing faith-based schools to discriminate against gay students.

SBS News (Australia)

Relaxed abortion legislation: proposed German law comes under fire

Relaxed abortion legislation: proposed German law comes under fire

The German government wants to slightly ease the law concerning doctor-patient communication about abortions. But few people are thrilled by the draft changes. Abortion advocates in particular are up in arms.

DW

Jewish religious cult suspected of kidnapping kids who broke away

Jewish religious cult suspected of kidnapping kids who broke away

Two children who had been rescued from a Jewish religious cult in Guatemala are reported to have disappeared over the weekend, fuelling fears that they were kidnapped.

Jewish News

Thu, 13 Dec 2018

Vatican’s number three George Pell convicted of sexual abuse charges

Vatican’s number three George Pell convicted of sexual abuse charges

The Vatican's third most powerful official has been convicted in Australia on all charges he sexually abused two choir boys there in the late '90s, according to sources. A gagging order preventing details of the trial from being revealed remains in place in Australia.

The Daily Beast

Welsh schoolgirls stoke debate about axing religious assemblies – NSS quoted

Welsh schoolgirls stoke debate about axing religious assemblies – NSS quoted

A petition by two Welsh schoolgirls to detach religion from education is calling for schools across the country to ditch their mandatory daily prayers.

La Croix International

Organ donors to be asked if they are religious

Organ donors to be asked if they are religious

People who join the NHS's UK organ donation register are to be asked if they want their religious beliefs to be considered in the donation process.

BBC

Scottish shopping centre caves in to pressure to display nativity scene

Scottish shopping centre caves in to pressure to display nativity scene

A shopping centre in Stirling in central Scotland has decided to stage a nativity scene as part of its Christmas display after complaints that it was not doing so.

The Scotsman

Isis-inspired terror plot 'foiled' by armed police raid in Newcastle

Isis-inspired terror plot 'foiled' by armed police raid in Newcastle

A suspected Isis-inspired terror plot has been foiled following an armed police raid in Newcastle.

The Independent

Muslim group visits KFC slaughterhouse in Lancashire to check food is halal

Muslim group visits KFC slaughterhouse in Lancashire to check food is halal

A Muslim group has visited a slaughterhouse used by Kentucky Fried Chicken in Lancashire to check the food served in local KFC restaurants is halal.

Lancashire Telegraph

Essex County Council pauses plans to close C of E school

Essex County Council pauses plans to close C of E school

A council's plans to close a rural primary school near Chelmsford in Essex have been put on ice.

Essex Live

Australian government to unveil new religious freedom bill but stalls on LGBT students

Australian government to unveil new religious freedom bill but stalls on LGBT students

Australia's government has promised to prohibit discrimination against religious people but has delayed a decision on discrimination against LGBT students and school staff.

The Guardian

Australian newspaper complains of censorship over Pell gag order

Australian newspaper complains of censorship over Pell gag order

An Australian newspaper on Thursday published a front page that drew attention to a gag order in the country that prevents it from publishing details on the trial of a former Vatican official accused of sexual abuse.

The Hill

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