Thu, 18 Oct 2018
The NSS has written to all councillors in Lancashire urging them to end the supply of meat from un-stunned animals to 27 schools. Lancashire County Council will take a final vote on the issue today.
A Sharia 'law'academic has appeared on Good Morning Britain to defend a high street retailer's decision to stock hijabs for sale to very young children. NSS research shows that more than two in five Islamic schools in England that accept girls require them to wear a hijab as school uniform.
SNP ministers are considering proposals to allow people to self-declare their gender. Officials say equality laws may be changed to give churches an opt-out from the plans.
Cafod, Britain's largest Catholic aid charity, has had its membership suspended from an international aid standard body.
Premier Christian Radio
Hackney Council has removed a boundary line put up by Orthodox Jewish rabbis after some people in the street it was in threatened to cut it down themselves. No planning consent was obtained and residents were not consulted before the eruv – a very thin wire or string – was strung from the lamp posts there last month.
A London event involving the group Muslims Against Antisemitism planned for tomorrow has been targeted by supporters of the hardline Muslim group MEND.
Parents and residents are meeting with Essex County Council (ECC) to discuss its plans to close a Church of England primary school on the outskirts of Chelmsford. The council has cited low numbers attending the school and financial pressure as reasons for its decision.
The Washington Post has published the final column from Jamal Khashoggi, the dissident who appears to have been killed by the Saudi regime. Khashoggi calls for free speech in the Arab world.
The Washington Post
Crowds of angry Hindu devotees have prevented women from entering one of Hinduism's holiest temples despite a historic Supreme Court ruling.
Queensland has become Australia's latest state to decriminalise abortion, repealing a century-old law that made the practice punishable with prison time.
The favourite to be Brazil's next president, far-right politician Jair Bolsonaro, has signed a commitment to keep abortion illegal if he wins power, backing the influential Catholic Church's stance.
Wed, 17 Oct 2018
Police have recorded a surge in hate crime directed at people in England and Wales because of their religious beliefs. The separate Crime Survey of England and Wales, which is a broader measure of people's experience of crime, showed no rise.
Humanist, spiritualist, Mormon and Zoroastrian representatives will stand alongside leaders from the main religions at the Cenotaph at next month's Remembrance Sunday commemorations.
The Times (£)
Jawad Iqbal says the Ministry of Justice is wrong to block academics who want to study why prisoners convert to Islam and how it can lead to radicalisation.
The Times (£)
A Muslim cleric who has worked towards opening sharia law courts in the UK has been questioned over historic rape claims.
Control of the organisation which runs the Grangewood Independent Primary School in east London has been handed over to new trustees following a Charity Commission investigation.
The Church of Scotland's decision to close two thirds of its churches on Shetland is likely to be replicated across the country in the future, according to one of the ministers in charge.
Brendan O'Neill says hate crime legislation should be repealed, not extended.
Rabina Khan says religious minorities can be both victims and perpetrators of religious hate crime – and everyone has a responsibility to help to end it.
The Catholic archdiocese of Washington, D.C., has released a list of 31 clergymen who have been "credibly accused" of abusing children over a decades-long period.
The Taliban has taken over every school in a district of northern Afghanistan, imposing a hardline Islamist curriculum and curbing education for girls.
The Times (£)
A north Indian city is to have its Islamic name changed to one with Hindu associations following demands from Hindu nationalists.
Most Irish people believe that the Pope did not do enough during his visit to address the Catholic Church's record of abuse, a poll suggests.
The Times (£)
Tue, 16 Oct 2018
Andrew Brown says Amazon's relationship with a charity promoting extreme views should bring lessons for the state.
The government's new counter-terrorism bill crosses the line on human rights and could restrict free speech and curb access to information, MPs and rights group have claimed.
Eleven leading evangelical bishops have warned the Church of England not to change its stance on sexuality.
Premier Christian Radio
Ivana Bacik says anti-blasphemy laws have typically been used by members of one religion against adherents of other faiths, and people in Ireland should vote to remove them.
The Irish Times
Anjem Choudary, who was convicted of inviting support for terrorism, will be required to live in a probation hostel for up to six months after his release from prison this Friday.
The Times (£)
Crimes motivated by misogyny, a loathing for men, ageism and a loathing of goths could all be classed as hate crimes as the Law Commission reviews the law.
Queensland's abortion laws have not changed for more than 100 years, but this week MPs will be asked to make abortion legal.
ABC News (Australia)
The leader of the opposition in Australia is escalating a political row over discrimination laws with a plan to force a vote in parliament to protect gay students and teachers. Bill Shorten's move comes amid signs of a split on the issue within the ruling coalition.
The Sydney Morning Herald
David Marr says the Ruddock proposals to entrench discrimination against gays and the unchaste in Australia reveal the churches' attempts to cling to outdated powers.
A majority of Catholics want more positive approaches towards the LGBT+ community within the Catholic Church, poll figures show.
Leading Finnish obstetricians are calling on doctors to become more knowledgeable of female genital mutilation, as more women who have undergone FGM give birth in Finland.
Syrian president Bashar al-Assad has signed into law a new bill expanding the powers of a government ministry overseeing religious affairs and limiting the term of the country's top Muslim cleric.
Mon, 15 Oct 2018
The Church of England has been absent at Amazon and Google annual shareholders' meetings for at least three years, despite insisting that its investments meant that it was "in the room" to raise concerns over their tax affairs. NSS CEO Stephen Evans said it appeared the C of E had been disingenuous.
The Times (£)
Jonathan MS Pearce tackles some common myths put out by the pro-faith school lobby and encourages people to support the NSS's No More Faith Schools campaign.
Survivors of physical and sexual abuse at two children's homes are suing the religious order which ran them.
Scottish health boards ‘dragging their feet’ on offering take-home abortion pill a year after law change
Women cannot get hold of the take-home abortion pill in swathes of Scotland a year after the Scottish government announced its introduction.
‘Yes, praying with debt victims makes us queasy – but it’s the state that’s failing them’ - NSS quoted
Anoosh Chakelian says the dubious ethics of debt advice given out by charities with a religious ethos is part of a broader problem. NSS chief executive Stephen Evans is quoted.
Charlie Gard and Alfie Evans cases cost NHS half a million in legal fees after lengthy court battles
Two high-profile legal battles involving parents who wanted doctors to keep treating their severely-ill children have left the taxpayer with lawyers' bills in the region of £500,000, figures show. In both cases Christian groups supported the parents' cases.
A Lincoln man has pleaded guilty to sending 'Punish a Muslim day' letters which were sent out to a large number of people to encourage violence.
Animals will be killed again at the site of a halal abattoir in southern Norfolk where secret cameras exposed a string of offences.
Eastern Daily Press
The Northern Irish bakers who claimed a legal victory in the 'gay marriage cake' case have urged fellow Christians to "take their stand" on religious issues.
Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), a hardline religious-turned-political party, called for countrywide protests after Pakistan's Supreme Court delayed a final judgment on the fate of Asia Bibi, who was sentenced to death in 2010 for committing blasphemy.
Voice of America
Australian voters have strongly rejected laws to allow religious schools to discriminate against gay students and teachers.
Sydney Morning Herald
The newly-elected premier of Quebec in Canada has raised eyebrows by saying a crucifix hanging in the provincial legislature is not a religious symbol.
Fri, 12 Oct 2018
Children at a Catholic-run orphanage in Lanarkshire were sexually abused and beaten with leather straps, hairbrushes and crucifixes, the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry has found.
NSS honorary associate Maajid Nawaz has criticised Marks and Spencer for selling school uniform hijabs for children as young as three.
Twelve independent schools have been issued with warning notices by Department for Education. One Jewish independent school received a notice after Ofsted found it was only teaching pupils religion in Year 8.
Disclaimer: Links are provided to external websites for information and in the interests of free exchange. We do not accept any responsibility for the content of those sites, nor does a link indicate approval or imply endorsement of those sites.