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Thu, 07 Apr 2022

Catholic Church ‘acted unlawfully’ in trying to impose executive team on school where gay author was banned

Catholic Church ‘acted unlawfully’ in trying to impose executive team on school where gay author was banned

The Catholic Church acted unlawfully when it tried to impose a new management team on a school at the centre of a controversy over the banning of a gay author.

iNews*

Boris Johnson 'sad' LGBT+ conference boycotted but defends conversion therapy plan

Boris Johnson 'sad' LGBT+ conference boycotted but defends conversion therapy plan

Boris Johnson has said he's "sad" his LGBT+ conference was boycotted over plans to drop a ban on trans conversion therapy, but defended his decision to exempt transgender people from new legislation.

ITV

Boris Johnson urged to shun NUS over antisemitism concerns

Boris Johnson urged to shun NUS over antisemitism concerns

Boris Johnson should refuse to recognise the National Union of Students as the "legitimate voice of students" unless it ceases its "poor treatment of Jewish students", the government's antisemitism adviser has said.

The Times*

Spain bans harassment of women having abortions

Spain bans harassment of women having abortions

Spain has criminalised the harassment or intimidation of women going for an abortion under new legislation approved by the Senate on Wednesday.

The Guardian

Oregon braces for abortion ban in neighbouring Idaho

Oregon braces for abortion ban in neighbouring Idaho

In the wake of Idaho's recent ban on nearly all abortions, Oregon is investing millions in its abortion infrastructure as it prepares to receive an influx of patients seeking the procedure.

NPR

‘A covert network of activists is preparing for the end of Roe’

‘A covert network of activists is preparing for the end of Roe’

What will the future of abortion in America look like, asks Jessica Bruder.

The Atlantic*

Israel government loses majority as religious lawmaker quits

Israel government loses majority as religious lawmaker quits

A lawmaker quit Israel's ruling coalition on Wednesday after a dispute over religious observance during the Passover holiday, throwing the fragile alliance into disarray without a majority in parliament and raising the prospect of a new round of elections.

The Associated Press

India: University professor suspended for "mythical reference of rape"

India: University professor suspended for "mythical reference of rape"

Police on Wednesday registered a first issue report against an Aligarh Muslim University professor who referred to examples of "rape" in Hindu mythology during a forensic science class, provoking accusations of hurting religious sentiments.

NDTV

Suspected Islamists kill 21 civilians in eastern Congo

Suspected Islamists kill 21 civilians in eastern Congo

Suspected Islamist militants killed at least 21 civilians in an overnight attack on a village in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, a local human rights group and a witness said on Monday.

Reuters*

Wed, 06 Apr 2022

NSS chief exec: ‘Secularism and the struggle for free speech’

NSS chief exec: ‘Secularism and the struggle for free speech’

Stephen Evans, chief executive of the National Secular Society, argues for the vital importance of free speech in a liberal democracy, and considers the place of this fundamental right in the secularist tradition from the nineteenth century to the present.

The Freethinker

Nigeria atheist Mubarak Bala jailed for ‘blaspheming Islam’

Nigeria atheist Mubarak Bala jailed for ‘blaspheming Islam’

A Nigerian atheist has been sentenced to 24 years in prison by a high court in the northern state of Kano after being convicted of 'blaspheming Islam'.

BBC

Catholic priest tells sex abuse trial how he carried out exorcism for one of his alleged victims

Catholic priest tells sex abuse trial how he carried out exorcism for one of his alleged victims

A Catholic priest accused of sexually abusing boys told a jury he had carried out an exorcism for one of his alleged victims.

Yorkshire Evening Post*

'Safe To Be Me' LGBT conference cancelled after boycott

'Safe To Be Me' LGBT conference cancelled after boycott

The UK has cancelled its first-ever international LGBT+ conference after a boycott by more than 100 organisations.

BBC

Oklahoma lawmakers pass near-total ban on abortion

Oklahoma lawmakers pass near-total ban on abortion

The bill would criminalise performing an abortion in almost all cases, except where it could "save the life of a pregnant woman in a medical emergency".

BBC

Colorado signs abortion and contraception access into state law

Colorado signs abortion and contraception access into state law

Colorado joins 15 other states and the District of Columbia that have recently codified abortion in law.

The Independent*

‘The antisocial strain of sincere religious beliefs is on the rise in the US’

‘The antisocial strain of sincere religious beliefs is on the rise in the US’

Conservatives are increasingly embracing a version of religious freedom that's designed to sow unnecessary divisions in society, says Charles McCrary.

The New Republic

Australia: Diocese accused of using school funds to buy church properties

Australia: Diocese accused of using school funds to buy church properties

The Parramatta Catholic diocese is under investigation by the New South Wales government over allegations it used school funds to buy parish properties, a parliamentary hearing has been told.

The Sydney Morning Herald*

Hunt for the ‘Butcher of Bucha’, a commander blessed by the Orthodox Church

Hunt for the ‘Butcher of Bucha’, a commander blessed by the Orthodox Church

The Russian commander suspected of committing "utterly inhuman" war crimes in Bucha has been named as a veteran soldier who was recently blessed by the Orthodox Church.

The Times*

Men are less religious in more gender-equal countries

Men are less religious in more gender-equal countries

A new study published in Proceedings of the Royal Society suggests that men are less religious in countries with higher levels of gender equality.

PsyPost

Tue, 05 Apr 2022

Ireland: ‘New census religion question offers scope for change’

Ireland: ‘New census religion question offers scope for change’

Religious influence on our publicly funded schools and hospitals is often defended because of the high numbers who declare they are Catholics in our population survey, says Colm O'Connor.

Irish Examiner

LGBT groups quit UK conference over failure to ban trans conversion practices

LGBT groups quit UK conference over failure to ban trans conversion practices

More than 80 LGBT and HIV charities, including Stonewall and the Terrence Higgins Trust, are to boycott the UK government's first global LGBT conference, in response to the decision to exclude trans people from a ban on conversion practices.

The Guardian

Missouri regulates boarding schools after abuse allegations at faith-based schools

Missouri regulates boarding schools after abuse allegations at faith-based schools

The new law approved last year followed extensive reporting that found that several faith-based boarding schools relocated to Missouri after being investigated or shut down for abuse or neglect elsewhere.

The Associated Press

After Pope's apology, Canada's indigenous survivors want compensation, records

After Pope's apology, Canada's indigenous survivors want compensation, records

Pope Francis's long-awaited apology to Canada's indigenous community for more than a century of abusive residential schools, many of them run by the Catholic Church, should be followed by millions of dollars in compensation and the release of residential school records, survivors and indigenous leaders said.

Reuters*

IS terrorists who kidnapped James Foley ignored efforts to negotiate, court hears

IS terrorists who kidnapped James Foley ignored efforts to negotiate, court hears

The Islamic State terrorists who kidnapped American journalist James Foley never made serious attempts to negotiate a ransom before brutally executing him, family members have told a court.

The Guardian

‘The Russian patriarch just gave his most dangerous speech yet — and almost no one in the west has noticed’

‘The Russian patriarch just gave his most dangerous speech yet — and almost no one in the west has noticed’

Disregarding for a moment how simply, factually wrong Patriarch Kirill's history is, this sermon does mark a dangerous escalation in the rhetoric coming from the Moscow Patriarchate—and, we can assume, by extension the Russian state, says Katherine Kelaidis.

Religion Dispatches

‘Rogue pastors, fake miracles and murder’

‘Rogue pastors, fake miracles and murder’

Africa Eye reporter Peter Macjob travels to Uganda to meet the families who have suffered tragic losses at the hands of rogue pastors.

BBC

Mon, 04 Apr 2022

Acts of worship shouldn’t have a prayer in schools, says former principal

Acts of worship shouldn’t have a prayer in schools, says former principal

A former Scottish head teacher has questioned the merits of religious worship in school assemblies and feels a US-style "no prayer" policy should be adopted.

The Times*

Property firm owner jailed after failing to grant wife Jewish religious divorce

Property firm owner jailed after failing to grant wife Jewish religious divorce

Alan Moher did not give his former wife Caroline a 'Get' – a document that formally recognises the end of marriage in the Orthodox Jewish faith.

Express & Star

Inside Boris Johnson’s conversion therapy chaos: ‘Nutty, evangelical advisers’ blamed for double u-turn

Inside Boris Johnson’s conversion therapy chaos: ‘Nutty, evangelical advisers’ blamed for double u-turn

The Prime Minister was forced to change his position because advisers were shocked by an onslaught of criticism from Conservative backbenchers.

iNews*

Wales seeking legal advice on conversion therapy ban after ‘partial’ U-turn

Wales seeking legal advice on conversion therapy ban after ‘partial’ U-turn

Wales is seeking legal advice on the "unilateral action" it can take to ban conversion therapy, after the UK reportedly committed to banning the practice for gay people, but not those who are trans.

The Independent*

Law set to end child marriage in England and Wales

Law set to end child marriage in England and Wales

A renewed legislative bid to change the minimum age for marriage to 18, and criminalise those organising underage unions, looks set to succeed.

France24

‘Free speech in Britain: A losing battle?’ – NSS mentioned

‘Free speech in Britain: A losing battle?’ – NSS mentioned

On hate crime in Scotland, blasphemy in Batley, and cartoons in Colchester.

The Freethinker

Pope makes historic apology to Indigenous for Canada abuses

Pope makes historic apology to Indigenous for Canada abuses

Pope Francis on Friday made a historic apology to Indigenous Peoples for the "deplorable" abuses they suffered in Canada's Catholic-run residential schools and said he hoped to visit Canada in late July to deliver the apology in person to survivors of the church's misguided missionary zeal.

The Associated Press

US: Lev Tahor cult leader sentenced to 12 years for kidnapping, child exploitation

US: Lev Tahor cult leader sentenced to 12 years for kidnapping, child exploitation

A US federal court sentenced the leader of the extremist Jewish Lev Tahor cult to 12 years imprisonment on Thursday for six convictions including child sexual exploitation and kidnapping.

The Times of Israel*

Americans sceptical about religious objections to COVID-19 vaccines

Americans sceptical about religious objections to COVID-19 vaccines

While many public and private employers in the United States have required workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19, some are allowing exemptions for people who say the vaccine violates their religious beliefs. But most US adults do not believe that these requests for religious exemptions are sincere.

Pew Research Center

Qatari official: Rainbow flags may be taken to protect fans

Qatari official: Rainbow flags may be taken to protect fans

Rainbow flags could be taken from fans at the World Cup in Qatar to protect them from being attacked for promoting gay rights, a senior leader overseeing security for the tournament said.

The Associated Press

‘The Russian Orthodox Church: betrayed by Putin’s patriarch’

‘The Russian Orthodox Church: betrayed by Putin’s patriarch’

"Patriarch Kirill of Moscow has given theological cover for Vladimir Putin's murderous assault on Ukraine"

The Guardian

Fri, 01 Apr 2022

Conversion therapy: Ban to go-ahead but not cover trans people

Conversion therapy: Ban to go-ahead but not cover trans people

The government insists it will ban so-called conversion therapy for gay or bisexual people in England and Wales - but not for transgender people.

BBC

Muslim pupil told by school that face veil was a 'security threat'

Muslim pupil told by school that face veil was a 'security threat'

A Muslim student has accused staff of calling her face veil a 'security threat' and a 'safeguarding issue' and 'isolating' her from other pupils because of it.

My London

Hundreds of PSNI officers in Protestant fraternal groups and Freemasons

Hundreds of PSNI officers in Protestant fraternal groups and Freemasons

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) employs close to 400 officers who are members of fraternal organisations such as the Orange Order and the Freemasons.

The Detail

Deliberate fire at mosque treated as hate crime

Deliberate fire at mosque treated as hate crime

A fire at a mosque in Newport is being treated as a hate crime.

BBC

Lambeth Conference must not be dominated by sexuality again, say CofE Primates

Lambeth Conference must not be dominated by sexuality again, say CofE Primates

The Primates of the Anglican Communion are determined that the Lambeth Conference in July should not be dominated by debates about human sexuality, the Archbishop of Canterbury has said.

Church Times*

Ukrainian archbishop: Minority faiths at risk if Russia wins

Ukrainian archbishop: Minority faiths at risk if Russia wins

The top-ranking Ukrainian Catholic cleric in the United States warned Thursday that religious minorities in the Eastern European country stand to be "crushed" if Moscow gains control, as fighting raged on more than a month after the Russian invasion began.

Mail Online

Police find five foetuses at the home of US anti-abortion activist

Police find five foetuses at the home of US anti-abortion activist

Five foetuses have been discovered in a Washington home reportedly belonging to an anti-abortion activist, police say.

BBC

Pakistan: Hindu girl’s killing reignites forced conversion fears

Pakistan: Hindu girl’s killing reignites forced conversion fears

A teenage Hindu girl was killed last week in Pakistan's southeastern Sindh province after she resisted abduction for alleged forced marriage and conversion, prompting fear among the country's minority community.

Al Jazeera

Pakistan: Teacher stabbed to death in blasphemy witch hunt

Pakistan: Teacher stabbed to death in blasphemy witch hunt

A Pakistani teacher was stabbed to death allegedly over a blasphemy accusation that stemmed from a child's dream.

Vice

Indonesia: Man molests 48 religious school students after telling them he can help prevent FGM pain

Indonesia: Man molests 48 religious school students after telling them he can help prevent FGM pain

Police in Tarakan, North Kalimantan have arrested a 22-year-old man suspected of molesting 48 girls from an Islamic boarding school.

Coconuts Jakarta

Iranian women pepper-sprayed at World Cup qualifier

Iranian women pepper-sprayed at World Cup qualifier

Iranian women were pepper-sprayed by security guards as they tried to enter a football stadium to watch a World Cup qualifier, fuelling calls for Fifa to ban Iran from the tournament.

The Times*

Almost half of pregnancies ‘unintended’, report finds

Almost half of pregnancies ‘unintended’, report finds

Some 121 million pregnancies around the world each year are unintended with this amounting to almost half of all pregnancies, according to a new United Nations study.

The Independent*

Thu, 31 Mar 2022

MPs vote to continue abortion ‘pills by post’ scheme in England

MPs vote to continue abortion ‘pills by post’ scheme in England

Women in England will be able to access a "pills by post" abortion service indefinitely after MPs voted today to compel ministers to make it permanent instead of scrapping the scheme in September.

The Guardian

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