Thu, 05 Apr 2018

Bill would end religious ethos opt out for sex ed in Ireland

A bill to prevent schools from using their religious ethos to avoid providing objective and factual sex education is to be debated in the lower house of the Irish legislature.

Irish Examiner

Israeli authorities block adverts urging female airline passengers not to move seats for ultra-Orthodox Jewish men

Israeli authorities have refused to display adverts informing female airline passengers they are not obliged to change seats at the request of ultra-Orthodox Jewish men who do not want to sit next to them.

The Independent

‘Ireland's abortion debate proves how deeply the country trades on shame’

Una Mullally, the author of a new book about the campaign for reproductive rights in Ireland, shares some of the stories she has heard during her research. She asks what women are really worth if they do not have bodily autonomy.

The Telegraph

Bibles pulled from online stores as China increases control of religion

The Bible appears to have been removed from online marketplaces in China, as Beijing clamps down on how its citizens practice religion.


Women tending to collapsed mayor told to stay out of ‘sacred’ sumo ring in Japan

A referee urged two women in Japan to stay out of a sumo ring as they tried to assist an official who was unconscious.

The Japan Times

Wed, 04 Apr 2018

Sacked teacher was not dismissed for telling pupils ‘God loves you’

The Christian Legal Centre claimed a teacher was dismissed after telling a lesbian pupil "God loves you". A tribunal has shown there is more to the case.

Christian Today

Survivor tells Welby to be brave with reforms

An alleged victim of a brutal spanking by a barrister linked to a Christian charity has urged the Archbishop of Canterbury to be "brave" in reforming the church after receiving a personal apology for his suffering.

The Times (£)

Lincoln Cathedral school teacher admits abusing boys

A former teacher has admitted charges of sexually abusing six young boys.


Church leader jailed for four years over £156,000 Gift Aid fraud

A church leader who lied about charity donations to fraudulently claim £155,840 in Gift Aid repayments has been jailed for four years.

Third Sector

Most drivers at Derby taxi firm stay away from work on sick 'Punish a Muslim' day

A Derby taxi firm lost 70% of its drivers yesterday because they were too scared to work due to a 'Punish a Muslim' hate campaign.

Derby Telegraph

‘An Ohio bill would ban all abortions. It’s part of a bigger plan’

Ohio lawmakers have proposed legislation to ban all abortions, with no exceptions for victims of rape or incest or to save a woman's life. This editorial says that, even if the bill doesn't become law, it could pave the way for other, somewhat less extreme measures to pass, seeming reasonable by comparison.

The New York Times

‘Punishing the powerless’

Khaled Ahmed says poor minorities are usually the target of Pakistan's blasphemy laws.

Indian Express

‘How Pakistani school textbooks mould its students’ skewed worldview’

Madiha Afzal says textbooks in Pakistan assert that religion defines the country's role in the world and permeates politics, policy, and society.


Call for better protection for Christians as Egyptian president re-elected

As Egypt's president is re-elected, a charity is calling on him to do more to protect Christians in his country.

Premier Christian Radio

Can this cruise line torpedo Bermuda’s gay marriage ban?

Carnival Cruise Line is hoping to help Bermuda become the first country in the world to re-legalise same-sex marriage.

The Daily Beast

Tue, 03 Apr 2018

Archbishop of York facing police investigation over alleged failure to report abuse

The archbishop of York and four other bishops are reportedly facing a police investigation for allegedly failing to report allegations of child sexual abuse.

Christian Today

Places of worship get £1.8m for repairs

Listed places of worship are to get a share of £1.8m for minor repairs under a government pilot scheme.


C of E should pay for maintenance of churches – NSS letter

NSS president Keith Porteous Wood says the C of E should use its own realisable assets, well in excess of £8bn even above parish level, to pay for church maintenance (second letter down). His letter comes in response to a Simon Jenkins column which argued for higher taxes for church maintenance.

The Guardian

Ofsted defends itself as teachers say attempts to ban hijab "racism dressed as liberalism"

Ofsted has defended itself against a backlash from teachers today after speakers at the NUT section of the NEU conference blasted inspectors' attempts to clamp down on the hijab in the classroom as "racism dressed up as liberalism".

Daily Express

Prince Charles's Easter message focuses on persecuted Christians

The prince of Wales and future supreme governor of the Church of England has released an Easter message for the first time. He spoke of solidarity with Christians being attacked and killed around the world.

Sky News

Women told to hide their hijabs on ‘Punish a Muslim’ day

Women are being urged to hide their hijabs on a day when thugs have apparently threatened to reward violence against Muslims.


SDLP to discuss abortion conscience vote

The SDLP is to hold a special conference to review the party's position on abortion. The party currently has an anti-choice stance but some party members have suggested being allowed to vote with their conscience on the issue.


Some Scots believe Islam shown 'too much respect', says Easter poll

A third of Scots believe Islam receives too much respect, while a quarter think too little is shown to Christianity, according to an Easter Sunday poll for The Sunday Times.

Glasgow Live

Corbyn attends Passover with left-wing Jewish group

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has attended a Passover event with a left-wing Jewish group highly critical of better-known Jewish communal bodies. There has been a mixed response to his decision.

The Guardian

Republic of Ireland to remove 'baptism barrier' for admission to schools

Two key moves to reduce the Catholic Church's control of education in Ireland will be made within weeks. Plans to remove the so-called baptism barrier for admission to Catholic schools are at an advanced stage, as are moves to ask parents to decide who should run Catholic primary schools.

Belfast Telegraph

Costa Rica vote halts march of religious conservatism

The resounding victory of a pro-gay marriage candidate in Costa Rica's presidential run-off vote on Sunday staved off a resurgent Christian evangelical movement that proved unable to translate social conservatism into a win.


Lawmakers in El Salvador face race against time to overturn abortion ban

Moves to overturn El Salvador's ban on abortion could be thwarted unless lawmakers work quickly to push through changes before a more conservative group assumes office in May.

The Guardian

Thu, 29 Mar 2018

Bill aiming to legalise same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland passes first hurdle in House of Commons

Same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland is a step closer after a bill calling for its legalisation passed the first hurdle in the House of Commons yesterday.

Belfast Telegraph

Let women take abortion medication at home – Women’s Equality Party

The Women's Equality Party has launched a campaign calling for women to be allowed to take abortion medication at home.


NSS gives top humanitarian award to Burnley vicar

A Burnley vicar who has campaigned to expose sexual abuse and its cover-up in the Church of England has been named Secularist of the Year.

Burnley Express

‘Easter egg truthers: the annual religious row over chocolate’

Martin Belam says far-right groups are again stoking a row over whether Easter is being erased from Britain.

The Guardian

Education bosses dismiss petition opposing co-location of schools on Isle of Man

Parents at a school on the Isle of Man have voiced their concerns after their petition with 401 signatures was dismissed by education bosses. The petitioners opposed plans to move a Church of England school to the same site as theirs.

IoM Today

Date set for Republic of Ireland's abortion referendum

A referendum on Ireland's strict constitutional position on abortion will be held on Friday May 25, the Irish government has confirmed.

Belfast Telegraph

‘If atheism is a crime, we should be proud criminals’

George Suchett-Kaye says anonymous atheists shouldn't be intimidated into silently remaining in religious circles that they do not feel part of.

Conatus News

Tommy Robinson permanently banned from Twitter

Tommy Robinson, ex-leader of the EDL, has been permanently banned from Twitter.


Pope Francis ‘expressed sympathy in private meetings with Cardinal Keith O'Brien’

The pope met several times in private with the late Cardinal Keith O'Brien, and expressed sympathy over the anonymous accusations which ended his career, a close friend and colleague has claimed.

The Herald

Los Angeles Press Club to honour jailed blogger Raif Badawi

Raif Badawi, serving a prison sentence in Saudi Arabia for "insulting Islam", is to be recognised by the Los Angeles Press Club.

Montreal Gazette

‘Israel’s chief rabbinate is a threat to Jewish unity and democracy’

Uri Regev says the chief rabbis of Israel's country and cities are funded by the state and granted monopolistic powers, which should end.


Wed, 28 Mar 2018

Coroner challenged over way she prioritised her work – NSS quoted

A coroner faced an unprecedented High Court challenge yesterday over her decision not to prioritise work based on religious sensitivities. The NSS has written to the chief coroner, the lord chief justice and a justice minister to urge that the independence of the judiciary be upheld in the case.

The Times (£)

Coroner in High Court clash with religious groups over priorities

In the first day of the judicial review into Mary Hassell's policy, her critics' representatives said she had caused "distress" to "faith communities". But she said her policy was "flexible" and did take families' wishes into account.

East London Advertiser

NI same-sex marriage bill to be introduced in Commons

A Labour MP, born in County Armagh, is to introduce a bill at Westminster later calling for same-sex marriage to be made legal in Northern Ireland.


'Teacher' who trained kids for terror attacks jailed for 25 years

A man who trained children as young as 11 for terrorist attacks has been sentenced to life in prison with a minimum term of 25 years.

Sky News

What is the row over Jeremy Corbyn and antisemitism about?

As the Labour leader faces protests over his response to anti-Jewish sentiment in the party, Benjamin Kentish looks at what has happened and how supporters and critics have responded.

The Independent

Police Scotland alerted to "shocking and vile" 'Smash a Fenian Day'

An MSP has reported plans for a violent "Smash a Fenian Day" to the police.

The Herald

Police patrols in Scotland increased because of anti-Muslim hate campaign

Police Scotland are to step up patrols around mosques and other religious buildings amidst an anti-Muslim hate campaign.

The Herald

Archbishop of Canterbury probed Meghan Markle on her first marriage ahead of royal wedding

The archbishop of Canterbury asked Prince Harry's fiancée a series of probing questions about her first marriage in advance of the royal wedding, in accordance with Church of England guidelines.

Christian Today

Condemned by caste, India's sewer cleaners risk death daily

Michael Safi reports from India, where hundreds of thousands of people still make their living as scavengers, emptying dry toilets by hand or cleaning septic tanks without protection. Those who defend the practice do so on the basis of 'caste'.

The Guardian

Communal riots in India turn deadly

Clashes in India between supporters of the prime minister and those of an opposition party snowballed into Hindu-Muslim rioting. Three people have been killed and dozens injured over two days of violence, police said on Tuesday.


Christians and Muslims in India express alarm over initiative to rewrite country's history

Christian and Muslim leaders in India have expressed concern over an initiative to "revise" the country's history in an apparent effort to assert the dominance of Hindus.

Christian Today

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.