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Fri, 25 Mar 2022

Florida's controversial 'Don't Say Gay' bill: What's inside the proposed law

Florida's controversial 'Don't Say Gay' bill: What's inside the proposed law

Florida's Parental Rights in Education bill, dubbed the "Don't Say Gay" bill by LGBTQ activists, is on Gov. Ron DeSantis' desk awaiting his signature.

ABC News

Pastors’ role in education funding creates uproar in Brazil

Pastors’ role in education funding creates uproar in Brazil

Allegations that two evangelical pastors have used their influence with Brazil's Education Ministry to steer federal funding to friends — and in at least one case seek a bribe — are causing a new election-year controversy for the government of President Jair Bolsonaro.

The Associated Press

Thu, 24 Mar 2022

Bring in mandatory reporting of child abuse for church leaders, survivor urges MSPs

Bring in mandatory reporting of child abuse for church leaders, survivor urges MSPs

A woman who says her abuse as a child was covered up by her church is calling on the Scottish Government to introduce mandatory reporting for all religious leaders.

Holyrood

Boris Johnson says British universities have 'tolerated casual and systematic antisemitism' for too long

Boris Johnson says British universities have 'tolerated casual and systematic antisemitism' for too long

Prime minister Boris Johnson has criticised UK universities, saying that they have for "far too long been tolerant of casual or indeed systematic antisemitism."

The Jewish Chronicle

Church court refuses bid by Jesus College Cambridge to remove memorial to benefactor over slave trade links

Church court refuses bid by Jesus College Cambridge to remove memorial to benefactor over slave trade links

Jesus College wanted to remove the stone memorial honouring Tobias Rustat. An ecclesiastical court has ruled against the College.

Mail Online

Russian talking point: Blaming US for Ukraine church split

Russian talking point: Blaming US for Ukraine church split

While Russia has sought to justify its assault on Ukraine with complaints about NATO's eastward expansion, it has also claimed that foreign actors have encroached on its religious turf in Ukraine — even alleging the United States helped instigate an Eastern Orthodox schism there.

The Associated Press

Oklahoma Republicans advance anti-abortion bill that's more restrictive than Texas law

Oklahoma Republicans advance anti-abortion bill that's more restrictive than Texas law

Republican House legislators passed House Bill 4327 that would effectively ban most abortions by allowing private citizens to sue anyone who performs an abortion or "aids or abets" someone who pursues the procedure.

The Oklahoman

‘Why a war on abortion is doomed to fail’

‘Why a war on abortion is doomed to fail’

Across the political spectrum, Americans acknowledge that the war on drugs was a failure, and yet its logic has been transported into the realm of abortion, say Mary Ziegler and Aziza Ahmed.

CNN

“Saudi Arabia must lift Raif Badawi’s travel ban,” Humanists International says at UN

“Saudi Arabia must lift Raif Badawi’s travel ban,” Humanists International says at UN

At the United Nations, Humanists International has called on Saudi Arabia to lift the travel ban to which it is subjecting human rights defender, Raif Badawi. Badawi was released from prison earlier this month following the expiry of his 10-year prison sentence for "insulting Islam through electronic channels."

Humanists International

‘Afghanistan girls' tears over chaotic Taliban schools U-turn’

‘Afghanistan girls' tears over chaotic Taliban schools U-turn’

Aziz-ur-Rahman Rayan, spokesman for the Ministry of Education, said all preparations had been made for the re-opening of schools, but that the group's central leadership had ordered them to stay closed until, "a comprehensive plan has been prepared according to Sharia and Afghan culture".

BBC

Hillsong Church founder Brian Houston resigns after internal misconduct investigation

Hillsong Church founder Brian Houston resigns after internal misconduct investigation

The founder of global megachurch Hillsong, Brian Houston, has resigned after an internal investigation found he behaved inappropriately towards two women.

ABC News

Wed, 23 Mar 2022

NSS chief executive interviewed by Freedom Declared Foundation

NSS chief executive interviewed by Freedom Declared Foundation

Stephen Evans talks about the importance of secularism in upholding freedom of religion or belief in the UK and balancing this right with other rights.

Freedom Declared Foundation

LGBT+ strategy covering sex work, IVF, trans healthcare and homelessness to be unveiled by Government

LGBT+ strategy covering sex work, IVF, trans healthcare and homelessness to be unveiled by Government

Ministers are working on a comprehensive new strategy to "advance" the rights of LGBT+ people in the country. The cross-government plan will cover issues like sex work, IVF, veterans and homelessness – as well as specific healthcare for LGBT+ communities – largely across England and Wales.

iNews*

LGBT Scots more likely to have alcohol issues but face barriers for help, says Glasgow study

LGBT Scots more likely to have alcohol issues but face barriers for help, says Glasgow study

People from the LGBTQ+ community are more likely to have problems with alcohol than others, but experience major barriers in accessing alcohol services, according to new research. The Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) study on LGBTQ+ people's experiences of alcohol services investigated the views of both service users and providers.

The National

‘We were human beings’: UK families seek apology over historic forced adoptions

‘We were human beings’: UK families seek apology over historic forced adoptions

In the 1950s, 60s and 70s, up to a 250,000 new mothers were coerced into giving up their babies in arrangements facilitated by the church, charities and the government. The young unmarried women were not considered "suitable" parents by society or their families, and their babies were given to married couples who were.

The Guardian

Deadly violence against LGBT people in Iraq

Deadly violence against LGBT people in Iraq

Armed groups in Iraq abduct, rape, torture, and kill lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, with impunity, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today with IraQueer. The police arrest and also carry out violence against them.

Human Rights Watch

Israel:  Freed Isis sympathiser kills four in knife rampage

Israel: Freed Isis sympathiser kills four in knife rampage

Four Israelis were killed and at least two others seriously injured yesterday when a former prisoner with Isis sympathies went on a stabbing rampage before being shot dead by a passer-by.

The Times*

US sanctions officials in China over persecution of Uyghurs and other minorities

US sanctions officials in China over persecution of Uyghurs and other minorities

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced new visa restrictions on Chinese officials Monday for their actions to repress ethnic and religious minorities both inside and outside the country.

CBS News

Girls' schools in Afghanistan ordered shut just hours after reopening

Girls' schools in Afghanistan ordered shut just hours after reopening

The Taliban ordered secondary girls schools in Afghanistan to shut Wednesday just hours after they reopened, an official confirmed, sparking confusion over the policy reversal by the hardline Islamist group.

France24

‘The hijab case has allowed some to subvert the meaning of secularism’

‘The hijab case has allowed some to subvert the meaning of secularism’

"At its core, secularism means this: Favour none, empower everyone. This is the classical definition of liberal secularism where caste, religion, language, gender and region are irrelevant to the state. It treats everyone fairly and equally."

Firstpost

Bangladesh: Hindu youth held over ‘offensive post’ on Facebook in Khulna

Bangladesh: Hindu youth held over ‘offensive post’ on Facebook in Khulna

Police have detained a Hindu man along with several others for questioning in Khulna after local Muslims reported a Facebook post that 'defamed' the Islamic prophet Muhammad.

Dhaka Tribune

Tue, 22 Mar 2022

Assassination of Sir David Amess by a "committed, fanatical, radicalised Islamist terrorist", court hears

Assassination of Sir David Amess by a "committed, fanatical, radicalised Islamist terrorist", court hears

Opening the trial at the Old Bailey in London, prosecutor Tom Little QC described the defendant as a "radicalised Islamist terrorist" and called it a "murder carried out because of a warped and twisted and violent ideology".

BBC

Schoolboy accused of Islamist extremism shared instructions on how to make a bomb, court hears

Schoolboy accused of Islamist extremism shared instructions on how to make a bomb, court hears

A 15-year-old schoolboy has denied five terrorism charges, including sharing a bomb-making video on an online chat group.

Mail Online

Discrimination row after Oxford college cancels Christian event

Discrimination row after Oxford college cancels Christian event

An Oxford College has been warned it could be unlawfully discriminating against Christians after it cancelled a conference booking amid "ill-founded complaints" from students.

The Telegraph*

Conspiracy theorist teacher fired for saying LGBT+ people have the ‘DNA of Satan’

Conspiracy theorist teacher fired for saying LGBT+ people have the ‘DNA of Satan’

An east London teacher has been fired after he said Jewish and Catholic people are "evil" and LGBT+ have the "DNA of Satan".

Pink News

Jazzed-up hot cross buns with novel flavours are the work of the devil, former chaplain says

Jazzed-up hot cross buns with novel flavours are the work of the devil, former chaplain says

Hot cross buns with novel ingredients such as chocolate, cheese and caramel may be 'the devil at work', a former royal chaplain has claimed.

Mail Online

Charity Commission launches inquiry into Russian-run Jewish foundation

Charity Commission launches inquiry into Russian-run Jewish foundation

The Charity Commission has launched a statutory inquiry into a major foundation supporting Jewish causes, the Genesis Philanthropy Group, after three of its four founding trustees were sanctioned earlier in the week in the latest government crackdown on Russian oligarchs.

The Jewish Chronicle

Orthodox Patriarch Kirill backs Putin’s denial of Ukrainian independence

Orthodox Patriarch Kirill backs Putin’s denial of Ukrainian independence

The Patriarch of Moscow has endorsed President Vladimir Putin's denial of the independence of Ukraine, while voicing hopes for "fraternal relations" between the Ukrainian and Russian populations.

Church Times*

Rohingya refugees welcome US decision to call Myanmar atrocities a genocide

Rohingya refugees welcome US decision to call Myanmar atrocities a genocide

Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh have welcomed the announcement by the US that it considers the violent repression of their largely Muslim ethnic group in Myanmar a genocide.

The Guardian

‘India’s hijab row has been hijacked by the Hindu and Muslim right wing to score political points’

‘India’s hijab row has been hijacked by the Hindu and Muslim right wing to score political points’

Hindu nationalism is a threat to a secular and pluralistic India. But to condemn it does not mean we should allow Muslim fundamentalists carte blanche to impose their obnoxious and regressive beliefs on women in the name of "religious freedom", says Khadija Khan.

Sedaa

‘The happiest nations on Earth are strongly secular’

‘The happiest nations on Earth are strongly secular’

According to the latest World Happiness Report, the top ten happiest nations are Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Sweden, Norway, Israel, and New Zealand.

OnlySky

Mon, 21 Mar 2022

NSS quoted: NI hate speech law proposals show “alarming disregard for freedom of expression”

NSS quoted: NI hate speech law proposals show “alarming disregard for freedom of expression”

Secular and faith based groups have both expressed alarm at the proposals published by Justice Minister Naomi Long. NSS chief executive Stephen Evans is quoted.

News Letter

Parents may be baptising children to get them into esteemed Catholic school

Parents may be baptising children to get them into esteemed Catholic school

Parents may be baptising their children to improve their chances of landing places at a high-performing Catholic school, its leaders have admitted.

Eastern Daily Press

NI: Retired judge says sex education should be mandatory in primary schools

NI: Retired judge says sex education should be mandatory in primary schools

Sex education should be mandatory in Northern Ireland's primary schools, the retired judge who led reforms of rape trials has said.

BBC

Pagans want to celebrate with an address to MSPs

Pagans want to celebrate with an address to MSPs

The Scottish Pagan Federation is celebrating its 50th anniversary and will mark the milestone by requesting to have a representative deliver Time for Reflection in the Scottish parliament debating chamber.

The Times*

‘The legal net is closing on men who refuse a religious divorce’

‘The legal net is closing on men who refuse a religious divorce’

New routes are being created so that women trapped in Jewish religious marriages can fight back, say Toby Yerbugh and Tanya Roberts.

The Jewish Chronicle

Women and girls escaping Ukraine and trapped there ‘must be provided’ with abortions and contraception

Women and girls escaping Ukraine and trapped there ‘must be provided’ with abortions and contraception

Abortions and contraception must be provided to women escaping Ukraine and their reproductive health must be safeguarded, campaigners on the ground have warned.

The Independent

Washington state prohibits Texas-style abortion lawsuits

Washington state prohibits Texas-style abortion lawsuits

A Washington state measure that prohibits legal action against people seeking an abortion and those who aid them was signed into law Thursday by the governor, in a move designed to rebut recent actions by conservative states.

The Associated Press

‘Is the GOP’s war on women now pro-rapist?’

‘Is the GOP’s war on women now pro-rapist?’

Idaho Republicans are so "pro-life" that they want rape victims who get an abortion to pay tens of thousands of dollars to their rapist's family, says Wajahat Ali.

The Daily Beast

American Christians seen as ‘hypocritical’ and ‘judgemental’, study suggests

American Christians seen as ‘hypocritical’ and ‘judgemental’, study suggests

A new survey carried out in the United States suggests that non-believers think that Christians are hypocritical and judgemental — in stark contrast to Christians, who describe themselves as compassionate and loving.

Church Times*

‘Are white Christians under attack in America? No, but the myth is winning’

‘Are white Christians under attack in America? No, but the myth is winning’

The idea that the American way of life is under threat from a variety of 'others' is wildly overblown but widely believed, says Alvin Chang.

The Guardian

Australia: Citipointe Christian College teachers threatened with dismissal for expressing homosexuality

Australia: Citipointe Christian College teachers threatened with dismissal for expressing homosexuality

Only last month, the school apologised to students over enrolment contracts that described homosexuality as 'immoral'.

The Guardian

‘The hunt for Nigerians who can change into cats’

‘The hunt for Nigerians who can change into cats’

Belief in African traditional religions and its juju components are widespread in Nigeria, with many combining them with either Christianity or Islam. Questioning the existence of supernatural powers is considered taboo in much of Nigerian society.

BBC

Fri, 18 Mar 2022

Dispute deepens in Southwark school that banned gay author

Dispute deepens in Southwark school that banned gay author

Actions of Southwark archdiocese "will lead taxpayers and politicians to question why hundreds of millions of pounds of public money are being spent to allow a religious institution to reinforce public prejudice against a vulnerable group of young people", says chair of The Tablet.

The Tablet*

"Demonisation of LGBT people in state-funded Catholic schools is unlawful hypocrisy"

"Demonisation of LGBT people in state-funded Catholic schools is unlawful hypocrisy"

"It's the teenage boys at John Fisher School that I feel sorry for; those who struggle with shame and guilt and depression because they are told – even from those hiding in clergy closets – that they are sick and shameful."

The Press and Journal

Liverpool bomber Emad Al Swealmeen acted alone says police chief

Liverpool bomber Emad Al Swealmeen acted alone says police chief

The man who carried out the terror attack outside Liverpool Women's Hospital was probably acting alone, a senior anti-terror police chief said. Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Matt Jukes said no-one else was linked to the attack but there were still "questions unanswered".

BBC

Scots anti-abortion protester 'recruited' by American religious group to target women at clinics

Scots anti-abortion protester 'recruited' by American religious group to target women at clinics

The organiser of a pro-life protest targeting women outside a Scots abortion clinic has revealed how she was recruited by an American-based religious group.

Daily Record

Cardinal calls for Vatican reprimand over sexuality remarks

Cardinal calls for Vatican reprimand over sexuality remarks

Cardinal George Pell has called for the Vatican's doctrine office to intervene and reprimand two leading European Catholic churchmen who called for changes in Catholic teaching on sexuality and homosexuality.

The Associated Press

India concerned over elevating phobia against one religion to level of international day

India concerned over elevating phobia against one religion to level of international day

As the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on Tuesday to proclaim March 15 as International Day to Combat Islamophobia, India expressed concern over phobia against one religion being elevated to the level of an international day, saying there are growing contemporary forms of 'religiophobia'.

The Hindu

‘Should courts decide if hijab is essential in Islam?’

‘Should courts decide if hijab is essential in Islam?’

The hijab, according to a landmark Indian court ruling on Tuesday, has "something to do with culture but certainly not with religion".

BBC

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