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Tue, 03 May 2022

Isle of Man politicians should no longer be obliged to attend prayers, committee says

Isle of Man politicians should no longer be obliged to attend prayers, committee says

Manx politicians could be able to opt out of attending prayers at the start of House of Keys sittings in future.

BBC

Canada: Anglican church leader apologises to residential school survivors at Saskatchewan First Nation

Canada: Anglican church leader apologises to residential school survivors at Saskatchewan First Nation

Archbishop of Canterbury Reverend Justin Welby visited James Smith Cree Nation along with Chakastaypasin Band of the Cree Nation and Peter Chapman Band. While there, he apologised to survivors.

Global News

Ireland: Religious order exits healthcare as part of deal paving way for National Maternity Hospital to proceed

Ireland: Religious order exits healthcare as part of deal paving way for National Maternity Hospital to proceed

The Religious Sisters of Charity have declared their departure from healthcare after more than two centuries, in a move to clear the way for the new National Maternity Hospital to be built in Dublin.

The Irish Times*

Boston violated group’s First Amendment rights by denying ‘Christian flag’ outside City Hall, SCOTUS rules

Boston violated group’s First Amendment rights by denying ‘Christian flag’ outside City Hall, SCOTUS rules

In a unanimous ruling, the US Supreme Court determined that the city of Boston violated the First Amendment rights of a conservative group by refusing to let its "Christian flag" briefly fly outside City Hall while allowing other groups to fly flags of their own.

The Independent

‘Shurtleff v. Boston: America’s struggle with secularism’

‘Shurtleff v. Boston: America’s struggle with secularism’

While religious conflict may have been a significant part of America's past, it has by no means disappeared, says Fausto Rojas.

Brown Political Review

Modi weighs replacing India’s religion-based laws before polls

Modi weighs replacing India’s religion-based laws before polls

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's administration is weighing the political costs of replacing India's religion-based marriage and inheritance laws with a uniform civil code ahead of national elections in 2024.

Bloomberg*

Imran Khan to face blasphemy charges after new Pakistan PM called a ‘traitor’ and ‘thief’ in Saudi Arabia

Imran Khan to face blasphemy charges after new Pakistan PM called a ‘traitor’ and ‘thief’ in Saudi Arabia

Imran Khan has been booked under Pakistan's blasphemy law along with 150 others after the country's new prime minister Shehbaz Sharif was met with abusive language on his first foreign trip to Saudi Arabia.

The Independent*

‘Child protection and religious freedom’

‘Child protection and religious freedom’

Richard Scorer examines the relationship between religious freedom (or privilege) and the protection of children from abuse.

The Freethinker

Fri, 29 Apr 2022

Catholic school closes due to strike over LGBT book talk

Catholic school closes due to strike over LGBT book talk

Teachers at a Catholic school have gone on strike over the cancellation of a talk by a children's author whose books feature gay characters.

BBC

Catholic bishops urge members of the public to make their 'voices heard' in NI election

Catholic bishops urge members of the public to make their 'voices heard' in NI election

In a pastoral reflection ahead of next Thursday's vote the church leaders focused on several themes including the 'rights of the unborn', and 'respect for religious freedom'.

The Irish News*

Christian candidate attacks same-sex marriage in election leaflet

Christian candidate attacks same-sex marriage in election leaflet

Maureen Martin, Christian People's Alliance candidate for the Lewisham mayoral election, declared her intent to "cut through political correctness" and "simply state the truth" about "natural marriage between a man and a woman" in election materials delivered to locals.

Pink News

Terror prosecutions of people back in UK from Syria not counted

Terror prosecutions of people back in UK from Syria not counted

The government does not record the number of people prosecuted for terror offences after returning to the UK from Syria, an official report says.

BBC

British ‘Beatle’ terrorist to be sentenced over deaths of Western hostages

British ‘Beatle’ terrorist to be sentenced over deaths of Western hostages

A British terrorist convicted over his role in the torture and killings of Western hostages in Syria is expected to come face to face with his victims' families when he is sentenced in a US court today.

The Independent

‘Last orders for Ampleforth?’

‘Last orders for Ampleforth?’

One of England's most prestigious Catholic boarding schools has fallen foul of government inspectors, and its future may be in doubt.

The Tablet*

Ireland: ‘Threat of criminal sanctions’ hangs over medical abortion providers, committee hears

Ireland: ‘Threat of criminal sanctions’ hangs over medical abortion providers, committee hears

Ireland's abortion law makes anyone who aids or abets abortion outside the specific terms of the Act liable for criminal prosecution.

The Journal

US: Oklahoma passes its own version of Texas' 6-week abortion ban

US: Oklahoma passes its own version of Texas' 6-week abortion ban

Oklahoma lawmakers on Thursday passed a bill that would ban abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, mimicking Texas' strict abortion law and adding to a slew of GOP-led statutes that aim to restrict abortion.

Insider

‘As US abortion access wanes, this doctor travels to fill a void’

‘As US abortion access wanes, this doctor travels to fill a void’

Dr. Shelly Tien is among an estimated 50 doctors who travel across state lines, according to the National Abortion Federation, to provide abortions in places with limited abortion access.

Reuters*

US: Man asks schools to ban Bible following the state's efforts to remove books

US: Man asks schools to ban Bible following the state's efforts to remove books

A Florida activist known for his tongue-in-cheek petitions to local government agencies has asked school districts in Florida to ban the Bible.

NPR

Volume turned down on India’s calls to prayer

Volume turned down on India’s calls to prayer

Tens of thousands of loudspeakers have been turned down or silenced at mosques and Hindu temples in India's most populous state after politicians decreed that the traditional sounds of worship had become too cacophonous.

The Times*

‘No one should face persecution for denying the existence of god’

‘No one should face persecution for denying the existence of god’

There is a worrying rise in attacks on non-religious people around the world, says Andrew Copson.

The Independent

Thu, 28 Apr 2022

Religious programme obligations could be eased under broadcasting shake-up

Religious programme obligations could be eased under broadcasting shake-up

Rules about how much "public service content" such as gardening or religious programmes must be shown on "linear" TV will be relaxed as part of a broadcasting shake-up planned by the government.

Sky News

Teachers at Catholic school ‘threatened with sack’ over strike action after gay author visit scrapped

Teachers at Catholic school ‘threatened with sack’ over strike action after gay author visit scrapped

Governors appointed by the Catholic Church to a state school in London discussed the idea of sacking teachers who are going on strike over the decision to ban a gay author from visiting.

iNews*

Ministers criticised as they consider mediation with anti-abortion protesters

Ministers criticised as they consider mediation with anti-abortion protesters

Scottish ministers are considering mediation with anti-abortion protesters in a bid to understand "the issues and perspective from all sides".

The Herald*

‘Some lessons from Manchester’

‘Some lessons from Manchester’

Looking back over Manchester Arena bomber Salman Abedi's history the warning signs were clear, says Richard Scorer.

Feminist Dissent

‘It cost £13,000 to help my terminally-ill husband die on his own terms at Dignitas’

‘It cost £13,000 to help my terminally-ill husband die on his own terms at Dignitas’

"If you are dealt the blow of a terminal diagnosis, it can feel that all control has been cruelly taken from you. But assisted dying can give that back."

Metro

Russian court dissolves country’s main LGBTQ rights organisation

Russian court dissolves country’s main LGBTQ rights organisation

A Russian court has effectively shut down the country's largest LGBTQ rights organisation after a failed attempt by the government to liquidate the Russian LGBT Network and its parent organisation, the Charitable Sphere Foundation, in February.

NBC News

‘The real reason the Russian Orthodox Church’s leader supports Putin’s war’

‘The real reason the Russian Orthodox Church’s leader supports Putin’s war’

Homophobia is at the heart of Patriarch Kirill's endorsement, says Janine di Giovanni.

Foreign Policy*

US: ‘The decline of church-state separation’

US: ‘The decline of church-state separation’

In his new book, Separating Church and State: A History, legal scholar Steven K. Green provides a comprehensive backstory to the fraught and turbulent historical relationship between religion and government in the United States.

Religion & Politics

‘How bulldozers in India became a symbol of Hindu nationalism’

‘How bulldozers in India became a symbol of Hindu nationalism’

As religious tensions rise, the ruling BJP party orders demolitions in largely Muslim neighbourhoods.

The Washington Post*

‘Why the West is reckoning with caste bias now’

‘Why the West is reckoning with caste bias now’

India's constitution and courts have long recognised lower castes and Dalits as historically disadvantaged groups and offered protections in the form of quotas and anti-discriminatory laws. Now Dalit activists and academics are trying to bring in similar recognition in the West.

BBC

Wed, 27 Apr 2022

Bengali diaspora come together for secularism at NSS event

Bengali diaspora come together for secularism at NSS event

Campaigners have warned that increasing communal religious division is eroding the inclusivity of Bengali identity at an event organised by the National Secular Society. The same story is available in Bengali here.

Bangla Mirror

Prisons failing to tackle Islamist gangs – report

Prisons failing to tackle Islamist gangs – report

The prison service has failed to recognise the dangers Islamist gangs and convicted terrorists pose inside jail, a report warns.

BBC

Legal marriage age raised from 16 to 18 - and adults to face jail for aiding underage weddings

Legal marriage age raised from 16 to 18 - and adults to face jail for aiding underage weddings

The new law also applies to religious or cultural marriages not registered with a council but only pertains to England and Wales, not Northern Ireland and Scotland where the minimum age remains 16.

Sky News

Church of Scotland presbyteries back conducting same-sex marriages

Church of Scotland presbyteries back conducting same-sex marriages

The majority of Church of Scotland presbyteries are in favour of allowing parish ministers and deacons to marry same-sex couples if they wish, a new report shows.

The National*

Ireland: Parents ‘appalled’ at school’s refusal to teach about ‘same-sex friendships’

Ireland: Parents ‘appalled’ at school’s refusal to teach about ‘same-sex friendships’

A group of parents of children attending a Co Wicklow primary school have expressed anger at the school's decision to exclude teaching about "same-sex friendships" and contraception from relationships and sexuality education (RSE).

The Irish Times*

A top French court overturns government-ordered mosque closure, a first

A top French court overturns government-ordered mosque closure, a first

France's highest administrative court dismissed on Tuesday an appeal from the Interior Ministry that aimed to close a mosque in the southwestern town of Pessac for six months.

Reuters*

US: Arizona's new adoption law sparks outcry

US: Arizona's new adoption law sparks outcry

A new law in Arizona empowers faith-based foster care and adoption agencies to reject prospective parents based on their religious views without fear of a lawsuit.

Phoenix New Times

‘Will the Supreme Court once again favour the rights of Christians over everyone else?’

‘Will the Supreme Court once again favour the rights of Christians over everyone else?’

The court may privilege a coach's Christian practice over the U.S. Constitution itself, says Caroline Mala Corbin.

NBC News

US panel calls on Biden to sanction India over sliding religious freedom under Modi

US panel calls on Biden to sanction India over sliding religious freedom under Modi

A US panel has urged the Joe Biden administration to impose targeted sanctions on India over what it called the erosion of religious freedom under the leadership of prime minister Narendra Modi.

The Independent

India: ‘Desire for pan-Hindu identity, hatred for Bangladeshis – Why teens joined Jahangirpuri riots’

India: ‘Desire for pan-Hindu identity, hatred for Bangladeshis – Why teens joined Jahangirpuri riots’

For one poor, lower-caste community in Jahangirpuri, 'Hindutva cause' represents a path to social mobility, including for the younger generation, says Tanushree Pandey.

The Print

Tue, 26 Apr 2022

David Cameron backs calls to save Prevent after 'Islamist-led' campaigns to bring it down

David Cameron backs calls to save Prevent after 'Islamist-led' campaigns to bring it down

The Prevent anti-terror programme is at risk of 'dying the death of a thousand cuts' because of failure to defend it from critics, claims a think-tank.

Mail Online

‘We can’t let strategy be defeated by extremists’

‘We can’t let strategy be defeated by extremists’

Just as we need to counter the Islamist extremist narrative we also need to counter the anti-Prevent narrative, says David Cameron

The Times*

Parents take legal action against Welsh Government over compulsory sex education

Parents take legal action against Welsh Government over compulsory sex education

Parents are taking legal action against the Welsh Government over plans for compulsory relationship and sex education in schools.

Wales Online

US Supreme Court: Should this coach have been punished for praying?

US Supreme Court: Should this coach have been punished for praying?

The US Supreme Court on Monday heard arguments in the case of an American football coach suing for the right to pray at mid-field after his high school team's games. The court's conservative majority could use the lawsuit to expand the boundaries limiting religious expression in public schools.

BBC

US: The Satanic Temple sues elementary school as after-school club rejected

US: The Satanic Temple sues elementary school as after-school club rejected

The Satanic Temple has filed a lawsuit against a Pennsylvanian elementary school after the school board voted to deny the establishment of the After School Satan club.

Global News

US watchdog says Afghanistan belongs on religious freedom blacklist

US watchdog says Afghanistan belongs on religious freedom blacklist

The US Commission on International Religious Freedom also recommended the State Department designate Syria as a "country of particular concern" and place Egypt, Iraq and Turkey on a special watchlist for religious freedom offenders.

Al-Monitor

‘Fellow Muslims: The West accepts blasphemy – get used to it’

‘Fellow Muslims: The West accepts blasphemy – get used to it’

Islamists promote the notion that to prevent Muslims from engaging in violence, the government must prevent anything that offends them from taking place, says Wasiq Wasiq.

Focus On Western Islamism

‘Why Delhi chief minister's silence on violence is jarring’

‘Why Delhi chief minister's silence on violence is jarring’

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's stand on recent religious violence in India's capital and the subsequent police crackdown on Muslims may be politically expedient, but critics question whether it's moral, writes Geeta Pandey.

BBC

Mon, 25 Apr 2022

Assisted Dying Bill now backed by most MPs, Baroness Meacher insists

Assisted Dying Bill now backed by most MPs, Baroness Meacher insists

A majority of MPs in the House of Commons are in favour of a law change on assisted dying, a peer leading the campaign has said.

The Times*

School in ‘Operation Christmas Child’ row after complaint over sexual orientation views

School in ‘Operation Christmas Child’ row after complaint over sexual orientation views

A Ramsgate school has removed its support for a charity campaign after a couple with a child at the school complained about the connection with American Evangelist Franklin Graham, who is known for his views and comments against same-sex relationships and Islam.

The Isle of Thanet News

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