Fri, 23 Feb 2018

Christian School defends creationism teaching after damning Ofsted report

A small Christian primary school has defended its teaching methods after it was slammed by Ofsted inspectors for teaching creationism in science lessons.

News Shopper

MPs to debate legislation to bring in opt-out organ donation today

MPs are set to discuss a bill which would introduce a national opt-out system for organ donation in England. The Government says it will support the bill.

Sky News

Three-quarters of English people support opt-out organ donor system, poll finds

Almost three-quarters of English people are in favour of an opt-out organ donor system, new research shows.


‘Why MPs must back opt-out organ donation today’

Geoffrey Robinson MP explains why he is introducing the bill to bring in opt-out organ donation.

The Times (£)

Police promise to learn lessons after collapse of FGM trial in Bristol

The trial of a father accused of child cruelty over allegedly allowing his daughter to undergo FGM has collapsed for lack of evidence.

The Guardian

Another anti-hijab protester arrested in Iran

Another brave female anti-hijab protester has been arrested in Iran after waving her headscarf from a stick.

Mail Online

Venezuela evangelical candidate pushes Christian values

A Venezuelan evangelical pastor who is running for president is among a series of Protestant candidates who are on the rise in Latin America.


Thu, 22 Feb 2018

Parliamentary inquiry demanded over plans to lift faith-based admissions cap – NSS mentioned

There are calls for a parliamentary inquiry into the education secretary's plans to allow new faith schools to admit 100% of children on the basis of their parents' religion. NSS protesters campaigned on the issue outside Parliament yesterday.

The Independent

Anti-gay evangelical preacher Billy Graham dies

The anti-gay evangelical preacher Billy Graham has died, aged 99. Graham was one of the most well-known and powerful US Christian evangelists, fuelling the rise of the evangelical movement.

Pink News

Anglican leaders pay tribute to Billy Graham

Anglican leaders, led by the archbishop of Canterbury, have responded to Graham's death with gushing tributes.

Anglican Communion News Service

Billy Graham had close relationship with the Queen

The Queen, who is also supreme governor of the C of E, would invite Graham to preach whenever he came to visit the UK. She would visit him when travelling in the US. He was knighted in 2001.

The Independent

Halal and kosher slaughter threatens welfare standards, say farmers

Britain's biggest farming body has warned that the rise in religious slaughter risks jeopardising Britain's reputation for high animal welfare standards.

The Times (£)

Iain Dale demands end to non-stun religious slaughter

Radio presenter Iain Dale has demanded the end to non-stun religious slaughter during a testy exchange with the former president of the Halal Food Authority.


C of E school to expand as “progressive academy” closes on Isle of Wight

A plan to close an Isle of Wight academy to create a new council-run school has been given government approval. Sandown Bay Academy, which describes its ethos as "progressive", will close. The plan will also see the Bay Church of England Primary School become an all-through school catering for students aged 4-16.


Governments “shamelessly” backsliding on human rights, says Amnesty

A report from Amnesty International has accused governments across the globe of "shamelessly" backsliding on human rights, cracking down on dissent, and instituting measures that ensured the persecution of marginalised groups throughout 2017.


Amnesty fears potential Brexit impact on human rights

Amnesty International has warned that the Government is selling off the human rights of British citizens in return for post-Brexit trade deals.

The National

Northern Ireland criticised in global report on human rights

Amnesty's report criticises Northern Ireland for its same-sex marriage ban, strict abortion laws and issues around the legacy of the Troubles.

The Irish News

Danish petition appears likely to force vote to end genital cutting for non-medical reasons

Danish activists have collected nearly 20,000 signatures out of the 50,000 they need to create a bill proposing to ban non-medical circumcision for boys.

The Times of Israel

Ireland tells state-run schools to stop steering pupils to religion class

Ireland's state-run secondary schools can no longer assume their students will receive religious instruction, the Government has said, directing the schools to offer alternative classes.

The Boston Globe

Wed, 21 Feb 2018

Ofsted condemns council for failing to back hijab ban school

Ofsted has condemned a council in London for giving insufficient support to a primary school over its decision to restrict hijab wearing.


Northern Ireland could get same-sex marriage through Westminster

The UK Government has said same-sex marriage could be introduced to Northern Ireland via a vote in Westminster after power-sharing talks broke down last week.


Rotherham child sex abuse: Inquiry finds 100 more potential victims

The number of potential victims of child sexual exploitation in Rotherham has risen to more than 1,500, the National Crime Agency (NCA) has said.


Jeremy Hunt responds to Christian group that wants to ban transgender teen treatments

The health secretary has responded to a Christian anti-LGBT+ campaign group that is attempting to ban treatment for transgender teens. He said the Department of Health and Social Care's position is "that patients have a fundamental legal and ethical right to determine what happens to their own bodies".

Pink News

Council says faith schools should be able to teach sex education according to religious ethos

Councillors in Barnet have voted unanimously for a motion stating that the Government must allow faith schools to teach sex education with their religious ethos.

Hendon & Finchley Times series

Experts call for ban on LGBT+ conversion ‘therapies’

Campaigners say public awareness of the harm done by conversion 'therapy' is rising – but only Brazil, Ecuador and Malta have nationwide bans.


‘Is religion a toxic brand?’

Letter writers give a range of views on the role of religion in education.

The Guardian

Irish cabinet agrees draft wording for abortion ban repeal

Ireland's referendum on repealing its abortion ban is on track to take place on 25 May.

The Independent (Ireland)

Eight hundred families flee city after blasphemy claim triggers riots in Pakistan

Hundreds of Christians have fled rioting in Pakistan's second-largest city after a local Christian man was accused of insulting the Islamic prophet Muhammad.

Premier Christian Radio

Hungarian leader calls Christianity “Europe's last hope”

Hungary's prime minister has claimed that "Christianity is Europe's last hope" and politicians in Europe have "opened the way to the decline of Christian culture and the advance of Islam".

ABC News

New book published on Donald Trump's religion

US president Donald Trump has given a thumbs-up to a new book about his Christian faith.

Premier Christian Radio

Tue, 20 Feb 2018

Debate over Iceland’s proposed ban on genital cutting – NSS featured

Dr Antony Lempert of the NSS's Secular Medical Forum has defended an Icelandic proposal to ban cutting infant boys' genitals. The relevant section begins after 31:50.

BBC Newsnight

Warning over abuse linked to witchcraft and possession beliefs in UK

Thousands of children could be abused because relatives believe they are witches or possessed by evil spirits in Britain, experts have warned.

The Independent

Education secretary to maintain parental opt-out from sex education

Damian Hinds has said he will maintain the current rule that parents can withdraw their children from SRE classes.

Pink News

Catholic Church welcomes plans to increase religious discrimination in schools

The Catholic Education Service has welcomed the education secretary's commitment to allowing more discriminatory admissions policies for faith schools.

The Tablet

FGM trial underway in Bristol

A father from Bristol arranged for his seven-year-old daughter to undergo a female genital mutilation procedure and told a charity worker the practice was carried out in his culture to prevent women from "feeling sexy all the time", a jury has heard.

The Guardian

‘It’s time for a British First Amendment to protect free speech’

Hugh Tomlinson says the UK should copy the US and introduce a law protecting free speech – and this would require a UK constitution.


Faith school admissions rules disadvantage children in care, say councils

New Government plans are expected to give children who have spent time in care while living in other countries the "highest priority" for school admissions in England. Some local authorities have raised concerns that faith schools' ability to give priority to children from their faith background has disadvantaged children in care.


‘Muslim-American femicide and the intersectional feminist enablers’

Sara Al Iraqiya says honour killings of women from Muslim backgrounds are persisting – and some self-styled feminists are giving cover to the practices.

Conatus News

Report reveals extent of discrimination against LGBT+ people in the US

A new report from the Human Rights Watch details the dangers of 'religious exemption' laws to LGBT+ rights in the US.

Gay Star News

Bermuda faces fresh lawsuit after re-banning same-sex marriage

A gay Bermudan man has launched a legal challenge against the nation's decision to re-ban same-sex marriage.

Gay Times

Atheists call for removal of check boxes in census religion question in Ireland

Atheist Ireland has told a census advisory group that the question on religion in the country's 2021 census should be optional.

The Irish Times

Mon, 19 Feb 2018

Hinds says Government will lift faith-based admissions cap

The education secretary has spoken about his plans to abolish a ban on new faith schools taking in more than 50% of pupils on the basis of their parents' religion in an interview.

The Sunday Times (£)

‘The importance of rethinking religious education’ – NSS cited

The Economist's Erasmus blog considers religious control of the RE curriculum, and discusses the NSS's ideas for reforming the subject.

The Economist

Religious studies voted among least important subjects – NSS quoted

The British public considers religious education one of the least important subjects which secondary schools commonly teach, according to a poll. The NSS's education campaigner, Alastair Lichten, said this should prompt debate over whether a specific subject called religious education is needed.

Premier Christian Radio

Hunt begins for legion of ‘missing’ children being educated at home

A new law may require the thousands educated outside school to be registered, amid fears of neglect and radicalisation.

The Sunday Times (£)

Wales Humanists 'excluded' from religious education councils

Humanists are being denied a voice on the teaching of religious education in schools in Wales, it has been claimed.


‘How Scotland’s Christian right lost at politics and learned to love the law’

Andrew Tickell says Scotland has "fallen out with God" – but the Christian right is bringing a swath of legal cases nonetheless.

The National

‘It’s time to move on from ACE’ – NSS mentioned

Jonny Scaramanga reflects on the lack of media coverage his recent paper on the Accelerated Christian Education curriculum has generated, and says he has stopped campaigning on the issue "for the good of my health".


Church spires to boost broadband signals in pact with Government

In a pact between ministers and Church officials, the C of E will encourage its 16,000 churches, most of which are in rural areas, to host telecoms equipment.

Christian Today

Ukip's interim leader reiterates his belief that Islam is a "death cult"

Ukip's interim leader, Gerard Batten, has reiterated his belief that Islam is a "death cult" and called for Muslims to be asked to sign a document renouncing parts of the Koran.

The Guardian

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