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Tue, 02 Mar 2021

Israel’s high court says non-Orthodox converts are Jews

Israel’s high court says non-Orthodox converts are Jews

Israel's Supreme Court on Monday ruled that people who convert to Judaism through the Reform and Conservative movements in Israel are also Jewish and entitled to become citizens.

The Washington Post*

Tanzania leader says prayer will cure Covid, as hospitals overflow

Tanzania leader says prayer will cure Covid, as hospitals overflow

Grieving relatives of Covid-19 victims, health experts and opposition politicians in Tanzania have accused President John Magufuli of causing thousands of deaths in the east African country and undermining the fight against the pandemic across the continent.

The Guardian

‘Delhi Muslims fear they will never see justice for religious riot atrocities’

‘Delhi Muslims fear they will never see justice for religious riot atrocities’

A year after the city was engulfed by violence, victims are harassed into silence by police and find the law has turned against them, say Hannah Ellis-Petersen and Shaikh Azizur Rahman.

The Guardian

Mon, 01 Mar 2021

Church of England should have a louder political voice, says Archbishop of York

Church of England should have a louder political voice, says Archbishop of York

The Church of England should be more involved in politics, the Archbishop of York has said.

iNews

Don't repeal Easter booze laws, clerics tell Stormont

Don't repeal Easter booze laws, clerics tell Stormont

The Northern Ireland Assembly's Communities committee is examining new legislation on liquor licensing including pub opening times and restrictions.

Belfast Telegraph

Shamima Begum cannot return to UK, Supreme Court rules

Shamima Begum cannot return to UK, Supreme Court rules

Shamima Begum, who left the UK for Syria to join the Islamic State group as a teenager, will not be allowed to return and fight her citizenship case, the Supreme Court has ruled.

BBC

Three Bristol primary faith schools to close

Three Bristol primary faith schools to close

The council has agreed to the closure of St Pius X Catholic Primary School in south Bristol, and St George's and St Michael's Church of England primary schools in the city centre, because of falling pupil numbers.

ITV

Number of new FGM cases referred to NHS in England down by a quarter

Number of new FGM cases referred to NHS in England down by a quarter

The number of new female genital mutilation cases referred to NHS services in England has fallen by a quarter, prompting charities and campaigners to warn that the drop may be down to difficulties in accessing services during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Guardian

Time to hang up your lightsabers, Jedi urged ahead of 2021 Census

Time to hang up your lightsabers, Jedi urged ahead of 2021 Census

The trend of people jokingly identifying as Jedi is leading to an under-counting of non-religious people, campaigners say.

iNews

‘How Scotland’s Hate Crime Bill ignited a freedom of speech row’ – NSS mentioned

‘How Scotland’s Hate Crime Bill ignited a freedom of speech row’ – NSS mentioned

When the Scottish government published its Hate Crime and Public Order Bill last April, a major backlash followed.

Prospect

‘Abstinence and shame: Sex education in a church school’

‘Abstinence and shame: Sex education in a church school’

Nora Redmond shares her experiences of sex education in a Christian girls' school in Ireland.

Varsity

US: ‘Conservatives opposing the Equality Act don't speak for most people of faith, and they know it’

US: ‘Conservatives opposing the Equality Act don't speak for most people of faith, and they know it’

Most Americans, including religious ones, support LGBTQ people's right to nondiscriminatory treatment. So conservative fearmongers switched tactics, says Guthrie Graves-Fitzsimmons.

NBC

Peru court orders authorities to 'respect' woman's wish to die

Peru court orders authorities to 'respect' woman's wish to die

A Peruvian court on Thursday ordered the government to respect the wishes of a polio-stricken woman to be allowed to die, a rare allowance for euthanasia in largely Catholic Latin America.

France 24

Indian government argues same-sex couples don’t deserve ‘fundamental right’ to marriage

Indian government argues same-sex couples don’t deserve ‘fundamental right’ to marriage

The Indian government has told the Delhi High Court it believes same-sex couples "cannot claim a fundamental right for same-sex marriage".

Pink News

Cross-cultural study finds atheists and religious people have similar moral compasses

Cross-cultural study finds atheists and religious people have similar moral compasses

In 2020, an international survey spanning six continents found 45 percent of people think it's necessary to believe in a god to be moral and have good values. But a new study suggests there's little truth to that stereotype, however firmly it's believed.

Science Alert

Fri, 26 Feb 2021

Police hand out £10,000 fine after ‘150’ attend service at yeshivah

Police hand out £10,000 fine after ‘150’ attend service at yeshivah

Police have handed out a £10,000 fine after dispersing a large gathering at Hitchin Yeshiva in Hertfordshire last Saturday.

Jewish Chronicle

'The Muslim Council of Britain should back off'

'The Muslim Council of Britain should back off'

The attack on BBC presenter Emma Barnett is designed to ensure no one can challenge it.

Jewish Chronicle

'On Islam, Macron isn’t flirting with the far right'

'On Islam, Macron isn’t flirting with the far right'

French President Emmanuel Macron is under sustained attack for allegedly courting far-right votes with his government's policies and pronouncements on radical Islam. But Macron's approach is far more balanced than many critics claim.


Politico

Jews from a strictly Orthodox background aren’t ‘forced’ but can be ‘coerced’ into marriage, Jewish group says

Jews from a strictly Orthodox background aren’t ‘forced’ but can be ‘coerced’ into marriage, Jewish group says

Jewish Marriage Council defends arranged marriages, saying they are 'done with consent from both parties'.

Jewish News

'This is historic': Malaysian man wins appeal against Islamic gay sex charge

'This is historic': Malaysian man wins appeal against Islamic gay sex charge

A Malaysian man has won a landmark court challenge against an Islamic ban on sex "against the order of nature", raising hopes for greater acceptance of gay rights in a country where Islamic laws have been used to target country's gay community.

Guardian / Reuters

Vatican says religious services are “the highest of essential services”

Vatican says religious services are “the highest of essential services”

Vatican officials are lobbying for religious worship exceptions from Covid-19 lockdown restrictions at the UN Human Rights Council.

Catholic Sun

Covid-19: Sri Lanka reverses 'anti-Muslim' cremation order

Covid-19: Sri Lanka reverses 'anti-Muslim' cremation order

Sri Lanka has reversed an order to cremate the bodies of all those who died of Covid-19 after critics said the order did not respect religions.

BBC

Indonesia’s government pushes back against Islamic dress codes

Indonesia’s government pushes back against Islamic dress codes

Since 2001 local governments in Indonesia have passed at least 60 bylaws ruling that women should cover their heads. And many non-Muslim schoolgirls resent being forced to wear a hijab.

Economist

Video: The hypocrisy of purity culture enables sexual abuse in churches

Video: The hypocrisy of purity culture enables sexual abuse in churches

Religion Media Centre zoom briefing explores how evangelical theology around sex and the purity culture enables sex abusers to be active and escape censure in a church.

YouTube / Religion Media Centre

Polish metal singer accused of blasphemy appeals for legal funds

Polish metal singer accused of blasphemy appeals for legal funds

A heavy metal singer who is appealing against a conviction over a photo of him stepping on an image of the virgin Mary has launched a legal defence fund.

BBC

Thu, 25 Feb 2021

BBC’s religion shows could be cut in plan to loosen strict quotas

BBC’s religion shows could be cut in plan to loosen strict quotas

The BBC could be allowed to cut its arts, religious and documentary programming under proposals to revise the corporation's operating licence.

The Times*

Mother in coma 'should be allowed to die' despite family’s religious beliefs

Mother in coma 'should be allowed to die' despite family’s religious beliefs

A mother with Covid-19 should be allowed to die against her family's wishes, a judge has ruled. Her family, who are Muslim, asked for more time for treatment and said they believed "only God could end life".

BBC

We need to talk about trade with China, parliament tells PM

We need to talk about trade with China, parliament tells PM

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is locked in a battle with parliament over the country's approach to trade with China, fuelled by criticism that his government is lagging its peers in its condemnation of the treatment of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang.

Reuters

Inmates being radicalised by jihadist behind Bluewater plot

Inmates being radicalised by jihadist behind Bluewater plot

Anthony Garcia, who was convicted in 2007 for his role in a cell planning to bomb the Bluewater shopping centre in Kent, is alleged to have persuaded scores of prisoners to adopt his extremist brand of Islam and jihad.

The Times*

Police trial hijabs with anti-grab tech to recruit more Muslim women

Police trial hijabs with anti-grab tech to recruit more Muslim women

Leicestershire Police have given the hi-tech headwear to a Muslim officer with a view to rolling them out to female cops on the frontline.

Metro

Record number of Americans now identify as LGBT+

Record number of Americans now identify as LGBT+

A record 5.6 per cent of US adults now identify as LGBT+, an increase of more than 1 per cent from polling in 2017.

The Independent

US: ‘House to vote on Equality Act - here's what the law would do’

US: ‘House to vote on Equality Act - here's what the law would do’

The House of Representatives is set to vote on the Equality Act, a bill that would ban discrimination against people based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

NPR

NBC pulls Nurses episode from digital platforms after backlash over Orthodox Jewish storyline

NBC pulls Nurses episode from digital platforms after backlash over Orthodox Jewish storyline

In the episode an Orthodox Jewish patient refuses a bone graft from a potentially 'Arab' or female donor.

The Independent

Pakistan court again delays appeal of couple convicted of blasphemy

Pakistan court again delays appeal of couple convicted of blasphemy

Shagufta Kausar and Shafqat Emmanuel have been on death row since 2014 over 'blasphemous texts' they deny sending.

The Guardian

Ghanaian LGBTQ+ centre closes after threats and abuse

Ghanaian LGBTQ+ centre closes after threats and abuse

A community centre for LGBTQ+ people in Ghana has been closed, following a wave of protest against the rights of sexual minorities in the country.

The Guardian

Wed, 24 Feb 2021

Councillors back call for 'buffer zones' to protect women from abortion clinic protesters

Councillors back call for 'buffer zones' to protect women from abortion clinic protesters

Edinburgh City Council has agreed to support the introduction of 'buffer zones' around abortion clinics in Scotland - to prevent women being harassed by pro-life campaigners.

Edinburgh Evening News*

New laws needed to tackle ‘shocking and dangerous’ scale of extremism, review finds

New laws needed to tackle ‘shocking and dangerous’ scale of extremism, review finds

Sir Mark Rowley and the Commission for Countering Extremism found hateful groups of all kinds are "operating with impunity" by exploiting gaps between existing hate crime and terrorism legislation.

The Independent

The law is 'not fair' – terminally ill man speaks out

The law is 'not fair' – terminally ill man speaks out

A terminally-ill Islander has spoken out to support changes to the law in Jersey to permit assisted dying as he tells of his plans to travel to Switzerland to end his life.

Jersey Evening Post

‘Controlling the narrative of forced marriage’

‘Controlling the narrative of forced marriage’

Yehudis Fletcher discusses marriage within the Haredi Jewish community.

LSE

‘How you can help improve abortion access in England after the pandemic’

‘How you can help improve abortion access in England after the pandemic’

The government is currently consulting on whether to continue allowing women and pregnant people to have abortions at home via telemedicine once the pandemic ends.

Stylist

Fermanagh child cruelty circumcision case progressing

Fermanagh child cruelty circumcision case progressing

The National Crime Agency are currently involved in the ongoing case of child cruelty against two parents relating to alleged botched circumcisions.

The Impartial Reporter

Arkansas Senate approves bill banning nearly all abortions

Arkansas Senate approves bill banning nearly all abortions

The Arkansas Senate on Monday approved a measure banning nearly all abortions in the state, despite objections to the ban not including exceptions for rape or incest.

The Associated Press

China condemns Canada's motion calling treatment of Uighurs genocide

China condemns Canada's motion calling treatment of Uighurs genocide

China said on Tuesday that it condemned and rejected Canada's parliament passing a non-binding motion saying China's treatment of Uighurs is genocide.

Reuters

‘Mubarak Bala: 300 days in detention without trial’

‘Mubarak Bala: 300 days in detention without trial’

Monday marked 300 days since Nigerian humanist Mubarak Bala has been in detention without trial.

Modern Ghana

‘Do India’s cows have special powers? Government curriculum is ridiculed’

‘Do India’s cows have special powers? Government curriculum is ridiculed’

The Hindu nationalist government postponed plans for a national student exam on cows that critics said used specious claims and substituted religion for science.

The New York Times*

Tue, 23 Feb 2021

Hate Crime Bill: Humza Yousaf proposes guidelines to quell free speech fears

Hate Crime Bill: Humza Yousaf proposes guidelines to quell free speech fears

Scotland's justice secretary Humza Yousaf has moved to address concerns over his controversial Hate Crime Bill by suggesting the Scottish Government would print "detailed explanatory notes" on freedom of expression provisions when the final Bill is published.

The Scotsman*

Plans for controversial new Catholic school in Peterborough submitted

Plans for controversial new Catholic school in Peterborough submitted

The maintained voluntary aided school run by the Diocese of East Anglia school will be the first state-funded Catholic school in England for more than 10 years, but its admissions policy has angered local residents who fear their child will miss out on a place.

Peterborough Telegraph

Police break up lockdown-flouting religious gathering of 75 people in Birmingham

Police break up lockdown-flouting religious gathering of 75 people in Birmingham

Officers were called to a building and found more than 75 people inside who claimed they were attending a religious ceremony.

Birmingham Mail

Christian MP wants to see churches in England re-open as lockdown restrictions start to ease

Christian MP wants to see churches in England re-open as lockdown restrictions start to ease

Under current government guidelines churches in England and Wales can hold in-person services, however, many places of worship decided to close given the very high infections rates across the UK. But Conservative MP Sir Desmond Swayne says churches should have not closed in the first place.

Premier Christian News

Raab calls for UN to respond to ‘appalling’ human rights violations in China

Raab calls for UN to respond to ‘appalling’ human rights violations in China

The Foreign Secretary has placed diplomatic pressure on the United Nations to respond to China's "appalling treatment" of the Uighur Muslims and people in Hong Kong.

Hereford Times

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