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Mon, 07 Jun 2021

‘The perils of being Ahmadi in Pakistan’

‘The perils of being Ahmadi in Pakistan’

The persecution of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community has strong institutional and societal roots in Pakistan.

Inkstick

‘LGBT+ conversion therapy: banned on Facebook, but thriving in Arabic’

‘LGBT+ conversion therapy: banned on Facebook, but thriving in Arabic’

Scouring social media for information and advice is a common recourse for young men and women who think they may be gay and live in socially conservative Arab societies. But it can lead them to therapists, spiritual leaders and influencers promising to "cure the affliction" of homosexuality through so-called conversion therapy.

Openly

Fri, 04 Jun 2021

Pakistan overturns Christian couple's blasphemy death sentences

Pakistan overturns Christian couple's blasphemy death sentences

Shagufta Kausar and her husband Shafqat Emmanuel were convicted in 2014 for 'insulting the Prophet Muhammad'. But on Thursday, the couple's lawyer Saif ul Malook said the Lahore High Court had acquitted them.

BBC

Hearings in London aim to assess allegations of Uyghur genocide in China

Hearings in London aim to assess allegations of Uyghur genocide in China

A series of hearings begins in London on Friday aiming to gather evidence on whether the Chinese government's alleged human rights abuses in the Xinjiang region constitute a genocide.

BBC

Around 35 FGM victims identified in Cumbria as experts warn of hidden abuse

Around 35 FGM victims identified in Cumbria as experts warn of hidden abuse

Around 35 new victims of female genital mutilation were seen by NHS services in Cumbria last year, figures show.

Cumbria Crack

Teacher put on leave after saying gender pronoun rules are against his religion

Teacher put on leave after saying gender pronoun rules are against his religion

A teacher has been placed on leave after he claimed that referring to students by pronouns in line with their gender identity would be "sinning against God".

Mirror

Ireland: Minister pledges no religious ethos in maternity hospital governance

Ireland: Minister pledges no religious ethos in maternity hospital governance

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has insisted that he will not tolerate governance with any religious ethos at the new national maternity hospital (NMH) being built on the St Vincent's hospital complex in Dublin.

The Irish Times*

‘A Catholic ethos has no place in our new maternity hospital’

‘A Catholic ethos has no place in our new maternity hospital’

Catholicism has no place in maternity wards, says Colette Sheridan.

Echo Live

New Vatican document ‘very disappointing’, says campaigner

New Vatican document ‘very disappointing’, says campaigner

Veteran campaigner Marie Collins has expressed her disappointment at the changes to the Catholic Church's penal code announced by the Vatican on Tuesday.

The Irish Times*

California to pay $2M church legal fees over virus closures

California to pay $2M church legal fees over virus closures

The state of California has agreed not to impose greater coronavirus restrictions on church gatherings than it does on retail establishments in a pair of settlements that provide more than $2 million in fees to lawyers who challenged the rules as a violation of religious freedom.

The Associated Press

‘Human trafficking allegations thrust caste into spotlight for American Hindus’

‘Human trafficking allegations thrust caste into spotlight for American Hindus’

Software engineers and stone masons might not have much in common professionally, but both kinds of workers can face discrimination, if they're members of the Dalit caste in Hindu society — whether in South Asia or the United States.

NPR

‘For Indian American Hindus, loving India doesn’t mean holding back our criticism’

‘For Indian American Hindus, loving India doesn’t mean holding back our criticism’

The Indian diaspora needs to divorce the idea of supporting India, or being Hindu, from supporting the Modi government or Hindutva, says Khyati Y. Joshi.

Religion News Service

West Africa's Islamist insurgency: Fight at a critical stage

West Africa's Islamist insurgency: Fight at a critical stage

The multinational effort to stave off an encroaching takeover by extremists in the part of Africa known as the Sahel is facing severe challenges.

BBC

Thu, 03 Jun 2021

NI: Anti-abortion campaigners win High Court permission to challenge powers to direct abortion services

NI: Anti-abortion campaigners win High Court permission to challenge powers to direct abortion services

Anti-abortion campaigners have won High Court permission to challenge new powers allowing the secretary of state to direct the commissioning of abortion services in Northern Ireland.

The Irish News*

Welsh Government vows to ban conversion therapy

Welsh Government vows to ban conversion therapy

The Welsh Government has vowed to ban all aspects of conversion therapy in Wales.

Nation Cymru

‘Batley, blasphemy and the religious right’

‘Batley, blasphemy and the religious right’

The ability to develop critical thinking in our young people is being endangered and curtailed by the religious right, says David Pendletone.

Workers' Liberty

‘London terror attacker Usman Khan, drawn into the dark world of Islamist extremists’

‘London terror attacker Usman Khan, drawn into the dark world of Islamist extremists’

While still at Haywood High School Khan was radicalised by sermons given by the British preacher Anjem Choudary.

The Times*

US: Patient influx from other states increases Kansas abortions

US: Patient influx from other states increases Kansas abortions

The number of abortions performed in Kansas increased by 9.1% last year as far more women traveled from Oklahoma and Texas to terminate pregnancies than in 2019 and the state reported that out-of-state patients outnumbered Kansas patients for the first time in almost 50 years.

The Associated Press

US: Biden's budget proposal reverses decades-long ban on abortion funding

US: Biden's budget proposal reverses decades-long ban on abortion funding

President Biden's budget proposal fulfills a campaign promise to remove a longstanding ban on federal funding for most abortions known as the Hyde Amendment.

NPR

Wisconsin governor bans use of state and federal funds for ‘conversion therapy’

Wisconsin governor bans use of state and federal funds for ‘conversion therapy’

Wisconsin governor Tony Evers has kicked off Pride Month by issuing an order banning the use of state and federal funds for the barbaric practice of LGBT conversion therapy.

Pink News

Lack of papal apology for Canada Indigenous school abuses 'shameful'

Lack of papal apology for Canada Indigenous school abuses 'shameful'

Canada's Indigenous services minister has supported growing calls for a papal apology over abuses at Catholic-run Indigenous residential schools, after the remains of 215 children were found in unmarked graves at one such school.

SBS

India: Kerala High Court questions funding of Islamic religious schools

India: Kerala High Court questions funding of Islamic religious schools

The Kerala High Court has asked the state government why it was financing a religious activity by pumping vast amounts of public money to run madrasas in the state.

OpIndia

‘Freedom of religion or belief and non-religious persecution in Nigeria’

‘Freedom of religion or belief and non-religious persecution in Nigeria’

A speech given by Nigerian human rights advocate Leo Igwe to the UK's All-Party Parliamentary Humanist Group.

Modern Ghana

Wed, 02 Jun 2021

PM’s Catholic wedding ceremony triggers constitutional questions

PM’s Catholic wedding ceremony triggers constitutional questions

Is Boris Johnson now a Catholic in the eyes of Britain's bizarre constitution?

Left Foot Forward

The pope toughens church laws on sexual abuse, fraud - and the ordination of women

The pope toughens church laws on sexual abuse, fraud - and the ordination of women

Pope Francis on Tuesday issued a major revision of Catholic Church laws regulating clerical sex abuse, fraud and the attempt to ordain women.

NPR

NI Presbyterian minister to leave over same-sex couples rule

NI Presbyterian minister to leave over same-sex couples rule

A Presbyterian minister in County Antrim is to step down over the church's decision to deny same-sex couples full membership.

BBC

Chile's president to push same-sex marriage bill long stuck in Congress

Chile's president to push same-sex marriage bill long stuck in Congress

Chile's president said on Tuesday he would seek to expedite a same-sex marriage bill that has languished in the historically conservative South American nation for years.

Reuters

New attention on abortion pill dispensing in US amid challenge to Roe v. Wade

New attention on abortion pill dispensing in US amid challenge to Roe v. Wade

The US Supreme Court's decision to take a Mississippi case that poses a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade has raised the stakes for the Biden administration's newly launched review of restrictions on abortion pills, which could dramatically expand access to the procedure.

Politico

New foundation seeks to help LGBT rights movement in Poland

New foundation seeks to help LGBT rights movement in Poland

A new initiative seeks to raise money for LGBT rights groups in Poland, amid a backlash from the country's government and Catholic Church.

Mail Online

‘How pandemic scepticism is affecting religious communities’

‘How pandemic scepticism is affecting religious communities’

Churches have emerged at the centre of pandemic scepticism movements that resist public health measures, says Canadian author Robin Willey.

The Conversation

Tue, 01 Jun 2021

Legal action threat over conversion therapy ban in NI

Legal action threat over conversion therapy ban in NI

The Christian Institute has written to the Stormont Executive vowing to judicially review its planned conversion therapy legislation if it outlaws "the wrong kind of prayer".

Belfast Telegraph

Muslim news site 5Pillars ordered to pay back COVID grant after publishing anti-gay video

Muslim news site 5Pillars ordered to pay back COVID grant after publishing anti-gay video

Muslim news site 5Pillars has been asked to pay back a COVID emergency grant after it published a video describing gay people as a "gross crime against Allah".

Pink News

Ministers fear revival of Islamist extremism could be fuelling rise in anti-Semitism

Ministers fear revival of Islamist extremism could be fuelling rise in anti-Semitism

Recent incidents of anti-Jewish hate show 'signs of something more pernicious' than 'casual anti-Semitism', says Robert Jenrick.

The Telegraph*

NI: School in area with historic Protestant tradition to join integrated sector

NI: School in area with historic Protestant tradition to join integrated sector

A school in an area with a historic Protestant, unionist and loyalist tradition is to join the integrated sector.

The Irish News*

£3m given to St Paul's Cathedral by government

£3m given to St Paul's Cathedral by government

The Church of England's representative in Parliament has detailed what financial support St Paul's Cathedral in London has been given, after recent concerns that it would run out of finances.

Premier Christian News

EU commission president lauds Pope and Vatican

EU commission president lauds Pope and Vatican

The president of the European Commission has paid tribute to Europe's 'Christian roots' after talks with the Pope, praising the Catholic Church's role in 'fostering peace and reconciliation across the continent'.

The Tablet*

France: Islamist knifeman radicalised in prison is shot dead after stabbing female officer

France: Islamist knifeman radicalised in prison is shot dead after stabbing female officer

A radicalised Islamist knifeman who stabbed a policewoman and then went on the run with her handgun has been shot dead by police in France.

Mail Online

Warsaw university founded by Catholic group aims to shape future conservative lawyers

Warsaw university founded by Catholic group aims to shape future conservative lawyers

An increasingly influential Polish Catholic legal institute has inaugurated a university in Warsaw that aims to educate a new generation of conservative lawyers in central Europe who it hopes will also shape wider European culture.

The Associated Press

Catholic Church urged to apologise after mass grave of indigenous children found in Canada

Catholic Church urged to apologise after mass grave of indigenous children found in Canada

The remains of 215 Indigenous children have been discovered in the grave at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia. The school was run by the Catholic Church from 1890 to 1969.

LADBible

Australia’s Holy See ambassador under fire for saying she wants to change ‘narrative’ away from George Pell

Australia’s Holy See ambassador under fire for saying she wants to change ‘narrative’ away from George Pell

The new ambassador to the Holy See told a Catholic publication that her aim was to change the Vatican's "narrative" about Australia away from the child abuse royal commission and cardinal George Pell – comments that have infuriated abuse survivors.

The Guardian

‘Invest in kids’ religious education? By all means! Just not on my dime.’

‘Invest in kids’ religious education? By all means! Just not on my dime.’

A program in place in Illinois since 2017 diverts tax money that otherwise would have gone into state coffers, to fund religious schools.

Chicago Tribune

‘Kumbh Mela: how a superspreader festival seeded Covid across India’

‘Kumbh Mela: how a superspreader festival seeded Covid across India’

From across India, millions of Hindu pilgrims came to take a ritual dip in the Ganges, then returned home carrying Covid-19.

The Guardian

Fri, 28 May 2021

Ireland: ‘Wholly inappropriate’ for church to have say in new hospital, says senator

Ireland: ‘Wholly inappropriate’ for church to have say in new hospital, says senator

Labour Senator and Dublin Bay South by-election candidate Ivana Bacik has urged Government to reconsider its position on the new National Maternity Hospital, saying that the Catholic church should have no influence on it management.

Dublin People

Church of Scotland General Assembly agrees to cut minister numbers by a quarter

Church of Scotland General Assembly agrees to cut minister numbers by a quarter

The Church of Scotland's General Assembly has approved plans to cut minister numbers by a quarter over the next four years.

The Scotsman

Council may face discrimination legal case from Golders Green Islamic Centre

Council may face discrimination legal case from Golders Green Islamic Centre

Lawyers representing the Markaz community wrote to Barnet's leaders warning of possible 'unlawful religious discrimination' regarding the handling of its planning application.

Jewish News

Half of high school students in Polish city opt out of Catholic catechism classes

Half of high school students in Polish city opt out of Catholic catechism classes

Almost half of high school students in Kraków have opted out of Catholic catechism classes, a figure that has risen significantly in recent years, data obtained from schools show.

Notes From Poland

Proposal to decriminalize abortion prompts debate in Malta

Proposal to decriminalize abortion prompts debate in Malta

A proposal to decriminalize abortion in Malta has stirred up a polarized debate on an issue long considered taboo in the country with the strictest abortion laws in the European Union.

The Associated Press

Lebanon is first city in Ohio to ban abortions

Lebanon is first city in Ohio to ban abortions

A Southwest Ohio city voted Tuesday night to ban abortion and declare itself a "sanctuary city for the unborn," bringing the nation's divide over abortion to small-town government.

Cincinnati.com

‘The Catholic Church’s reproductive fight is about controlling women’s freedom’

‘The Catholic Church’s reproductive fight is about controlling women’s freedom’

The US bishops' abuse of the sacraments as a tool of intimidation has major political repercussions, says Jamie Manson.

The New York Times*

Some Texas schools would be required to hang "In God We Trust" signs under measure nearing passage by lawmakers

Some Texas schools would be required to hang "In God We Trust" signs under measure nearing passage by lawmakers

The Texas legislature is on the verge of approving a new law that would require some public schools and universities to display the phrase "In God We Trust" in prominent places inside all campus buildings.

The Texas Tribune

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