* = Registration may be required to read the article

Thu, 16 Sep 2021

San Marino set to hold a referendum on whether to legalise abortion

San Marino set to hold a referendum on whether to legalise abortion

The small state of 33,000 inhabitants will decide on September 26 whether to allow terminations up to twelve weeks of pregnancy.

Euronews

‘How public schools are threatening the separation between church and state in the US’

‘How public schools are threatening the separation between church and state in the US’

Public schools are jeopardsing the separation of church and state by push religion on students, says Rachel Laser.

Tennessean

‘A 9-year-old girl was raped and murdered in India. Her death is part of a bigger problem facing Dalit women’

‘A 9-year-old girl was raped and murdered in India. Her death is part of a bigger problem facing Dalit women’

A group of Dalit women activists in India are dedicating their lives to the dangerous task of supporting members of their community who have survived sexual abuse.

CNN

‘Inside the brutal world of the Jehovah’s Witnesses’

‘Inside the brutal world of the Jehovah’s Witnesses’

Since Australia's royal commission exposed the cruel treatment of victims of child abuse within the Jehovah's Witnesses, little has changed. But in a landmark civil case, former member Amy Whitby is taking on the secretive religious group in court.

ABC News

Wed, 15 Sep 2021

Doctors vote for BMA to adopt neutral position on assisted dying – NSS forum chair quoted

Doctors vote for BMA to adopt neutral position on assisted dying – NSS forum chair quoted

The British Medical Association will drop its stance of opposition to assisted dying and adopt a neutral position after a narrow vote in favour of the move at its annual conference. NSS Secular Medical Forum chair Dr Antony Lempert is quoted.

GP Online

Chinese ambassador barred from UK parliament over Uighur sanctions row

Chinese ambassador barred from UK parliament over Uighur sanctions row

The Chinese ambassador to Britain has been banned from attending an event in the British parliament because Beijing imposed sanctions on lawmakers who highlighted alleged human right abuses in Xinjiang.

Reuters*

'The pharmacist said it would give the wrong message': The young women denied the morning-after pill

'The pharmacist said it would give the wrong message': The young women denied the morning-after pill

It is legal for pharmacists to refuse to provide the morning-after pill for religious reasons, but these women say they were refused for no reason, with no alternative given.

BBC

Ireland: ‘Texas abortion law a salutary reminder we cannot be complacent’

Ireland: ‘Texas abortion law a salutary reminder we cannot be complacent’

There's no reason why Irish abortion legislation cannot be reversed if public opinion changes, says Seána Glennon.

The Irish Times*

‘Why are there so few migrant teachers in Ireland?’

‘Why are there so few migrant teachers in Ireland?’

"Teachers need a Catholic Certificate in Religious Education to teach in almost 90 per cent of schools or a Church of Ireland Certificate for just under six per cent of schools. This means that, unless migrant teachers are Catholic or Protestant – or willing to pretend to be – they are excluded from teaching at primary level."

The Irish Times*

Afghan women should not work alongside men, senior Taliban figure says

Afghan women should not work alongside men, senior Taliban figure says

Afghan women should not be allowed to work alongside men, a senior figure in the ruling Taliban said, a position which, if formally implemented, would effectively bar them from employment in government offices, banks, media companies and beyond.

Reuters*

Two preachers in Indonesia charged with blasphemy

Two preachers in Indonesia charged with blasphemy

Indonesian National Police have separately arrested and detained two clergymen on blasphemy charges.

Human Rights Watch

Bahrain's Jews worship in public for first time in decades

Bahrain's Jews worship in public for first time in decades

Bahrain's tiny Jewish community have practised their faith behind closed doors since 1947. But when Bahrain normalised ties with Israel one year ago as part of US-brokered agreements with Arab countries known as the Abraham Accords, it "opened everything" up.

France 24

US: ‘The Supreme Court's right-wing Catholics are destroying true religious freedom’

US: ‘The Supreme Court's right-wing Catholics are destroying true religious freedom’

The Texas ruling shows Supreme Court has been hijacked by Christian nationalism, says Phil Zuckerman.

Salon

‘Florida’s openness on abortion is all but guaranteed to change drastically — and soon’

‘Florida’s openness on abortion is all but guaranteed to change drastically — and soon’

Lizette Alvarez has a bleak warning for the women of Florida.

The Washington Post*

Tue, 14 Sep 2021

Welfare labels on meat to say how animal was killed

Welfare labels on meat to say how animal was killed

Halal and kosher meat will have to be marked with how the animal was killed as part of a proposed law.

Mail Online

Medics urged to drop opposition to assisted dying before crucial vote

Medics urged to drop opposition to assisted dying before crucial vote

More than 100 leading doctors call for British Medical Association to adopt neutral stance to law change.

The Guardian

Faith healer denies fraud as he appears in court accused of selling £91 'plague protection kits'

Faith healer denies fraud as he appears in court accused of selling £91 'plague protection kits'

The head of a south London church has denied fraud after allegedly selling 'plague protection kits' as a bogus cure for Covid-19.

Mail Online

Sunday church services under threat due to shortage of chaplains

Sunday church services under threat due to shortage of chaplains

Sunday church services are under threat as there are not enough priests to fill the "golden slot" for worship, a bishop has warned.

The Telegraph*

‘Angry about Texas? Abortion is more restricted in Britain than you think’

‘Angry about Texas? Abortion is more restricted in Britain than you think’

As people rightly focus on the abhorrent news coming out of America and Mexico's landmark ruling, the fact that abortion is still more restricted than it should be in the UK cannot and should not be glossed over, says Vicky Spratt.

Refinery 29

Appeals court blocks strict Tennessee abortion law

Appeals court blocks strict Tennessee abortion law

A federal appeals court on Friday blocked Tennessee's strict abortion law, more than a year after a district court first issued a preliminary injunction that prevented it from taking effect.

Reuters*

Tech company helps its staff quit Texas over abortion ban

Tech company helps its staff quit Texas over abortion ban

A big US tech firm has offered to help its employees to permanently leave Texas as revulsion grows over the state's near-total ban on abortions.

The Times*

Afghan women hit back at Taliban with #DoNotTouchMyClothes campaign

Afghan women hit back at Taliban with #DoNotTouchMyClothes campaign

Afghan women have started an online campaign to protest against the Taliban's strict new dress code for female students.

BBC

‘Muslim women know the truth about the Taliban’

‘Muslim women know the truth about the Taliban’

The Taliban know that they have to earn legitimacy to establish themselves, and they know exactly how to give the impression that they are heeding the words of the West — by creating the illusion of maintaining women's rights, says Sara Tor.

The Times*

‘Why Australia needs to become a secular republic’

‘Why Australia needs to become a secular republic’

Legal cases both here and overseas highlight reasons why our theocratic government needs to make a clear separation between church and state, writes Max Wallace.

Independent Australia

Mon, 13 Sep 2021

Retired bishop backs demands for compulsory worship to be scrapped in schools

Retired bishop backs demands for compulsory worship to be scrapped in schools

The Right Reverend Lord Harries of Pentregarth, a former Bishop of Oxford, supported a new law that would remove the requirement for non-religious state schools to provide daily mandatory collective worship and introduce inclusive assemblies instead.

Mail Online

University clears don of being ‘Islamophobic’ but then cancels his course

University clears don of being ‘Islamophobic’ but then cancels his course

Prof Greer said he had to flee the family home amid fears for his safety following the campaign against him.

Mail Online

Charedi Jews protest over school places fears

Charedi Jews protest over school places fears

Hundreds of members of the Charedi community in Stamford Hill gathered on Sunday over concerns about a lack of school places for children.

Jewish News

Taliban tortured me and killed my father: Ex-interpreter calls for UK help

Taliban tortured me and killed my father: Ex-interpreter calls for UK help

A former interpreter who was tortured by the Taliban while working for the British Armed Forces in Afghanistan has called on UK authorities to help save his family trapped in the country.

ITV

Police investigate arson attack on Didsbury mosque as a hate crime

Police investigate arson attack on Didsbury mosque as a hate crime

Greater Manchester fire service called to the blaze on Saturday night, which caused minor damage to the door.

The Guardian

MI5: 31 late-stage terror plots foiled in four years in UK

MI5: 31 late-stage terror plots foiled in four years in UK

Director general Ken McCallum, who revealed in October there had been 27 attacks thwarted since 2017, said there had been six during the pandemic. He said they were largely Islamic extremist plots, but a "growing number" were planned by right-wing terrorists.

BBC

‘Twenty years on from 9/11, we must finally stand up to Islamist extremism’

‘Twenty years on from 9/11, we must finally stand up to Islamist extremism’

Our complacency in dealing with this most vile of ideologies has granted the terrorists ultimate victory, says Tom Harris.

The Telegraph*

‘In UK, abortion is still punishable by life in prison. When will we finally change the law?’

‘In UK, abortion is still punishable by life in prison. When will we finally change the law?’

While the right to an abortion is largely considered the settled will of British society, campaigners say there is still much that could be done to modernise the law, and make the process – always a difficult one, at least emotionally – easier for women.

The Scotsman*

Ireland: Government accused of being ‘profoundly disrespectful’ to church

Ireland: Government accused of being ‘profoundly disrespectful’ to church

Catholic Church representatives heavily criticised the Government's communication and handling of Covid-19 restrictions around religious sacraments during the summer in letters to Prime Minister Micheál Martin.

The Irish Times*

Taliban: Women can study in gender-segregated universities only while wearing Islamic dress

Taliban: Women can study in gender-segregated universities only while wearing Islamic dress

Women in Afghanistan will be allowed to continue their studies in universities but classrooms will be gender-segregated, the Taliban has said.

Sky News

India: Muslim youth lynched to death

India: Muslim youth lynched to death

Samir Chaudhary, 22, from Shamli district, Uttar Pradesh, was lynched to death by Hindutva militants on Thursday evening, while he was returning home from the work.

Maktoob Media

Australia: Jehovah's Witnesses among 34 additional organisations to formally sign up to national sexual abuse redress scheme

Australia: Jehovah's Witnesses among 34 additional organisations to formally sign up to national sexual abuse redress scheme

The Jehovah's Witnesses have formally signed up to the national redress scheme for survivors of institutional child sexual abuse, more than a year after they were named and shamed for holding out.

ABC News

Fri, 10 Sep 2021

Plea to religious leaders follows fiancé's suicide

Plea to religious leaders follows fiancé's suicide

A man whose fiancé took his own life after his religious family refused to accept his sexuality is pleading with religious leaders to help improve relationships between LGBT+ children and their parents.

BBC

‘The continuing appeal of religious politics in Northern Ireland’

‘The continuing appeal of religious politics in Northern Ireland’

As secularisation takes the sting out of sectarianism, will the party that was founded by Ian Paisley be returning to the reactionary values of its past, asks Crawford Gribben.

OUP Blog

Taliban fighters beat female protesters and open fire to disperse them as rallies banned

Taliban fighters beat female protesters and open fire to disperse them as rallies banned

The militants announced a moratorium on demonstrations 'for the time being' after the group was humiliated by viral images of women standing up to them.

Mail Online

‘Why Afghan women are fighting back’

‘Why Afghan women are fighting back’

America has betrayed the one positive legacy of 9/11, says Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

Unherd

Main suspect tells Paris attacks trial he's "an Islamic State soldier"

Main suspect tells Paris attacks trial he's "an Islamic State soldier"

The main suspect in a jihadist rampage that killed 130 people across Paris described himself defiantly as "an Islamic State soldier" on Wednesday, upsetting some survivors who took it as a threat at the start of the trial into the 2015 attacks.

Reuters

Germany: Afghan man stabs female gardener 'because he didn’t like the fact she was a working woman'

Germany: Afghan man stabs female gardener 'because he didn’t like the fact she was a working woman'

A 29-year-old Afghan man in Germany repeatedly stabbed a 58-year-old landscape gardener who was working in a park in Berlin, allegedly because he didn't like the fact that as a woman she was working, police said.

Mail Online

EU warns Polish regions they could lose funding over 'LGBT-free' zones

EU warns Polish regions they could lose funding over 'LGBT-free' zones

The European Commission has written to five Polish regional councils urging them to abandon declarations that they are "LGBT-free" in order to receive funding, one of the councils affected confirmed.

Yahoo

Biden administration sues Texas over restrictive abortion law

Biden administration sues Texas over restrictive abortion law

The US Department of Justice has filed a civil lawsuit challenging Texas' controversial abortion law.

BBC

Conference fuels growing US debate over Hindu nationalism

Conference fuels growing US debate over Hindu nationalism

Dismantling Global Hindutva, a virtual conference set to begin on Friday, seeks to check what organisers claim is a far-right Hindu ideology that they believe is already undermining India's secular and democratic traditions. To its opponents, the conference is an exercise in 'Hinduphobia'.

Religion News Service

Top US court halts Texas execution of inmate seeking pastor's touch

Top US court halts Texas execution of inmate seeking pastor's touch

The US Supreme Court has stayed the execution of Texas inmate John Henry Ramirez, who requested the right to have his pastor hold him as he died.

BBC

‘Subsidising religion costs US taxpayers’

‘Subsidising religion costs US taxpayers’

Churches want to turn American democracy upside down by advocating for representation without taxation, says Tom Waddell.

CentralMaine.com

Australia: Body modifier admits removing part of woman’s genitals, but unclear if against the law

Australia: Body modifier admits removing part of woman’s genitals, but unclear if against the law

Brendan Leigh Russell has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter, female genital mutilation and grievous bodily harm with intent, relating to three separate women.

The Guardian

Thu, 09 Sep 2021

'Do not thrust religion on schools with daily worship duty'

'Do not thrust religion on schools with daily worship duty'

Freedom of belief, one of our most precious values, includes the right not to have religious doctrine thrust on us, says Paul Kaufman.

Newham Recorder

Brother Benedict, monk at St Ninian’s in the 1960s, ‘aroused by shocks’

Brother Benedict, monk at St Ninian’s in the 1960s, ‘aroused by shocks’

A monk at a residential school appeared to be sexually aroused after administering electric shocks to a pupil, a court has heard.

The Times*

Disclaimer: Links are provided to external websites for information and in the interests of free exchange. We do not accept any responsibility for the content of those sites, nor does a link indicate approval or imply endorsement of those sites.