Mon, 19 Feb 2018

Religious leaders claim genital cutting is “non-negotiable” as Iceland prepares to ban it

Iceland is poised to become the first European country to ban ritual cutting of boys' genitals. Some Jewish and Muslim leaders claim the ban will be an attack on 'religious freedom'.

The Observer

Islamic State claims responsibility for shooting outside Russian church

Five women have been killed after a gunman opened fire on people leaving a church service in Russia's Dagestan region.

Sky News

Fri, 16 Feb 2018

Applications to teach RE fall by 38%

Applications for RE teacher training have dropped by almost 40% since last year. The Religious Education Council of England and Wales has responded by calling for higher bursaries for RE trainees.


Britons inadvertently eating non-stun meat, says top vet

Lord Trees, a crossbench peer and professor of veterinary parasitology, has said it is "highly probable" that meat from unstunned animals is entering the non-halal and kosher food chain.

Daily Mail

Religious groups mount campaign against teaching about same-sex marriage

Religious groups responding to the government's plans on sex education are campaigning against the idea of teaching same-sex marriage. Some are also calling for lessons in how marriage can prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections.


Welby addresses safeguarding in interview to mark five years as archbishop

Paul Handley speaks to the archbishop of Canterbury as he marks five years in the post. The discussion includes several questions on abuse and safeguarding within the Church of England.

Church Times

Police investigating claims of abuse at charity after teen is found dead

Police are investigating allegations of abuse at a Christian charity after a 16-year-old boy who went there as a child was found dead.

Lincolnshire Live

Scottish Catholic charity dealt with two child sex abuse cases

The Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund dealt with abuse cases in 2012 and 2016. Its boss has said it can be trusted by the public.


Muslim man challenges Walsall council ban on cemetery borders and flowerbeds

A Muslim man is mounting a legal challenge over a prohibition on edging, or borders, around individual graves in his local cemetery. He claims the ban breaches his right to freedom of religion.

The Guardian

Woman jailed after having stillbirth in El Salvador freed after nine years

A woman jailed for murder under El Salvador's strict abortion laws has had her 30-year sentence commuted. The laws were created partly because of lobbying from the Catholic Church.


Trump's travel ban is unconstitutional religious discrimination, US court rules

President Trump's latest travel ban on travellers from six predominantly Muslim countries is unconstitutional because it discriminates against people based on their religion, a federal appeals court in the US ruled on Thursday.

The Guardian

Trump judicial nominee: marriage equality part of “assault on nature”

Civil rights groups are calling on President Trump to withdraw the nomination of Gordon Giampetro for a federal judgeship over numerous anti-LGBT+ and anti-contraception statements.

The Advocate

Thu, 15 Feb 2018

Ministers too politically correct to enforce hijab policy in schools, former Ofsted boss warns

The Government is too politically correct to enforce rules on hijabs in schools, leaving teachers "alone, isolated and vulnerable", Sir Michael Wilshaw has warned.

The Telegraph

4,712 people have died in last decade while waiting for an organ

As new figures show how many people die while on the organ donor waiting list, The Mirror urges readers to tell their MPs to vote for opt-out donation.

Daily Mirror

Labour would label meat from animals which haven't been stunned

Labour has outlined a plan to require all meat to be labelled to reveal whether the animal was stunned or not before it was killed.

Chronicle Live

Campaigners criticise Alex Salmond over comments on free speech at football

Opponents of laws which criminalise offensive behaviour at football matches in Scotland have criticised former first minister Alex Salmond for linking the debate to sectarianism.

The Herald

Richard Dawkins’s book The God Delusion adapted for the stage

NSS honorary associate Richard Dawkins's book The God Delusion is being adapted into a stage production. The 90-minute show has been described as a cross between an "atheist support group and watching a great stand-up".

The Stage

‘How Bermuda’s same-sex marriage reversal could affect its tourism industry’

Bermuda's tourism authority, which lobbied against the ban on same-sex marriage, predicts visitor losses in the wake of the decision.

The New York Times

Macron vows to reform Islam in France to “preserve national cohesion”

More details have emerged of the French president's effort to "fight fundamentalism" and "preserve national cohesion" by 'reorganising' Islam in France.

Breaking Israel News

Bulgaria’s ruling party shuns treaty opposing violence against women after religious opposition

Bulgaria's ruling GERB party is withdrawing a European treaty designed to combat violence against women from ratification in parliament over strong opposition expressed by religious and political groups.


Police round up couples celebrating Valentine’s Day in Indonesia

Conservative Muslims in Indonesia have banned Valentine's Day, with police rounding up couples caught celebrating it in major cities.

Sky News

New Zealand to look at decriminalising abortion

The justice minister in New Zealand intends to ask the Law Commission to update the archaic law on abortion, including looking at decriminalising it.

NZ Herald

Religious groups appeal same-sex marriage ruling in Taiwan

Religious groups in Taiwan have lodged an appeal against a court ruling ordering the government to legalise same-sex marriage.

Gay Star News

Wed, 14 Feb 2018

Magistrate sacked over gay adoption case sues Lord Chief Justice

A sacked magistrate is suing the Lord Chief Justice for religious discrimination. Richard Page was found to have been influenced by his personal religious beliefs and not the evidence in front of him when considering an application by a same-sex couple to adopt a child.

Christian Today

Christian primary school rated ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted

A small Christian primary school which teaches the Bible's creation story in science lessons has been slammed by Ofsted inspectors.

News Shopper

Anti-abortion group targets medical centre

Anti-abortion activists have begun a 40-day 'vigil' next to a Nottingham hospital - despite the trust asking them to stay away. The group 40 Days for Life is planning a series of protests to coincide with Lent.


Catholics urged to oppose opt-out organ donation proposals

Catholics are being encouraged to oppose government proposals to increase the amount of organs available for transplant surgery by presuming donors' consent unless they opt out.

Catholic Herald

New Trump budget would send $1bn to private religious schools

President Trump's new budget proposal would send $1bn in taxpayer funds to support private religious schools.


‘Has Trump’s White House “resurrected” Army of God anti-abortion extremists?’

Clinics providing abortion services are facing growing threats from anti-abortion extremists.


Catholic Church in Kenya opposes Valentine’s Day and World Condoms Day

The Catholic Church in Kenya has vowed to colour towns and villages purple to counter the red that is normally associated with Valentine's Day. The Church also said it would also oppose efforts to celebrate World Condoms Day.

Daily Nation

Australia’s marriage equality campaign seeks abolition of religious rights to discriminate

Campaigners who called for marriage equality in Australia have told a religious freedom review that exemptions in discrimination law for religious institutions "go too far".

The Guardian

‘It's in our hands how the flawed religious freedom inquiry will play out’

Rodney Croome says Australia's religious freedom movement is "a redoubt for prejudice", and too many human rights advocates are nonchalant about the threat it poses.

The Guardian

Iranian women fight theocracy on ‘White Wednesdays’

The #WhiteWednesdays campaign encourages Iran's women to wear white veils or headscarves to show their opposition to the country's misogynist religious dress codes.


#MosqueMeToo: Muslim women reveal sexual misconduct at places of worship

Some Muslim women are using #MosqueMeToo to share experiences of sexual harassment in religious settings.


Tue, 13 Feb 2018

UK unveils extremism blocking tool

The UK Government has unveiled a tool it says can accurately detect jihadist content and block it from being viewed. The home secretary said she would not rule out forcing technology companies to use it by law.


‘Some Christian groups still promote “gay conversion therapy” – but their influence is waning’

Chris Greenough says the idea that gay people are sick and in need of a cure lives on among a few fundamentalist Christian groups.

The Conversation

Isle of Man politicians consider abortion reform

A bill proposing the relaxation of the Isle of Man's strict laws on abortion will come under discussion today.

IoM Today

Scout leader expelled after comparing Muslim colleague to Darth Vader

A senior scout leader who was expelled for criticising a Muslim colleague for wearing a niqab has launched a law suit against the Scout Association.

Bristol Post

Poland to vote on law limiting kosher slaughter

Poland's Government has proposed a new law that would limit kosher slaughter. The move comes shortly after the passage of a law which criminalises attributing blame for the Holocaust to Poland.

The Independent

'Poland’s Jews fear for future under new Holocaust law'

There is growing evidence that a strain of anti-semitism lies behind Poland's law denying complicity in Nazi atrocities.

The Observer

‘Maldives crisis: a bitter religious divide comes to the fore’

The Maldives has entered a political crisis after the president ordered a state of emergency. Andreas Johansson says "the Maldives' very particular religious politics" are a significant cause of tension, and events there could be a preview of similar problems across South Asia.

The Conversation

Irish university distances itself from Muslim lecturer in FGM row

Trinity College Dublin has distanced itself from one of its Muslim lecturers who has advocated female genital mutilation (FGM).

The Independent (Ireland)

Vatican set to strike deal with China

An imminent agreement would involve the Vatican recognising seven bishops appointed by China's Communist party.

The Guardian

Tennessee’s House approves abortion bill that requires ultrasounds to be shared

Lawmakers in Tennessee's House of Representatives have approved a version of an abortion bill that would require doctors to provide an ultrasound before the procedure can begin.

The Tennessean

Catholic school teacher in Florida ‘sacked for marrying same-sex partner’

A Catholic school teacher in Miami says she was sacked after marrying her same-sex partner. The Archdiocese of Miami confirmed she was sacked because she broke her contract under the church's rules of conduct, but refused to explain specifically how she had done so.

USA Today

Mon, 12 Feb 2018

Prominent Pakistani rights activist and NSS honorary associate Asma Jahangir dies aged 66

Asma Jahangir, one of Pakistan's most prominent human rights activists and an NSS honorary associate, has died of a heart attack aged 66.

The Guardian

'Asma Jahangir: The street fighter'

This profile of Asma Jahangir says that nothing could stop her "from being what she has always been".

Herald Pakistan

Clergy still believe some complainants are 'simply out for the money', abuse expert tells church leaders

An expert has told the Church of England's general synod some priests are "unable or unwilling to accept the need for sensible, proportionate measures" to prevent abuse.

The Telegraph

Church of England ‘facing two years of abuse revelations’

The Church of England is facing two years of revelations about sexual abuse and attempts to cover it up, its ruling general synod has been told.

The Week

Welby says Church should beware of “radical change”

The archbishop of Canterbury has defended the slow pace of change in the Church of England.

The Telegraph

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