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Fri, 30 Apr 2021

Ireland deputy PM: Publicly-funded schools ‘should include LGBTI+ relationships in sex education’

Ireland deputy PM: Publicly-funded schools ‘should include LGBTI+ relationships in sex education’

All publicly funded schools should adhere to government policy by including LGBTI+ relationships in all sex education programmes, Leo Varadkar has said.

Belfast Telegraph

‘Did homophobia lead to Arlene Foster’s downfall?’

‘Did homophobia lead to Arlene Foster’s downfall?’

The DUP is wrong if it thinks an anti-gay leader will win votes, says Stephen Donnan-Dalzell.

The Guardian

Catholic priest charged with sexual offence against teenage boy

Catholic priest charged with sexual offence against teenage boy

A Roman Catholic priest has been charged with sexual offences against a teenage boy that happened more than 30 years ago.

The Argus

‘Chained and suicidal, women accuse Jewish courts of failure’

‘Chained and suicidal, women accuse Jewish courts of failure’

Women seeking a religious divorce, including victims of domestic abuse, have accused UK Jewish courts of taking years to process their cases and coercing them to accept unfair settlements, leading several to the brink of suicide.

The Jewish Chronicle

‘Religious link places strong limitations on St Vincent’s hospital’

‘Religious link places strong limitations on St Vincent’s hospital’

Every gynaecologist in Ireland can tell you that no abortions, IVF, contraception or sterilisation for the purposes of family planning are carried out in any of the St Vincent's Healthcare Group hospitals, says Dr Peter Boylan.

Independent.ie

Israel: Dozens killed at Lag B'Omer religious festival

Israel: Dozens killed at Lag B'Omer religious festival

At least 44 people have been killed in a crush at a crowded religious festival in the north-east of Israel.

BBC

Connecticut governor signs religious vaccine exemption bill into law

Connecticut governor signs religious vaccine exemption bill into law

Connecticut is ending a long-standing religious exemption from immunisation requirements for schools and the governor has signed the bill into law.

NBC Connecticut

US Catholic bishops may press Biden to stop taking Communion

US Catholic bishops may press Biden to stop taking Communion

When U.S. Catholic bishops hold their next national meeting in June, they'll be deciding whether to send a tougher-than-ever message to President Joe Biden and other Catholic politicians: Don't receive Communion if you persist in public advocacy of abortion rights.

The Independent

Last call before Turkey lockdown prompts worries about religious bullying

Last call before Turkey lockdown prompts worries about religious bullying

Turkey's authorities have been accused of using the pandemic as a way to push through their conservative social agenda.

The Independent

Ecuador abortion: Terminations in cases of rape decriminalised

Ecuador abortion: Terminations in cases of rape decriminalised

Ecuador's high court has decriminalised abortion in cases of rape, a major step in the traditionally Catholic country.

BBC

Debate stirs in Papua New Guinea over push to declare it a "Christian country"

Debate stirs in Papua New Guinea over push to declare it a "Christian country"

Papua New Guineans are being asked whether they want the country to be officially declared "a Christian nation".

ABC

Thu, 29 Apr 2021

UN condemns one year detention of Nigerian humanist Mubarak Bala

UN condemns one year detention of Nigerian humanist Mubarak Bala

The United Nations has condemned Nigerian authorities for failing to release a prominent humanist accused of blasphemy, who has been detained for a year without charge.

The Guardian

Churches and civic groups clash over who will control future sex education in NI schools

Churches and civic groups clash over who will control future sex education in NI schools

A coalition of civic organisations has published an open letter to the Education Minister calling for "compulsory, comprehensive and standardised relationships and sexuality education (RSE) in schools". However, the four largest churches have all argued that the status quo – where schools decide their own approach to sex education – must be maintained.

News Letter

Birmingham Islamic school to split into two same-sex schools

Birmingham Islamic school to split into two same-sex schools

An Islamic school which "unlawfully segregated" boys and girls is to split into two separate same-sex schools.

BBC

DfE to provide £1.25m for ‘turnaround’ Catholic trust

DfE to provide £1.25m for ‘turnaround’ Catholic trust

The Department for Education will work with the Catholic Education Service and diocese across the country to "establish a new turnaround trust to specifically support Catholic schools in need of intensive support", Gavin Williamson has said.

Schools Week

Arlene Foster resigns as DUP leader after rebellion over conversion therapy vote

Arlene Foster resigns as DUP leader after rebellion over conversion therapy vote

Foster's resignation as leader of the DUP and first minister of Northern Ireland comes after days of internal wrangling within the conservative political party over issues such as a proposed conversion therapy ban and the Northern Irish protocol.

Pink News

‘I suffered faith-based conversion therapy – Boris Johnson’s religious ‘loophole’ is deeply worrying’

‘I suffered faith-based conversion therapy – Boris Johnson’s religious ‘loophole’ is deeply worrying’

By creating exemptions in legislation to ban conversion therapies, we leave thousands of young people vulnerable to abuse, says Mohsin Zaidi.

The Independent

Idaho GOP governor signs 'heartbeat' abortion ban into law

Idaho GOP governor signs 'heartbeat' abortion ban into law

Idaho on Tuesday became the second US state this week to enact a so-called heartbeat ban -- a law barring most abortions at the onset of a foetal heartbeat, which can occur as early as six weeks into a pregnancy and before many people know they are pregnant.

CNN

Arizona governor signs sweeping anti-abortion bill into law

Arizona governor signs sweeping anti-abortion bill into law

Gov. Doug Ducey on Tuesday signed a contentious bill making it a crime to perform abortions based on genetic conditions, despite OB-GYNs and attorneys warning it was "medically unsound" and unconstitutional.

AZ Central

Iraq needs 'secular' government says cardinal

Iraq needs 'secular' government says cardinal

Christians in Iraq will only be able to live safely and securely if religion is separated from the state, the head of the Chaldean Catholic Church has warned.

The Tablet*

‘Imran Khan’s dangerous bid to export Pakistan’s blasphemy laws’

‘Imran Khan’s dangerous bid to export Pakistan’s blasphemy laws’

Imran Khan appears to want to impose Islamic blasphemy laws across the world, says Kunwar Khuldune Shahid.

The Spectator*

Wed, 28 Apr 2021

NSS chief executive: Faith groups have no business inspecting schools

NSS chief executive: Faith groups have no business inspecting schools

Stephen Evans highlights the NSS's new report which makes the case for ending religiosity inspections in faith schools.

Medium

MPs formally approve abortion service powers for Northern Ireland

MPs formally approve abortion service powers for Northern Ireland

The House of Commons has formally approved regulations which enable Brandon Lewis to take action on rolling out abortion services in Northern Ireland.

Irvine Times

Police recorded polite letter in abortion debate as hate incident

Police recorded polite letter in abortion debate as hate incident

A retired teacher who wrote to a campaigner disagreeing with her stance on abortion was told by police that the "hate incident" would go on his record.

The Times*

Lewisham Catholic school may close because of falling pupil numbers and lack of funds

Lewisham Catholic school may close because of falling pupil numbers and lack of funds

Public consultation began on Monday on the plan to close St Mary Magdalen's Catholic Primary School in Brockley.

London News Online

Usman Khan was 'high risk' terrorist who acted as Islamist enforcer, inquest hears

Usman Khan was 'high risk' terrorist who acted as Islamist enforcer, inquest hears

Fishmongers' Hall killer Usman Khan was a 'high risk' terrorist who acted as an Islamist enforcer behind bars, befriended Lee Rigby's killer and shaved his body as he 'prepared for martyrdom', an inquest heard.

Mail Online

Bishop considered defrocking former Post Office boss Paula Vennells

Bishop considered defrocking former Post Office boss Paula Vennells

The Rt Rev Alan Smith took legal advice on whether Paula Vennells could be removed from her associate minister post in June last year.

The Telegraph*

Pakistan PM urges Muslim world to use trade boycotts to force the West to pass blasphemy laws

Pakistan PM urges Muslim world to use trade boycotts to force the West to pass blasphemy laws

Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan has boasted that his plan for Muslim-majority countries to unite and force Western governments to criminalise insulting the prophet Mohammed will work.

Mail Online

Opponents force referendum on Swiss same-sex marriage

Opponents force referendum on Swiss same-sex marriage

Swiss voters will get final say on whether same-sex couples can marry after opponents gathered enough signatures to force a binding referendum on a 2020 law allowing them to wed.

Reuters

Oklahoma governor signs near-total abortion ban into law

Oklahoma governor signs near-total abortion ban into law

Oklahoma Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt signed a near-total abortion ban and two other abortion restrictions into law on Monday, sending a sweeping message that the state-level fight over access to the procedure is far from over.

CNN

Tue, 27 Apr 2021

Abortion: London wants 'concrete steps' towards NI services by summer

Abortion: London wants 'concrete steps' towards NI services by summer

The Department of Health must take "concrete steps" towards commissioning full abortion services in NI before the summer, a government minister has said.

BBC

Ballyhackett Primary School loses integration bid

Ballyhackett Primary School loses integration bid

The education minister has turned down a bid by a small Catholic primary school to transform into an integrated school.

BBC

Inquiry: Undercover police spied on Lewisham Humanists

Inquiry: Undercover police spied on Lewisham Humanists

Undercover officers spied on a humanist group in Lewisham between 1972 and 1983 as they engaged in "political policing", an inquiry has heard.

News Shopper

Ombudsman upholds parent's complaint against Jewish faith school admissions

Ombudsman upholds parent's complaint against Jewish faith school admissions

The adjudicator found that some members of a panel looking into a complaint made by a parent against the state-aided school had not been sufficiently independent.

The Jewish Chronicle

Ireland: New school sex ed guide repeats Church position 'marriage between man and woman can't be omitted'

Ireland: New school sex ed guide repeats Church position 'marriage between man and woman can't be omitted'

Sex as a "gift from God" which belongs in committed relationships and marriage as a sacrament of commitment are two of the themes included in new sex education resources for Catholic primary schools.

Irish Examiner

Sixth of Irish doctors who perform abortions have been threatened

Sixth of Irish doctors who perform abortions have been threatened

More than one in six doctors providing termination services say they have experienced a "verbal threat or attack" since abortion was introduced in Ireland in 2019. The finding is from a study of 156 hospital doctors and GPs by researchers in the National Maternity Hospital and the Coombe.

The Times*

Spain: Catholic leaders put numbers to sex abuse claims

Spain: Catholic leaders put numbers to sex abuse claims

In a first public attempt to put numbers to instances of child sex abuse by the country's Catholic clergy, Spain's Episcopal Conference revealed Friday that 220 cases were officially reported to the Vatican over the past two decades.

The Associated Press

Outrage as Iran gets voted into UN women’s right committee

Outrage as Iran gets voted into UN women’s right committee

The election of Iran to the UN committee on women's rights has been called "surreal" and "morally reprehensible" by activists due to its discriminatory laws against women.

The National

Egyptian parliament tightens penalty for female genital mutilation

Egyptian parliament tightens penalty for female genital mutilation

Egypt's House of Representatives has approved, by a two-thirds majority, a bill to tighten the penalty for female genital mutilation (FGM), the Secretary of the Legislative Committee in the House of Representatives has announced.

Egypt Today

‘The tiny American towns passing anti-abortion rules’

‘The tiny American towns passing anti-abortion rules’

In last year, 23 Texas towns have declared themselves 'sanctuary cities for the unborn', making the procedural punishable, and in April, a Nebraska village became the 24th.

The Guardian

Mon, 26 Apr 2021

Protesters picket council chief who said she would 'welcome' teacher in Muhammad cartoon row

Protesters picket council chief who said she would 'welcome' teacher in Muhammad cartoon row

A Muslim council chief is being targeted by pickets for backing the Batley Grammar School teacher at the centre of the Muhammad cartoon controversy.

Mail Online

LGBT+ young people disproportionately experience depression, anxiety and panic attacks

LGBT+ young people disproportionately experience depression, anxiety and panic attacks

Almost half of LGBT+ secondary school students have experienced depression - and are twice as likely to struggle with their mental health compared to their non-LGBT+ peers.

ITV

NI: Glengormley High School applies for integrated status

NI: Glengormley High School applies for integrated status

A County Antrim post-primary school has put forward a formal proposal to transform into an integrated school.

BBC

NI: Abortion services suspended in Western Trust

NI: Abortion services suspended in Western Trust

Abortion laws have been in place in Northern Ireland for over a year now. But full the range of services have not yet been commissioned because of arguments in the Executive.

ITV

Anglicans mostly Brexiteers while Catholics are remainers

Anglicans mostly Brexiteers while Catholics are remainers

One in five Brits had religious beliefs that made them more likely to vote Leave and a quarter of voters' faiths meant they were more likely Remain voters, according to a new study.

City AM

Ireland: Christian pastor ignores Covid restrictions to hold sermon in Dublin

Ireland: Christian pastor ignores Covid restrictions to hold sermon in Dublin

Pastor John Ahern, who is the head of the All Nations Christian congregation, gave a 45-minute service where he criticised the government's actions in recent weeks to effectively 'criminalise mass'.

The Times*

France will 'never give in to Islamist terrorism,' says Macron after policewoman's killing

France will 'never give in to Islamist terrorism,' says Macron after policewoman's killing

French prosecutors opened a terror inquiry Friday after a police employee was stabbed to death at a station southwest of Paris by a suspected Islamist extremist from Tunisia who was then shot dead by the security forces.

France 24

French protesters demand trial for Jewish woman's killer

French protesters demand trial for Jewish woman's killer

Protesters in Paris and other French cities on Sunday denounced a ruling by France's highest court that the killer of Jewish woman Sarah Halimi was not criminally responsible and therefore could not go on trial.

The Independent

Florida Senate OKs bill requiring school moments of silence

Florida Senate OKs bill requiring school moments of silence

Every Florida public school would be required to have a moment of silence of up to two minutes during first period under a bill passed by the Senate on Thursday. The bill would amend current law that allows school districts to have a moment of silence for prayer or meditation, but doesn't require it.

The Associated Press

Vermont Board of Education: Districts must pay for three to attend religious schools

Vermont Board of Education: Districts must pay for three to attend religious schools

Citing a 2020 U.S. Supreme Court decision that says states can't cut religious schools out of programs that send public money to private education, the Vermont State Board of Education has decided that the school districts of three students must pay the tuition for them to attend religious schools as part of a state tuition benefit that they were denied.

The Associated Press

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