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Fri, 28 May 2021

Lawsuit: Only Christians could apply for US jail chaplain job

Lawsuit: Only Christians could apply for US jail chaplain job

Applicants for a chaplain's job at a Maryland county jail had to sign a statement affirming that they are Christians, a Muslim man claims Thursday in a federal lawsuit accusing the county and a contractor of religious discrimination.

Yahoo

Death toll escalates among Nigerian Christians

Death toll escalates among Nigerian Christians

There has been a serious escalation in violence against Christians in Nigeria with thousands kidnapped and hundreds killed in just the last few months.

The Tablet*

Suspected Islamists kill 22 with knives, machetes in eastern Congo

Suspected Islamists kill 22 with knives, machetes in eastern Congo

Suspected Islamist militants killed at least 22 civilians with knives and machetes in an overnight raid on villages near the town of Beni in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, a local official said on Wednesday.

Reuters*

‘Modi’s religious nationalism hurts India’s Hindus, too’

‘Modi’s religious nationalism hurts India’s Hindus, too’

Anti-Muslim policies harm not just Muslims, but the poor and marginalized, says Sunita Viswanath.

Foreign Policy

Thu, 27 May 2021

Batley Grammar: Teacher at centre of row over Muhammad image allowed to return to class – NSS quoted

Batley Grammar: Teacher at centre of row over Muhammad image allowed to return to class – NSS quoted

A teacher who was suspended after showing children at Batley Grammar School a caricature of Muhammad can return to the classroom. NSS chief executive Stephen Evans is quoted.

Evening Standard

 Batley Multi Academy Trust: Muhammad picture should not be used again – NSS quoted

Batley Multi Academy Trust: Muhammad picture should not be used again – NSS quoted

The Batley Multi Academy Trust said it was "not necessary" to use pictures of Muhammad in RS lessons or any other lessons out of "respect" for the views of the school community.

The Telegraph*

Teacher who showed Muhammad cartoon to pupils during RE lesson can return to school because he did not mean to cause offence, probe concludes – NSS quoted

Teacher who showed Muhammad cartoon to pupils during RE lesson can return to school because he did not mean to cause offence, probe concludes – NSS quoted

A teacher who was suspended after showing a cartoon of Muhammad to pupils during an RE lesson is to be allowed to return to his job because he did not mean to cause any offence, a report into the controversial incident has concluded.

Mail Online

Government criticised for handing furlough cash to ‘homophobic’ churches

Government criticised for handing furlough cash to ‘homophobic’ churches

The UK government's furlough scheme has been condemned as "reckless and irresponsible", for handing tens of thousands of pounds to "homophobic" churches.

openDemocracy

Mosque was right to sack imam who brought in 'hate mongering' extremist preachers, tribunal rules

Mosque was right to sack imam who brought in 'hate mongering' extremist preachers, tribunal rules

Abdul Sattar invited speakers including one who claimed the Bible tells Christians to 'throw homosexuals off mountains' and described being gay as an 'abominable action which goes against humanity'.

Mail Online

Former sports stars back more integrated schooling in NI

Former sports stars back more integrated schooling in NI

Former Ulster and Ireland rugby star Andrew Trimble says he cannot understand why the vast majority of children in Northern Ireland go to separate schools where they rarely spend time with pupils from other religious or cultural backgrounds.

BBC

Woman who fled forced marriage calls for caste-based discrimination to become an offence

Woman who fled forced marriage calls for caste-based discrimination to become an offence

Jasvinder Sanghera echoes growing calls to make caste-based discrimination an offence enshrined in British law - just as it is with race or religious hate crimes.

ITV

UK regulator investigates doctor for ‘abortion reversal’ treatment

UK regulator investigates doctor for ‘abortion reversal’ treatment

A doctor in the UK is under investigation by the national regulator following an investigation into the worldwide spread of an unproven and potentially dangerous treatment, invented by the US Christian Right, that claims to 'reverse' abortions.

openDemocracy

Street preachers 'should stick to church' mayor says following 'hate crime' complaints

Street preachers 'should stick to church' mayor says following 'hate crime' complaints

The Police Service of Northern Ireland is investigating complaints that comments made by evangelical preachers in Banbridge amounted to hate crimes.

The Irish News*

Plymouth Brethren ask for three more years at Reading school

Plymouth Brethren ask for three more years at Reading school

An evangelical Christian independent school which temporarily set up in Reading two years ago is seeking another three years in the town due to difficulty getting planning permission in a village near High Wycombe.

The Reading Chronicle

Wed, 26 May 2021

Northern Irish woman told to go to England for abortion gets case heard

Northern Irish woman told to go to England for abortion gets case heard

A Northern Irish woman told to travel to England for an abortion during the pandemic lockdown will have her case against the Northern Ireland secretary, the Northern Ireland Executive and its health department heard at Belfast high court today.

The Guardian

Election of Poots: ‘If you are gay or a woman, be worried’ – NI community worker

Election of Poots: ‘If you are gay or a woman, be worried’ – NI community worker

Northern Irish women from the Protestant community have described the election of Edwin Poots as the de facto leader of unionism, as "very worrying" and "depressing".

The Irish Times*

Tories must banish anti-Muslim sentiment from party, says Sajid Javid

Tories must banish anti-Muslim sentiment from party, says Sajid Javid

Sajid Javid has urged the Conservatives to get their "house in order" on anti-Muslim sentiment as he reveals that he was blocked from standing in a safe Tory seat on the basis that its constituents wouldn't vote for a Muslim MP.

The Times*

‘Why the ban on conversion therapy has to include religious groups’

‘Why the ban on conversion therapy has to include religious groups’

Upholding both a ban and religious exemption is proving to be inherently contradictory, says Megan Todd.

The Conversation

Assisted dying: ‘It might be too late for me but I want it for those who come after me’

Assisted dying: ‘It might be too late for me but I want it for those who come after me’

A motor neurone disease sufferer explains why he supports giving people the right to choose when and where they die.

Sky News

'I was a child victim of FGM but didn’t realise until I was 22'

'I was a child victim of FGM but didn’t realise until I was 22'

In 2018, it was estimated that 200 million females around the world underwent genital mutilation, with 20 million women and girls being mutilated in Nigeria – 10% of the worldwide total.

Metro

Buffer zone laws needed now against anti-abortion vigils, says Limerick councillor

Buffer zone laws needed now against anti-abortion vigils, says Limerick councillor

Conor Sheehan said that groups have been gathering outside the Limerick maternity hospital and "intimidating" women on an almost daily basis for several months.

The Times*

Texas Senate advances bill that would outlaw abortions if Roe v. Wade is overturned

Texas Senate advances bill that would outlaw abortions if Roe v. Wade is overturned

Called a "trigger" law, House Bill 1280 would take effect 30 days after the Supreme Court overturned the Roe decision or after a court ruling or constitutional amendment gave states the authority to prohibit abortions.

The Texas Tribune

Pakistan: Government attempts to 'Islamize' mainstream curriculum

Pakistan: Government attempts to 'Islamize' mainstream curriculum

Prime Minister Imran Khan's administration is preparing to implement a uniform education system in the country with a strong focus on an Islamized syllabus and teaching the Quran.

Deutsche Welle

Outcry after 21 people arrested in Ghana for ‘advocating LGBTQ activities’

Outcry after 21 people arrested in Ghana for ‘advocating LGBTQ activities’

Rights groups have condemned the arrest of 21 people by Ghanaian police for "unlawful assembly" and promoting an LGBTQ+ agenda, in the latest move against sexual minorities in the country.

The Guardian

Tue, 25 May 2021

NI: Papers lodged in legal challenge against abortion regulations

NI: Papers lodged in legal challenge against abortion regulations

Anti-abortion campaigners have formally lodged proceedings in Belfast against regulations giving the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland powers to direct the commissioning of abortion services.

Irish Legal News

‘Integration in Northern Ireland is making progress, despite gloomy headlines’

‘Integration in Northern Ireland is making progress, despite gloomy headlines’

Cross-community action on culture, sport and schools shows that historical divisions are slowly eroding, says Brian Coney.

The Guardian

‘The pandemic revolutionised abortion access’

‘The pandemic revolutionised abortion access’

To reverse the 'pills by post' policy now would not only lose the accessibility benefits, and other bonuses like reduced waiting times, but experts also fear reversing the provision could have the dangerous unintended side effect of diverting more women to illegal methods of abortion, says Sophie Gallagher.

The Independent

‘Crackdowns on child abuse in the Catholic Church have been toothless – this time we’ll root it out for good’

‘Crackdowns on child abuse in the Catholic Church have been toothless – this time we’ll root it out for good’

Nazir Afzal says he will help the Catholic Church bring in some of the toughest safeguarding measures in the country – failure to protect children will not be tolerated.

iNews

‘Freedom of religion or freedom for religion?’

‘Freedom of religion or freedom for religion?’

Haldun Gülalp explains why critiques of secularism, especially in France, fundamentally misunderstand the principles of equality and human rights on which it is based.

openDemocracy

India: Doctors furious over yoga guru's Covid remark

India: Doctors furious over yoga guru's Covid remark

Doctors in India have hit out against yoga guru Baba Ramdev over his controversial statements against modern medicine.

BBC

'Vaccines are satanic': Bolivia battles fake news in inoculation drive

'Vaccines are satanic': Bolivia battles fake news in inoculation drive

Health workers and officials have raised concerns about low turnout at some vaccination sites, saying jabs are going to waste. They blame fake news campaigns that have included leaflets saying vaccines contain "satanic" material.

Reuters

Timor-Leste begins to reckon with alleged Catholic church sex abuse

Timor-Leste begins to reckon with alleged Catholic church sex abuse

The trial of defrocked priest Richard Daschbach, charged with sexual abuse of 14 girls, is dividing the small, deeply Catholic country.

The Guardian

‘Inside the hell of Mother Teresa's “cult”’

‘Inside the hell of Mother Teresa's “cult”’

Women who gave up everything to follow Mother Teresa and devote their lives to her Missionaries of Charity are now sharing shocking insights into the closed Catholic congregation in a new podcast that sees them comparing the religious group to a cult.

Mail Online

Mon, 24 May 2021

Campaign group hits out ‘discriminative’ Oldham faith school

Campaign group hits out ‘discriminative’ Oldham faith school

An Oldham group is campaigning for an end to "religious selection" and "discrimination" in the borough's schools, including the new Brian Clarke Church of England Academy.

The Oldham Times

Same-sex marriage: Church of Scotland to consider new legislation

Same-sex marriage: Church of Scotland to consider new legislation

The Church of Scotland is set to consider legislation allowing ministers and deacons to conduct same-sex marriages.

The Herald*

Binmen kick up a stink in support of suspended Batley teacher

Binmen kick up a stink in support of suspended Batley teacher

Tutor who lackedsupport after suspension for showing picture of Mohammed finds unlikely allies in the Bury branch of Unite.

The Telegraph*

Prayers as part of Isle of Wight council meeting ‘discriminates in so many ways’ argues councillor

Prayers as part of Isle of Wight council meeting ‘discriminates in so many ways’ argues councillor

An Isle of Wight councillor is trying once again to end prayers being said at the start of full Isle of Wight Council meetings.

On The Wight

Bill that would make assisted dying legal to be debated in Lords amid claims of 'huge public support'

Bill that would make assisted dying legal to be debated in Lords amid claims of 'huge public support'

Campaigners in favour of legalising assisted dying have welcomed a cross-party attempt to change the law due to begin this week.

Sky News

Illegal schools: Government accused of ‘unacceptable’ delays to crackdown

Illegal schools: Government accused of ‘unacceptable’ delays to crackdown

The government has been accused of "unacceptable" delays to its crackdown on illegal schools, as new figures show tip-offs to Ofsted now average 12 a month.

Schools Week

Top imam who helps police to spot extremists labelled Israel a 'terrorist state'

Top imam who helps police to spot extremists labelled Israel a 'terrorist state'

Priti Patel has ordered an inquiry into a prominent Muslim cleric paid by the Government to combat extremism after he told an angry crowd that Israel is a 'terrorist state'.

Mail Online

Ireland: Woman who gave birth at mother and baby home sues over commission finding

Ireland: Woman who gave birth at mother and baby home sues over commission finding

A woman who gave birth at a mother and baby home has brought a High Court challenge over a finding by the commission that investigated the homes that there was no evidence that births at those facilities had been illegally registered.

The Irish Times*

‘Germany's quiet Catholic rebellion on gay blessings and women preachers’

‘Germany's quiet Catholic rebellion on gay blessings and women preachers’

In March the Vatican released a stern pronouncement, calling same-sex unions "sinful" and reiterating a ban on priests giving blessings to same-sex unions. This is something individual, liberally minded priests sometimes do - but until now rarely in public.

BBC

Almost half of US millennials ‘don’t know, believe or care if God exists’, study finds

Almost half of US millennials ‘don’t know, believe or care if God exists’, study finds

More than four in ten millennials in the United States do not know, believe or care if God exists, according to Arizona Christian University research.

The Independent

Alabama lifts its ban on yoga in schools

Alabama lifts its ban on yoga in schools

For the first time in three decades, yoga can be taught, but the law will still bar teachers from using Sanskrit names for poses.

The New York Times*

‘My fellow Hindus sued me for raising alarms about Hindu supremacy’

‘My fellow Hindus sued me for raising alarms about Hindu supremacy’

The founders of Hindus for Human Rights are being sued by one of the largest, and wealthiest, Hindu organisations in the United States: the Hindu American Foundation.

Religion News Service

Fri, 21 May 2021

Archbishop of Canterbury apologises to abused participants in Christian camps

Archbishop of Canterbury apologises to abused participants in Christian camps

The archbishop of Canterbury has issued a "full personal apology" to survivors of sadistic abuse perpetrated by a QC in the 1970s and 80s against public schoolboys who attended Christian holiday camps.

The Guardian

CofE: Collective worship in Church schools ‘must have clear Christian message’

CofE: Collective worship in Church schools ‘must have clear Christian message’

Collective worship in Church of England schools must have a clear and authentic Christian message, the C of E Education Office's new guidance document says.

Church Times*

C of E fund awards £9 million to expand ministry among ‘Generation Z’

C of E fund awards £9 million to expand ministry among ‘Generation Z’

Grants of more than £9 million have been awarded to expand the Church of England's ministry among "Generation Z", 11- to 25-year-olds — many of whom have never set foot inside a church.

Church Times*

Birmingham cleric calls for Islamic holy war on Israel

Birmingham cleric calls for Islamic holy war on Israel

Radical Birmingham cleric Shaykh Asrar Rashid has called on Muslim states to wage holy war and launch air strikes to drive "cowardly" Jews out of Israel.

The Jewish Chronicle

‘Britain must investigate its Islamist “dawa” networks’

‘Britain must investigate its Islamist “dawa” networks’

If Boris Johnson's government avoids tackling the ideological infrastructure of Islamism, the UK will be forced not only to deal with spasmodic eruptions of violence, but with a fracturing of society, says Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

The Spectator*

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