Mon, 08 Oct 2018

FGM awareness campaign launched across UK

FGM awareness campaign launched across UK

A campaign raising awareness of the dangers of female genital mutilation (FGM) has been launched by the government as the practice remains "cloaked in secrecy".

The Independent

Kavanaugh confirmation could affect abortion and contraception in US

Kavanaugh confirmation could affect abortion and contraception in US

Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation to the Supreme Court on Saturday is widely expected to swing America's highest court to the right for generation. It could affect abortion rights and access to contraception, with Kavanaugh's record suggesting he will side with religious groups on these issues.

The Independent

Romania marriage poll: Referendum on definition fails

Romania marriage poll: Referendum on definition fails

A referendum to establish a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage in Romania has failed after only a fifth of voters bothered to turn out.

BBC

Pakistani Christian woman faces final hearing as death sentence for ‘blasphemy’ looms

Pakistani Christian woman faces final hearing as death sentence for ‘blasphemy’ looms

Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian woman accused of blasphemy in 2009, is scheduled for her final appeal against execution today.

Conatus News

‘I was an Isis sex slave. I tell my story because it is the best weapon I have’

‘I was an Isis sex slave. I tell my story because it is the best weapon I have’

Nobel peace prize winner Nadia Murad describes her extraordinary journey from suffering at the hands of Islamic State to human rights campaigner.

The Guardian

New Zealand's 'degrading' abortion ban breaches human rights, say activists

New Zealand's 'degrading' abortion ban breaches human rights, say activists

An abortion advocacy group in New Zealand has brought a discrimination complaint over the country's abortion laws before its human rights commission.

The Guardian

Fri, 05 Oct 2018

Supreme Court set to announce decision in Ashers ‘gay cake’ case next week

Supreme Court set to announce decision in Ashers ‘gay cake’ case next week

The UK's highest court is to rule next week on whether the Christian owners of a bakery discriminated against a customer by refusing to make a cake decorated with the words "Support Gay Marriage".

Belfast Telegraph

MSP calls for review over potential ban on flying Vatican flag ‘in a provocative manner’

MSP calls for review over potential ban on flying Vatican flag ‘in a provocative manner’

MSPs have raised objections to a Police Scotland document that said displaying the Vatican flag in a "provocative manner" could be a criminal offence.

Scottish Catholic Observer

The police list of flags that could be criminal offence to fly in Scotland

The police list of flags that could be criminal offence to fly in Scotland

An official Police Scotland list of flags which could be a criminal offence to display in a "provocative manner" includes the Irish tricolour, the Israeli and Palestinian flags and the Catalan and Basque flags.

The Herald

Scottish government considers FGM protection orders to stop at-risk girls being taken abroad

Scottish government considers FGM protection orders to stop at-risk girls being taken abroad

Special protection orders could be introduced in Scotland in a bid to prevent women and girls at risk of female general mutilation from being taken abroad.

Belfast Telegraph

Two Pride events in Highlands and Islands this weekend

Two Pride events in Highlands and Islands this weekend

This weekend will see two new LGBT Pride events happening in the Hebrides and Inverness as the Highlands and Islands bring a record-breaking Pride year to a close in Scotland.

Pink Saltire

Transgender woman who grew up in Charedi community welcomes plan to ban conversion therapy

Transgender woman who grew up in Charedi community welcomes plan to ban conversion therapy

A transgender woman who grew up in the Charedi Jewish community has welcomed the government's proposal to outlaw conversion therapy.

The JC

Sweden Democrats propose ban on infant circumcision

Sweden Democrats propose ban on infant circumcision

One of the leaders of the Sweden Democrats party has submitted a non-binding draft motion to the Swedish parliament calling for a ban on non-medical circumcision of boys.

Arutz Sheva

Pupils will have to opt in for religious instruction in Irish state schools

Pupils will have to opt in for religious instruction in Irish state schools

Parents will have to opt their children into religious instruction in state secondary schools under new directions to be issued shortly.

The Irish Times

Romania votes on banning same-sex marriage this weekend

Romania votes on banning same-sex marriage this weekend

Romanians are set to vote on a referendum that would outlaw same-sex marriage.

DW

Some see Christian First bias in Trump foreign policy

Some see Christian First bias in Trump foreign policy

Evangelical Christians came out aggressively for Donald Trump in the 2016 US presidential election. As president, Trump has returned the favour, delivering for the Christian right — not just at home, but also overseas.

Politico

Thu, 04 Oct 2018

‘From RE to religion and worldviews’

‘From RE to religion and worldviews’

Dr John Hall, the chair of the Commission on Religious Education, outlines and explains the proposals it has made.

SecEd

NI police service considering quotas for Catholics

NI police service considering quotas for Catholics

The Police Service of Northern Ireland is considering re-introducing quotas to encourage Catholic officers to join the force.

Crux

Dozens of victims of FGM treated in Northamptonshire

Dozens of victims of FGM treated in Northamptonshire

More than 50 victims of female genital mutilation were seen by NHS staff in hospitals across Northamptonshire in the last year.

Northampton Chronicle & Echo

Chile's most senior Catholic Church figure sidesteps prosecutor questioning

Chile's most senior Catholic Church figure sidesteps prosecutor questioning

The archbishop of Santiago, the most senior figure in Chile's Catholic Church, has exercised his right to silence after being summoned for questioning over allegations he helped cover up child abuse.

Reuters

Neutral clothing requirements proposed for Quebec public workers

Neutral clothing requirements proposed for Quebec public workers

Canadian public employees may not be allowed to wear religious clothing under a law being proposed in Quebec.

The Telegraph

Woman wearing hijab was entitled to testify, Quebec top court rules

Woman wearing hijab was entitled to testify, Quebec top court rules

Quebec's top court has ruled that a judge was wrong to deny a hearing to a woman wearing a hijab.

The Globe And Mail

Irish anti-abortion doctors in conscientious objection row

Irish anti-abortion doctors in conscientious objection row

A row over conscientious objection has broken out in Ireland as legislation to introduce abortion services is brought before parliament on Thursday.

BBC

Turkey’s Atheism Association will shut down after membership becomes too risky

Turkey’s Atheism Association will shut down after membership becomes too risky

A group called the Atheism Association in Turkey has been forced to shut down.

Patheos

India begins first deportations of Rohingya to Myanmar

India begins first deportations of Rohingya to Myanmar

Indian police bussed seven Rohingya Muslims to the border on Wednesday to be deported to neighbouring Myanmar (Burma) in the first move against the group. Narendra Modi's Hindu nationalist government has ordered state governments last year to identify and deport illegal Rohingya immigrants.

Reuters

US asks same-sex partners of UN staff to get married to keep their visas

US asks same-sex partners of UN staff to get married to keep their visas

The US State Department has begun imposing a new policy that restricts visas for the same-sex partners of staff of US-based international organisations, such as the UN, the World Bank and the IMF. The US will now issue only issue partners with the visas they need to stay in the country if the couple is legally married.

NBC News

Einstein’s letter belittling God and religion will be auctioned for $1m or more

Einstein’s letter belittling God and religion will be auctioned for $1m or more

A letter in which Albert Einstein explicitly rejected God and religion will be auctioned in December for the second time since the famous physicist wrote it a year before his death.

The Washington Post

US Catholics’ confidence in pope plummets

US Catholics’ confidence in pope plummets

Confidence in Pope Francis's handling of the sexual abuse scandal that has engulfed the Catholic church this year has fallen sharply among the faithful in the US, a new survey shows.

The Guardian

Wed, 03 Oct 2018

Civil partnerships to be opened up to heterosexual couples

Civil partnerships to be opened up to heterosexual couples

All couples in England and Wales will be able to choose to have a civil partnership rather than get married, Theresa May has announced.

BBC

Christian groups criticise civil partnerships decision

Christian groups criticise civil partnerships decision

Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell has welcomed the move to legalise opposite-sex civil partnerships. James Mildred, from the Christian Action Research and Education group, has said there is "a real danger" the decision "will just further undermine marriage".

The Telegraph

Forced marriage victims will be able to block abusers entering Britain

Forced marriage victims will be able to block abusers entering Britain

Victims of forced marriage will be able to block their abusers from entering Britain in an overhaul of immigration rules.

The Times (£)

'Baptism barrier' to be lifted in Ireland’s schools today

'Baptism barrier' to be lifted in Ireland’s schools today

The Irish government's ban on the use of religion in enrolment procedures could force hundreds of schools to amend policies for applications for entry next year. The education minister will sign an order bringing the restriction into effect this morning.

Irish Examiner

Tories’ London mayoral pick bemoaned decline of shared Christian celebrations

Tories’ London mayoral pick bemoaned decline of shared Christian celebrations

Shaun Bailey, the Conservative party's candidate for mayor of London, wrote of his concern at the removal of Christianity in Britain in a pamphlet in 2005. He also criticised accommodations being made for Muslims and Hindus.

The Guardian

Scottish council to take part in gay pride march in defiance of petition

Scottish council to take part in gay pride march in defiance of petition

A council is to take part in a gay pride march in the Highlands which was the subject of a petition seeking a ban.

The Herald

LGBT groups criticise Romania’s vote to rule out same-sex marriage

LGBT groups criticise Romania’s vote to rule out same-sex marriage

This weekend Romania will vote on whether to narrow the constitutional definition of marriage from a union of spouses to one between a man and a woman. Human rights groups have warned the vote will embolden attempts to chip away at the rights of minority groups.

Reuters

Abortion opponents in Ireland to fight to make ‘burials’ mandatory

Abortion opponents in Ireland to fight to make ‘burials’ mandatory

Anti-abortion campaigners in Ireland are lobbying to make it mandatory for a burial to be held after a pregnancy is terminated as parliamentarians prepare to legalise abortions.

The Times (£)

Catholics will not defend ‘obsolete’ law on blasphemy in Ireland

Catholics will not defend ‘obsolete’ law on blasphemy in Ireland

Campaigners who fought against marriage equality and abortion legalisation in Ireland have said they do not intend to oppose the removal of blasphemy from the constitution.

The Times (£)

French police raid Muslim club in counter-terror swoop

French police raid Muslim club in counter-terror swoop

French police raided a Shi'ite Muslim faith centre and arrested three of its leaders for illegal weapons possession in pre-dawn swoops on Tuesday that government officials said were prompted by suspicion of links to terrorist organisations.

Reuters

US may place further restrictions on China over its crackdown on Muslims

US may place further restrictions on China over its crackdown on Muslims

The Trump administration is reviewing ways to clamp down on the export of US technology that China's government could use in its surveillance and internment of minority Muslims.

VoA

California's Catholic bishops targeted in sex abuse lawsuit

California's Catholic bishops targeted in sex abuse lawsuit

A man who says he was sexually abused decades ago by his parish priest has said he is suing all Catholic bishops in California and the archdiocese of Chicago, seeking to compel church officials to release records on clergy abuse.

NBC News

Tue, 02 Oct 2018

Judges’ service held again at Westminster Abbey

Judges’ service held again at Westminster Abbey

The dean of Westminster has conducted this year's judges' service, an Anglican ceremony marking the beginning of the legal year.

Mail Online

New head ‘promises’ Downside pupils are safe after abuse report

New head ‘promises’ Downside pupils are safe after abuse report

The new head of a Catholic school has "absolutely promised" children are safe after a report found the school hid allegations of historical child abuse.

BBC

Government to fund repair of Manchester churches

Government to fund repair of Manchester churches

Two government-funded programmes for listed places of worship, totalling almost £3m, have been launched.

Church Times

Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu to retire

Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu to retire

The Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu has announced his retirement.

BBC

‘The Satanic Verses affair sowed the seeds of rifts that have grown ever wider’

‘The Satanic Verses affair sowed the seeds of rifts that have grown ever wider’

Kenan Malik says 30 years after Muslims reacted furiously to Salman Rushdie's novel, we've yet to learn the right lessons.

The Observer

‘We are all Ayatollahs now’

‘We are all Ayatollahs now’

Brendan O'Neill says the ayatollah Khomeini "has won", 30 years on from the publication of The Satanic Verses.

Spiked Online

Mosque has trustee on board who sold phones stolen from teenagers

Mosque has trustee on board who sold phones stolen from teenagers

A new Islamic centre in Sheffield responsible for the care and education of children has appointed to a key position a convicted criminal who sold mobile phones stolen from teenagers.

The Sunday Telegraph

‘Denominational education in Ireland defies equality’

‘Denominational education in Ireland defies equality’

Peter Gunning says it "makes no sense" for one church to claim ownership of Irish schools' ethos and religious schools should "stop playing the pretend game".

The Irish Times

Chile’s Catholic Church criticised over guidelines on sexual abuse

Chile’s Catholic Church criticised over guidelines on sexual abuse

Victims' groups have said Chile's Catholic Church has "poor judgement" after a manual published on the website of Santiago's archbishop instructed priests and other church workers not to "touch the genitals of" or "sleep with" children.

Reuters

‘Pakistan’s Ahmadis are fearful as leaders bow to extremists’

‘Pakistan’s Ahmadis are fearful as leaders bow to extremists’

Kathy Gannon says Imran Khan's concessions to religious hardliners have underscored the Ahmadis' fraught position in Pakistan.

AP News

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