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Fri, 08 Jan 2021

‘Speaking out on sex and marriage in Charedi communities’

‘Speaking out on sex and marriage in Charedi communities’

Yehudis Fletcher campaigns against ignorance and abuse in her Charedi community - after she courageously gave evidence against a man who assaulted her.

The JC

‘Helping the British academic imprisoned in Iran is Boris Johnson’s chance to redeem himself’

‘Helping the British academic imprisoned in Iran is Boris Johnson’s chance to redeem himself’

"Ahmady's crime? He did research on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and child marriage in Iran, often focusing on Iranian minority groups."

The Independent

Bulgaria: Thousands of Orthodox Christians ignore COVID warnings on Epiphany

Bulgaria: Thousands of Orthodox Christians ignore COVID warnings on Epiphany

Thousands of Orthodox Christian worshippers in Bulgaria on Wednesday ignored warnings issued by health authorities to abstain from mass gatherings due to the coronavirus pandemic and kept instead to their centuries-old Epiphany traditions.

Associated Press

‘White Christian nationalists behind terrorist assault on US Capitol’

‘White Christian nationalists behind terrorist assault on US Capitol’

"Many of the Trump-loving domestic terrorists who stormed the U.S. Capitol yesterday were White Christian Nationalists, waving Christian flags, holding signs praising Jesus, and saying prayers after they broke into the building."

Progressive Secular Humanist (Patheos)

‘Brazilian women head to Argentina to avoid abortion ban’

‘Brazilian women head to Argentina to avoid abortion ban’

The trend in Brazilian women seeking abortions elsewhere in Latin America underscores not only how Argentina's progressive social policy diverges from Brazil's conservative one, but also the likelihood that more Brazilian women will seek abortions in the neighbouring nation.

Associated Press

Thu, 07 Jan 2021

It is unsafe to keep our churches open, clergy say

It is unsafe to keep our churches open, clergy say

The Government's exemption of public worship in the new lockdown, which started on Wednesday, is meeting resistance from clergy in areas where the number of coronavirus infections is highest.

Church Times*

‘Give religious leaders vaccine priority’ says Conservative Senedd member

‘Give religious leaders vaccine priority’ says Conservative Senedd member

A Conservative Senedd Member has called for religious leaders to be given priority access to Covid vaccinations.

Nation Cymru

Royal Mail ordered to pay £230,000 to harassed Hindu ex-worker

Royal Mail ordered to pay £230,000 to harassed Hindu ex-worker

Mathan Shunmugaraja, who is a Hindu, was called a "sly dog" by one colleague and was embroiled in a dispute with another over the use of a room in which he was mistaken for a Muslim.

The Guardian*

French teachers afraid to offend after jihadist murder

French teachers afraid to offend after jihadist murder

Nearly half of French secondary school teachers are avoiding or downplaying subjects such as sexuality, the Holocaust and evolution to avoid angering Muslim pupils, a survey suggests.

The Times*

Germany: Catholic officials ask reporters for 'silence' on child abuse report

Germany: Catholic officials ask reporters for 'silence' on child abuse report

Reporters walked out of a press event in Cologne after church officials asked them to sign a confidentiality agreement. The officials were due to discuss issues around a key report on child abuse.

Deutsche Welle

US: Yoga studio using religious exemption to stay open amid gym shutdown orders

US: Yoga studio using religious exemption to stay open amid gym shutdown orders

A yoga studio in Washington state is staying open amid state shutdown orders after its founder claimed it has a religious exemption.

Business Insider

India’s Supreme Court accepts pleas by activists challenging new law that targets interfaith couples

India’s Supreme Court accepts pleas by activists challenging new law that targets interfaith couples

The anti-conversion law has been criticised by rights group as violative of individual freedom.

The Independent

‘China brings its cruel crackdown on Uighur advocates to the US’

‘China brings its cruel crackdown on Uighur advocates to the US’

China's Communist regime has become increasingly aggressive in its efforts to shut down foreign critics, including in the United States and other Western democracies.

The Washington Post*

‘Female genital mutilation: The woman fighting Sierra Leone's ritual’

‘Female genital mutilation: The woman fighting Sierra Leone's ritual’

Despite decades of campaigns, the traditional practice has hardly declined. This doesn't deter Rugiatu Turay from fighting cutting.

Deutsche Welle

Wed, 06 Jan 2021

Covid Scotland: Lockdown ban on church services 'unfair', Catholic bishops claim

Covid Scotland: Lockdown ban on church services 'unfair', Catholic bishops claim

A ban on daily church services during the second coronavirus lockdown has been branded as "arbitrary and unfair" by Scotland's Catholic bishops.

The Herald*

Faith leaders in England urge caution over Covid lockdown exemption

Faith leaders in England urge caution over Covid lockdown exemption

Some clergy expressed anxiety over the exemption in the face of the virus's spread.

The Guardian

Entire congregation must self-isolate after Covid-19 case discovered

Entire congregation must self-isolate after Covid-19 case discovered

An entire congregation in Stafford has been forced to self-isolate after a single church member tested positive for Covid-19.

Premier Christian News

Jacob Rees-Mogg ‘broke Covid rules by crossing tiers to go to church’

Jacob Rees-Mogg ‘broke Covid rules by crossing tiers to go to church’

The Leader of the Commons was spotted at a Latin mass in Glastonbury Somerset, which is under tier four rules, 15 miles away from his home in West Harptree, which is in the less severe third tier.

Metro

Reading stabbings: Man motivated by 'religious jihad'

Reading stabbings: Man motivated by 'religious jihad'

A man who stabbed three people to death in a Reading park believed he was carrying out "an act of religious jihad", a court has heard.

BBC

Ampleforth, the ‘Catholic Eton’, admits it failed to protect its pupils

Ampleforth, the ‘Catholic Eton’, admits it failed to protect its pupils

One of England's most famous Catholic boarding schools, which has been surrounded by abuse scandals for years, has accepted it has "very serious" safeguarding failings as it fights to stave off closure.

The Times*

Greek Church tells priests to ignore pandemic closure order

Greek Church tells priests to ignore pandemic closure order

Greece's powerful Orthodox Church is rebelling against a government order to briefly close places of worship under a weeklong drive to tighten virus restrictions before the planned reopening of schools.

Associated Press

Austria calls for European register of Muslim imams

Austria calls for European register of Muslim imams

Austria has already adopted an obligatory imam registry among other measures aimed at reducing terrorism after a November terror attack in Vienna.

Deutsche Welle

Pakistan court outlaws 'virginity tests' in rape examinations

Pakistan court outlaws 'virginity tests' in rape examinations

The ruling, which applies in Punjab province, will end the practice of physical checks for an intact hymen and the invasive "two-finger test".

BBC

‘Denied a chair, Dalit women confront discrimination on Indian village councils’

‘Denied a chair, Dalit women confront discrimination on Indian village councils’

Priya Periyasamy is among at least 16 women village council leaders in Tamil Nadu state who have filed complaints in the last six months over discrimination for being Dalits - considered India's lowest caste in an ancient social hierarchy.

Reuters

Tue, 05 Jan 2021

Places of worship in England escape new lockdown rules

Places of worship in England escape new lockdown rules

Places of worship are not required to close and communal worship is permitted under a new national lockdown announced by the Prime Minister.

Church Times*

Places of worship in Scotland must close as lockdown tightens

Places of worship in Scotland must close as lockdown tightens

Places of worship in Scotland will be required close from Friday until at least the end of the month, as part of a new lockdown announced by the First Minister.

Church Times*

‘Why my Haredi community can't, and won't, deal with sex abusers’

‘Why my Haredi community can't, and won't, deal with sex abusers’

Absolving criminals from within the Jewish community of the need to face retributive justice is a crime against those of us who are most powerless, says Yehudis Fletcher.

Haaretz

Indian comedian charged with insulting Hindu deities after right-wing group crashes show

Indian comedian charged with insulting Hindu deities after right-wing group crashes show

A comedian has been charged by the Indian authorities for "hurting religious sentiments" after a group of right-wing Hindus crashed his show and confronted him over jokes he allegedly made about Hindu deities.

The Independent

‘In the battle over India’s history, Hindu nationalists square off against a respected historian’

‘In the battle over India’s history, Hindu nationalists square off against a respected historian’

Romila Thapar is the subject of attacks by supporters of India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, who view her as an opponent to be discredited.

The Washington Post*

Pakistan coal miners kidnapped and killed in IS attack

Pakistan coal miners kidnapped and killed in IS attack

The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the killing of 11 coal miners in the western Pakistani province of Balochistan.

BBC

At least 100 die in Niger attacks blamed on jihadists

At least 100 die in Niger attacks blamed on jihadists

"Terrorists" have killed around 100 people in two villages in western Niger, the latest in a string of civilian massacres that have rocked the jihadist-plagued Tillaberi region, a local mayor has said.

The Guardian

US: Illinois can't force afterschool ministry to pay unemployment taxes, court rules

US: Illinois can't force afterschool ministry to pay unemployment taxes, court rules

A Christian afterschool is sufficiently religious enough to qualify for an exemption from having to pay into a state insurance program, an appeals court ruled last week.

The Christian Post

‘Christian nationalism's Covid vaccine doubt threatens America's herd immunity’

‘Christian nationalism's Covid vaccine doubt threatens America's herd immunity’

Christian nationalist ideology will almost certainly serve as a barrier for a sizable minority of Americans who need the vaccine, say Andrew L. Whitehead and Samuel L. Perry.

NBC News

Mon, 04 Jan 2021

BBC defends The Goes Wrong Show after complaints it is an ‘insult to Christian religion’

BBC defends The Goes Wrong Show after complaints it is an ‘insult to Christian religion’

In the 30-minute festive play, which aired in December, the fictional Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society put on a disastrous Nativity, in which the baby Jesus is eaten by a sheep.

The Independent

Irish state broadcaster apologises over TV comedy depicting God as rapist

Irish state broadcaster apologises over TV comedy depicting God as rapist

A countdown show on New Year's Eve included a mock news report about God being the latest prominent figure implicated in a sexual harassment scandal.

The Guardian

Western Isles council snubs official sex education teaching for Catholic guide

Western Isles council snubs official sex education teaching for Catholic guide

Every SNP councillor in the Western Isles has endorsed a Catholic teaching pack which upholds the church's stance against gay sex, and snubbed materials provided by the Scottish government.

The Times*

Neurologist who is also a priest criticised by judge in life-support case

Neurologist who is also a priest criticised by judge in life-support case

A neurologist who is also a priest has been criticised by a judge after giving evidence about the condition of a Catholic man at the centre of a life-support treatment dispute.

Premier Christian News

Scottish assisted dying law change now at 'tipping point' in Holyrood

Scottish assisted dying law change now at 'tipping point' in Holyrood

Liberal Democrat Alex Cole-Hamilton said he believed the election of just a "few more" progressive MSPs in next May's Holyrood election is likely to secure majority support for change.

The Scotsman*

Street preacher reported to police for shouting to crowds 'Father Christmas isn't real'

Street preacher reported to police for shouting to crowds 'Father Christmas isn't real'

A Somerset man dubbed 'Britain's most arrested preacher' was reported to police for shouting to crowds 'Father Christmas isn't real.'

Somerset County Gazette

French Muslim ‘beaten over Christmas lunch photo’

French Muslim ‘beaten over Christmas lunch photo’

The son of a police officer was allegedly beaten up by a gang of fellow Muslims for eating a Christmas lunch, with the incident condemned by France's interior minister as the latest example of Islamist attempts to undermine French values.

The Times*

‘Macron’s quest to foster an “enlightened Islam” within a secular France is brave but risky’

‘Macron’s quest to foster an “enlightened Islam” within a secular France is brave but risky’

Macron is determined to reconcile the demands of a modern multicultural society with the proud philosophical and constitutional values of the French republic, says John Keiger.

The Times*

Celebrations in Argentina after landmark abortion law passes

Celebrations in Argentina after landmark abortion law passes

Pro-choice activists celebrated on the streets on Wednesday as Argentina joined a handful of South American nations to legalise abortion, a landmark decision in a country where the Catholic Church has long held sway.

France 24

Campaigner for ex-Muslim women Zara Kay arrested in Tanzania

Campaigner for ex-Muslim women Zara Kay arrested in Tanzania

An Australian woman who has renounced her Islamic faith and campaigns globally for women's rights has been arrested and charged in Tanzania, the country of her birth.

ABC News

Pastafarians and atheists protected under Facebook hate speech rules

Pastafarians and atheists protected under Facebook hate speech rules

The company says that it does not have a comprehensive list of religions but it has listed some groups that are protected under its hate speech rules. These include pastafarians, scientologists, Mormons, Rastafaris, Jehovah's Witnesses and atheists.

The Times*

India: Assam state bans state-run Islamic schools

India: Assam state bans state-run Islamic schools

India's northeastern state of Assam has passed a law abolishing state-run Islamic schools, ahead of local elections next year.

The Independent

Pakistan arrests 14 after mob led by Islamist clerics sets Hindu temple on fire

Pakistan arrests 14 after mob led by Islamist clerics sets Hindu temple on fire

At least 14 arrests were made by Pakistani police in overnight raids on Thursday after a century-old Hindu temple was set on fire and razed by a violent religious mob led by Islamist clerics in northwestern Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region.

The Independent

Car bumper stickers are a new front in India’s caste war

Car bumper stickers are a new front in India’s caste war

Police in Uttar Pradesh have been ordered to crack down on a trend of drivers displaying their caste on bumper or window stickers or custom numberplates.

The Times*

‘Each year, 1,000 Pakistani girls forcibly converted to Islam’

‘Each year, 1,000 Pakistani girls forcibly converted to Islam’

Human rights activists say the practice has accelerated during lockdowns against the coronavirus, when girls are out of school and more visible, bride traffickers are more active on the Internet and families are more in debt.

Yahoo/Associated Press

Thu, 24 Dec 2020

Government promises churches will remain open in tier 4

Government promises churches will remain open in tier 4

The health secretary has said that churches in Tier 4 areas will stay open, and disclosed that he has given a personal assurance to the archbishop of Canterbury.

The Times*

School in Ireland discriminated against Catholic girl by favouring Church of Ireland students

School in Ireland discriminated against Catholic girl by favouring Church of Ireland students

A multi-denominational secondary school discriminated against a Catholic school girl on religious grounds by favouring for admission Church of Ireland students from a local primary school.

The Independent (Ireland)

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