Wed, 07 Oct 2020

France plans punishment for 'virginity tests'

France plans punishment for 'virginity tests'

The French government plans to introduce jail terms and fines for doctors who provide controversial so-called "virginity certificates" for traditional religious marriages.

BBC

Cardinal Pell accuser denies bribe

Cardinal Pell accuser denies bribe

An Australian man who accused Cardinal George Pell of sexually abusing him denied Monday he was bribed for his testimony, shooting down the latest conspiracy theory to roil the Vatican amid a corruption investigation into its shady finances.

Associated Press

Court acquits Pakistani Christian sentenced to death for blasphemy

Court acquits Pakistani Christian sentenced to death for blasphemy

A Christian man who was sentenced to death on charges of blasphemy has been acquitted by a court in Pakistan.

Premier Christian News

Rihanna apologises after using Islamic scripture in lingerie show

Rihanna apologises after using Islamic scripture in lingerie show

Singer Rihanna has apologised to the Muslim community after a hadith was featured during part of her Savage X Fenty lingerie fashion show.

Metro

Kenya: MP  seeks ban on traditional circumcision methods

Kenya: MP seeks ban on traditional circumcision methods

Traditional methods of circumcision will be outlawed if parliament enacts Kandara MP Alice Wahome's Bill on male genital cutting.

The Star

'Dalit women are among the most oppressed in the world'

'Dalit women are among the most oppressed in the world'

These women, who comprise about 16% of India's female population, face a "triple burden" of gender bias, caste discrimination and economic deprivation.

BBC

Tue, 06 Oct 2020

GP who performed illegal circumcision fined

GP who performed illegal circumcision fined

A Leytonstone GP who performed an illegal circumcision has been fined £4,000 after a four-week-old baby was admitted to hospital following the procedure.

East London & West Essex Guardian

DUP councillor praises UVF member who said Catholics should be burnt to death

DUP councillor praises UVF member who said Catholics should be burnt to death

A DUP councillor has been criticised by his own party after he supported a murdered Ulster Volunteer Force member who described Catholics as "fenian scum" and said they should be incinerated.

Irish News

Police apply for injunction against Christian preacher in Somerset

Police apply for injunction against Christian preacher in Somerset

Avon and Somerset Police have applied to the High Court for an injunction against a Christian preacher, arguing his behaviour could cause "significant risk or harm to others".

Premier Christian News

Brother of Brit killed by ISIS warns radicalisation is rising in lockdown

Brother of Brit killed by ISIS warns radicalisation is rising in lockdown

Mike Haines, brother of aid worker David who was beheaded by Islamic State in 2014, has said online grooming is getting worse since the start of lockdown.

The Mirror

British children groomed by far-right video games showing Muslims being beheaded

British children groomed by far-right video games showing Muslims being beheaded

Recent games distributed across UK include ones that show Muslims being stabbed and decapitated, Jews being gunned down in a synagogue and black people being shot.

The Mirror

Church of Scotland approves growth plan after fears of £20m loss

Church of Scotland approves growth plan after fears of £20m loss

The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland has approved a growth plan in Edinburgh, amid fears the Kirk's annual income could fall by an estimated £20 million this year.

Edinburgh Evening News

Cardinal Pell demands inquiry into ‘Vatican bribes paid to convict him’

Cardinal Pell demands inquiry into ‘Vatican bribes paid to convict him’

The lawyer who defended Cardinal George Pell against charges of molesting choirboys has demanded a full investigation into allegations that Vatican money was used to secure his conviction in an effort to stop him exposing its corrupt finances.

The Times (£)

Pakistan: Professor shoots dead Ahmadi Muslim academic after arguing over religious differences

Pakistan: Professor shoots dead Ahmadi Muslim academic after arguing over religious differences

A Muslim professor shot and killed another professor from the Ahmadi Muslim community in the northwestern city of Peshawar, Pakistan on Monday.

Mail Online

'Why is it so hard for atheists to get voted in to Congress?'

'Why is it so hard for atheists to get voted in to Congress?'

In this era of increasing diversity and the breaking of long-rigid political-demographic barriers, there is no self-identifying atheist in national politics.

The Conversation

'The Babri Masjid verdict is a dark day for India'

'The Babri Masjid verdict is a dark day for India'

Nearly thirty years after the destruction of the mosque by Hindu fanatics, the court judgment confirms fears for India's future.

New Humanist

Mon, 05 Oct 2020

Parents claim 'discrimination' after council withdraws free bus passes for faith school pupils

Parents claim 'discrimination' after council withdraws free bus passes for faith school pupils

Stockport council says it has taken the 'difficult decision' to withdraw free bus passes for faith school pupils in the face of huge financial pressures. But angry parents say it is tantamount to 'discrimination' and shows an 'utter disrespect' of their Catholic faith.

Manchester Evening News

Iranian Muslims who converted to Christianity win right to remain in landmark case

Iranian Muslims who converted to Christianity win right to remain in landmark case

Muslim Iranians who have converted to Christianity have won a landmark fight with home secretary Priti Patel to remain in Scotland in UK test case that is understood to impact on hundreds of potential asylum seeker claims.

The Herald

Bishop under investigation for giving paedophile vicar a reference

Bishop under investigation for giving paedophile vicar a reference

The Bishop of Carlisle is being investigated by the Church of England after he provided a character reference for paedophile priest Robert Bailey.

Swindon Advertiser

Church of Scotland ‘sorry’ over role in child migrant scheme

Church of Scotland ‘sorry’ over role in child migrant scheme

Thousands of children, generally between the age of three and 14, were sent overseas to countries such as Australia and New Zealand in an attempt to give them a better life. Instead, however, many children were abused.

STV News

'Comedians are vital allies in the fight for free speech'

'Comedians are vital allies in the fight for free speech'

The hate crime bill is a law which if introduced could change comedy – and free speech – forever, says Hardeep Singh.

The Spectator

'Spotlight: Conversion controversy'

'Spotlight: Conversion controversy'

Two NI GPs speak about their trauma as a result of what they say was LGBT 'conversion therapy', as the Prime Minister commits to pushing forward with legislation to ban the practice.

BBC

Macron unveils separatism bill aimed at promoting secularism

Macron unveils separatism bill aimed at promoting secularism

President Emmanuel Macron on Friday outlined new legislation aimed at groups considered hostile to France and French values.

France24

US: Report finds flaws in Catholic Church abuse-prevention plans

US: Report finds flaws in Catholic Church abuse-prevention plans

Child-protection policies adopted by Roman Catholic leaders to curb clergy sex abuse in the United States are inconsistent and often worryingly incomplete, according to a think tank's two-year investigation encompassing all 32 of the country's archdioceses.

Associated Pres

US: Freedom From Religion group sues Alabama over ‘So help me God’ voter oath

US: Freedom From Religion group sues Alabama over ‘So help me God’ voter oath

The Freedom From Religion Foundation has filed a federal lawsuit challenging Alabama's mandatory religious oath for voter registration.

AL.com

New Zealand ruling party vows to ban efforts to alter sexual orientation

New Zealand ruling party vows to ban efforts to alter sexual orientation

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's centre-left government vowed on Monday to ban conversion therapy, which aims to change a person's sexual orientation.

Reuters

'Has Mubarak Bala been killed?'

'Has Mubarak Bala been killed?'

There are speculations that the president of the Humanist Association of Nigeria, Mubarak Bala, has been murdered in prison in Kano, Northern Nigeria. He was arrested after criticising Islam.

Modern Ghana

'India’s caste system is broken – it’s time to tear it down and rebuild the nation'

'India’s caste system is broken – it’s time to tear it down and rebuild the nation'

We must stand up for our brothers and sisters' rights and privileges, no matter what class-system they are in, says Peony Hirwani.

The Independent

Fri, 02 Oct 2020

Equality law failing to protect people from faith-based discrimination, says report - NSS quoted

Equality law failing to protect people from faith-based discrimination, says report - NSS quoted

The National Secular Society report, which marks the 10th anniversary of Equality Act, says religious exceptions within the Act means discrimination against the non-religious and members of religious minorities remains lawful across key areas of public life.

Ekklesia

Medical director with incurable cancer calls for a review of assisted dying laws

Medical director with incurable cancer calls for a review of assisted dying laws

A leading professor with incurable cancer has called for a review of assisted dying laws saying "I want some control in my final days".

Sky News

Christian street preacher loses appeal against conviction for ranting ‘all Muslims are going to hell’

Christian street preacher loses appeal against conviction for ranting ‘all Muslims are going to hell’

A Christian street preacher, once awarded £2,500 for 'wrongful arrest' and the confiscation of his Bible, has lost his appeal against conviction for ranting: 'All Muslims are going to hell.'

Mail Online

Teenage boy ‘developed extreme views and made homemade bombs during lockdown’

Teenage boy ‘developed extreme views and made homemade bombs during lockdown’

A 14-year-old boy developed extreme views influenced by Islamic State and attempted to make homemade bombs during the coronavirus lockdown, a court has heard.

The Evening Standard

Leading Irish atheist criticises disinvitation of Richard Dawkins

Leading Irish atheist criticises disinvitation of Richard Dawkins

The chair of Atheist Ireland Michael Nugent has written to the Historical Society at Trinity College Dublin asking it to reconsider its recent decision to drop Professor Richard Dawkins from its 2021 list of speakers.

The Freethinker (Patheos)

UN calls on Nigeria to scrap death penalty for musician who shared a ‘blasphemous’ song

UN calls on Nigeria to scrap death penalty for musician who shared a ‘blasphemous’ song

The UN has called on Nigeria to scrap the death sentence handed to a musician by a Sharia court for sharing a 'blasphemous' song on WhatsApp.

Mail Online

US: Roman Catholic diocese declares bankruptcy to protect itself from wave of sexual abuse lawsuits

US: Roman Catholic diocese declares bankruptcy to protect itself from wave of sexual abuse lawsuits

A Roman Catholic diocese in New York City's suburbs has become the largest in the US to declare bankruptcy to protect itself from a wave of lawsuits filed over past sexual abuse by clergy members.

Mail Online

US: Lawsuits challenge Virginia's sexual orientation protections

US: Lawsuits challenge Virginia's sexual orientation protections

A conservative legal group has filed lawsuits challenging a new Virginia law that bars discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

ABC News

US: Amy Coney Barrett supported group that said life begins at fertilization

US: Amy Coney Barrett supported group that said life begins at fertilization

Amy Coney Barrett, the Trump administration's supreme court nominee, publicly supported an organization in 2006 that has said life begins at fertilization.

The Guardian

Canada reintroduces bill banning LGBT conversion therapy

Canada reintroduces bill banning LGBT conversion therapy

Canada has reintroduced a bill on Thursday that will criminalize LGBT conversion therapy, a federal minister said after an earlier effort to ban the practice failed as the parliament was discontinued due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Reuters

Proposal to ease Malawi's strict abortion laws faces religious opposition

Proposal to ease Malawi's strict abortion laws faces religious opposition

Religious leaders in the mainly Christian country strongly oppose widening access to abortion and are threatening to protest if the new bill is tabled.

Reuters

Japan Catholic Church sued for damages in alleged sex abuse

Japan Catholic Church sued for damages in alleged sex abuse

A woman has filed a suit against the Roman Catholic Church in Japan alleging that a priest raped her four decades ago, as the church's unfolding worldwide sexual abuse crisis gradually reaches Japan.

The Japan Times

Thu, 01 Oct 2020

Scottish Government look to extend 'abortion at home' beyond pandemic

Scottish Government look to extend 'abortion at home' beyond pandemic

Restrictions on abortions at home could soon be lifted permanently, with the Scottish Government looking to keep emergency changes made as a result of the coronavirus beyond the pandemic.

The National

Anti-abortion protesters deter women from going into clinics, say providers

Anti-abortion protesters deter women from going into clinics, say providers

Anti-abortion protesters have deterred women seeking abortions from going into clinics as well as entering healthcare services to hunt down staff, frontline service providers warned.

The Independent

John Cleese speaks out about 'disastrous' Scots hate crime bill

John Cleese speaks out about 'disastrous' Scots hate crime bill

Comedian John Cleese has spoken out over a "disastrous" attack on free speech during a debate on Scotland's hate crime bill.

The Herald

Ex-Vatican treasurer Pell heads back to Rome from Australia

Ex-Vatican treasurer Pell heads back to Rome from Australia

Former Vatican treasurer George Pell is traveling to Rome this week for the first time since he was acquitted of child sex abuse charges in Australia, a Catholic church spokeswoman has confirmed.

Reuters

Sri Lanka government decides to ban cattle slaughter

Sri Lanka government decides to ban cattle slaughter

An analyst said the decision was politically motivated to please the Buddhist majority and would harm dairy farmers.

The Independent

Ex-Muslims release “persecution tracker” to catalogue alleged blasphemy cases

Ex-Muslims release “persecution tracker” to catalogue alleged blasphemy cases

Ex-Muslims of North America says it is tracking "accounts of hate and violence motivated by Islamic intolerance."

Patheos (Friendly Atheist)

'Caste in India: What are Dalits and how prevalent is casteism in modern-day society?'

'Caste in India: What are Dalits and how prevalent is casteism in modern-day society?'

The brutal gang-rape and death of a woman from India's Dalit community, formerly known as the untouchables, has again put a spotlight on the country's rigid system of Hindu hierarchy.

The Independent

Facing IS, last embattled Sikhs, Hindus leave Afghanistan

Facing IS, last embattled Sikhs, Hindus leave Afghanistan

Afghanistan's dwindling community of Sikhs and Hindus is shrinking to its lowest levels ever.

The Independent

Jihadists attempted terror attacks every fortnight in Europe since ISIS fall, study finds

Jihadists attempted terror attacks every fortnight in Europe since ISIS fall, study finds

The Counter Extremism Group catalogued 33 known plots in Europe over 15 months since the Islamic State collapsed.

The Telegraph (£)

'I’m a feminist everywhere except at church'

'I’m a feminist everywhere except at church'

"I still can't help feeling like less of an important member of the church than the male members because of rules that place them on a blatant pedestal."

Metro

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