Tue, 05 Jun 2018

Plans for Muslim faith school in Derby rejected due to flood risk

Planning councillors in Derby have rejected plans to build a new Muslim faith school in an area at risk of flooding.

Derby Telegraph

New Spanish PM first to avoid using religious symbols during swearing-in

On Saturday, Pedro Sánchez became the seventh head of government in modern Spanish democracy to take the oath of office, and the first one to do so with no religious symbols present.

El Pais (in English)

‘More radical change is needed to tackle religious control of Ireland’s schools’

This editorial says Ireland has a 19th-century-schools system which is radically out of step with the needs of a 21st-century society, and no child should feel isolated because of their religion or non-religion.

The Irish Times

EU court defends doctor who worked in Catholic hospital’s right to divorce

A Catholic hospital in Germany was not entitled to fire a surgeon because he divorced and remarried in a civil ceremony, the European Court of Justice has been advised.

The Irish Times

Mon, 04 Jun 2018

MPs step up pressure for Northern Ireland abortion reform

MPs are being canvassed to back a plan to force through measures liberalising abortion in Northern Ireland, it has emerged. The group believes they can force all parts of the UK to reconsider their abortion laws by repealing sections of the 1861 Offences against the Person Act.

The Observer

Thousands march in Belfast to demand marriage equality in NI

Thousands of people took to the streets of Northern Ireland on Saturday to demand marriage equality.

Belfast Telegraph

NI same-sex couples marry in Ireland and Great Britain

Dozens of same-sex couples have side-stepped NI's strict marriage laws by getting married elsewhere in the UK or Ireland, BBC News NI has learnt.


Inside Britain's secretive sharia courts

Reporter David Jones spends a day inside the sharia court at Birmingham Central Mosque as he investigates the workings of Britain's sharia courts.

Daily Mail

Sajid Javid says Muslim Council of Britain is unrepresentative amid Tory anti-Muslim claims

The home secretary has said the government does not deal with the Muslim Council of Britain because "too many of their members have had favourable comments on extremists". The comments come as the MCB calls for an independent inquiry into 'Islamophobia' in the Conservative party.

Sky News

Minute's silence for London Bridge terror attack victims

A minute's silence has been honoured and a church service held in memory of those murdered in the London Bridge terror attack a year ago. The prime minister and members of the emergency services attended a service at Southwark Cathedral.


Police facing surge in extremists released from jail, analysis finds

Police and security services face a surge in the number of convicted terrorists released from prison, Guardian analysis has shown.

The Guardian

Jonathan Aitken plans to become a prison chaplain

The former Conservative cabinet minister Jonathan Aitken, who served seven months in prison for perjury, is to become a Church of England minister later this month. He plans to become a prison chaplain.

The Telegraph

Danish parliament to consider ban on cutting boys’ genitals

The Danish parliament is to consider whether to become the first country to ban boys being circumcised after a petition forced lawmakers to debate the issue. The measure is unlikely to pass owing to opposition among the major parties.

The Independent

New rule will allow doctors and care-givers to speak out about FGM in Belgium

A new rule to make it possible for doctors and other care-givers to speak out in cases of female genital mutilation (FGM) has been unanimously agreed by MPs in Brussels.

The Brussels Times

‘Denmark’s ban on face coverings isn’t the mark of a secular society’

Sunny Hundal says a secular society should give people the freedom to leave their religion, the freedom to criticise and satirise religion and the freedom to practice their religion.

The Independent

Six rules on laicité from new French manual for schools

An outline of six of the main rules from the French government's new guidance on laicité in shools.

The Local (France)

Fri, 01 Jun 2018

Thousands to call on prime minister for marriage equality in Northern Ireland

Thousands of people are expected to descend on the streets of Belfast tomorrow to call on Theresa May to legislate for marriage equality in Northern Ireland.

Belfast Telegraph

Abortion pills handed over to police at Belfast pro-choice rally

Organisers of a pro-choice rally in Belfast have handed over abortion pills to the police.


Portugal's parliament rejects euthanasia and doctor-assisted suicide

A proposal to make Portugal one of only a handful of countries allowing euthanasia and doctor-assisted suicide has narrowly been rejected by lawmakers.

NBC News

School 'baptism barrier' gone for 2019 entry in Ireland

Radical changes to admission rules, approved this week, mean schools in Ireland will no longer be able to use religion as a criterion for prioritising entry.

The Independent (Ireland)

EU’s top court rules Flanders had right to limit ritual slaughter to approved slaughterhouses

The European Court of Justice has upheld a policy of the Flemish regional government to restrict ritual slaughter to pre-approved abattoirs.


Arkansas abortion pill restriction seen as major rights setback

The US Supreme Court has declined to hear a case challenging an Arkansas law that effectively prohibits medical abortions in the state.

The Washington Post

Fears Trump's anti-choice picks could set back US abortion fight for a generation

The Trump administration's push for judges opposed to choice has already emboldened campaigners who have helped pass restrictive laws at state level.

The Guardian

‘What happens when abortion is banned?’

Michelle Oberman, the author of a new book, says criminalising abortion merely creates new ways in which the state can intensify the misery of the poorest.

The New York Times

‘The Catholic centre moves south’

This editorial says the Catholic Church looks tired and jaded in Europe after Ireland's vote on abortion – but elsewhere it is in rude health.

The Irish Times

Abortion does not cause depression, new study finds

Abortions don't cause depression, although women who have depression and anxiety may be more likely to have abortions, researchers have said. The study is the latest to show no evidence that abortion causes depression.

NBC News

‘The Islamic State attacks Indonesia – and its “middle way”’

Ilan Berman and James Clad say Indonesia is a working model of political Islam capable of coexisting with the West. That makes it a target for the terrorist group.

Weekly Standard

Danish parliament bans the wearing of face veils in public

Denmark has banned the wearing of face veils in public.


Thu, 31 May 2018

Christians told not to confess sex abuse secrets to Church of England clergy because they will tell the police

Christians have been told not to confess sexual abuse secrets to Church of England clergy because they will tell the police.

The Telegraph

Taking abortion pills distributed at Belfast pro-choice rally may lead to arrest, warn police

Pregnant women who take abortion pills delivered by a pro-choice organisation's 'abortion robot' in Belfast this afternoon could face charges, police in Northern Ireland have warned.

Belfast Telegraph

Faith-based groups ‘increasingly used in NHS’

Faith-based organisations are increasingly being used to plug gaps in the NHS, research has found.

The Guardian

Church of England fends off sexuality debate

Any proposed motions calling for a shift in the Church of England's stance on gay marriage will not be debated at its general synod for the foreseeable future. Bishops are working on a major review of their teaching on sexuality, which is not expected until 2020.

Christian Today

Tory deputy chair attacks MPs over Northern Ireland abortion law

Conservative party deputy chair James Cleverly has hit out at MPs campaigning for a change in Northern Irish abortion law, accusing Labour of exploiting the issue for party political gain.

The Guardian

Girl was 'raped by priest after complaining nun had abused her at Catholic orphanage'

A former resident at a Catholic-run orphanage was raped by a priest and repeatedly abused by a nun, the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry has heard.

Daily Mirror

Forced marriage victim speaks of threats from family

A woman from Leeds said her father "would rather go to jail with me dead" after she refused to marry her cousin.

Leeds Live

Muslim group asks Tories to launch inquiry into ‘Islamophobia’

The Conservative party has said it takes "all such incidents seriously" after the Muslim Council of Britain called on it to launch an independent inquiry into 'Islamophobia' within the party.


Outgoing Jewish group leader accuses Corbyn of having anti-Semitic views

One of Britain's most senior Jewish leaders has accused Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn of holding "anti-Semitic views". Labour has described his comments as "unfounded and outrageous".

The Telegraph

Bavaria cross decision sparks debates over religion and culture

Bavaria is preparing to hang crosses on the entrance to every state building. Religion is in decline in Germany, but religious symbols are making a powerful comeback as part of its simmering culture wars.

The New York Times

French schools encouraged to respond firmly when pupils seek religious opt-outs

An 83-page handbook from France's education ministry has told schools to adopt a tough response to those who challenge their religious neutrality. For example it recommends sending home girls who refuse to take part in mixed sports classes for religious reasons.

The Times (£)

Ghana to consider bill to criminalise homosexuality

Ghana's parliament will soon consider a bill to criminalise homosexuality.

Ghana Web

Wed, 30 May 2018

Tories must have free vote on abortion in NI, says committee chair

Dr Sarah Wollaston MP, who chairs the Commons health and social care committee, has called on the prime minister to give Conservative MPs a free vote over reform of Northern Ireland's abortion laws.

Belfast Telegraph

‘How Northern Irish women suffer under restrictive abortion laws’

Kirstie McCrum says women in Northern Ireland are still subject to restrictive laws – and heavy penalties – should they wish to have autonomy over their own bodies.

New Statesman

‘A debate on abortion would divide the Tory party’

Katy Balls says Theresa May's reluctance to look at abortion reform in Northern Ireland is partly driven by her fear of socially conservative backbenchers.


NI women may be able to have abortions in Republic once new laws are passed, says Varadkar

Women from Northern Ireland could be able to have abortions in the Republic when its new laws are introduced, Ireland's prime minister has said.

Belfast Telegraph

Gun attack in Belgium may be terror-related, say officials

Two police officers and a civilian have been shot dead in an attack in the Belgian city of Liege. A senior official at the federal prosecutor's office has said "there are indications it could be a terror attack", but Belgium's crisis centre has said there is no reason to raise the anti-terror alert for now.

Sky News

Girl 'jumped to her death after beating by nun at Nazareth House'

A former children's home resident has told the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry a child leapt to her death after being "battered" by a nun.


Christians in Europe more likely to express anti-Muslim and anti-Jewish views than religious 'nones'

A major new survey has found a strong link between religion and nationalist sentiments.

Christian Today

Tommy Robinson jailed for contempt of court

The former leader of the English Defence League, Tommy Robinson, has been jailed for 13 months after flouting court orders for a second time. Robinson was arrested on Friday after using social media to broadcast details of a current trial which is subject to blanket reporting restrictions.

Sky News

Irish Labour party calls for removal of link between church and state in education

Ireland's Labour party has said removing the link between church and state in education is the next big constitutional question that needs to be addressed after last week's referendum on reproductive rights.

Evening Echo

Iceland still considering bill to end infant genital cutting

Reports that Iceland's parliament had scrapped a proposal to ban the circumcision of boys are apparently false.


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