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Fri, 21 May 2021
More people who identify as Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, and Jewish have died with Covid-19 than those who identify as Christian or as no religion, the Office for National Statistics says.
UN efforts to challenge violations of human rights should consider both oppressive laws which theocrats uphold in former colonies and efforts to impose similar agendas further afield, says Keith Porteous Wood.
The Freethinker (Patheos)
The Queen's Speech suggests unnecessary changes to freedom of expression law, says Jonathan Ames.
Many students are not receiving an adequate sex education at school and are relying on the internet for information, a parliamentary committee has heard.
The Irish Times*
Molly, an eight-year-old girl from Cork, recently wrote to the taoiseach about how the new relationships and sexuality programme class made her feel left out.
What if an elected president declined office due to the religious oath required by our Constitution, asks Brian Whiteside.
The Irish Times*
‘Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s unjust detention is just the tip of the iceberg for the treatment of women in Iran’
The world must not turn a blind eye to the treatment of women in Iran who are oppressed, incarcerated and lacking basic human rights too, says Elnaz Sarbar.
Thu, 20 May 2021
The government has named the first seven new faith school trusts it is funding to help drive its academisation "vision".
Retired Roman Catholic priest John Anthony Clohosey, 72, is charged with raping the woman at her Gateshead home 35 years ago.
Constituency Labour Party branches are being urged to submit motions for Labour conference to replace the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance with the Jerusalem Declaration.
The Jewish Chronicle
Jewish students at University College London say they have been targeted with death threats in the wake of renewed violence in Israel and Gaza.
The Jewish Chronicle
A number of churches in and around Glasgow were subject to vandalism and anti-Catholic abuse over the weekend as Rangers supporters rampaged through the city centre on Saturday.
Health Ministry officials in Sweden have launched a review into the actions of a rabbi and physician for circumcising Jewish infants without anaesthesia.
Jewish Telegraph Agency
A new bill banning abortion from the sixth week of pregnancy, which could tie clinics up in potentially business-ending litigation, has been signed into law by the governor of Texas.
If the Supreme Court strikes down Roe v Wade it is ignoring the national mood and will set back progress by decades, says David Aaronovitch.
Sailors in the US Navy have filed a lawsuit for a religious exemption to have beards. The lawsuit is an attempt by four men to stop the Navy from forcing them to shave in violation of their religious beliefs.
Wed, 19 May 2021
It is no longer acceptable to exclude the entire teaching workforce from fair employment legislation, the head of the Equality Commission has said. The exception allows schools to use religious belief as a ground on which to discriminate between candidates for posts.
The Irish News*
The bill seeks to remove "severe fetal impairment" as a ground for abortion.
The main lesson of the fatwa years is the need for solidarity, says Daniel James Sharp.
The International Criminal Court in the Hague has been asked to investigate the "violent legacy" of mother and baby homes, Magdalene Laundries, and industrial schools in Ireland and Northern Ireland.
Representatives of atheist and secular groups held their first meeting with White House officials last week, marking a willingness by the Biden administration to work with the growing networks of religiously unaffiliated Americans.
Religion News Service
A month passed from the first reported case of Covid at Peoples Church in Salem before health authorities could establish that dozens of people were sick.
Conservatives have been waiting decades for this moment: a transformed Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear an abortion case that directly challenges women's reproductive rights tracing to the 1973 Roe v. Wade milestone.
A mob has attacked a police station in the Pakistani capital in an attempt to lynch a man detained on a charge of blasphemy, according to a media report.
A local administration in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh has defied a state high court order and bulldozed a mosque, in one of the most inflammatory actions taken against a Muslim place of worship since the demolition of the Babri Mosque by a mob of Hindu nationalist rioters in 1992.
Last week a Ngcobo magistrate made a ruling that will have a profound impact: parents have a right to grant consent for underage youths to undergo circumcision.
Tue, 18 May 2021
Critics say that giving the Holy See a fixed seat at the World Health Assembly could endanger sexual and reproductive rights worldwide.
A bill to end compulsory acts of collective worship in schools in England without a religious character is set to be presented to parliament. NSS head of education Alastair Lichten is quoted.
It remains legal for a church leader to know that a child has been abused but to sit on this knowledge. This fundamental flaw in our law means that the new safeguarding body can never be entirely sure that all allegations or reasonable suspicions of abuse have actually been reported to the statutory authorities, says Richard Scorer.
When a member of their profession remains in hiding, unable to return to work, is it any wonder trainee teachers are asking what the implications of this case are for their own teaching practices, says Joanna Rossiter.
Draft laws that forbid one thing online but allow it offline betray a chilling agenda, says Kenan Malik.
A group of concerned parents and teachers in Cork have started a conversation about the place of religion in the teaching of Relationships and Sexuality Education in Ireland's schools.
The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear a challenge to Mississippi's ban on most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, giving the court's new conservative majority a chance to weigh in on the issue for the first time in a major case.
Education Minister Sarah Mitchell says carrying knives will no longer be tolerated in NSW schools - even for religious purposes - after a recent alleged stabbing.
Two districts in Afghanistan's northwest offer a glimpse into life under the Taliban, who have completely cut off education for teenage girls.
The New York Times*
Mon, 17 May 2021
A new statement from the Church of England says that assemblies should be "inclusive, invitational and inspiring".
Parents are looking to pull their children out of Batley Grammar School, where the showing of a cartoon Islam's prophet Muhammad provoked uproar six weeks ago, because they fear that tensions will erupt again once an investigation by the school concludes.
An imam who is demanding the sacking of a teacher who showed pupils an image of the Prophet Muhammad may have broken hate crime laws, a former senior police officer believes.
Mail On Sunday
To avoid a row with religious groups, the Animal Sentience Bill will not cover religious slaughter in which the animals are still conscious when their throats are cut.
The BBC has been accused of "taking the mickey" out of the newly elected leader of the DUP over his religious beliefs.
The Irish News
The Muslim former prosecutor who led the crackdown on Rochdale's grooming gangs is to head the Catholic Church's drive to stamp out child abuse scandals.
Mail On Sunday
Nick Herbert, who was one of the first openly gay Tory MPs and was instrumental in the campaign for same-sex marriage, was appointed on Sunday.
Police have arrested four men in connection with a video which appeared to show anti-Semitic abuse being shouted from a car in north London.
Nicola Sturgeon hits out at 'anti-Catholic prejudice’ of Rangers fans following ugly scenes in Glasgow
The First Minister condemned "the violence, vandalism and the vile anti-Catholic prejudice" on display in the heart of the city.
A recent blog written by NSS head of communications Chris Sloggett is referenced in Religion Media Centre's round up of news.
Religion Media Centre
Sinn Féin's Education spokesperson has told the Assembly of Ireland that children risk being "othered" due to the way sexual health education is being taught in schools.
The lack of diversity in the primary education sector in the Athlone Moate Municipal District was highlighted this week by Green Party Cllr Louise Heavin, who received the full backing of her fellow councillors for her bid to have a multi-faith or non-denominational primary school provided in the area.
Fri, 14 May 2021
It would be wholly inappropriate for the Church of England to use post-16 education as a privileged means of attempting to reverse its falling membership among young people, say Chris Higgins and Keith Sharpe of the National Secular Society's Secular Education Forum (Scroll down to view).
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