Mon, 04 May 2020

Quarter of UK adults have tuned into religious services during lockdown, says survey

Quarter of UK adults have tuned into religious services during lockdown, says survey

A quarter of adults in the UK have watched or listened to a religious service since the coronavirus lockdown began, according to a survey commissioned by a Christian aid agency.

The Observer

Catholic Church draws up plans to reopen in Scotland

Catholic Church draws up plans to reopen in Scotland

The Catholic Church in Scotland is to approach the Scottish government with plans for the phased reopening of parishes, according to a senior bishop.

Daily Record

India cracks down on Muslims under cover of coronavirus

India cracks down on Muslims under cover of coronavirus

Indian police are arresting high-profile Muslim activists and ordinary civilians under the cover of the coronavirus pandemic in a crackdown that follows anti-government protests and communal riots this year.

Financial Times

US states use coronavirus to ban abortions, leaving women desperate

US states use coronavirus to ban abortions, leaving women desperate

Eight US states have worked to try and halt abortions entirely during the pandemic as clinics report a rise in demand.

The Guardian

White supremacists ‘encourage spreading virus to Jews’ in US

White supremacists ‘encourage spreading virus to Jews’ in US

White supremacist groups in the United States are encouraging supporters who contract coronavirus to spread the virus on to Jews and police officers, an FBI intelligence report has claimed.

The Jewish Chronicle

Israel deems women’s ritual baths essential, leaving some conflicted over virus risk

Israel deems women’s ritual baths essential, leaving some conflicted over virus risk

Even as Israel closed down its public sphere to stem the spread of the coronavirus, the government deemed that some 700 of these ritual baths were essential and permitted them to remain open along with supermarkets and pharmacies.

The Washington Post (£)

Fri, 01 May 2020

Coronavirus: Camberwell church continuing to sell fake Covid-19 cure

Coronavirus: Camberwell church continuing to sell fake Covid-19 cure

A church in south London has continued selling a fake Covid-19 cure, despite being under investigation by the charity watchdog.

BBC

‘An eternity in heaven – that would be hell’: remembering former NSS president Barbara Smoker

‘An eternity in heaven – that would be hell’: remembering former NSS president Barbara Smoker

An obituary for Barbara Smoker, the NSS's president from 1972 to 1996.

London News Online

‘Why the Home Office should publish its grooming gang research’

‘Why the Home Office should publish its grooming gang research’

The victims and the public deserve to know the truth, says Hardeep Singh.

The Spectator

Sudan makes female genital cutting a crime in 'new era' for women's rights

Sudan makes female genital cutting a crime in 'new era' for women's rights

Sudan has criminalised female genital mutilation, making it punishable by three years in jail, a move campaigners said ushered in a "new era" for women's rights in the African nation.

Reuters

Wartime Vatican archive shows how much Pius knew about the Holocaust, says researcher

Wartime Vatican archive shows how much Pius knew about the Holocaust, says researcher

The long-awaited opening of Pope Pius XII's wartime records only lasted a week before the coronavirus shut the Vatican archives down again, but that was long enough for documents to emerge that reflect badly on the pontiff accused of silence during the Holocaust, according to published reports.

Religion News Service

Yusuf Islam, aka Cat Stevens, to lead BBC Ramadan series

Yusuf Islam, aka Cat Stevens, to lead BBC Ramadan series

The 1970s singer-songwriter formerly known as Cat Stevens, who converted to Islam and renounced his life as a musician, is to lead a series of spiritual reflections for the BBC during Ramadan.

The Guardian

Giving homework passes to Catholic children ruled as discrimination in Ireland

Giving homework passes to Catholic children ruled as discrimination in Ireland

Catholic schools that reward pupils who attend religious ceremonies are discriminating against non-Catholic pupils, an Irish commission has found.

The Irish Times

Police in New York crack down on another large Orthodox Jewish funeral

Police in New York crack down on another large Orthodox Jewish funeral

Tensions between police and members of New York City's Hasidic Jewish community flared again on Thursday as officers interrupted a crowded funeral procession to crack down on social distancing violators.

NBC New York

'A phantom plague': America's Bible Belt played down the pandemic and even cashed in. Now dozens of pastors are dead

'A phantom plague': America's Bible Belt played down the pandemic and even cashed in. Now dozens of pastors are dead

Dozens of pastors across the Bible Belt have succumbed to coronavirus after churches and televangelists played down the pandemic and actively encouraged churchgoers to flout self-distancing guidelines.

The Independent

Mosques get noise exemption for call to prayer during Ramadan in Ottawa

Mosques get noise exemption for call to prayer during Ramadan in Ottawa

The Canadian city of Ottawa is exempting mosques from local noise bylaws during Ramadan to allow them to play a five-minute call to prayer at sundown, as the pandemic prevents people from gathering and hearing it inside.

CBC News

Where circumcision is most popular around the world

Where circumcision is most popular around the world

A map shows global rates of circumcision.

Indy100

Thu, 30 Apr 2020

Humanist leader arrested for blasphemy in Nigeria

Humanist leader arrested for blasphemy in Nigeria

Nigerian police have arrested Mubarak Bala, president of the Humanist Association of Nigeria, for "blasphemy" after he allegedly posted criticism of Islam on his Facebook page.

The Friendly Atheist (Patheos)

New Bishop of Horsham announced by 10 Downing Street

New Bishop of Horsham announced by 10 Downing Street

The new Bishop of Horsham has been announced today by 10 Downing Street.

Mid Sussex Times

Disgraced official in Trojan horse scandal given top police force role

Disgraced official in Trojan horse scandal given top police force role

A disgraced former councillor who was banned from serving on any local authority has been be given a top post at England's second largest police force.

The Times (£)

Religious gatherings unlikely to start again before end of year, says health boss in Birmingham

Religious gatherings unlikely to start again before end of year, says health boss in Birmingham

Religious worship is likely to remain confined to people's homes until the end of 2020, a top health advisor on Birmingham City Council has warned.

Birmingham Live

Sudan to criminalise female genital mutilation

Sudan to criminalise female genital mutilation

The Sudanese government is to criminalise female genital mutilation. A special article will be added to the country's criminal law.

Dabanga

New York’s mayor sorry for Jewish funeral criticism

New York’s mayor sorry for Jewish funeral criticism

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has issued an apology after he criticised a large gathering for a Jewish funeral amid the coronavirus pandemic.

BBC

2,500 mourners jam Hasidic Jewish funeral, creating a flash point for NYC mayor

2,500 mourners jam Hasidic Jewish funeral, creating a flash point for NYC mayor

The event showed the challenges that officials have faced in addressing the flouting of social distancing in close-knit ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods.

The New York Times

Evangelical church sues California’s governor over coronavirus restrictions

Evangelical church sues California’s governor over coronavirus restrictions

A small evangelical church is suing the governor of California, Gavin Newsom, arguing the state's public gathering ban violates first amendment rights to religious freedom.

Los Angeles Times

Germany to set out rules for religious services including singing ban

Germany to set out rules for religious services including singing ban

Germany is to set out guidelines for holding religious services during the coronavirus pandemic with a list of strict restrictions expected to include a ban on singing.

The Guardian

Romanian Church condemns posters depicting doctors and nurses as saints

Romanian Church condemns posters depicting doctors and nurses as saints

Romania's Orthodox Church said on Wednesday a series of outdoor posters depicting nurses and doctors on the frontlines of the new coronavirus outbreak as saints were blasphemous and an insult to Christian iconography.

Reuters

Wed, 29 Apr 2020

Coronavirus pandemic expected to derail efforts to end FGM and child marriage

Coronavirus pandemic expected to derail efforts to end FGM and child marriage

Disruption linked to the pandemic could mean many more girls are cut or married in childhood, according to new data that paints a bleak picture of life for women over the next decade.

The Guardian

US panel on religious freedom urges targeted sanctions on India

US panel on religious freedom urges targeted sanctions on India

A US government commission has criticised India for failing to protect religious minorities and called for sanctions on government officials responsible for violating religious freedoms enshrined in its constitution.

Reuters

Archbishop of Canterbury to take part in official VE Day celebrations

Archbishop of Canterbury to take part in official VE Day celebrations

Justin Welby will record a reflection and moment of prayer as part of the national commemoration of the 75th anniversary of VE Day next Friday.

BBC

Tunisia becomes first Muslim-majority country to recognise same-sex marriage

Tunisia becomes first Muslim-majority country to recognise same-sex marriage

A same-sex marriage which was formalised in France has reportedly been legally accepted as valid in Tunisia, a first for a Muslim-majority nation. Homosexuality is illegal in Tunisia.

LGBTQ Nation

Mayor of New York accused of singling out Jewish community after criticising large gathering

Mayor of New York accused of singling out Jewish community after criticising large gathering

Bill De Blasio personally showed up at an Orthodox Jewish funeral on Tuesday night and threatened mourners with arrest for ignoring social distancing rules. His response on Twitter has sparked an angry reaction from some Jewish groups.

DailyMail.com

‘Blaming Muslims for the virus is playing with fire’

‘Blaming Muslims for the virus is playing with fire’

India's Hindu nationalist government is stoking anti-Muslim sentiment during the coronavirus crisis.

New Humanist

Actor Alan Cumming speaks out against circumcision

Actor Alan Cumming speaks out against circumcision

The Hollywood star and bestselling author has described male circumcision as "genital mutilation" and said religious grounds for it are "ridiculous".

The Guardian

Irish secular weddings due to overtake Catholic

Irish secular weddings due to overtake Catholic

Irish newlyweds are getting older and less religious every year. Almost as many couples chose non-religious ceremonies as Catholic ones last year, according to new figures from the Central Statistics Office.

The Times (£)

Tue, 28 Apr 2020

Renfrewshire Council defends plans to prioritise pupils baptised Catholic for admission to denominational schools – NSS quoted

Renfrewshire Council defends plans to prioritise pupils baptised Catholic for admission to denominational schools – NSS quoted

Renfrewshire Council has defended plans to extend the priority given to pupils who are baptised Catholic for admission to denominational schools after the NSS criticised the idea.

The Gazette

Orthodox Jewish girls' school is accused of 'censorship' over women in history

Orthodox Jewish girls' school is accused of 'censorship' over women in history

A Jewish girls' school has been slammed by Ofsted for cutting out a 'large chunk of history' by gluing textbook pages together.

Mail Online

Robert Halfon criticised for defending state faith school which censored Elizabeth I from history books

Robert Halfon criticised for defending state faith school which censored Elizabeth I from history books

The chair of the House of Commons education select committee has been criticised for appearing to defend a state faith school which censored material about Elizabeth I from a history book.

iNews

BBC criticised as Dominic Cummings’s wife uses Thought for the Day to defend him

BBC criticised as Dominic Cummings’s wife uses Thought for the Day to defend him

Dominic Cummings' wife was afforded BBC Radio 4 airtime on Saturday to say how "extremely kind" the maverick Downing Street adviser is, sparking criticism.

Mail Online

‘The Lib Dems’ Ramadan stunt is spectacularly bad politics’

‘The Lib Dems’ Ramadan stunt is spectacularly bad politics’

The Liberal Democrats' 'solidarity fast' is patronising to Muslims and anyone else who is religious, says Nick Tyrone.

The Spectator

‘In Pakistan's fight against Covid-19, religion might not be helping’

‘In Pakistan's fight against Covid-19, religion might not be helping’

Pakistan is entering its fifth week under lockdown to control the spread of the coronavirus. But as the Islamic holy month of Ramadan starts this weekend, hundreds of thousands of people will congregate in mosques nationwide to offer special prayers.

CNN

Abortion battle rages on in Poland despite coronavirus lockdown

Abortion battle rages on in Poland despite coronavirus lockdown

Poland's conservative leaders have come a step closer to their goal of further tightening what are already some of the most restrictive abortion laws in Europe.

CBS News

‘Poland's government is leading a Catholic revival. It has minorities and liberals worried’

‘Poland's government is leading a Catholic revival. It has minorities and liberals worried’

In Poland, ultranationalists aren't just obsessed with white civilisation and getting rid of foreigners. They're also big on Catholic family values and determined to stamp out what they see as decadent Western liberalism.

ABC News (Australia)

Gay Moroccans face blackmail and bullying after they were outed online

Gay Moroccans face blackmail and bullying after they were outed online

Moroccan men on gay dating apps have seen their pictures leaked online in recent weeks, rights groups said, in an 'outing' campaign targeting LGBT+ Arabs.

Reuters

Mon, 27 Apr 2020

Scottish government plans to abolish blasphemy law as part of hate crime bill

Scottish government plans to abolish blasphemy law as part of hate crime bill

A bill that updates and extends existing hate crime law has been introduced to the Scottish parliament.

Holyrood

‘Laws on hate crime matter, but reform could blow up in our face’

‘Laws on hate crime matter, but reform could blow up in our face’

Andrew Tickell warns that newly-proposed "stirring up hatred" offences could have implications for free expression in Scotland.

The National

Extremists kill Syrian teenager over ‘blasphemous’ texts on phone

Extremists kill Syrian teenager over ‘blasphemous’ texts on phone

A teenager has been killed by an extremist militia in Syria after 'blasphemous' messages were found on his phone.

The Times (£)

Saudi Arabia abolishes flogging as a punishment for crime

Saudi Arabia abolishes flogging as a punishment for crime

The most high-profile flogging in recent years was of the Saudi blogger Raif Badawi, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes on charges of insulting Islam.

The New York Times

Archbishop of Canterbury to give first virtual school 'assembly' for Oak National Academy

Archbishop of Canterbury to give first virtual school 'assembly' for Oak National Academy

Justin Welby will give the first "assembly" this week for the government's new virtual school for families in lockdown.

iNews

Lib Dem councillor apologises after tweeting photo of bacon before 'solidarity' Ramadan fast

Lib Dem councillor apologises after tweeting photo of bacon before 'solidarity' Ramadan fast

A Liberal Democrat councillor has apologised after tweeting a photo of a plate of bacon in "solidarity" with Muslims fasting for Ramadan.

The Telegraph

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