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Thu, 09 Dec 2021

US: Supreme Court sceptical of Maine law barring state funds for religious schools

US: Supreme Court sceptical of Maine law barring state funds for religious schools

The Supreme Court expressed deep skepticism Wednesday of a Maine school tuition assistance program that allows parents to use vouchers to send their children to attend public and private schools but excludes religious schools from the program.

CNN

Catholic school in India attacked by Hindu mob

Catholic school in India attacked by Hindu mob

A Catholic school in central India's Madhya Pradesh state was vandalized by a mob of some 500 Hindu extremists, despite school authorities requesting police protection prior to the attack.

The Herald Malaysia

LGBT+ activists hail Tokyo’s move to introduce same-sex partnerships as huge step in fight for equality

LGBT+ activists hail Tokyo’s move to introduce same-sex partnerships as huge step in fight for equality

The same-sex partnership system announced by Tokyo's governor Yuriko Koike on Tuesday will allow partners to register their relationships and enjoy some of the privileges that straight couples benefit from.

The Independent

Australia: Toddler dies, baby fighting for life after allegedly botched circumcision

Australia: Toddler dies, baby fighting for life after allegedly botched circumcision

A two-year-old boy has tragically died after an allegedly botched circumcision at a medical clinic in Western Australia.

News.com.au

Sex-slave girls forced to 'marry' ISIS-linked militants in Mozambique

Sex-slave girls forced to 'marry' ISIS-linked militants in Mozambique

ISIS-linked militants in Mozambique have forced sex-slave girls into marriage after abducting more than 600 women and children over the past three years, a new report reveals.

Mail Online

Papua New Guinea: ‘The women publicly tortured after being accused of sorcery’

Papua New Guinea: ‘The women publicly tortured after being accused of sorcery’

Sorcery accusation-related violence is rife in Papua New Guinea. Although there is no reliable data available to know how frequently it happens, government figures say there have been about 6,000 incidents in the past 20 years.

BBC

Wed, 08 Dec 2021

Numbers in mainstream Jewish primary schools drop

Numbers in mainstream Jewish primary schools drop

Enrolment in Jewish primaries outside the Charedi community has dropped slightly over the past three years, in contrast with the dramatic rise in Jewish schooling in the UK in recent decades.

The Jewish Chronicle

Church ministers prepared to break law over conversion therapy ban

Church ministers prepared to break law over conversion therapy ban

A group of Christian ministers and pastoral workers say they're willing to break the law if it means defending the right to teach traditional Christian views.

Premier Christian News

Welby urges government to scrap Covid travel red list

Welby urges government to scrap Covid travel red list

Justin Welby said that with the Omicron variant likely to become dominant in the UK, ministers should remove all 11 countries from the list.

The Times*

Firm appointed for investigation into misconduct allegations against church leaders

Firm appointed for investigation into misconduct allegations against church leaders

Last month allegations of misconduct, coercion and abuse of power were made public by a woman who was a member of Thanet's Global Generation Church between the ages of 12 and 24.

The Isle of Thanet News

NSS survey suggests support for tighter food labelling

NSS survey suggests support for tighter food labelling

A survey commissioned by the National Secular Society suggests that 72 per cent believe meat from animals killed without stunning should be clearly labelled.

Religion Media Centre

‘Why the Education (Assemblies) Bill should become law’

‘Why the Education (Assemblies) Bill should become law’

The Education (Assemblies) Bill should be supported but we need a twenty-first-century law on both religious worship and religious education in schools in both England and Wales, says Russell Sandberg.

Law & Religion

Pope cautions over 'interpretation' of sexual abuse report on French Catholic Church

Pope cautions over 'interpretation' of sexual abuse report on French Catholic Church

Pope Francis urged caution Monday in the "interpretation" of a hard-hitting report released in October into child sexual abuse by French Catholic clergy, saying a "historical situation" must be viewed in context.

RFI

Chile same-sex marriage: Law overwhelmingly approved by parliament

Chile same-sex marriage: Law overwhelmingly approved by parliament

Chile has approved a landmark law allowing same-sex marriage in the historically Catholic country.

BBC

Afghanistan: Girls' despair as Taliban confirm secondary school ban

Afghanistan: Girls' despair as Taliban confirm secondary school ban

Teenage schoolgirls in Afghanistan have told the BBC of their growing desperation as they continue to be excluded from school more than three months after the Taliban takeover.

BBC

‘Fear stalks Nigerian state as jihadists gain foothold’

‘Fear stalks Nigerian state as jihadists gain foothold’

Niger state has been wracked by banditry for years. Now jihadists have moved in to communities just a few hundred miles from the capital, Abuja.

The Guardian

Tue, 07 Dec 2021

Critics of cultural practices to be protected by new free speech laws – NSS quoted

Critics of cultural practices to be protected by new free speech laws – NSS quoted

NSS chief executive Stephen Evans said: "Harmful religious and cultural practices, such as genital cutting, forced marriage and non-stun slaughter, deserve serious scrutiny. Discussion and debate around such matters should not be chilled by the prospect of being prosecuted."

The Telegraph*

Consumers want labels on meat detailing animal welfare – NSS quoted

Consumers want labels on meat detailing animal welfare – NSS quoted

A survey conducted by the National Secular Society found that 72 per cent of shoppers want labels on food to reveal how animals were slaughtered.

The Independent

Agony of dementia made Ruth Davidson change mind on assisted dying

Agony of dementia made Ruth Davidson change mind on assisted dying

Ruth Davidson has tearfully admitted that watching loved ones succumb to dementia prompted her to review her "cowardly" decision to reject assisted suicide in Scotland.

The Times*

US diplomats to boycott 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics

US diplomats to boycott 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics

The White House said no official delegation would be sent to the Games because of concerns about China's human rights record. The US has accused China of repression of the Uighurs and other Muslim minorities living mostly in the autonomous region of Xinjiang.

BBC

China: Xi stresses Sinicization and regulation of religious activities

China: Xi stresses Sinicization and regulation of religious activities

Religious affairs in China should be regulated in accordance with the country's socialist society, Xi said at the latest National Religious Affairs Meeting held in Beijing.

Bloomberg*

Rohingya Muslims sue Facebook for $150bn over Myanmar hate speech

Rohingya Muslims sue Facebook for $150bn over Myanmar hate speech

Dozens of Rohingya refugees in the UK and US have sued Facebook, accusing the social media giant of allowing hate speech against them to spread.

BBC

Pope Francis compares EU to fascists over Christmas greeting guide

Pope Francis compares EU to fascists over Christmas greeting guide

Pope Francis has compared the EU to a dictatorship after it told member states to stop saying "happy Christmas" and stick to "happy holidays" to avoid offending non-Christians.

The Times*

Swiss Catholic church orders study of past sexual abuse

Swiss Catholic church orders study of past sexual abuse

The leaders of the Roman Catholic Church in Switzerland have asked two academics to lead a study into the Swiss church's history of sexual exploitation since the mid-20th century, joining other churches in other countries in Europe and beyond to undergo such a reckoning.

Mail Online

Poland plans to set up register of pregnancies to report miscarriages

Poland plans to set up register of pregnancies to report miscarriages

Proposed register would come into effect in January, a year after the near-total ban on abortion.

The Guardian

‘I was told the 12 steps would cure my addiction. Why did I end up feeling more broken?’

‘I was told the 12 steps would cure my addiction. Why did I end up feeling more broken?’

In this quasi-religious programme, 'working the steps' is the remedy for any problem, but for me the cracks soon started to show, says Oscar Quine.

The Guardian

Mon, 06 Dec 2021

Shoppers want animal welfare labels on meat – NSS quoted

Shoppers want animal welfare labels on meat – NSS quoted

A survey by the NSS found 72 per cent wanted labels to show how animals were slaughtered.

The Times*

Humza Yousaf hesitant over Scottish assisted dying bill despite his predecessor’s support

Humza Yousaf hesitant over Scottish assisted dying bill despite his predecessor’s support

Humza Yousaf is "not persuaded" by the case for assisted dying, despite his predecessor as health secretary backing medically aided suicide.

The Times*

Extract from Holocaust revisionist’s book posted by Islamophobia adviser

Extract from Holocaust revisionist’s book posted by Islamophobia adviser

A Muslim media analyst who specialises in monitoring news reports for Islamophobia has promoted an extract from a "profoundly antisemitic" book by the notorious Holocaust revisionist Gilad Atzmon.

The Jewish Chronicle

'I'm Muslim but I refuse to be bullied into not putting up my Christmas tree'

'I'm Muslim but I refuse to be bullied into not putting up my Christmas tree'

Every year there's a vocal minority of people who think a Muslim woman putting up a Christmas tree is an unspeakable crime. Guess what? I don't care, writes Anila Baig.

The Mirror

Pakistan: Brutal mob killing of Sri Lankan accused of ‘blasphemy’ sparks protests

Pakistan: Brutal mob killing of Sri Lankan accused of ‘blasphemy’ sparks protests

A brutal mob killing of a Sri Lankan man accused of blasphemy in Pakistan has sparked protests in both countries, with Pakistan's leader condemning the vigilante violence.

BBC

Afghanistan: Taliban bans forced marriage but fails to mention education for girls

Afghanistan: Taliban bans forced marriage but fails to mention education for girls

The Taliban have decreed that 'women aren't property' as it unveiled new rules in Afghanistan banning forced marriage.

Mail Online

Super-strict abortion laws in Paraguay forced many girls under 14 to give birth, researchers say

Super-strict abortion laws in Paraguay forced many girls under 14 to give birth, researchers say

More than 1,000 girls in Paraguay age 14 or younger gave birth between 2019 and 2020, according to a new Amnesty International report that blames rampant sexual violence, poor sex education and some of South America's more restrictive abortion laws.

The Washington Post*

US: Children’s home sues Biden administration because it doesn’t want to place kids with LGBT+ families

US: Children’s home sues Biden administration because it doesn’t want to place kids with LGBT+ families

A Christian children's home is suing the Biden administration because it doesn't want to place children with LGBT+ families.

Pink News

‘The religious right wants states’ tax dollars, and the Supreme Court is likely to agree’

‘The religious right wants states’ tax dollars, and the Supreme Court is likely to agree’

An emboldened religious right wants the public to pay for its schools, says Ian Millhiser.

Vox

‘US “dark money” groups behind Mississippi abortion case spend millions overseas’

‘US “dark money” groups behind Mississippi abortion case spend millions overseas’

Groups behind a Supreme Court test case that threatens the constitutional right to abortion in the US are targeting Europe and Latin America too.

openDemocracy

Australia: ‘I have a masters in theological studies, but some religious schools might rule me out of a job’

Australia: ‘I have a masters in theological studies, but some religious schools might rule me out of a job’

On Friday, the Victorian government passed laws ensuring teachers could not be discriminated against on the basis of gender identity or sexuality. But as it stands, religious schools in New South Wales can today refuse to hire based on religious beliefs, sex or marital status.

The Age

‘Why were the French first to have fewer children? Secularisation’

‘Why were the French first to have fewer children? Secularisation’

For the French, the story was less church, fewer kids, higher incomes, says Torsten Bell.

The Guardian

Fri, 03 Dec 2021

‘Integrated education in Northern Ireland is urgent – why can’t our leaders see that?’

‘Integrated education in Northern Ireland is urgent – why can’t our leaders see that?’

"In my school, young people were not segregated by obsolete criteria. Everyone should get this chance."

The Guardian

White nationalist who said he planned to burn Islamic centre jailed for terror offences

White nationalist who said he planned to burn Islamic centre jailed for terror offences

A white nationalist who idolised right-wing mass killers and hated Muslims has been jailed for a total of seven and a half years for terrorist offences.

Daily Record

Britain’s most expensive day school in row over ‘Jewish privilege’ chart

Britain’s most expensive day school in row over ‘Jewish privilege’ chart

Britain's most expensive day school is accused of giving pupils a chart showing Jews as being more privileged than members of other religions.

The Jewish Chronicle

Recorded homophobic hate crimes soared in pandemic, figures show

Recorded homophobic hate crimes soared in pandemic, figures show

Police chiefs have urged victims of homophobic and transphobic abuse to come forward after figures showed the number of hate crimes soared to their highest monthly level since the beginning of the pandemic, after lockdown restrictions were eased at the beginning of summer.

The Guardian

Texas now bans medical abortions after seven weeks of pregnancy

Texas now bans medical abortions after seven weeks of pregnancy

The law makes it a felony to provide the medication after seven weeks of pregnancy, putting Texas at odds with federal regulations.

Texas Tribune

El Salvador ‘responsible for death of woman jailed after miscarriage’

El Salvador ‘responsible for death of woman jailed after miscarriage’

The Inter-American court of human rights has ruled that El Salvador was responsible for the death of Manuela, a woman who was jailed in 2008 for killing her baby when she suffered a miscarriage.

The Guardian

Brazil’s senate approves evangelical pastor for top court

Brazil’s senate approves evangelical pastor for top court

Brazil's senate approved an evangelical pastor nominated by President Jair Bolsonaro to fill in a vacant position in the country's top court, bringing a more conservative voice into the 11-member institution.

Bloomberg*

Australia: Coalition shelves bill on religious discrimination

Australia: Coalition shelves bill on religious discrimination

In a last-minute bid to win support for the religious discrimination bill, the Morrison government agreed to the demand of four Liberal moderates to protect gay students from discrimination in religious schools – a deal that now threatens conservative support for the legislation.

The Guardian

Forced conversion and marriages ‘on the rise’ in Pakistan, report finds

Forced conversion and marriages ‘on the rise’ in Pakistan, report finds

There is a "continuous and steady increase" of abductions, forced conversions, and forced marriages of girls and women from Pakistan's minority religions, a new parliamentary report has found.

Church Times*

Iran doubles down on abortion and contraception restrictions

Iran doubles down on abortion and contraception restrictions

Iranians long had degrees of access to free contraception at public health facilities, part of family planning policies aimed at limiting population growth. In recent years, policy shifts have whittled away such programs.

The Washington Post*

‘Why India is witnessing spike in attacks on Christians, churches’

‘Why India is witnessing spike in attacks on Christians, churches’

Rights groups record more than 300 attacks on Christians and their religious places in the first nine months of this year.

Al Jazeera

‘Why punish a scientist for defending science?’

‘Why punish a scientist for defending science?’

A New Zealand scientist faces expulsion from the prestigious Royal Society because he objected to giving "the same weight to Maori mythology as to science in the classroom", says Toby Young.

The Spectator*

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