Fri, 17 Apr 2020

Poland lawmakers defer final vote on divisive abortion bill

Poland lawmakers defer final vote on divisive abortion bill

Polish lawmakers on Thursday postponed a final decision on controversial proposals to impose a near-total ban on abortion and criminalize school sex education in the predominantly Catholic country.

Mail Online

German bishops criticise decision to maintain church service ban

German bishops criticise decision to maintain church service ban

Germany's Catholic bishops' have voiced disappointment at Chancellor Angela Merkel's decision not to lift the ban on public church services.

Catholic Herald

Half of Americans say Bible should influence U.S. laws

Half of Americans say Bible should influence U.S. laws

Today, about half of Americans (49%) say the Bible should have at least "some" influence on U.S. laws, including nearly a quarter (23%) who say it should have "a great deal" of influence.

Pew Research Center

Netflix slammed as ‘Islam’s enemy’ over rumours of gay character in Turkish teen drama

Netflix slammed as ‘Islam’s enemy’ over rumours of gay character in Turkish teen drama

New Turkish drama Love 101 unleashed a torrent of fury over unconfirmed rumours that it will feature a gay character.

Pink News

Jewish News and Jewish Chronicle merger planned

Jewish News and Jewish Chronicle merger planned

The Kessler Foundation, owner of the Jewish Chronicle, has submitted an offer to the proposed liquidators of both the Jewish Chronicle and Jewish News for the assets of both titles.

Jewish News

Opportunity or threat? How Islamic extremists are reacting to coronavirus

Opportunity or threat? How Islamic extremists are reacting to coronavirus

Groups such as Isis plan to exploit pandemic, but even it has acknowledged danger posed by virus.

The Guardian

'As coronavirus spreads around the world, so too do the quack cures'

'As coronavirus spreads around the world, so too do the quack cures'

Politicians, faith leaders and other authority figures have been touting dubious remedies.

The Guardian

'In Modi's India, virus fallout inflames divisions between Muslims and Hindus'

'In Modi's India, virus fallout inflames divisions between Muslims and Hindus'

The coronavirus has also exacerbated festering divisions between the country's Hindus and its sizable Muslim minority, many of whom have seen their livelihoods threatened by the establishment of quarantine zones.

Reuters

'Like Esty in Unorthodox, I left my Chasidic community. This is what the show doesn't tell you'

'Like Esty in Unorthodox, I left my Chasidic community. This is what the show doesn't tell you'

'The process is a lot messier than the series would have you think.'

The Independent

Thu, 16 Apr 2020

Coronavirus: Top Freemason in ‘God’s revenge’ row - NSS quoted

Coronavirus: Top Freemason in ‘God’s revenge’ row - NSS quoted

The leader of Scotland's Freemasons has become embroiled in a controversy over claims that coronavirus is a punishment from God. NSS CEO Stephen Evans said he is using the pandemic to "push an anti-secularist message".

The Times (£)

Poles divided on ‘draconian’ abortion, sex education bills

Poles divided on ‘draconian’ abortion, sex education bills

Polish lawmakers began debating draft laws Wednesday that would impose a near-total ban on abortion, criminalize sex education in schools and equate homosexuality with pedophilia, revisiting proposals backed by a Catholic group that were shelved after a popular outcry.

AP News

Police in Germany arrest four Islamic State suspects planning attack on US bases

Police in Germany arrest four Islamic State suspects planning attack on US bases

German authorities say police have arrested four suspected members of the Islamic State group alleged to be planning an attack on American military facilities.

The Independent

Opposition to Samaritan’s Purse Central Park field hospital grows

Opposition to Samaritan’s Purse Central Park field hospital grows

Activists with the Reclaim Pride Coalition holding signs saying "help not hate" called out New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the leadership of Mount Sinai just across the park, for allowing the organization headed by evangelist Franklin Graham to treat New Yorkers while adhering to an anti-gay statement of faith.

Religion News Service

Virginia becomes first southern US state to sign comprehensive LGBTQ protections into law

Virginia becomes first southern US state to sign comprehensive LGBTQ protections into law

State governor Ralph Northam has signed the Virginia Values Act, which will protect people from discrimination when it comes into force in July.

Attitude

Donald Trump invited a pastor who said gays “want to recruit your kids” to deliver Easter blessing

Donald Trump invited a pastor who said gays “want to recruit your kids” to deliver Easter blessing

Bishop Harry Jackson has gotten national media attention since 2012 for his opposition to LGBTQ rights and extreme statements, which include saying that LGBTQ people are "folks who cannot reproduce who want to recruit your kids" and said that the movement for marriage equality proved that the U.S. was "just like during the times of Hitler."

LGBTQ Nation

Pakistani Christians refused Covid-19 aid because of faith

Pakistani Christians refused Covid-19 aid because of faith

Some Christians in Pakistan have reported being refused Covid-19 aid because of their faith.

Christian Today

'Child sex abuse in Pakistan’s religious schools is endemic'

'Child sex abuse in Pakistan’s religious schools is endemic'

An investigation by The Associated Press found dozens of police reports, known here as First Information Reports, alleging sexual harassment, rape and physical abuse by Islamic clerics teaching in madrassas or religious schools throughout Pakistan, where many of the country's poorest study.

AP News

'The global crisis hammers home this truth: people matter more than religion'

'The global crisis hammers home this truth: people matter more than religion'

'We are slowly waking up to the reality that we will thrive only when authentic concern for people drives every aspect of society.'

The Guardian

'How do you become, formally, not-a-Catholic? You take the law into your own hands'

'How do you become, formally, not-a-Catholic? You take the law into your own hands'

'The church has tried to make it so it can't be divorced. Yet people do want to leave. In droves.'

The Guardian

Wed, 15 Apr 2020

Couples 'leaving God out of the equation' as religious marriages hit historic low

Couples 'leaving God out of the equation' as religious marriages hit historic low

Couples from mixed faiths are increasingly "leaving God out of the equation", fuelling an historic low in religious marriage ceremonies.

The Telegraph

Declare abortion a public health issue during pandemic, WHO urged

Declare abortion a public health issue during pandemic, WHO urged

Charities press World Health Organization to ensure women can get contraception and safe abortions during crisis.

The Guardian

Mass graves dug as Muslim community struggles to cope with number of deaths

Mass graves dug as Muslim community struggles to cope with number of deaths

Workers at a cemetery in south east London have started digging mass graves for Muslim victims of coronavirus pandemic.

Kent Live

Concerns over Polish government tightening abortion laws during Covid-19 crisis

Concerns over Polish government tightening abortion laws during Covid-19 crisis

With street protests now an impossibility, human rights groups fear that Poland's conservative government will push through 'dangerous legislation'.

The Guardian

Judge rules Alabama can’t prohibit abortion during pandemic

Judge rules Alabama can’t prohibit abortion during pandemic

A federal judge on Sunday ruled that Alabama cannot ban abortions as part of the state's response to coronavirus.

New York Post

Churches sue US governor for right to hold religious services during lockdown

Churches sue US governor for right to hold religious services during lockdown

California churches are suing governor Gavin Newsom, for the right to keep their parishes open during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Independent

U.S. Justice Department sides with church in COVID-19 religious dispute

U.S. Justice Department sides with church in COVID-19 religious dispute

The U.S. Justice Department on Tuesday weighed in on the potential imposition on religious rights caused by COVID-19 state shutdown orders, siding with a Mississippi church that sued the city of Greenville.

Reuters

Pastor who defied social distancing dies after contracting Covid-19, church says

Pastor who defied social distancing dies after contracting Covid-19, church says

A Virginia pastor who defied warnings about the danger of religious gatherings during the pandemic and vowed to keep preaching "unless I'm in jail or the hospital" died over the weekend after contracting Covid-19, his church said.

New York Times

Franklin Graham says he is being 'harassed' over Central Park Hospital

Franklin Graham says he is being 'harassed' over Central Park Hospital

The evangelical leader's relief group has been criticized for requiring workers at its field hospital to say they oppose same-sex marriage.

New York Times

'Covid-19 underlines vital significance of secularism'

'Covid-19 underlines vital significance of secularism'

'The Covid-19 pandemic serves to remind us that secularism is a vital ingredient of democracy and that it means not just separation of religion from the state but also subordination of religion to the state in matters temporal.'

The Economic Times

Tue, 14 Apr 2020

Abortion: Pro-choice activists drawing up legal action over ‘stalled access to care’ in Northern Ireland

Abortion: Pro-choice activists drawing up legal action over ‘stalled access to care’ in Northern Ireland

Pro-choice campaigners are planning to launch a legal action over what they believe is a failure to implement Northern Ireland's new law on abortion.

News Letter

Christian group considers legal action after abortion provider offers pills by post

Christian group considers legal action after abortion provider offers pills by post

A Christian group has said it is considering legal action after an abortion provider launched a 'pills by post' service for women in Northern Ireland during the coronavirus lockdown.

Christian Today

Closure of churches is 'guidance, not instruction', says archbishop

Closure of churches is 'guidance, not instruction', says archbishop

The archbishop of Canterbury has responded to criticism over a request for churches to stay closed during the coronavirus pandemic.

Christian Today

Barbara Smoker obituary

Barbara Smoker obituary

Former NSS president Barbara Smoker renounced her Catholic faith for a lifetime spent championing a secular society.

The Times (£)

‘Abortion has come grudgingly to Northern Ireland in the wake of coronavirus’

‘Abortion has come grudgingly to Northern Ireland in the wake of coronavirus’

Women are still a pawn in the political game at Stormont.

The Guardian

Coronavirus conspiracy theories targeting Muslims spread in India

Coronavirus conspiracy theories targeting Muslims spread in India

The hijacking of coronavirus as an excuse for discrimination comes after a growing state-sponsored campaign to turn Muslims into second-class citizens in India, as part of the BJP's agenda of Hindu nationalism.

The Guardian

Australian police investigating new child abuse allegations against Cardinal George Pell

Australian police investigating new child abuse allegations against Cardinal George Pell

Australian police are conducting a new child abuse investigation into Australian cardinal George Pell, less than a week after his previous convictions for raping and assaulting two other boys were overturned.

The Telegraph

Cardinal Pell claims Catholic Church has cut out ‘moral cancer’ of child abuse – NSS quoted

Cardinal Pell claims Catholic Church has cut out ‘moral cancer’ of child abuse – NSS quoted

In a letter published on Saturday, Pell said the Catholic Church has "cut out a moral cancer" by facing down child sex abuse.

The Freethinker (Patheos)

Trump tells religious leaders: 'We're going to beat this plague'

Trump tells religious leaders: 'We're going to beat this plague'

President Donald Trump has told religious leaders that "we have a tremendous year coming up" and that the United States would beat coronavirus "soon," while seeming to implore religious people to support him in his re-election.

NBC News

US appeals court blocks Texas curbs on medication abortion

US appeals court blocks Texas curbs on medication abortion

A US appeals court has blocked Texas from enforcing curbs on medication-induced abortions as part of the Republican-governed state's restrictions aimed at postponing medical procedures not deemed urgent during the coronavirus pandemic.

Reuters

Appeals court blocks Oklahoma COVID-19-related abortion ban

Appeals court blocks Oklahoma COVID-19-related abortion ban

A federal appeals court in the US has upheld a lower-court order that overturned the Oklahoma governor's ban on abortions during the coronavirus outbreak emergency.

The New York Times (£)

Hundreds at Louisiana church flout COVID-19 gatherings ban

Hundreds at Louisiana church flout COVID-19 gatherings ban

Hundreds of worshippers attended services at a Louisiana church on Sunday, flouting a ban on large gatherings.

The Philadelphia Inquirer

Thu, 09 Apr 2020

Child sexual abuse victims should not be put off by George Pell decision, experts say

Child sexual abuse victims should not be put off by George Pell decision, experts say

Victims of child sexual abuse should not be dissuaded from coming forward and reporting perpetrators as a result of the conviction of Cardinal George Pell being overturned, a barrister and professor of law in Melbourne says.

The Guardian

‘How George Pell won in Australia's High Court on a legal technicality’

‘How George Pell won in Australia's High Court on a legal technicality’

Pell will continue to be assailed by multiple lawsuits. In contrast, the complainant has been believed by a jury, by a majority judgment and by a substantial body of public opinion.

The Conversation

‘Cardinal Pell’s acquittal was as opaque as his sexual abuse trial’

‘Cardinal Pell’s acquittal was as opaque as his sexual abuse trial’

Critics say Australia's courts exhibited a penchant for secrecy and insular decision-making that resembled the Roman Catholic Church's flawed response to sexual abuse within its ranks.

The New York Times

Abortion pills ‘should be available to take at home’ in NI amid coronavirus lockdown

Abortion pills ‘should be available to take at home’ in NI amid coronavirus lockdown

Women in Northern Ireland should be able to take abortion pills at home during the coronavirus outbreak, campaigners have told the UK government.

Metro

‘Religion and Covid-19’

‘Religion and Covid-19’

It is highly irresponsible for some authorities to allow mass religious gatherings, says Khadija Khan.

Sister-hood

Jewish Chronicle and Jewish News to close and staff laid off

Jewish Chronicle and Jewish News to close and staff laid off

The Jewish Chronicle and Jewish News are to close and their staff made redundant, according to sources, after their parent company ran out of money as the coronavirus pandemic devastates the media industry.

The Guardian

Police investigate UK far-right groups over anti-Muslim coronavirus claims

Police investigate UK far-right groups over anti-Muslim coronavirus claims

Counter-terrorism police in the UK are investigating far-right groups accused of trying to use the coronavirus crisis to stoke anti-Muslim sentiment.

The Guardian

US Supreme Court expected to weigh in on Texas emergency coronavirus abortion restriction

US Supreme Court expected to weigh in on Texas emergency coronavirus abortion restriction

The US Supreme Court is expected to weigh in on a major abortion case out of Texas that could resolve whether states may effectively ban the procedure with limited exceptions during the coronavirus pandemic.

CNBC

‘It isn’t possible to divorce George Pell's acquittal from the Catholic church's history of child abuse’

‘It isn’t possible to divorce George Pell's acquittal from the Catholic church's history of child abuse’

The bishops should end their obsession with Pell and take up their moral responsibility to victims.

The Guardian

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