Fri, 17 Apr 2020
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.
Germany's Catholic bishops' have voiced disappointment at Chancellor Angela Merkel's decision not to lift the ban on public church services.
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
New Turkish drama Love 101 unleashed a torrent of fury over unconfirmed rumours that it will feature a gay character.
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.
Groups such as Isis plan to exploit pandemic, but even it has acknowledged danger posed by virus.
Politicians, faith leaders and other authority figures have been touting dubious remedies.
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.
'The process is a lot messier than the series would have you think.'
Thu, 16 Apr 2020
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 (£)
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.
German authorities say police have arrested four suspected members of the Islamic State group alleged to be planning an attack on American military facilities.
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
State governor Ralph Northam has signed the Virginia Values Act, which will protect people from discrimination when it comes into force in July.
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."
Some Christians in Pakistan have reported being refused Covid-19 aid because of their faith.
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.
'We are slowly waking up to the reality that we will thrive only when authentic concern for people drives every aspect of society.'
'The church has tried to make it so it can't be divorced. Yet people do want to leave. In droves.'
Wed, 15 Apr 2020
Couples from mixed faiths are increasingly "leaving God out of the equation", fuelling an historic low in religious marriage ceremonies.
Charities press World Health Organization to ensure women can get contraception and safe abortions during crisis.
Workers at a cemetery in south east London have started digging mass graves for Muslim victims of coronavirus pandemic.
With street protests now an impossibility, human rights groups fear that Poland's conservative government will push through 'dangerous legislation'.
A federal judge on Sunday ruled that Alabama cannot ban abortions as part of the state's response to coronavirus.
New York Post
California churches are suing governor Gavin Newsom, for the right to keep their parishes open during the coronavirus pandemic.
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.
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
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
'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
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.
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.
The archbishop of Canterbury has responded to criticism over a request for churches to stay closed during the coronavirus pandemic.
Former NSS president Barbara Smoker renounced her Catholic faith for a lifetime spent championing a secular society.
The Times (£)
Women are still a pawn in the political game at Stormont.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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 of worshippers attended services at a Louisiana church on Sunday, flouting a ban on large gatherings.
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Thu, 09 Apr 2020
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.
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.
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
Women in Northern Ireland should be able to take abortion pills at home during the coronavirus outbreak, campaigners have told the UK government.
It is highly irresponsible for some authorities to allow mass religious gatherings, says Khadija Khan.
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.
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 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.
‘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.
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