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Mon, 18 Jan 2021

US: Houston woman faces historic indictment over female genital cutting

US: Houston woman faces historic indictment over female genital cutting

The indictment alleges Zahra Badri, a 39-year-old British Muslim woman residing in Houston, knowingly transported a minor from the US in foreign commerce for the purpose of female genital cutting between July and October 2016.

Religion News Service

Fri, 15 Jan 2021

Coronavirus: Fake news 'causing ethnic minorities to reject Covid jab'

Coronavirus: Fake news 'causing ethnic minorities to reject Covid jab'

Fake news is likely to be causing people from ethnic minorities to reject the Covid vaccine, a doctor has warned. Some of the disinformation is religiously targeted.

BBC

Catholics in Scotland attempt legal challenge against inclusion of churches in coronavirus restrictions

Catholics in Scotland attempt legal challenge against inclusion of churches in coronavirus restrictions

A religious minister in Scotland has launched a crowdfunding drive in an attempt to bring a judicial review against the inclusion of churches in lockdown restrictions.

Express

‘Church leaders need to get rid of the assumed superiority’

‘Church leaders need to get rid of the assumed superiority’

Two letters question religious leaders' resistance to lockdown measures in Scotland.

The Herald

MPs call for political action against China over Uyghur persecution

MPs call for political action against China over Uyghur persecution

Senior MPs and activists have spoken of the UK's urgent need to take a political stand against the genocide being inflicted on Uyghur Muslims in China.

Jewish News

Train driver loses discrimination claim over ‘Allahu akbar’ in bomb training exercise

Train driver loses discrimination claim over ‘Allahu akbar’ in bomb training exercise

A Muslim train driver has lost his religious discrimination claim after suing a security firm for using a fake bomb with the words 'Allahu Akbar' on it as part of a training exercise.

Mail Online

Bishop said Irish state was defying canon law when seeking details of mothers in home

Bishop said Irish state was defying canon law when seeking details of mothers in home

Conditions at a mother and baby home in Cork led to a clash between church and state, when the former bishop of Cork said the state was seeking to ask a religious order to go against canon law.

The Irish Times

Ireland’s religious congregations asked to contribute to mother and baby redress fund

Ireland’s religious congregations asked to contribute to mother and baby redress fund

The two main churches in Ireland and the religious congregations that ran the mother and baby homes have been asked to make a contribution to the intended redress fund for former residents and survivors.

The Irish Times

Petition calls for removal of church bells before the news in Ireland after mother and baby home scandal

Petition calls for removal of church bells before the news in Ireland after mother and baby home scandal

Ireland's national broadcaster is facing calls to remove the Angelus from the air in light of the mother and baby home report released earlier this week. The Angelus, or the church bells, is a one-minute-long programme which has aired at 6pm every evening on RTÉ One since 1950.

The Irish Post

Argentina legalising abortion will spur reform in Latin America, minister says

Argentina legalising abortion will spur reform in Latin America, minister says

Argentina's historic decision to legalise abortion will help spur reform across Latin America, the country's gender minister has said, as a new law allowing the practice goes into effect.

The Guardian

Pakistan attempts to prosecute Ahmadi US citizens for digital blasphemy

Pakistan attempts to prosecute Ahmadi US citizens for digital blasphemy

Pakistani authorities have asked leaders of the American Ahmadiyya Muslim community to take down its official website, claiming that the US-based site violates Pakistan's strict blasphemy laws and new cybercrime regulations.

Religion News Service

French court sentences Deliveroo courier who refused to deliver kosher meals

French court sentences Deliveroo courier who refused to deliver kosher meals

A French court sentences a 19-year-old Deliveroo courier to four months in prison on discrimination charges after he refused to deliver meals from Jewish restaurants.

The Times of Israel

Thu, 14 Jan 2021

Judges urge Catholic man's mother to stop fighting court's decision to switch off life support

Judges urge Catholic man's mother to stop fighting court's decision to switch off life support

A comatose man's Catholic family has been urged by judges to end their fight to keep him alive and respect his wife's wishes to take him off life-support.

Mail Online

China says will defend self over UK Uighur Muslim labour measures

China says will defend self over UK Uighur Muslim labour measures

China said Wednesday that it would defend itself against a British government demand that companies ensure their supply chains are free from forced labour linked to the northwestern Chinese region of Xinjiang or face punishing fines.

The Associated Press

Catholic school in Whitby one step closer to closure

Catholic school in Whitby one step closer to closure

A Whitby Roman Catholic primary school with just two pupils is set to close after councillors backed the move.

The Scarborough News

Police called as church pastor 'accused of hate speech while preaching about LGBT community'

Police called as church pastor 'accused of hate speech while preaching about LGBT community'

Controversial pastor Peter Simpson, of the Penn Free Methodist Church, was "preaching the gospel" in High Wycombe High Street on December 19 - but his comments about the LGBT community caught the attention of the authorities.

Bucks Free Press

Mother and baby homes: Call for Protestant apology

Mother and baby homes: Call for Protestant apology

The Church of Ireland should apologise for its involvement in running a Protestant mother baby home in Dublin, one survivor has said.

BBC

‘Shame over mother and baby homes lies with Catholic Church’

‘Shame over mother and baby homes lies with Catholic Church’

The shame for the appalling neglect of women and children in Ireland's mother and baby homes lies squarely with the Catholic Church, who not only owned the homes but created a society where single mothers were deemed sinners to be locked away, says Allison Morris.

The Irish News

Ireland: Funeral mass of Catholic sect breached guidelines amid spike in cases

Ireland: Funeral mass of Catholic sect breached guidelines amid spike in cases

Public health guidelines were breached during a funeral mass in Dublin over Christmas on the same day that almost 1,000 new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed.

The Times*

Italy: Priest accused of abetting alleged sex abuse ring hired by diocesan charity

Italy: Priest accused of abetting alleged sex abuse ring hired by diocesan charity

The mother of an alleged abuse victim claims the priest broke the confidence of the confessional to warn church officials of a coming investigation.

Religion News Service

Colorado’s Supreme Court first in US to revamp common-law marriage for same-sex couples

Colorado’s Supreme Court first in US to revamp common-law marriage for same-sex couples

The Colorado Supreme Court on Monday changed the way common-law marriage is defined in the courts to make it more inclusive of same-sex couples and to update the three-decade-old legal standard to better reflect today's societal norms.

The Denver Post

US: Supreme Court reinstates restrictions on abortion pill

US: Supreme Court reinstates restrictions on abortion pill

The Supreme Court on Tuesday night granted the Trump administration's request to reinstate federal rules requiring people seeking medication abortions to obtain the pills in-person from a medical provider.

Politico

Wed, 13 Jan 2021

Ireland: Mother and baby homes report a ‘damning indictment’ of church and state, say survivors

Ireland: Mother and baby homes report a ‘damning indictment’ of church and state, say survivors

The report of the Commission on Mother and Baby Homes has been described as a "damning indictment" of both the church and state, by a coalition of survivors' groups.

Irish Times

UK sanctions China over 'horrific' treatment of Uyghur Muslims

UK sanctions China over 'horrific' treatment of Uyghur Muslims

Foreign secretary Dominic Raab has announced that the government would launch a review into which UK products can be exported to Xinjiang and introduce financial penalties for Chinese firms that do not comply with the Modern Slavery Act.

City AM

‘How I survived a Chinese 're-education' camp for Uighurs’

‘How I survived a Chinese 're-education' camp for Uighurs’

"After 10 years living in France, I returned to China to sign some papers and I was locked up. For the next two years, I was systematically dehumanised, humiliated and brainwashed."

The Guardian

NI pastor keeps church open despite leaders of main denominations suspending religious gatherings

NI pastor keeps church open despite leaders of main denominations suspending religious gatherings

A pastor in Belfast is keeping his church doors open even though leaders of the main denominations in Northern Ireland have suspended communal religious worship until next month.

Premier Christian News

‘How some Christian charities are targeting Jews for conversion’

‘How some Christian charities are targeting Jews for conversion’

There are Christian charities in the UK openly targeting Jews — and they have millions of pounds to spend, says Steven Jaffe.

The JC

Cardinal Parolin asked Vatican bank for loan to exit troubling London realty deal

Cardinal Parolin asked Vatican bank for loan to exit troubling London realty deal

The second-highest-ranking official at the Vatican reportedly requested a loan two years ago from the Vatican Bank, hoping to buy a high-priced property in London currently at the centre of the institution's financial scandals, calling it "a valid investment."

Religion News Service

Pope formally allows for more roles for women in the church

Pope formally allows for more roles for women in the church

Pope Francis on Monday formally allowed women to serve as readers at liturgies and as alter servers, in a decree that made clear that these roles are separate from the all-male priesthood.

NBC News

‘The French Left against Islamism’

‘The French Left against Islamism’

Debate around extremism has been plagued by cringe-inducing naivety, says Liam Duffy.

Unherd

Donald Trump launches ‘parting assault on the LGBT+ community’ by stripping discrimination protections

Donald Trump launches ‘parting assault on the LGBT+ community’ by stripping discrimination protections

Trump's Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has officially adopted new rules allowing recipients of federal HHS grants to discriminate against LGBT+ people in the name of religious freedom.

Pink News

‘Can Pakistan protect its religious minorities?’

‘Can Pakistan protect its religious minorities?’

Pakistan is overwhelmingly Muslim - the Hindu community makes up less than 2% of the population. Prejudice against Hindus is ingrained, says M Ilyas Khan.

BBC

Tue, 12 Jan 2021

Sturgeon urged to reopen churches by more than 200 Scottish religious leaders

Sturgeon urged to reopen churches by more than 200 Scottish religious leaders

In an open letter to the First Minister, the group of leaders accuse the Scottish Government of "failing" to understand that Christian worship is an "essential public service".

The Scotsman*

UK must close places of worship, health expert warns

UK must close places of worship, health expert warns

Anthony Costello, a professor of global health at UCL and a former WHO director, said: "We should have no nurseries open, no synagogues, no churches, no mosques."

Mirror

Church and cathedral closures accelerate in response to Covid dangers

Church and cathedral closures accelerate in response to Covid dangers

Churches had been faced with an "impossible, unfair and unsustainable dilemma", and critical public-health decisions had, in effect, been outsourced to local churches, the Bishop of Burnley said.

Church Times*

Pupil sent home every day in religion row over uniform

Pupil sent home every day in religion row over uniform

A girl's parents have been threatened with court for refusing to send her to school in a shorter skirt — because it goes against her religion.

Metro

Report to reveal scale of abuse at Ireland's mother and baby homes

Report to reveal scale of abuse at Ireland's mother and baby homes

Results of investigation expected to tell how 9,000 children died in 18 institutions between 1922 and 1998.

The Guardian

Polish activists face jail for sticking up Virgin Mary posters with rainbow halo

Polish activists face jail for sticking up Virgin Mary posters with rainbow halo

The trial of three Polish activists accused of "offending religious beliefs" will start on Wednesday, according to LGBT+ rights organisation ILGA-Europe, and could result in each one being jailed for up to two years.

The Independent

Victory for Argentina’s women as abortion charges are dropped

Victory for Argentina’s women as abortion charges are dropped

Argentina has announced it will drop criminal charges against women accused of having abortions following the government's historic decision to legalise the procedure.

The Guardian

Malaysia: Court to decide if members of Ahmadiyya are Muslims

Malaysia: Court to decide if members of Ahmadiyya are Muslims

The High Court will determine whether 39 individuals who professed the Ahmadiyya belief are Muslims or otherwise.

Free Malaysia Today

‘The freedom to offend’

‘The freedom to offend’

A recent Twitter row between two prominent British writers has made it explicit how and why the misuse of the term 'Islamophobia' has reduced it to a tool to censor unwanted and opposing views, says Khadija Khan.

sister-hood

‘India’s anti ‘love-jihad’ law – regressive and misogynist’

‘India’s anti ‘love-jihad’ law – regressive and misogynist’

The paranoia among India's Hindu Right about 'love jihad' reflects age old patriarchal notions of women as the property of men, says Zubin Madon.

Uncommon Ground

Mon, 11 Jan 2021

Sadiq Khan urges Johnson to close places of worship as Covid cases surge

Sadiq Khan urges Johnson to close places of worship as Covid cases surge

Places of worship in the capital should shut immediately because of the risks of Covid infection, Sadiq Khan has said, amid signs that churches, mosques and synagogues are already closing their doors.

The Guardian

120 people attended church or place of worship with Covid in Scotland

120 people attended church or place of worship with Covid in Scotland

A total of 120 Scots attended at church or other places of worship while infectious with coronavirus, the latest weekly figures have shown.

The Scotsman

UK ministers face legal action over lack of abortion services in NI

UK ministers face legal action over lack of abortion services in NI

Northern Ireland's human rights commission (NIHRC) has launched a landmark legal action against the UK government for its failure to commission safe and accessible abortion services more than a year after abortion was made legal in the country.

The Guardian

Beijing funds British YouTubers to further its propaganda war

Beijing funds British YouTubers to further its propaganda war

The Chinese government is funding British YouTube stars to produce pro-China propaganda videos, an investigation has revealed.

The Times*

Raab to clampdown on firms linked to forced Uighur Muslim labour in Xinjiang

Raab to clampdown on firms linked to forced Uighur Muslim labour in Xinjiang

Dominic Raab is to address concerns over UK complicity in the use of forced labour in China's Xinjiang province with more requirements on companies that buy goods there and possible sanctions on Chinese officials believed to be instrumental in the abuse.

The Guardian

Twitter blocks Chinese Embassy tweet claiming Uighur women are no longer 'baby-making machines'

Twitter blocks Chinese Embassy tweet claiming Uighur women are no longer 'baby-making machines'

On Saturday morning, a tweet posted by the Chinese Embassy in Washington DC was removed by Twitter for violating the platform's rules against dehumanisation.

Business Insider

Prison chaplain who revealed bible meetings were hijacked by Islamist extremists taking legal action

Prison chaplain who revealed bible meetings were hijacked by Islamist extremists taking legal action

Pastor Paul Song was banned indefinitely from working in London jails after exposing the influence of Muslim gangs at HMP Brixton.

Mail Online

Marriage Foundation proposes simpler wedding ceremonies ‘ for all’

Marriage Foundation proposes simpler wedding ceremonies ‘ for all’

Its report showed that the "'marriage gap' between rich and poor" had "almost doubled from 22 per cent to 41 per cent".

Church Times*

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