Fri, 09 Feb 2018

Catholic Church settles abuse claims over paedophile priest in Northern Ireland

The Catholic Church has settled sexual abuse claims with victims of a priest who taught in a school in Newry.

Belfast Telegraph

‘Trump’s prayer breakfast speech was infused with God-and-country references’

Sarah Pulliam Bailey says President Trump appealed to Americans who believe in Christian nationalism when he delivered his speech at yesterday's National Prayer Breakfast.

The Washington Post

Indian Government admits rise in religion-based hate crime

India's Government has presented detailed data in the country's parliament showing a surge in religion-based violence since it came to power four years ago. The Government has been accused of emboldening Hindu fundamentalism.

UCA News

Spaniard who photoshopped his own face on Christ statue ordered to pay damages to church

A man from Jaen in southern Spain has been ordered to pay a fine for offending a church by posting a photoshopped image of his own face on a statue of Jesus.

The Local (Spain)

Australia child sex abuse: Victims to receive national apology

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said he will deliver a national apology to victims of child sexual abuse. A recent inquiry found that tens of thousands of children had been abused in Australian institutions, including churches, in recent decades.


Thu, 08 Feb 2018

Church of England facing more than 3,000 complaints over child abuse

The Church of England is facing more than 3,000 abuse complaints, the vast majority of which relate to children or vulnerable adults.

Christian Today

PM appears to join criticism of equal treatment coroner at PMQs

Theresa May has responded to a question about a North London coroner who treats people equally, regardless of religion. She said it is "important that we take into account specific requirements of someone's faith". She added that the Ministry of Justice would discuss the case with the chief coroner.

The Jewish Chronicle

Foreign Office employees invited to wear headscarves to work to mark ‘World Hijab Day’

The Foreign Office handed out free headscarves to staff to mark 'World Hijab Day' last week. In an internal memo, it said the headscarf is worn by some women who see it as representing "liberation, respect and security".

Evening Standard

Consultation on council's new halal meat policy after threat of boycott and legal action

A one month consultation has been launched on Lancashire County Council's plans to change its halal meat policy. The council was threatened with a boycott of school meals and a legal challenge after it voted last year to ban the use of unstunned halal meat in county schools and other premises.

Lancashire Evening Post

Vue cinema cancels screening of film advocating ‘gay cure therapy’

A cinema chain has cancelled the screening of a film advocating therapy to "cure" people of being gay.


Briton who fought IS charged with terror offence

A British man will become the first person to have fought Islamic State to be charged with a terror offence.

Sky News

Labour MPs to meet in Belfast for abortion law reform talks

Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Owen Smith will head up a delegation of Labour MPs in Belfast today for a discussion on the reform of Northern Ireland's abortion law.

Belfast Telegraph

How religious extremists gamed Facebook to target millions of Britons with far-right propaganda

From bases in Serbia and Hungary, a network of sites with links to Britain First and 'crusader organisation' Knights Templar International has been filling Facebook with far-right propaganda.


California judge: Baker can refuse service to same-sex couple

A California judge ruled that baker can refuse to provide service to a same-sex couple due to her religious objections.

Gay Star News

‘Trump vowed to destroy the Johnson Amendment. Thankfully, he has failed’

President Trump will return to the US's National Prayer Breakfast today. Last year he pledged to destroy a law prohibiting religious organisations from endorsing political candidates and parties. David Saperstein and Amanda Tyler say he should "reverse course and stop politicising religion".

The Washington Post

Trump administration installs ‘religious freedom’ tsars in all US attorney offices

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions is quietly installing 'religious freedom' tsars in every US attorney's office.


Wed, 07 Feb 2018

Religious sex cult child abuser avoids jail for “horrible catalogue” of crimes

A former member of a "religious sex cult" has been spared jail for "a horrible catalogue" of sexual and physical abuse of children.

Dumbarton Reporter

Judge orders demolition of mosque in Stratford, east London

A High Court judge has ordered the demolition of a mosque in east London which has 2,000 worshippers a week but no planning permission.

The Times (£)

Iranian women defiant against compulsory hijab

A new wave of protests against the compulsory wearing of hijab has spread across Iran, resulting in the arrests of dozens of women. The government has accused the protesters of being under the influence of drugs.


Religious campaigners in Kenya condemn sex education plan

Some religious campaigners have criticised plans by the Kenyan government to expand coverage of sex education in primary schools.

The Guardian

Denmark poised to ban Islamic full-face veils

The Danish government is poised to become the next European country to introduce a ban on Islamic full-face coverings in public places.

The Independent

‘To know Donald Trump’s faith is to understand his politics’

Martyn Percy says the US president's religious views encourage him to run his politics like a "Ponzi scheme".

The Guardian

‘Schools should teach religion. They shouldn’t teach faith’

Lawmakers in some American states are promoting measures requiring elective courses on the bible in schools. Linda Wertheimer says preaching should not be part of education.

NBC News

Could Mississippi expand its abortion ban?

Legislators in Mississippi are debating a bill that would bar most abortions after 15 weeks into pregnancy. The state House of Representatives has passed the bill.

Catholic News Agency

‘Defunding of Planned Parenthood has stopped women in Iowa accessing family planning services’

Republican claims that defunding Planned Parenthood would give Iowan women more access to birth control have been shown to be absurd, this editorial says.

Des Moines Register

Muslim scholar Ramadan to remain in custody in France

A French judge decided on Tuesday to keep Swiss Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan in custody pending a possible trial for allegations of rape, a source with the prosecutor's office said.


Tue, 06 Feb 2018

Some serving bishops have been abused, says campaigner

A number of bishops and senior church leaders are themselves survivors of sex abuse but a sense of shame prevents them from speaking out, a campaigner is claiming.

Christian Today

Pope Francis’s advisers say he knew about sexual abuse in Chile and cover-up of it

Members of the pope's sex abuse commission have contradicted his recent insistence that no victims had come forward and challenged his claim that he has "zero tolerance" for sex abuse and cover-ups.


Conservatives to ‘step up’ speaking programme at universities in support of free speech

The Conservative party has vowed to "step up" its speaker programme across UK universities in response to the threats to Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg by far-left activists last week.


Brixton prison chaplain ‘ousted as radical Christian’

A prison chaplain has left his position amid claims the courses he taught were "too radical".

The Times (£)

BBC show to look at women and Islam

BBC One will broadcast a documentary this evening called Islam, Women And Me.


‘Will the BBC go back to ignoring grooming gangs?’

In the light of Darren Osborne's conviction and the details of how he was radicalised, Douglas Murray wonders whether press coverage of sensitive issues will change.

The Spectator

Iceland MPs propose ban on circumcision of boys

MPs from five different political parties in Iceland have proposed a ban on the circumcision of boys. Their bill suggests a six-year prison term for anyone found guilty of "removing sexual organs in whole or in part".

The Independent

‘Secularism is under threat’

Andrew Copson examines the threats to secularism in this interview with Samira Shackle.

New Humanist

People who think about leaving religion but don’t are more likely to feel depressed and hopeless

Newly-published research suggests that sticking with a religion you have doubts about is associated with depressive symptoms.


Young people in Canada abandon organised religion

Led by millennials, Canada is increasingly moving towards a secular culture, with many describing themselves as "spiritual but not religious".

The Conversation

Mon, 05 Feb 2018

Justin Welby ‘blocked’ payouts to abused pupils

A victim of child sex abuse has written to Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, ahead of next weekend's General Synod accusing him of "personally" blocking extra compensation payments.

The Sunday Times (£)

Paris attacks suspect to go on trial in Belgium

The sole surviving suspect from the 2015 Paris terror attacks has arrived at a Belgian court to face trial over the shootout that led to his arrest.


‘In British schools, the wearing of the hijab by young girls is an explosive issue’ – NSS research cited

The question whether young girls should be allowed to wear the hijab at school is emerging as one of the most bitterly divisive issues in debates over the limits of cultural freedom.

The Economist

Ofsted chief Amanda Spielman targeted by anti-semites in hijab row

Ofsted's chief inspector has been the subject of anti-semitic abuse after publicly supporting a primary school in a row over banning the hijab and fasting for young children.

The Sunday Times (£)

‘Don’t let the fundamentalists wreck our schools’

This leading article says the Department for Education's response to Islamic fundamentalists' demands in schools has been "supine in the extreme".

The Sunday Times (£)

UK rejects proposals to regulate sharia councils – NSS quoted

The United Kingdom has rejected proposals to regulate so-called sharia councils in the UK, following the publishing of a 2 year review into the matter. NSS CEO Stephen Evans welcomed the decision.

The National

‘How Sara Khan’s critics prove she’s the right choice’

Terry Murray, Beatrice Louis and Khadija Khan Lodhi argue that the opposition to Sara Khan as the Counter-Extremism commissioner from many special interest groups shows she is the right person for the role.

Conatus News

Anti-gay marriage presidential candidate wins first-round ballot in Costa Rica

A fringe evangelical candidate who vowed to stop equal marriage has topped the ballot in the first round of Costa Rica's presidential election.

Pink News

Interview with Dan Barker, co-president of Freedom From Religion Foundation

Dan Barker, former minister and co-president of the Freedom from Religion Foundation, speaks about the organisation and its work.

Conatus News

Pakistani feminist turns tables on man after ‘blasphemy’ slur

A women's rights activist in Pakistan has filed a lawsuit against a man who accused her of blasphemy, a charge that carries the death penalty.

The Times (£)

Fri, 02 Feb 2018

Ofsted boss attacks C of E for making it harder to tackle extremism

The Church of England's opposition to the inspection of Sunday schools has made it harder to tackle extremism, Ofsted's chief inspector has said.

The Independent

Mosque terror attacker to be sentenced

A man who drove a van at people outside a London mosque after saying he wanted to "kill all Muslims" will be sentenced this morning. He was found guilty of murder and attempted murder yesterday.

Sky News

Web giants warned as Finsbury Park terrorist faces jail

Tech giants were told last night to do more to tackle far-right propaganda after a terrorist radicalised online in weeks was convicted of driving a van into Muslims outside a mosque.

The Times (£)

Judge grants judicial review into coroner in Jewish burials dispute

A high court judge has granted a Jewish burial society the right to a judicial review of a senior coroner's policy of treating people equally, regardless of religious sensitivity.

The Jewish Chronicle

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