Thu, 15 Mar 2018

Jewish students tell Universities Minister how they ‘are targeted’ on campus

Jewish student and communal representatives have told new Universities Minister Sam Gyimah how Jewish and Israel-related events "are targeted" on campus.

Jewish News

USA: Atheists can ‘go to hell,’ says Kansas commissioner

Atheists who want the equal right to deliver an invocation at a Sedgwick County, Kansas Commission meeting can "go to hell," a county commissioner said Tuesday.

Centre Daily

Should a 'secular humanist' serve as Navy chaplain? Absolutely not

A bizarre rant from a US senator about "political correctness" and why a qualified non-religious chaplain should be excluded from the Navy.

Fox News

El Salvador woman freed after 15 years in jail for abortion

A 34-year-old El Salvador woman was released yesterday after spending 15 years in jail on charges of inducing an abortion.

The Week

USA: He wanted to build Trump’s border wall. He was just charged in the bombing of a Minnesota mosque.

Three men — including the owner of a company that submitted a bid to build President Trump's border wall — bombed a Minnesota mosque in an attempt to drive Muslims out of the United States, according to a federal complaint.

Washington Post

Wed, 14 Mar 2018

Religious leaders to be trained in 'British values' and reform of marriage laws to be considered in government integration strategy

Faith leaders will be asked to help promote "British values" and laws on religious marriages could be reformed as part of a new government strategy to boost integration within the UK's communities.

The Independent

Five English councils told to adopt integration plans

Five English councils have been told they must adopt new integration plans to deal with problems of segregation as the government launches its strategy.


Abuse survivor tells IICSA of her battle for justice

A survivor of clerical abuse who brought a civil suit against the diocese in which she was abused has said an article she wrote "galvanised" the church's insurers into meeting to discuss settlement and change its civil-claims policy.

Church Times

More Muslim MPs sent suspect packages

Four Muslim Labour MPs have been sent suspicious packages and letters calling for a "Punish a Muslim" day.

The Times (£)

Welby calls for scrapping of tuition fees

The archbishop of Canterbury has called for tuition fees to be scrapped, saying the cost of university education should be covered through taxation. He was speaking during an interview with students at Canterbury Christ Church University.

The Guardian

Scots 'uncertain' over whether use of sectarian language is a crime

Nearly three in four Scots believe those who post sectarian comments on social media are harming Scotland's reputation - but there remains a "high level of uncertainty" over what registers as a crime, according to new research.

The Herald

People in Northern Ireland will not be allowed to vote in Ireland’s abortion referendum

The Irish government has decided not to allow people in Northern Ireland a vote in the upcoming abortion referendum, despite a legal challenge.

Belfast Telegraph

Sweden’s Social Democrats pledge to end role of religious schools

Sweden's governing Social Democrat party has proposed bringing an end to religious 'free' schools in the country as part of its manifesto for the autumn general election.

The Local (Sweden)

El Salvador woman freed after 15 years in jail for abortion

A 34-year-old woman in El Salvador has been freed after spending 15 years in jail for having an abortion.


Pakistan activists say court ruling on declaring religion threatens minorities

Rights activists in Pakistan have expressed concern over a court ruling that would require people to declare their religion on all official documents, saying it could lead to the persecution of minorities.

CBC (Canada)

‘Religious freedom must not be a green light to discriminate’

Amid a review into religious freedom in Australia, Hugh Harris says the idea that religious belief provides a licence to discriminate is not just wrong – it is antithetical to the meaning of religious freedom.

The Sydney Morning Herald

Tue, 13 Mar 2018

Don’t blame me for safeguarding blunders, former bishop of Lewes tells IICSA hearing

The former bishop of Lewes, Rt Revd Wallace Benn, has denied responsibility for a series of safeguarding failures in the diocese of Chichester during his tenure.

Church Times

Paedophile priests continued to lead services amid poor monitoring, hearing told

"Toothless" monitoring of convicted paedophile priests meant they were able to continue leading Anglican Church services even after being banned from doing so, the IICSA inquiry has heard.

Premier Christian Radio

Pupils should be taught that abstinence and celibacy can be 'positive life choices', says Church of England

Schools should teach pupils that abstinence and celibacy can be "positive life choices", the Church of England has said.

The Independent

Service at Westminster Abbey marks Commonwealth Day

Senior members of the royal family, politicians and religious representatives were among those who gathered at Westminster Abbey to mark Commonwealth Day yesterday. The prime minister read from the Bible during the service.


‘The BBC’s shameful silence on the Telford sex scandal’

Douglas Murray asks why the BBC has relegated coverage of a sex abuse scandal in Telford, and why euphemistic terms are being used to describe the fact the perpetrators are men from Muslim backgrounds.

The Spectator

Church of Scotland offers to facilitate talks between ministers and rural communities

The Church of Scotland has offered to facilitate key talks between the Scottish government and rural communities as Brexit talks continue.

The Herald

Suspicious package sent to Labour MP linked to 'Punish a Muslim day'

A suspicious package in Parliament has been linked to letters inciting a "Punish a Muslim day". Meanwhile one MP has responded by calling for a "proper legal definition of Islamophobia".

Sky News

Sadiq Khan calls for action over social media abuse

The mayor of London has said social media firms should do more to tackle 'hate speech' or face further regulation.


Solicitor on trial over allegedly arranging FGM for his daughter

A solicitor has gone on trial accused of beating his children and organising for his nine-year-old daughter to undergo female genital mutilation to punish her.


Church of England bans former vicar from visiting ministry after he admits voyeurism

A clergyman who was convicted of filming men using a public toilet in a shopping centre has been barred from ministry as a priest in the Church of England for seven years.

The Independent

Spanish anti-terror law has 'chilling effect' on satire, says Amnesty International

Amnesty International has warned that an "exponential increase" in prosecutions under a Spanish anti-terrorism law is having a chilling effect on satire and dissent and pushing social media users, musicians and journalists towards self-censorship.

The Guardian

‘We don’t own our children’

Adam Lee responds to an article which defended forced genital cutting.


Mon, 12 Mar 2018

Ofsted head denies targeting Jewish schools

Amanda Spielman, the chief inspector of Ofsted, has rejected suggestions the inspectorate has disproportionately targeted Jewish schools.

The JC

Jewish school removed 'homosexual' mentions from GCSE textbook

A state-funded Orthodox Jewish girls' school in north London has admitted censoring sections of GCSE textbooks to remove mentions of homosexuals and examples of women socialising with men.

The Guardian

‘British values are a poor fit with faith schools’

Clare Foges says Theresa May wants children to be taught the essence of Britishness, but at the same time is encouraging segregation.

The Times (£)

The unregistered schools where children are ‘being left to rot’

Etan Smallman assesses the reality behind the government's regular claims that it is clamping down on illegal schools.


IICSA considers whether views on women affected Chichester safeguarding

The "prevailing culture" with regard to women in the diocese of Chichester might have had "a significant influence" on safeguarding practice, the Inquiry Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse (IICSA) has been told.

Church Times

Bishop 'filleted' clergy files to remove evidence, abuse inquiry told

A bishop had a habit of 'filleting' key information about potential abusing priests from their files, making it harder to trace previous offending, an inquiry heard.

Christian Today

IICSA report on British child migration programme criticises Christian charities involved

An investigation into child migration, carried out by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse (IICSA), has criticised church and Christian organisations along with government departments, public authorities and charities.

Church Times

Terror police probe 'punish a Muslim day' letters

Letters encouraging recipients to take part in "Punish a Muslim Day" have reportedly been sent to addresses across the country.


Abingdon vicar who 'spiritually abused' boy gets two-year ban

A Church of England vicar who "spiritually abused" a boy has been banned from ministry for two years.


‘Offensive Behaviour at Football Act misses point on the reality of sectarianism’

Joseph Webster says Scotland's Offensive Behaviour at Football Act is unenforceable, counterproductive and unjustified on free speech grounds.

The Herald

Iceland’s proposed ban on ritual genital cutting is an attempt at ‘persecution’, claims bishop

A Catholic bishop in Iceland has criticised a proposed ban on non-consensual, non-therapeutic circumcision.

Christian Daily

Catholic Church fails to confront tragedy of 'epic proportions'

The Catholic Church has failed to fully accept the horrific impact of child sexual abuse and its own role in a tragedy of "epic proportions", a member of a royal commission in Australia has said.

Sydney Morning Herald

Fri, 09 Mar 2018

Chief inspector: English schools need to address extremist elements – NSS quoted

Ofsted's chief inspector Amanda Spielman has reiterated her concerns about religious extremism in English schools, particularly privately-run schools. The NSS's education and schools officer Alastair Lichten has called for schools to be given more support on the issue.

National Catholic Reporter

Archbishop of Canterbury meets Saudi's crown prince

The archbishop of Canterbury has met Saudi Arabia's crown prince on the second day of his visit to the UK.


‘The West has abandoned human rights’

As the Saudi crown prince visits the UK, Nick Cohen says the world is "dominated by leaders who do not give a damn for human rights" – and Britain is "no exception".

The Spectator

Tory MPs hit out at campaigners over faith-based admissions cap

Conservative MPs have criticised Rowan Williams, Richard Dawkins and dozens of other public figures who joined forces to argue a cap on admissions to faith schools must not be lifted.

Christian Today

Child sexual abuse inquiry considers Jehovah's Witnesses UK investigation

The national public inquiry into child sexual abuse is considering whether to conduct a separate investigation into The Jehovah's Witnesses UK after it received a large number of reports about the organisation.

The Guardian

Labour suspends party members in Facebook group which featured antisemitic messages

Labour has suspended several party members who posted in a closed Facebook group which featured a number of antisemitic messages.

The Guardian

Two C of E schools in Surrey set to close because nobody will sponsor them

Two Church of England primary schools that were ordered to become academies are set to close because no academy trust is willing to take them on.


At least seven dead after suicide bomb blast at security checkpoint in Kabul

A suicide bomber has blown himself up in the Afghan capital Kabul, killing at least seven people, according to officials.

The Independent

Indian court upholds marriage between Muslim man and woman who converted to Islam

India's highest court has upheld the marriage of a Muslim man and a woman who converted to Islam against the wishes of her Hindu parents. The case fuelled claims that Muslims were forcibly converting Hindu women, though no evidence has emerged to support these claims.

Los Angeles Times

Iran jails woman for removing headscarf in public

An Iranian woman who publicly removed her veil to protest against a mandatory hijab law has been sentenced to two years in prison, prosecutors say.


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