Thu, 09 Apr 2020

‘Let’s keep God out of this, shall we?’

‘Let’s keep God out of this, shall we?’

Governors of US states that have granted social distancing exceptions for churches have thus forfeited any moral claim to serve the public.

The Financial Times (£)

Israel health minister under fire over ultra-Orthodox COVID-19 crisis

Israel health minister under fire over ultra-Orthodox COVID-19 crisis

To some, Israeli health minister Yaakov Litzman is guilty of a "catastrophic failure" of leadership for not urgently conveying the coronavirus threat to the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community that elected him.

Mail Online

More than half of American women say they weren’t given good education on birth control, survey reveals

More than half of American women say they weren’t given good education on birth control, survey reveals

More than half of the women polled in a research study say they were not given a solid education on birth control.

The Sun

Wed, 08 Apr 2020

Veteran UK atheist Barbara Smoker dies aged 96

Veteran UK atheist Barbara Smoker dies aged 96

A reflection on Barbara Smoker's life from Barry Duke.

The Freethinker (Patheos)

Coronavirus: Religious festivities may have proved deadly to community

Coronavirus: Religious festivities may have proved deadly to community

For some Jews, the timing of the festival of Purim may have carried a death sentence. And in some religious quarters, a belief that faith will provide protection from coronavirus poses an additional risk.

The Times (£)

Street preacher fined and taken away by police after ignoring coronavirus order

Street preacher fined and taken away by police after ignoring coronavirus order

A street preacher has been issued with a COVID-19 enforcement notice and told by police to stop preaching in Taunton town centre under the new coronavirus legislation.

Somerset Live

Anger that some Jewish ritual baths remain open during coronavirus crisis

Anger that some Jewish ritual baths remain open during coronavirus crisis

A Jewish GP was so angry at mikvaot remaining open that she reported it to the police, while a public health consultant said it was safer to shut them even if they were not high-risk.

The Jewish Chronicle

Coronavirus: Jewish communities asked to stay apart for Passover

Coronavirus: Jewish communities asked to stay apart for Passover

Jewish families preparing for the traditional festivities have been called on to stick to the guidelines on social distancing.

Sky News

Coronavirus: Social distancing funerals 'should be banned', says humanist celebrant

Coronavirus: Social distancing funerals 'should be banned', says humanist celebrant

There are calls for funerals to be banned during the coronavirus crisis because of limits on the number of mourners causing distress to families.

BBC

Pell still faces civil suits over abuse

Pell still faces civil suits over abuse

Cardinal George Pell's legal battles are far from over, even though he is a free man.

9News

George Pell: Man who accused cardinal says 'case doesn't define me'

George Pell: Man who accused cardinal says 'case doesn't define me'

The Australian man who accused Cardinal George Pell of child sexual abuse says he accepts a court's decision to overturn the cleric's conviction.

BBC

Abortion rights opponents in several US cities have been cited for violating stay-at-home orders

Abortion rights opponents in several US cities have been cited for violating stay-at-home orders

In recent weeks, police in several cities have arrested people who continued to engage in anti-abortion rights demonstrations or other advocacy efforts outside reproductive health clinics, despite stay-at-home orders and similar restrictions.

CNN

‘Red states in the US are exploiting coronavirus to ban abortion’

‘Red states in the US are exploiting coronavirus to ban abortion’

Governors argue that they're banning abortion to conserve resources for the pandemic, but they're ensuring that more people expose themselves to the coronavirus.

The New York Times (£)

Egypt to ban Ramadan gatherings to counter coronavirus

Egypt to ban Ramadan gatherings to counter coronavirus

Egypt will ban any public religious gatherings during the holy Muslim fasting month Ramadan starting in around two weeks to counter the spread of the new coronavirus, a government statement said on Tuesday.

Reuters

Tue, 07 Apr 2020

George Pell: Court quashes cardinal's sexual abuse convictions

George Pell: Court quashes cardinal's sexual abuse convictions

Catholic cardinal George Pell has been freed from jail after Australia's highest court overturned his convictions for child sexual abuse.

BBC

Inquiry into how religious organisations safeguard children to resume via video

Inquiry into how religious organisations safeguard children to resume via video

A postponed inquiry into how religious organisations protect children from abuse is aiming to restart its hearings through video technology on 11 May.

Premier Christian Radio

Vicars told to ignore guidelines banning them from their own churches ahead of Easter service

Vicars told to ignore guidelines banning them from their own churches ahead of Easter service

Vicars have been told they can ignore guidelines urging them to not to carry out live streaming of Easter services from their own churches.

The Telegraph

Don't 'celebrate' gay people, just accept us, says teacher at centre of schools row

Don't 'celebrate' gay people, just accept us, says teacher at centre of schools row

A year on from the protests outside schools in Birmingham, Andrew Moffat is still promoting his No Outsiders programme - with a twist.

The Guardian

Keir Starmer to hold talks with Jewish community leaders in first week as Labour leader

Keir Starmer to hold talks with Jewish community leaders in first week as Labour leader

Keir Starmer is due to stage a video conference with Jewish leaders on Tuesday.

The Jewish Chronicle

Women sue Dutch Catholic order over forced labour claims

Women sue Dutch Catholic order over forced labour claims

Nineteen women are suing a Dutch monastery and its Catholic order over claims they were subjected to forced labour and abuse by nuns between 1951 and 1979 during periods of virtual imprisonment as children or young adults.

The Guardian

‘“Muslims are foreigners”: inside India’s campaign to decide who is a citizen’

‘“Muslims are foreigners”: inside India’s campaign to decide who is a citizen’

Tribunal members in the state of Assam say they felt pressured to declare Muslims noncitizens as the government seeks to expel illegal migrants. Some politicians have vowed to take the process nationwide.

The New York Times

‘President Trump must resist his base’s push to prioritise faith over science’

‘President Trump must resist his base’s push to prioritise faith over science’

Pentecostals in the US have long challenged science and medicine — something that could prove deadly during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Washington Post

Atheist fails in bid to remove God from US oath of allegiance

Atheist fails in bid to remove God from US oath of allegiance

A lawsuit to have the phrase "so help me God" removed from the US oath of allegiance has been rejected by an appeals court.

The Freethinker (Patheos)

US Supreme Court turns away religious clash over Washington transit ads

US Supreme Court turns away religious clash over Washington transit ads

The US Supreme Court has declined to hear a religious rights dispute over the Washington area transit authority's policy barring advertisements in its stations and on buses and trains on divisive issues including religion.

Reuters

Hasidic Jews hold another funeral in New York despite coronavirus pandemic

Hasidic Jews hold another funeral in New York despite coronavirus pandemic

Hundreds of Hasidic Jews once again defied social distancing orders amid the coronavirus pandemic, taking over a Brooklyn street to hold a funeral for a local rabbi.

New York Post

Travel controls tighten over fears of Holy Week exodus

Travel controls tighten over fears of Holy Week exodus

Police in Spain, Italy and Greece are tightening controls to limit the coronavirus outbreak fearing an exodus for Holy Week.

The Times (£)

Mon, 06 Apr 2020

Titus Trust settles with ‘bash camp’ abuse victims

Titus Trust settles with ‘bash camp’ abuse victims

A Christian organisation whose forerunner ran holiday camps that led to boys being beaten sadistically has reached a settlement with three men and acknowledged that "lives have been blighted".

The Observer

France launches terror probe after knife attack kills two

France launches terror probe after knife attack kills two

French police have launched a terrorism investigation after two people were killed and five wounded in a knife attack in the south-east of the country.

BBC

Regulator probes church accused of promoting false coronavirus cleansing products – NSS quoted

Regulator probes church accused of promoting false coronavirus cleansing products – NSS quoted

The Charity Commission is looking into a south London-based church after it was accused of promoting false coronavirus cleansing products made of oil and string.

Third Sector (£/register)

Charity Commission response to accusations against Christian charity questioned

Charity Commission response to accusations against Christian charity questioned

A complainant alleges that the Charity Commission has declined to receive evidence for its ongoing case involving the British Pakistani Christian Association.

Third Sector (£/register)

MP accused of 'endangering lives' over funeral gathering

MP accused of 'endangering lives' over funeral gathering

The police commissioner in the West Midlands has reacted furiously after Birmingham MP Tahir Ali joined a huge funeral prayer gathering - in defiance of lockdown restrictions. The MP has said he attended in order to 'observe' as part of his inquiries into the way different councils were enforcing restrictions.

Birmingham Live

Birmingham Sikh TV station is probed by charity watchdog

Birmingham Sikh TV station is probed by charity watchdog

The Charity Commission has seized control of a Birmingham community TV station amid investigations into its financial affairs.

Birmingham Live

Calls to seal off ultra-Orthodox areas add to Israel's virus tensions

Calls to seal off ultra-Orthodox areas add to Israel's virus tensions

Officials fear there has been an explosion of cases of coronavirus in neighbourhoods populated with ultra-Orthodox Jews.

The Guardian

‘The rightwing Christian preachers in deep denial over Covid-19's danger’

‘The rightwing Christian preachers in deep denial over Covid-19's danger’

A number of American religious leaders have endangered their flock by holding services – and by claiming the virus can be defeated by faith in God.

The Guardian

Hasidic funerals in New York flout social distancing rules amid coronavirus

Hasidic funerals in New York flout social distancing rules amid coronavirus

Hasidic Jews flouted social distancing rules and held at least two packed funerals on the streets of Brooklyn in New York on Sunday.

New York Post

Muslims clash with police outside a mosque as they try to enforce Pakistan's new coronavirus lockdown

Muslims clash with police outside a mosque as they try to enforce Pakistan's new coronavirus lockdown

Pakistani Muslims clashed with police trying to enforce new curbs on gatherings to prevent Friday prayers and contain coronavirus infections, officials have said.

Mail Online

Arguments emerge over US government giving virus aid to houses of worship

Arguments emerge over US government giving virus aid to houses of worship

Prominent US religious groups have clashed over an administrative rule that allows funds from the coronavirus stimulus bill passed last week to go to houses of worship.

The Times of Israel

Catholic bishops forum finds 16 cases of child sexual abuse in Japan

Catholic bishops forum finds 16 cases of child sexual abuse in Japan

The Catholic Bishops' Conference of Japan has found 16 cases of sexual abuse against minors spanning from the 1950s to the 2010s in its internal probe of churches in the country, according to sources familiar with the matter.

The Japan Times

Fri, 03 Apr 2020

Charity watchdog investigates 'plague protection kit' church – NSS quoted

Charity watchdog investigates 'plague protection kit' church – NSS quoted

The charity watchdog is investigating after a faith healer allegedly offered £91 "plague protection kits" for sale to protect people from the coronavirus pandemic.

ITV News

Urgent probe into church over coronavirus ‘protection kit’ made of oil and string – NSS quoted

Urgent probe into church over coronavirus ‘protection kit’ made of oil and string – NSS quoted

The charities regulator has launched an urgent probe into a south London church over its sale of an oil which claimed it would protect from coronavirus.

Southwark News

Request to increase funeral sizes in Birmingham is rejected despite plea on behalf of Muslims

Request to increase funeral sizes in Birmingham is rejected despite plea on behalf of Muslims

A council has rejected calls to increase the maximum number of people allowed at a funeral from six to 20, after a former cabinet member wrote to the leader requesting the change for the Muslim community.

Birmingham Live

Muslim prayers to be broadcast on BBC radio during coronavirus mosque closures

Muslim prayers to be broadcast on BBC radio during coronavirus mosque closures

Muslims unable to visit their mosques during the coronavirus crisis will be able to tune into their local BBC station.

Birmingham Live

Coronavirus-related fatalities rise to 69 among UK Jews

Coronavirus-related fatalities rise to 69 among UK Jews

The number of coronavirus-related fatalities has risen to 69 among UK Jews, as of Wednesday, up from 55 the previous day, according to data collated by the Board of Deputies of British Jews.

Jewish News

Fears Muslims at greater risk of Covid-19 as people defy rules

Fears Muslims at greater risk of Covid-19 as people defy rules

Muslims are classed as being more 'at risk' than other communities because of cultural factors.

Birmingham Live

Australian High Court to announce decision on Cardinal Pell's appeal next week

Australian High Court to announce decision on Cardinal Pell's appeal next week

Australian cardinal George Pell, the most senior Catholic cleric convicted of child sexual abuse charges, will learn the fate of his final appeal to the country's High Court on 7 April.

Catholic Herald

DUP councillor issues apology for blaming coronavirus on abortion and gay marriage

DUP councillor issues apology for blaming coronavirus on abortion and gay marriage

A DUP councillor has issued an apology after claiming the coronavirus pandemic is God's judgement for abortion reforms and legalising same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland.

The Irish News

Daniel Pearl murder: Pakistani court overturns death sentence of accused

Daniel Pearl murder: Pakistani court overturns death sentence of accused

A British-born Islamist militant facing execution for the 2002 kidnapping and murder of the Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl may walk free after a court in Pakistan commuted his sentence, and acquitted three co-accused.

The Guardian

Coronavirus: Indian mosque event becomes infection hotspot

Coronavirus: Indian mosque event becomes infection hotspot

Indian authorities are trying to track down almost 8,000 people who attended an event, which has also given rise to an anti-Muslim sentiment in public debate.

DW

Louisiana church packed for services again despite charges against pastor amid pandemic

Louisiana church packed for services again despite charges against pastor amid pandemic

Worshippers flocked to hear a Louisiana pastor who is facing charges for holding services despite a ban on gatherings amid the coronavirus pandemic on Tuesday.

CBS News

China's religious minorities especially vulnerable to coronavirus, rights group warns

China's religious minorities especially vulnerable to coronavirus, rights group warns

Christian Solidarity Worldwide has warned that the coronavirus pandemic may exacerbate the decline in religious liberty in China.

Christian Today

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