Tue, 13 Mar 2018

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.


Irish government to reveal 21 principles around proposed abortion law

Ireland's government will today publish a paper committing to 21 policy principles which will apply if the country votes to repeal the eighth amendment. The amendment currently gives equal rights to the life of mothers and the unborn.

The Irish Times

‘Why are we surprised when Buddhists are violent?’

Dan Arnold and Alicia Turner say history suggests it is naïve to be surprised that Buddhists are as capable of inhuman cruelty as anyone else, but such astonishment is nevertheless widespread.

The New York Times

Thu, 08 Mar 2018

Government should set policies on hijabs in schools, Ofsted chief suggests

The Government must step in to set policies on hijabs in schools, the head of Ofsted has suggested.

The Telegraph

Ofsted’s illegal schools taskforce to get another £1m

Ofsted is to receive a further £1m for its "illegal schools taskforce", as it comes under increasing pressure to root out extremism in unregistered schools.

Schools Week

‘Why conservative Christians should stop defending George Carey’

Mark Woods refutes claims that the former archbishop of Canterbury is being 'attacked' because of his Christianity. Police and prosecutors are currently considering a prosecution against George Carey over an alleged cover-up of sexual abuse.

Christian Today

Former bishop apologises to IICSA hearing over Chichester diocesan safeguarding practices

The former Bishop of Chichester has apologised for not giving safeguarding officers full access to files containing safeguarding concerns about individual clerics in the diocese at an earlier time in his tenure.

Church Times

Brexit will undermine human rights, says report

A report by a group of London-based lawyers has disputed the British government's claim that the terms of the EU Withdrawal Bill would not result in a loss of rights.

The Irish Times

Rise in NI women seeking free abortions

There has been a 14% rise in women from Northern Ireland having free NHS abortions in England since charges were abolished by the government last June. A cross-party group of politicians is now calling for the government to provide the same level of access in Northern Ireland as there is across the rest of the UK.


‘Ireland’s abortion battle shows we must never let the fundamentalists win’

Suzanne Moore says women have paid a terrible price for a law that gives the unborn the same rights as mothers.

The Guardian

Meghan Markle baptised in private by Justin Welby

Meghan Markle has been baptised by the archbishop of Canterbury before her marriage to Prince Harry, in a ceremony kept secret from all but the most senior royals.


Britain First leaders jailed over anti-Muslim hate crimes

The leaders of the far-right group Britain First have been jailed for a series of hate crimes against Muslims.

The Guardian

Catholic Church 'an empire of misogyny' – McAleese

Former Irish president Mary McAleese has described the Catholic Church as "an empire of misogyny", ahead of a conference calling for women to be included in Church decision-making.


‘Iceland could start a worldwide shift away from circumcision’

Sam Dunkovich says ritual genital cutting can only be done morally when an individual is fully able to consent to a permanent body modification.

Splice Today

In Gibraltar, women face the strictest anti-abortion laws in Europe

Joe Wallen tells the story of women in Gibraltar who cross the border into Spain for a termination, and those who are fighting for reproductive rights back on the Rock. Some say the Catholic Church's influence explains the restrictive policies.

The Independent

Wed, 07 Mar 2018

Survivors tell IICSA hearing of child abuse by Church of England clerics

Harrowing details of child sex abuse carried out by Church of England clerics were described at a public hearing conducted by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse on Tuesday.

Church Times

Archbishop of York ‘could face police investigation for failing to act over abuse allegations’

The Archbishop of York could face a police investigation for his failure to report allegations of sexual abuse, according to the lawyer of one victim.

Christian Today

Did the Church of England's divisions over homosexuality contribute to child sex abuse cover-up?

The Church of England's historic opposition to homosexuality and women bishops may have fuelled sex abuse, the IICSA inquiry has heard.

Christian Today

Government reaffirms British values requirement for schools dominated by single race or religion

A new government strategy will reiterate the requirement to teach "pluralistic" British values in schools that are dominated by pupils from a single cultural, racial or religious background. The move comes after the Government promised to come up with a plan to tackle "racially divided" communities.

The Telegraph

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