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Wed, 20 Jan 2021
A woman in Egypt was briefly detained after being accused of baking "indecent" cakes, local media say. A religious body warned that such baked goods were forbidden by Islam.
An American woman is being deported from Bali over suspected immigration violations after her tweets that celebrated the Indonesian resort island as a low-cost, LGBT-friendly place for foreigners to live went viral.
The stars and makers of a new Amazon Prime TV series in India have had to issue an "unconditional" apology after politicians called for the show to be banned following an uproar over alleged insults to Hindu gods.
Gandhi's vision of a secular India with equal rights for all religions has been eroded and subjugated since the BJP came to power in 2014, says Hannah Ellis-Petersen.
Tue, 19 Jan 2021
The amendment has been devised specifically in relation to allegations that China is committing genocide against Uighur people in Xinjiang province.
Almost half of British Jews avoid showing visible signs of their Judaism in public, such as a Star of David or a kippah (skullcap), because of antisemitism, a new survey has found.
A local Jewish leader in Canvey Island has suggested that 'herd immunity' may now apply to the 250-strong strictly Orthodox community there because almost all its members have already had Covid-19.
Paul McKenna says seeing 'immense cruelty' while attending a Catholic school gave him a 'taste for compassion'
The hypnotist described his stint at the Catholic voluntary aided secondary school - for boys aged 11–18 - as a 'very unhappy experience', calling it 'a relentless, brainwashing process' which instilled 'guilt'.
Britain has not yet woken up to the magnitude of Islamic radicalisation in our universities, says Rohan Gupta.
A court in Bangladesh has banned women from registering nikahs, or Islamic weddings, because of their menstruation cycles.
Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni has said gay people are "deviants" and the movement for LGBT+ rights is a form of "social imperialism".
Up to 700,000 Hindu devotees gathered along the banks of the River Ganges at Haridwar in India, marking the beginning of world's largest religious congregation – the Kumbh Mela – amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
With the Middle Eastern Islamic State's 'defeat' in 2019, the world has largely ignored the precipitous rise of West Africa as the new epicentre of jihadist terror, says Kunwar Khuldune Shahid.
New Zealand is a secular society, but "advancement of religion" is still one of the main things that define a charity. That charitable status means that churches don't have to pay any tax. Alice Snedden questions this arrangement.
Mon, 18 Jan 2021
Bnois Jerusalem Girls School in Stamford Hill, north London, was rated "inadequate" by Ofsted last year after it was discovered to be teaching creationism in geography and science and not letting students take GCSEs. NSS chief executive Stephen Evans is quoted.
More than half of the Church of England's 14,000 parishes did not open for Sunday services. NSS's opposition to religious exemptions from lockdown rules is quoted.
‘Who are the people trying to stop relationships and sex education in our schools?’ – NSS referenced
Psychologist David Morrison references NSS's work drawing attention to Dr. Kate Godfrey-Faussett's anti-LGBT+ 'Stop RSE' campaign, which aims to undermine the teaching of inclusive relationships and sex education in schools.
Leeds-based Imam Qari Asim is running a campaign to encourage Muslim communities to take the coronavirus vaccine and dispel some of the myths around the procedure.
Central Fife Times
Women in mother and baby homes in Northern Ireland experienced the same treatment as those in the Republic, deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill has said.
The Irish News*
The leader of the Irish Catholic Church has said he would be disappointed if religious congregations were to carry all the blame for the country's mother-and-baby homes.
The Mother and Baby homes report has highlighted the need to end the dominance of the Catholic Church over Ireland's education system, according to the Labour Party.
For decades a deeply conservative Ireland put unmarried mothers in the care of the Catholic Church, a brutal 'shadow state' in which thousands of children died or were forcibly adopted. It claims to be sorry — so why won't it open up its archives, asks Colm Tóibín.
The Sunday Times*
An Post has issued a €1 stamp to mark the 150th anniversary of the disestablishment of the Church of Ireland.
The Irish News*
French Muslim leaders have approved a charter rejecting radicalism and accepting equality between the sexes as part of President Macron's plan to promote an "enlightened Islam".
The Republic of Latvia has voted to define family solely as "a union of a male and female person", excluding the country's countless LGBT+ families.
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
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.
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.
Two letters question religious leaders' resistance to lockdown measures in Scotland.
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.
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.
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
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
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'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.
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
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
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.
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
A Whitby Roman Catholic primary school with just two pupils is set to close after councillors backed the move.
The Scarborough News
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
The Church of Ireland should apologise for its involvement in running a Protestant mother baby home in Dublin, one survivor has said.
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
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 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
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
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.
Wed, 13 Jan 2021
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.
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.
"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."
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