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Mon, 04 Jan 2021

Celebrations in Argentina after landmark abortion law passes

Celebrations in Argentina after landmark abortion law passes

Pro-choice activists celebrated on the streets on Wednesday as Argentina joined a handful of South American nations to legalise abortion, a landmark decision in a country where the Catholic Church has long held sway.

France 24

Campaigner for ex-Muslim women Zara Kay arrested in Tanzania

Campaigner for ex-Muslim women Zara Kay arrested in Tanzania

An Australian woman who has renounced her Islamic faith and campaigns globally for women's rights has been arrested and charged in Tanzania, the country of her birth.

ABC News

Pastafarians and atheists protected under Facebook hate speech rules

Pastafarians and atheists protected under Facebook hate speech rules

The company says that it does not have a comprehensive list of religions but it has listed some groups that are protected under its hate speech rules. These include pastafarians, scientologists, Mormons, Rastafaris, Jehovah's Witnesses and atheists.

The Times*

India: Assam state bans state-run Islamic schools

India: Assam state bans state-run Islamic schools

India's northeastern state of Assam has passed a law abolishing state-run Islamic schools, ahead of local elections next year.

The Independent

Pakistan arrests 14 after mob led by Islamist clerics sets Hindu temple on fire

Pakistan arrests 14 after mob led by Islamist clerics sets Hindu temple on fire

At least 14 arrests were made by Pakistani police in overnight raids on Thursday after a century-old Hindu temple was set on fire and razed by a violent religious mob led by Islamist clerics in northwestern Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region.

The Independent

Car bumper stickers are a new front in India’s caste war

Car bumper stickers are a new front in India’s caste war

Police in Uttar Pradesh have been ordered to crack down on a trend of drivers displaying their caste on bumper or window stickers or custom numberplates.

The Times*

‘Each year, 1,000 Pakistani girls forcibly converted to Islam’

‘Each year, 1,000 Pakistani girls forcibly converted to Islam’

Human rights activists say the practice has accelerated during lockdowns against the coronavirus, when girls are out of school and more visible, bride traffickers are more active on the Internet and families are more in debt.

Yahoo/Associated Press

Thu, 24 Dec 2020

Government promises churches will remain open in tier 4

Government promises churches will remain open in tier 4

The health secretary has said that churches in Tier 4 areas will stay open, and disclosed that he has given a personal assurance to the archbishop of Canterbury.

The Times*

School in Ireland discriminated against Catholic girl by favouring Church of Ireland students

School in Ireland discriminated against Catholic girl by favouring Church of Ireland students

A multi-denominational secondary school discriminated against a Catholic school girl on religious grounds by favouring for admission Church of Ireland students from a local primary school.

The Independent (Ireland)

'We're going to save lives': aid groups look to end of Trump's 'global gag rule'

'We're going to save lives': aid groups look to end of Trump's 'global gag rule'

Joe Biden's election as US president raises hopes for funding of reproductive health groups – but some caution that reversing the impact of a rule introduced by the Trump administration will not be quick.

The Guardian

‘Is the CCP guilty of crimes against humanity?’

‘Is the CCP guilty of crimes against humanity?’

The religion, education, culture and language of China's ethnic minorities are being forcibly constrained and changed.

Standpoint

‘There really was a war on Christmas, Mr. President. It was waged by Christians’

‘There really was a war on Christmas, Mr. President. It was waged by Christians’

Puritans hated the 25 December observance of Jesus' birth so much that they made it illegal in the Massachusetts colony for decades in the 1600s.

The Washington Post*

Nuns in German children’s home rented boys to abusers

Nuns in German children’s home rented boys to abusers

Nuns running a children's home in Germany prostituted boys in their care to priests, local politicians and businessmen in the 1960s and 1970s, according to a victim who has won a court fight for compensation.

The Times*

Wed, 23 Dec 2020

Life peerage announced for former archbishop of York

Life peerage announced for former archbishop of York

The former archbishop of York Dr Sentamu will be given a life peerage as a crossbencher, Downing Street has confirmed. Serious concerns over Sentamu's handling of sexual abuse allegations remain unresolved.

Church Times

Fiona Bruce appointed new FoRB envoy – NSS quoted

Fiona Bruce appointed new FoRB envoy – NSS quoted

The prime minister's appointment of a new special envoy on freedom of religion or belief has prompted a mixed reaction from interested charities and campaigning groups. The NSS has urged her to remember that freedom from religion is a vital corollary to freedom of religion.

The Tablet*

MP Fiona Bruce vows to fight atrocities and persecution as new special envoy

MP Fiona Bruce vows to fight atrocities and persecution as new special envoy

Fiona Bruce has said she will use her role to improve the lives of anyone who is persecuted for their faith or belief.

Knutsford Guardian

Church says paedo vicar, 86, may lose his 'honorary title'

Church says paedo vicar, 86, may lose his 'honorary title'

The diocese of Liverpool will review the decision to allow a paedophile vicar carry on working for another 24 years after his crimes were exposed.

Liverpool Echo

Hear about the reality of FGM as records rise across Cambridgeshire

Hear about the reality of FGM as records rise across Cambridgeshire

Doctors across Cambridgeshire have discovered dozens of new cases of female genital mutilation in the last year.

Cambridgeshire Live

Halal status of COVID-19 vaccine raises concerns among Muslims

Halal status of COVID-19 vaccine raises concerns among Muslims

Radicals' reactions to the vaccination issue has raised concerns about the possibility of disrupted immunisation campaigns in some countries.

The Arab Weekly

Lawsuit challenges Indiana laws on disposal of foetal remains

Lawsuit challenges Indiana laws on disposal of foetal remains

An abortion clinic is suing the US state of Indiana, challenging provisions of a state law which requires foetal remains to be buried or cremated after an abortion.

ABC News

Tue, 22 Dec 2020

Child rapist vicar protected by Church of England for 24 years

Child rapist vicar protected by Church of England for 24 years

A vicar who sexually abused a choirboy but was allowed to carry on working for 24 years ruined the lives of three other victims.

Liverpool Echo

Nigerian court orders release of Mubarak Bala, who was detained over ‘blasphemy’ in Nigeria

Nigerian court orders release of Mubarak Bala, who was detained over ‘blasphemy’ in Nigeria

The Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the release of Mubarak Bala, the president of the Humanist Association of Nigeria.

Naija News

‘Ampleforth must get serious about child protection or it will deservedly close’

‘Ampleforth must get serious about child protection or it will deservedly close’

Ampleforth College must finally get serious about safeguarding or it will deservedly close. And some columnists' accusations of anti-Catholic bigotry against the government are silly.

The Tablet*

European Commission responds to court ruling on ritual slaughter and animal welfare

European Commission responds to court ruling on ritual slaughter and animal welfare

The European Commission has said it respects a judgment from the European Court of Justice allowing member states to prohibit non-stun slaughter, and added that Jewish communities will always be welcome in Europe.

EU Reporter

Keir Starmer: best of British values are the best of Christian values

Keir Starmer: best of British values are the best of Christian values

Labour's leader has said Christianity provides a blueprint for social improvement within a piece reflecting on this year's turmoil.

Church Times

Row over use of ‘blasphemous’ words in Italian football

Row over use of ‘blasphemous’ words in Italian football

A viral video on social media has shown goalkeeper Gigi Buffon using a blasphemous word during a game between Parma and Juventus. He has escaped punishment because the referee didn't hear it – but a player last week was given a one-match ban for a similar offence.

Football Italia

Secular ‘values voters’ are becoming an electoral force in the US – just look closely at 2020’s results

Secular ‘values voters’ are becoming an electoral force in the US – just look closely at 2020’s results

Research suggests Americans with secular values vote to uphold them with just as much motivation as those motivated by religion.

The Conversation

‘“Love jihad” law in Indian state attacks Muslims, infantalises Hindu women – and curbs Dalit rights’

‘“Love jihad” law in Indian state attacks Muslims, infantalises Hindu women – and curbs Dalit rights’

A new law in Uttar Pradesh makes the private choice of a person who converts to another religion subject to the whims of the government of the day.

Scroll.in

Mon, 21 Dec 2020

Christmas plans disrupted across England, but worship can continue in tier 4

Christmas plans disrupted across England, but worship can continue in tier 4

In his statement on Saturday the prime minister said non-essential retail, indoor gyms and leisure facilities, and personal care services must close in the new tier 4 of coronavirus restrictions, but public worship can continue.

Church Times

Fiona Bruce to be next special envoy for freedom of religion or belief

Fiona Bruce to be next special envoy for freedom of religion or belief

Christian MP Fiona Bruce will be the next person appointed by the prime minister to speak out on issues of freedom of religion across the world.

Premier Christian News

‘Abortion rules revolutionised by Covid-19 must stay’

‘Abortion rules revolutionised by Covid-19 must stay’

The provision of abortion pills for home use in Scotland is a long overdue and progressive step forward.

The Times*

‘Is religious fervour compatible with democracy?’

‘Is religious fervour compatible with democracy?’

Secularism is a necessary foundation for democracy built on human rights.

openDemocracy

Spain's parliament votes to legalise euthanasia

Spain's parliament votes to legalise euthanasia

Spain's parliament has voted to approve a bill that will allow physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia for long-suffering patients of incurable diseases or unbearable permanent conditions.

ABC News

Court dismisses legal challenge against Norway's removal of children from Christian parents

Court dismisses legal challenge against Norway's removal of children from Christian parents

The European Court of Human Rights has dismissed a legal challenge against Norway's child services agency for removing children from their evangelical Christian parents.

Christian Today

Church’s appeal loss paves way for abuse survivors to sue

Church’s appeal loss paves way for abuse survivors to sue

The Catholic Church in Australia has failed in its appeal over a compensation payout to a sexual abuse survivor, and now faces the prospect of being sued by hundreds of other victims who received meagre payments in exchange for their silence.

Sydney Morning Herald*

US Senate sends bill restoring female genital mutilation law to Trump's desk

US Senate sends bill restoring female genital mutilation law to Trump's desk

The US Senate this week approved bipartisan legislation to amend the federal law prohibiting female genital cutting.

The Detroit News

Holocaust denial may become an offence in the Republic of Ireland under new legislation

Holocaust denial may become an offence in the Republic of Ireland under new legislation

The Republic of Ireland may outlaw speech that denies or trivialises the Holocaust, as part of new legislation on hate crime.

The Jewish Chronicle

Swiss parliament approves same-sex marriage

Swiss parliament approves same-sex marriage

Switzerland's parliament approved a bill Friday allowing same-sex couples to marry. But a right-wing Christian party has announced that it will ask for the legislation to be put to a referendum.

The Local (Switzerland)

Fri, 18 Dec 2020

'Secular rites' - Letter from NSS president

'Secular rites' - Letter from NSS president

LGBT people must have the option of a secular union that cannot be subject to religious approval, says NSS president Keith Porteous Wood.

The Tablet*

EU court backs ban on animal slaughter without stunning

EU court backs ban on animal slaughter without stunning

A Belgian ban on kosher and halal slaughter of animals without being stunned has been backed by the European Court of Justice, which rejected objections by religious groups.

BBC

Infant circumcision may lead to social challenges as an adult

Infant circumcision may lead to social challenges as an adult

Undergoing male circumcision as an infant has delayed psychological complications, according to an international study.

Medical Xpress

Liz Truss criticises Equality Act’s focus on protected characteristics

Liz Truss criticises Equality Act’s focus on protected characteristics

Women and equalities minister Liz Truss has criticised the Equality Act 2010 and said the discrimination debate should not focus solely on race, religion, sexual orientation and disability.

Personnel Today

Conversion therapy survivor opens up about undergoing horrifying ‘exorcisms’

Conversion therapy survivor opens up about undergoing horrifying ‘exorcisms’

A Scottish man has said he "hated everything" about himself after enduring six years of conversion therapy and "exorcisms" to make him straight.

Pink News

Woman jailed for sharing Islamic State video of beheadings

Woman jailed for sharing Islamic State video of beheadings

A woman formerly married to a hate preacher and who shared terrorist and extremist material has been jailed.

Plymouth Live

‘Government and religion’

‘Government and religion’

Government should neither support nor restrict any religion or lack thereof, says Professor John Radford.

The Freethinker (Patheos)

‘How the pandemic revolutionised abortion access in the UK’

‘How the pandemic revolutionised abortion access in the UK’

Since patients have been allowed to take pills at home to terminate pregnancies, major medical complications have dropped by two-thirds.

The New Statesman*

Ireland: New hate crime laws to be introduced in the new year, says justice minister

Ireland: New hate crime laws to be introduced in the new year, says justice minister

Justice minister Helen McEntee is to bring forward new hate crime laws in the new year, saying existing legislation was "not fit for purpose".

Belfast Telegraph

Poland increasingly distrusts Catholic Church

Poland increasingly distrusts Catholic Church

Despite Poland being over 90 percent Catholic, a survey published on Thursday suggested that approximately 41 percent of Poles view the Church favourably.

Catholic Herald

Nigeria school attack: Hundreds of boys freed, local authorities say

Nigeria school attack: Hundreds of boys freed, local authorities say

Hundreds of schoolboys kidnapped last week from a boarding school in north-western Nigeria have been released, local authorities have told the BBC.

BBC

Pakistan court acquits Christian man sentenced to life for blasphemy

Pakistan court acquits Christian man sentenced to life for blasphemy

A court in Pakistan has acquitted a Christian after he was sentenced to life in prison for blasphemy over a decade ago.

Premier Christian News

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