Tue, 01 May 2018

BBC documentary will follow eight British Jews exploring their identity

The BBC is to air a two-part documentary showing eight British Jews travelling around the UK and Israel exploring aspects of their Jewish identity and what it means in 2018.

Jewish News

Evangelical support for Trump growing

An alliance that helped sweep President Trump to office appears to be strengthening as his administration delivers on its promises to America's religious right.

The Times (£)

‘Right-wing religious nationalists launch dramatic new power play’

Paul Rosenberg studies a covert campaign to re-create a Christian America that never existed.


Presbyterian Church against abortion law change in Republic of Ireland

The Presbyterian Church has criticised the Irish government over its plans to liberalise the abortion laws.

The Belfast Telegraph

Woman in Sydney challenges ruling that she couldn’t give evidence while wearing a niqab

A Muslim woman from Sydney who lost in court is challenging the judge's ruling that she could not give evidence while wearing a niqab.

Sydney Morning Herald

Parents challenge religious involvement in sex education in Florida

Parents in the Pinellas County area of Florida are demanding change to the sex education curriculum presented in schools. It was recently revealed that a religious Christian faith group with ties to a 'pro-life' pregnancy centre is going into schools to speak with students.

ABC Action News

Mon, 30 Apr 2018

Isle of Man abortion law change could be weeks away

A private member's bill going through the Isle of Man's parliament, which seeks to decriminalise abortion and make it available "on request" to women in a range of circumstances, will receive its third reading on Tuesday.

The Guardian

Supreme Court to decide in row over gay marriage cake

The UK's highest court will convene in Belfast this week to make a landmark decision in a case involving a bakery in Northern Ireland that refused to ice a cake with the slogan "Support Gay Marriage".

Financial Times

Coroner´s ‘cab-rank’ burials system ruled ‘unlawful' – NSS quoted

The High Court has ruled against a London coroner's decision not to prioritise the release of bodies for religious reasons. NSS chief executive Stephen Evans is among those who has reacted to the decision.

Times Series

Iceland ‘drops proposed ban on infant circumcision’

This report (uncorroborated elsewhere) suggests Iceland's parliament has cancelled its vote on a bill to ban the circumcision of infants.

Arutz Sheva

Iceland debates Europe's first ban on infant circumcision

A feature on the debate over circumcision in Iceland.

The Telegraph

Prison chaplains fear they will be killed by followers of jailed extremist over 'intelligence gathering'

Prison chaplains who have been gathering intelligence on jailed extremists have spoken of their fears that they'll be killed for passing information to the security services.

The Sunday Herald

‘The pope’s role in the plight of Alfie Evans was regrettable’

This post on the Erasmus blog criticises the pope for going against the advice of medical experts with knowledge of the Alfie Evans case.

The Economist

Mayor of Berkshire town resigns over anti-Muslim social media posts

The mayor of Wokingham in Berkshire has stepped down over his posting of links to far right and anti-Muslim content on social media.

The Wokingham Paper

Cllrs agree £35k spend on new Muslim burial vaults in Buckinghamshire

Councillors have agreed to spend £35,000 on new Muslim burial vaults at High Wycombe's cemetery in Buckinghamshire.

Bucks Free Press

US anti-abortion group ‘will knock on Irish doors’

A group of US student activists are travelling to Ireland to try to influence the vote on the eighth amendment.

The Times (£)

Suspected jihadists in Mali kill more than 40 in two days of violence

Suspected jihadists killed more than 40 people from the Tuareg ethnic group on Mali's north-eastern border with Niger in two days of violence.

The Guardian

Pakistan's Ahmadi community releases damning persecution report

Pakistan's Ahmadi community has released an annual report detailing growing hostilities against it, including indiscriminate arrests and impediments blocking people from voting in general elections.


Fri, 27 Apr 2018

Doctors and campaigners tell Hunt: let women take abortion pill at home

Doctors and campaigners have called on the health secretary to allow women to take a medical abortion pill at home, bringing England into line with Scotland and Wales, in a letter to The Times.

The Times (£)

Home schooling in the UK increases 40% over three years

The number of children being home schooled has risen by about 40% over three years, the BBC has found.


Archbishop accused of calling child abuse victims 'the opposition'

A senior figure in the Catholic Church in Scotland has been accused of orchestrating a "hostile rejection" of claims nuns were involved in the abuse of children.

The Scotsman

‘Alfie Evans’s parents needed help. The vultures came instead’

Gaby Hinsliff says the vulnerable couple have become the focus of activists with their own agendas.

The Guardian

Campaigners to lodge appeal against ban on protests outside abortion clinic

Campaigners will lodge a legal appeal against a London council's ban on demonstrations outside an abortion clinic.

Belfast Telegraph

Retired police officer given absolute discharge after conviction for ‘grossly offensive’ anti-Muslim comments

A retired police officer who was reported by ex-colleagues for making anti-Muslim comments has not been punished by a court. He was previously convicted of making grossly offensive comments aggravated by religious prejudice.

The Scottish Sun

Catholic Church demands meeting after BBC points out homophobia

The Catholic Church is demanding a meeting with BBC Scotland after a programme about homophobia criticised its teachings.

The Herald

Plans for mosque in Berkshire are approved

Plans to create a new centre of worship for Shia Muslims in the Tilehurst area of Reading have been approved.


Parliamentary committee in Iceland recommends scrapping of genital cutting bill

A judicial committee of Iceland's parliament has recommended scrapping a bill that would ban the non-medical circumcision of boys.


Challenge to El Salvador’s total ban on abortion fails

El Salvador's national legislature has adjourned without voting on proposals to allow exceptions to the total ban on abortion in the country. That means the challenge has been thwarted.

The New York Times

Thu, 26 Apr 2018

British institutions 'prioritise reputation of political leaders over children', warns child abuse inquiry

British institutions are prioritising the reputation of political leaders and their staff over the sexual abuse of children, according to the interim report from the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. The inquiry is studying evidence from a range of institutions including the Anglican and Catholic churches.

The Independent

Report recommends NI abortion law change

A working group has recommended a change to Northern Ireland's laws to allow abortion in cases of fatal foetal abnormality. The change would provide for termination of pregnancy "where the abnormality is of such a nature as to be likely to cause death before, during or in the early period after birth".


‘The battle for British Muslims' integration’ – refers to NSS research

A lengthy feature from John Ware on the integration of Muslims and the efforts by some 'community groups' to resist it. The piece refers to NSS research on schools which have made the hijab compulsory.


Appeal judges reject plea to let Vatican take Alfie Evans

The parents of the terminally ill toddler Alfie Evans have lost their latest legal challenge to allow their child to be cared for in Italy.

The Times (£)

Chaplaincy services budget under review in Guernsey

A review of spending on chaplaincy services at a Guernsey hospital is under way amid concerns that they are too strongly linked with the Church of England.

Guernsey Press

Plans for independent Muslim school in west Sussex

Broadfield Mosque, in Crawley in west Sussex, has applied for permission to open an independent faith school. If approved, the primary school - a free school - will be built adjacent to the mosque and will cater for 180 children, aged 4-11 and 27 teaching staff.

Crawley Observer

Labour divisions on display at hearing into anti-semitism

Dozens of Labour MPs have marched in support of a Jewish colleague as she prepared to give evidence at a disciplinary hearing of a party member accused of anti-semitism. A small group of protesters supported the accused member. The development comes amid further fallout from a meeting between Jeremy Corbyn and Jewish leaders this week.

The Independent

Christian Conservative council candidate in Herts suspended over calls for execution of gay people

A Conservative candidate for election to Stevenage Borough Council in Hertfordshire has been suspended from the party after it emerged he had once argued that gay people should face the death penalty. The candidate has referred to himself as a "fundamentalist" Christian and a "cult" member.

Hertfordshire Mercury

US Supreme Court’s conservative justices appear to back Trump’s authority for travel ban

The conservative majority on the US Supreme Court seemed to agree Wednesday that President Trump has the authority to ban travellers from certain majority-Muslim countries if he thinks that it is necessary to protect the country.

The Washington Post

‘Israel's weakening secularism’

Zvi Bar'el says "religion itself is becoming Israel's raison d'etre".


US cannot cut teen pregnancy prevention grants, says judge

A federal judge has blocked US president Donald Trump's administration from terminating grant funding for teen pregnancy prevention programs run by affiliates of Planned Parenthood, saying the decision was arbitrary.


Wed, 25 Apr 2018

Judge rules ill boy’s parents may not take him abroad

A High Court judge has said there is no substance to a family's application to take the seriously ill toddler Alfie Evans to Italy for treatment. Alfie's parents have vowed to challenge the ruling with the backing of the Christian Legal Centre.


Alfie Evans activists ‘doing more harm than good’

A judge yesterday warned Alfie Evans's father that not all of his supporters "had his back". He said advice from the Christian Legal Centre had undermined "the relationship between the parents and their official legal advisers and seriously distorted their views about their legal rights".

The Times (£)

‘Life and the Law’

The Times says the heartrending case of Alfie Evans has been exploited by groups more anxious to advance a broad 'pro-life' agenda than to support a family in desperate circumstances.

The Times (£)

Councillors in south Wales unhappy at 'discriminatory attitudes' of religious education committee members

Councillors have spoken out about alleged discriminatory attitudes held by some members of the Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education (SACRE) in Monmouthshire.

South Wales Argus

Church of Scotland officials set to be allowed to refuse to take part in same-sex weddings

Church of Scotland officers will not have to play any part in same sex marriage ceremonies if they do not wish to do so, according to the church's legal guidance. The report also says organists will be able to opt out of playing at same sex weddings.

The Herald

UK 40th in World Press Freedom rankings

The UK remains 40 out of 180 countries on the 2018 World Press Freedom Index amid a "climate of hostility towards the media", according to an annual index compiled by Reporters without Borders.

Press Gazette

Times distorted Muslim foster case, regulator finds

The press regulator has ruled the Times "distorted" its coverage of a five-year-old girl from a Christian family who was placed with Muslim foster carers.


Proposal to end infant genital cutting in Denmark likely to fail amid opposition from Liberals

Denmark's ruling Liberal Party has come out against a ban on cutting young boys' genitals for non-medical reasons, meaning the citizen's proposal is unlikely to make it through parliament.

The Local (Denmark)

Iceland could drop plans to ban infant genital cutting, suggests Board of Deputies president

Senior figures from Britain's religious communities have met Icelandic MPs and officials in Reykjavik to lobby the island's government to oppose a proposed ban on cutting infants' genitals for non-medical reasons.

The JC

German state orders all government buildings to display a Christian cross

The German state of Bavaria has ordered that Christian crosses should be placed on the entrance of all government buildings.

The Independent

Germany's Jews urged not to wear kippahs after attacks

A Jewish leader in Germany has advised Jews to avoid wearing traditional skullcaps following anti-Semitic attacks.


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