by Greg Spearritt
Religion News Australia
December 20 - 27, 2015
Religion news stories from Australia
(Research: Greg Spearritt)
Sisters of Nazareth
accused of impeding historic sex abuse investigation (ABC News)
Dec 23 - A religious order in Melbourne has been accused of impeding an investigation into historic sex abuse at a former children's home.
St Patrick's Cathedral
investigated for child sex abuse (The
Dec 23 - The Catholic Church in Melbourne has been hit with child sexual abuse claims just two days before Christmas as police target allegations that fall directly under the leadership of George Pell.
Victoria police seek
victims of sexual assault at St Patrick's cathedral (The Guardian, Australia)
Dec 23 - Victoria police are investigating allegations of sexual assault at Melbourne’s St Patrick’s cathedral during Cardinal George Pell’s tenure as archbishop of Melbourne.
Priest John Walshe who
defended George Pell accused of sexually abusing teen (Brisbane Times)
Dec 24 - A Catholic priest who defended Cardinal George Pell at the child abuse royal commission last week was the subject of a historical sexual abuse claim.
Father John Walshe
apologises for acting contrary to his vows but denies abuse allegations (ABC News)
Dec 24 - A Melbourne priest accused of sexual abuse has apologised to his parish for "any hurt or disappointment" his behaviour caused following revelations a church investigation found his conduct inconsistent with his duties.
Hereford Cathedral at
fingertips (The Australian)
Dec 24 - Technology is capturing and reproducing the unique sound of some of the greatest cathedral organs across the world.
When the festive season
means work (Sydney Morning
Islamic College of South
Australia funding reinstated as Commonwealth investigation continues (ABC
Dec 22 - Commonwealth funding to the Islamic College of South Australia has been reinstated after a short suspension due to conflicting board responses to an investigation.
Catholics launch defence of $55 million a year program (Sydney Morning Herald)
Dec 27 - One of the state's largest school networks has defended the under fire $55 million-a-year program that help students with reading problems, after a review by the NSW government found that the program did not work.
Pope Francis urges
return to essential values during Christmas Eve Mass (ABC News)
Dec 26 - Pope Francis has led the world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholics into Christmas, as Christians in some parts of the world face a more subdued festive season amid violence across the Middle East.
Vatican confidential (The Australian)
Dec 27 – (Opinion: Paola Totaro) Riveting tales after journalists and insiders indicted over Holy See leaks.
Muslims hold prayer
meeting outside Trump Tower in protest over 'racist' remarks (ABC News)
Dec 21 - Some 200 protesters gathered outside Donald Trump's New York City headquarters on Sunday, accusing the presidential hopeful of "fascism" and "racism" following his call for Muslims to be barred from entering the United States.
The Hajj crush: ‘It was
the closest thing to hell on earth’ (The Guardian, Australia)
Dec 23 - “The situation was one of sheer hopelessness,” says Sajjad Shah from Pakistan.
Islamic airline takes
off (The Australian)
Dec 23 - Malaysia’s Rayani Air is the country’s first Islamic airline, offering flights that adhere to Islamic rules.
Baghdad holds Christmas
celebrations out of respect for Iraq's persecuted Christian community (ABC
Dec 24 - With Christmas falling this year a day after Prophet Mohammad's birthday, the city of Baghdad is holding Christmas celebrations in a sign of brotherhood with Iraq's hard-pressed Christian community.
condemned (The Australian)
Dec 24 - A growing crackdown on Christmas in Muslim countries could see those celebrating in public imprisoned for five years.
Were they 'Trumped'?
Anger in Britain after US bars Muslim family from flight (Sydney Morning Herald)
Dec 24 - London: Uproar grew in Britain on Wednesday over what many saw as an unspoken new US policy to bar British Muslims from visiting the United States, after revelations that a large Muslim family, including young children, bound for a Disneyland vacation was inexplicably stopped from boarding a London flight to Los Angeles last week.
The British Muslim
family's refused entry reveals America's hypocrisy (The Guardian, Australia)
Dec 24 – (Opinion: Ali Gharib) The Mahmood family’s ordeal at Gatwick airport in London, where the Disneyland-bound group of 11 UK citizens was pulled out of the boarding line by American officials and had their tickets cancelled, speaks to more than just the apparent institutional prejudices of the American government’s security measures.
UK imam's US business
visa 'revoked without explanation' before flight (The Guardian, Australia)
Dec 24 - A British imam whose business visa was revoked without explanation as he tried to board a flight to America has accused the US State Department of enacting the policies of Donald Trump “before he has received a single vote”.
suspended over Islam comments has no plans to resign (The Guardian, Australia)
Dec 24 - A tenured professor at a Christian college in suburban Chicago who was suspended for saying Christians and Muslims worship the same God has said she has no plans to resign.
Iraqi troops storm
centre of Ramadi in bid to oust Islamic State militants (ABC News)
Dec 23 - Iraq's armed forces have stormed the centre of the city of Ramadi in a fresh bid to oust Islamic State (IS) militants who seized the key city in May.
Iraqi forces push into
key Islamic State-held city of Ramadi (Sydney Morning Herald)
Dec 23 - Baghdad: Iraqi forces engaged Islamic State fighters within the city centre of Ramadi for the first time on Tuesday, reaching the edge of the inner government district in an attempt to seize the critical western provincial capital after months of buildup, officials said.
New Islamic State radio
station spreads panic (Sydney Morning Herald)
Dec 23 - Jalalabad: At exactly 6pm across this nervous city and surrounding districts, a clandestine radio broadcast comes to life each night with sounds of clashing swords, drumming hoofbeats and bursts of machine-gun fire.
ISIS loses 14pc of
caliphate (The Australian)
Dec 23 - Reported losses indicate ISIS became overstretched as it sought to expand and hold on to its existing territory.
ISIS turns on Ramadi
civilians (The Australian)
Dec 24 - Jihadists hole up in a government complex, having planted streets with booby traps and prepared car bombs for defence.
Explosive device, model
of government building found during terrorism raids: reports (The Age, Melbourne)
Dec 24 - Indonesian police have reportedly seized an explosive device and a model of an Indonesian government building that terrorists were allegedly planning to target.
Islamic State beheads
own fighters for abandoning post (news.com.au)
Dec 24 - THE Islamic State has beheaded 10 of its own fanatics in public after they abandoned their posts, it has been reported.
Hassan Aboud's journey
from Syrian rebel leader to Islamic State enforcer (The Age, Melbourne)
Dec 24 - Beirut: Hassan Aboud's practiced baritone belied the malevolence in his words. "O Darraji!" he sang. "Our state provided us ammunition and sent us to assassinate you."
Paris terror attacks:
ninth suspect arrested (The
Dec 24 - The Belgian authorities have charged a ninth person in connection with last month’s deadly Paris attacks, the prosecutor’s office said.
Four suspected Boko
Haram Islamists detonate suicide bombs on Lake Chad island (The Age, Melbourne)
Dec 25 - N'Djamena: Four Islamists detonated suicide bombs after being found out by a group of locals on a Lake Chad island, killing three of the attackers but no one else, official and security sources said on Wednesday.
Islamic State is
building a network in Jakarta: terrorist expert (news.com.au)
Dec 25 - INDONESIAN forces are mobilising for a manhunt in steamy jungles on the far-flung island of Sulawesi to flush the country’s most-wanted man from his hide-out and deal a pre-emptive blow to Islamic State. The real threat could be much closer to home.
Israeli PM condemns
video of Jewish extremists celebrating toddler's death (The Guardian, Australia)
Dec 25 - Senior Israeli politicians and religious figures have condemned an incendiary video showing a hall packed full of Jewish extremist teenagers cheering the death of a Palestinian toddler murdered in an anti-Palestinian hate crime earlier this year.
Christians face elimination
by Isis in Middle East, says archbishop (The Guardian, Australia)
Dec 25 - An Islamic State “apocalypse” has left Christianity facing elimination in the very region where the faith was born two millennia ago, according to the archbishop of Canterbury.
Teachers worried about
Paris bomber, Bilal Hadfi (news.com.au)
Dec 26 - A POLICE commission is interviewing staff at a Brussels college after education authorities failed to act on concerns that a student who later became one of the Paris suicide bombers had been radicalised, two Belgian newspapers say.
Islamic State 'gets
tougher' in face of air strikes, audio message (Sydney Morning Herald)
Dec 27 - Baghdad: A new message purporting to come from the leader of Islamic State said air strikes by Russia and a US-led coalition had failed to weaken the group.
Islamic State loses key
dam in Syria as leader threatens West in audio message (news.com.au)
Dec 27 - The Islamic State group has released a new message purportedly from its reclusive leader, claiming that his self-styled “caliphate” is doing well despite an unprecedented alliance against it and criticising the recently announced Saudi-led Islamic military coalition against terrorism.
IHS maps Islamic State’s
territorial losses over 2015 (news.com.au)
Dec 27 - IT wasn’t exactly a bumper year for Islamic State.
Muslim prayer room
vandalised in Corsica after attack on firefighters (The Guardian, Australia)
Dec 27 - A crowd vandalised a Muslim prayer room in Corsica a day after an ambush injured two firefighters responding to an emergency in a housing project, the state prefect on the French island has said.
Islamic State leader praises
progress of 'caliphate' (The
Dec 27 - Islamic State has released a new message purportedly from its reclusive leader, claiming his self-styled caliphate is doing well despite an unprecedented alliance against it.
Boko Haram kill at least
14 in Christmas Day attack in Nigeria (The Guardian, Australia)
Dec 27 - At least 14 people have been killed and several others injured by Boko Haram gunmen in a Christmas Day attack on a village in northeastern Nigeria, vigilantes said on Saturday.
'This is the worst year
ever': Drop in tourists visiting Bethlehem over Christmas due to recent unrest (ABC News)
Dec 23 - Perched on a chair outside his small gift shop in manger square Bethlehem, 70-year-old Abu Amjad looks tired and weary.
Native American San
Carlos Apache tribe takes on BHP, Rio Tinto over plans to mine sacred site (ABC News)
Dec 27 - A group of Native Americans in Arizona are taking on two Australian resources giants to try to save a sacred desert campground from being destroyed by a huge mining development.
Victorian woman charged
over comments about Islam on Facebook (The Guardian, Australia)
Dec 23 - A Victorian woman has been charged with serious religious vilification after posting comments about Islam on Facebook.
Western Sydney raids:
alleged terrorist cell had Islamic flag, photos of foreign fighters (Sydney Morning Herald)
Dec 24 - A terror cell allegedly conspiring to attack police buildings and a naval base in Sydney were found with a notepad full of scribbled plans, mobile phone photos of foreign fighters and an Islamic flag secreted in a family home.
Becoming victims of
political jihad (The Australian)
Dec 24 – (Opinion: Jennifer Oriel) The more we self-censor on militant Islam the easier we make it for terror to develop.
In the shadow of the law (The Australian)
Dec 24 – (Opinion: Jacquelin Magnay) Muslim women are disadvantaged by sharia’s parallel justice system.
Top Muslim ‘spent
improperly’ (The Australian)
Dec 27 - The president of the peak organisation for Muslims in Australia is being accused of inappropriately using $100,000.
candidate claims she is being discriminated against by bosses (Sydney Morning Herald)
Dec 23 - A Senate candidate running on an anti-Muslim, anti-immigration platform says she is being discriminated against by her public service bosses over her contentious political views.
blasphemous (The Australian)
Dec 23 – (Opinion: Paul Monk) In a secular Western democracy, religion should not be spared from criticism.
Some try to take out God
from the festival yet Christmas endures (Brisbane Times)
Dec 23 – (Opinion: Bill O'Chee) If only the whole year could be like Christmas time.
Tasmanian church leader
channels Star Wars in annual Christmas message (ABC News)
Dec 24 - Tasmania's church leaders have delivered their Christmas messages, reflecting on the challenges humanity has faced over the past year.
Christmas messages from
religious leaders urge peace amid worldwide violence (ABC News)
Dec 25 - New South Wales' religious leaders have spoken of recent terrorist attacks and called for peace in their annual Christmas messages.
Messages of hope as Australians
celebrate Christmas (ABC News)
Dec 25 - Australians are celebrating in steamy conditions as religious leaders around the country offer Christmas messages of hope, love and generosity.
Catholic Archbishop and Uniting Church's moderator call for harmony (ABC
Dec 25 - Queensland church leaders are calling on the community to forget tragedies and conflict this Christmas and embrace a spirit of togetherness.
From the Archive…
Religion News Australia 2015 – 34 (Sept 6 - 13)
Religion News Australia 2015 – 33 (Aug 30 – Sept 6)
Religion News Australia 2015 – 32 (Aug 23 - 30)
Religion News Australia 2015 – 31 (Aug 16 - 23)
Religion News Australia 2015 – 30 (Aug 9 - 16)
Religion News Australia 2015 – 29 (Aug 2 - 9)
Religion News Australia 2015 – 28 (July 26 – Aug 2)
Religion News Australia 2015 – 27 (July 19 - 26)
Religion News Australia 2015 – 26 (July 12 - 19)
Religion News Australia 2015 – 25 (July 5 - 12)
Religion News Australia 2015 – 24 (June 28 – July 5)
Religion News Australia 2015 – 23 (June 21 - 28)