by Greg Spearritt
Religion News Australia
March 20 - 27, 2016
Religion news stories from Australia
(Research: Greg Spearritt)
Church spends more to restore church than compensate victims of paedophile
priests (The Age, Melbourne)
Mar 25 - A Bayside church linked to historical clerical abuse and destroyed by an arsonist last year will be rebuilt at an estimated cost of $20 million – almost double the total compensation paid by the Archdiocese of Melbourne to 326 victims of paedophile priests.
Secret archive of
paedophile crime kept by Catholic Church's insurers (Sydney Morning Herald)
Mar 27 - Victims of some of the worst sexual abuse perpetrated by the Catholic Church are being denied access to a vast archive of clergy crime, as the church continues to ensure the offending is kept secret, despite the files being handed over to the royal commission.
shouldn't have to give up its faith in fight against discrimination (Sydney Morning Herald)
Mar 23 – (Opinion: Andrew Judd) Here is the new rule for student groups on campus at one of our leading universities: you can have any faith you like, as long as it's not any faith in particular.
University of Sydney
evangelical students vote to keep Jesus (Sydney Morning Herald)
Mar 25 - An evangelical student group has refused to remove a vow to Jesus from its constitution despite being threatened with deregistration from the Sydney University student body.
'No plans' to change
religious instruction in Queensland state schools (Brisbane Times)
Mar 24 - Queensland has "no plans" to change the manner in which religious instruction is delivered in Queensland schools, despite a growing secular movement.
'We are all brothers':
Pope Francis washes asylum seekers' feet in Easter ritual (ABC News)
Mar 25 - Pope Francis has washed the feet of 11 young asylum seekers to highlight the need for the international community to provide shelter to refugees.
Pope Francis laments
Europe's 'anaesthetised conscience' over refugees (The Guardian, Australia)
Mar 26 - Pope Francis decried what he called Europe’s “indifferent and anaesthetised conscience” over refugees, during Good Friday prayers in Rome during which he also criticised pedophile priests, arms dealers and fundamentalists.
Pope Francis gives
Easter message of hope after bleak week (The Guardian, Australia)
Mar 27 - Pope Francis concluded a bleak week in Europe with a message of hope during an Easter vigil service on Saturday, saying darkness and fear must not prevail and “imprison” the world with pessimism.
Saleh Abdeslam may be a
terrorist, but his trial must be unimpeachable (The Guardian, Australia)
Mar 21 – (Opinion: Mary Dejevsky) When a Belgian minister tweeted the capture of Salah Abdeslam on Friday, the satisfaction and relief contained in his simple sentence, “We got him”, resonated all round Europe.
Daughter of Islamic
State terrorist Khaled Sharrouf says she's struggling in Syria after parents'
deaths (The Guardian,
Mar 21 - The teenage daughter of Australian Islamic State terrorist Khaled Sharrouf says she’s certain her father is dead.
‘It still makes me
angry’: the wife of a murdered Charlie Hebdo cartoonist speaks out (The Guardian, Australia)
Mar 21 - On Maryse Wolinski’s bathroom wall, beside the shelves of hairbrushes and perfume bottles, an orange Post-it note is starting to curl.
David Cameron tells
Christians: help Muslims fight extremism (The Guardian, Australia)
Mar 24 - David Cameron has suggested Christian leaders should help their “brothers and sisters who are Muslim” fight against extremism in the wake of the Brussels terror attack.
Christians in Iraq:
should they stay or should they go? (The Guardian, Australia)
Mar 25 – (Opinion: Giles Fraser) The Isis frontline was only an hour’s drive south, so maybe I was a bit on edge.
Kybernetiq claims Anonymous hackers don’t scare them (news.com.au)
Mar 25 - IN the wake of the Brussels bombings that rocked Europe, online hacking group Anonymous once again declared war on the cyber security of Islamic State and its supporters.
Yemen suicide bomb
attacks kill 26 in Aden (ABC News)
Mar 26 - Three suicide bombers have struck security checkpoints in the southern Yemeni city of Aden, killing at least 26 people.
Islamic State group
setbacks as second-in-command killed, Syrian military recaptures Palmyra citadel (ABC News)
Mar 26 - The Islamic State group (IS) has suffered a double setback, with the Pentagon saying the militants' second-in-command was killed in a US raid and Syrian troops recapturing the ancient citadel in Palmyra.
Europe wanted to export extremists to Syria (The Guardian, Australia)
Mar 26 - Turkish officials have accused European governments of attempting to export their Islamic extremist problem to Syria, saying the EU has failed to secure its own borders or abide by pledges to share intelligence and cooperate in fighting the jihadist threat.
Suicide bomber detained
in Cameroon says she's one of Chibok girls (Sydney Morning Herald)
Mar 26 - Yaounde, Cameroon: A suspected suicide bomber intercepted in northern Cameroon on Friday before she could blow herself up claimed to be one of 219 schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram in the Nigerian town of Chibok in 2014, military and local government sources said.
Religious Violence – Brussels attacks
Terror suspect planned
next hit (The Australian)
Mar 21 - Arrested Paris terror suspect told investigators he was planning to attack Brussels.
Airport, metro rocked by explosions killing at least 34; Islamic State claims
attack (ABC News)
Mar 23 - A string of apparently coordinated explosions have ripped through Brussels Airport and a city metro station, killing at least 34 people and injuring more than 106 others on a "black day" for Belgium.
Brussels attacks: Terror
suspect on the run after 34 killed in blasts at airport and metro station (ABC News)
Mar 23 - Belgian anti-terror police are carrying out raids across the country in the hunt for a man believed to be on the run in the wake of triple attacks which killed 34 people in Brussels.
Dozens killed, scores injured
after airport and Maalbeek metro station explosions rock Belgian capital (Sydney Morning
Mar 23 - Brussels: At least 31 people have been killed and hundreds injured in coordinated attacks on Brussels Airport and a rush-hour metro train in the Belgian capital early on Tuesday, triggering security alerts across Europe and a manhunt for at least one suspect.
Donald Trump says he'd do a lot more than waterboarding (Sydney Morning Herald)
Mar 23 - In the wake of a series of fatal attacks in Brussels, Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump said he would go beyond waterboarding when interrogating suspected terrorist leaders and repeated that the US should "close up our borders until we figure out what's going on".
Belgium accused of ignoring warnings about suicide bomber (ABC News)
Mar 24 - Turkey says it tried to warn Belgium that one of the two brothers who blew themselves up in suicide attacks in Brussels was a foreign fighter sent back to Europe after being arrested on the Turkey-Syria border.
Tintin, urinating statue become symbols of a city's defiance (ABC News)
Mar 24 - Images of the comic book character Tintin crying have been widely shared by social media users paying tribute to victims of the Brussels bombings.
Paris bombmaker Najim
Laachraoui was second airport bomber, officials say (Sydney Morning Herald)
Mar 24 - Brussels: An Islamic State bombmaker whose DNA connected him to November's Paris attacks was one of two suicide bombers at Brussels Airport, two intelligence officials have confirmed, the strongest link yet between two Islamic State attacks that have stunned Europe with their power and planning.
Police find 'will' on
suspect's computer in hunt for airport, metro station bombers (Sydney Morning Herald)
Mar 24 - Brussels: Police have a fresh lead in their investigation of the Brussels terror attacks: a computer belonging to one of the suicide bombers, containing a despairing message described as a 'will'.
It is no surprise
siblings with past crimes carried out attacks on Brussels (The Guardian, Australia)
Mar 24 – (Opinion: Jason Burke) The news that two siblings – Khalid, 27, and Ibrahim el-Bakraoui, 29 - were responsible for the explosions at Brussels airport and a metro station on Tuesday should surprise no one.
Brussels attacks: why
Islamic State is exporting terrorism to Europe (Sydney Morning Herald)
Mar 25 - Washington: It may sound grotesque as victims of the Belgian attacks are still being identified, and it is likely the carnage will get worse before there is calm – but the bombings that killed dozens and wounded hundreds in Brussels this week might be a good sign.
Police arrest seven men
in Brussels and Paris following terror attacks (The Guardian, Australia)
Mar 25 - Police in Brussels are questioning six men arrested in overnight raids following Tuesday’s airport and metro attacks in the Belgian capital, amid reports a man detained in Paris has links to the same jihadist network.
Brussels cell ‘planned
dirty bomb’ (The Australian)
Mar 25 - Belgian nuclear workers have work passes revoked amid fears Brussels bombers were plotting a radiological dirty bomb.
Belgian police shoot suspect in Europe-wide terror raids (ABC News)
Mar 26 - Belgian police have shot and captured a terror suspect in a major daylight operation at a tram stop, as part of a European crackdown that has netted several arrests in the wake of the Brussels attacks.
Brussels bomber's DNA
confirms his link to Paris attacks, say prosecutors (The Guardian, Australia)
Mar 26 - A veteran Belgian fighter and bomb-maker with Islamic State whose DNA was found on two of the explosive belts used in last November’s carnage in Paris has been confirmed as one of the suicide bombers in Tuesday’s Brussels attacks.
Suspected third airport
bomber charged, indentified by local media as Faycal Cheffou (ABC News)
Mar 27 - Belgian prosecutors have charged a man thought to be the fugitive third Brussels Airport bomber with terrorist murder, after he was reportedly identified by a taxi driver who drove the attackers to the airport.
No-go area is Islamic
State turf (The Australian)
Mar 27 – (Opinion: Janet Albrechtsen) That a Brussels suburb has become a sanctuary for terrorists is testimony to open Europe’s failure.
Brussels attacks: last
gasp of Isis terror in Europe, or sign of growing threat? (The Guardian, Australia)
Mar 27 - As she lay on the floor, just metres from the remains of a suicide bomber who had ripped apart her metro train, Samla da Rosa’s first instinct was to reach for human contact.
Sun ordered to admit
British Muslims story was 'significantly misleading' (The Guardian, Australia)
Mar 26 - The Sun has been ordered to print a statement acknowledging that its claims that one in five British Muslims supported people who have gone to Syria to fight for jihadi groups such as Islamic State were significantly misleading.
No Namaste: Parents
offended by the 'Far East religion' of yoga (The Age, Melbourne)
Mar 27 - Washington: "We need to direct our attention inward and connect to the breath," yoga instructor Rachel Brathen writes in her New York Times best-selling book about the practice. "Focusing on our breath keeps us present, calms the mind and allows us to develop the awareness of the body we need to practise with care and compassion."
Knife-wielding man who
killed at mosque to spend 25 years at maximum security psychiatric hospital (The Age, Melbourne)
Mar 21 - A knife-wielding man who went on a rampage through a Melbourne mosque, killing one worshipper and stabbing three others will spend up to 25 years in the maximum security Thomas Embling psychiatric hospital.
Sydney siege inquest:
Monis may have been driven in 'by unknown accomplice' (The Guardian, Australia)
Mar 21 - Man Haron Monis may have been dropped in Sydney’s city centre by an unknown accomplice the morning he took hostages in Martin Place, an inquest has heard.
Kilburn man charged for
allegedly grabbing woman’s headscarf and intimidating her on bus into city (Adelaide Now)
Mar 23 - THE Imam of the Islamic Association of South Australia fears local Muslims may take matters into their own hands and “it could get very dirty”, following the alleged assault of a woman wearing a headscarf.
Schoolgirl arrested by
counter-terrorism police in Sydney allegedly in thrall to Islamic State terror
cell (ABC News)
Mar 23 - A 16-year-old Sydney schoolgirl arrested by counter-terrorism police on Tuesday was allegedly in thrall to a notorious Islamic State (IS) terror cell and an Australian fighter, whose growing profile in Syria is causing concern among Australian authorities.
Terror suspect Milad Atai
and 16-year-old schoolgirl accused of sending funds to Islamic State (Sydney Morning Herald)
Mar 23 - A 16-year-old schoolgirl stands accused of facilitating the flow of thousands of dollars from the western Sydney suburbs to the Islamic State battlefront.
Sydney schoolgirl on
terror charge refused bail (The
Mar 24 - A Sydney schoolgirl charged over an alleged plot to send thousands of dollars to Islamic State has been refused bail.
the case of Numan Haider shocks family and experts alike (The Guardian, Australia)
Mar 25 - How could a teenager from a loving, moderate Muslim family, described by friends as “funny” and “kind”, become so radicalised within months that he stabbed two police officers and ended up being shot dead?
terrorists’ aims (The Australian)
Mar 25 - Tuesday’s bombings in Belgium indicate the extremist group is pursuing its stated strategy to strike Western capitals.
Appleby terror cell a
tough nut to crack, says top cop (Sydney Morning Herald)
Mar 25 - Despite repeated arrests to dismantle the largest terror cell seen in Sydney, police have warned that offshoots and members in prison pose a continuing threat in an investigation that will "never close".
could save $350m by scrapping taxpayer support for religion (Sydney Morning Herald)
Mar 25 - The Turnbull government could improve the budget bottom line by $350 million by scrapping taxpayer support for religious organisations.
‘I was right to take
hard line’ (The Australian)
Mar 26 - Tony Abbott stands by his hard line on Islamist terrorism and his ‘Team Australia’ rhetoric.
Intake to prioritise
Christians (The Australian)
Mar 26 - Peter Dutton says the government will not ‘tolerate any view … designed to kill off the Australian way of life’.
Easter is a reminder
that climate change may be our most deadly sin (Sydney Morning Herald)
Mar 24 - (Opinion: Elizabeth Farrelly) I've never been strong on belief.
Why jail time alone
won't stop female genital mutilation (Brisbane Times)
Mar 24 - Last week sentences were handed down in Australia's first case for female genital mutilation (FGM).
Head reigns on Easter
parade (The Australian)
Mar 24 - He’s the principal determined to put an end to any use of the word Easter this holiday.
Ken Duncan's illuminated
cross project gets blessing of Haasts Bluff Aboriginal community (ABC
Mar 25 - The million-dollar, 20-metre-tall illuminated cross project in remote Central Australia is a step closer to reality after a community meeting gave the idea its blessing.
Brisbane churches packed
for Good Friday services (Brisbane
Mar 25 - It's the most important day in Christian life and it turns out, it's one of the busiest.
Religious leaders say
courage will defeat cruelty despite latest terror attacks (news.com.au)
Mar 25 - SYDNEY’S religious leaders have drawn on the bloodbath in Brussels as a rallying point for “peace and compassion” in their Easter messages.
Christians: the real
enemy (The Australian)
Mar 26 – (Opinion: Angela Shanahan) ‘Soft’ persecution of those who speak out against liberal ideologies is common.
reflect on love, power (news.com.au)
Mar 27 - The power of love trumps the love of power, church leaders have told worshippers at Easter Sunday services in Brisbane.
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)