by Greg Spearritt
Religion News Australia
Jan 17 - 24, 2010
Religion news stories from Australia
(Research: Greg Spearritt)
Jan 19 - A man believed to be Australia's last remaining Spanish Benedictine monk has died at the age of 99.
Pope summons bishops over sex scandal (ABC News)
Jan 21 - Pope Benedict has summoned Irish bishops to the Vatican for a meeting next month over a child sex abuse scandal that has shaken Ireland.
'Sorcerer' who raped 100 sentenced to death (Adelaide Now)
Jan 21 - A SAUDI man reported to have raped more than 100 women after posing as a spell-caster to lure them into his clutches has been sentenced to death, Saudi media reported.
Pope's failed assassin freed from jail (ABC News)
Jan 18 - Mehmet Ali Agca, the Turk who tried to kill pope John Paul II in 1981, has been released from prison after almost three decades behind bars, his lawyer said.
Jan 20 - The Turkish man who attempted to kill Pope John Paul II in 1981 has been freed from prison after almost three decades behind bars, but is keeping his motive shrouded in mystery.
One week on: alive and singing in quake rubble (Sydney Morning Herald)
Jan 20 - Everybody is calling it a miracle: an elderly woman was pulled alive and singing from the rubble of Haiti's Roman Catholic cathedral on Tuesday, one full week after a killer quake tore the building to the ground.
Pope urges priests to make 'astute' use of Internet (Sydney Morning Herald)
Jan 24 - Pope Benedict XVI on Saturday urged priests to use the Internet "astutely" in a message for this year's World Communications Day.
Haiti turns to prayers amid the mass graves (Herald-Sun, Melbourne)
Jan 17 - HAITIANS sought comfort in their faith on Sunday, flocking to pray in church ruins as the government said 70,000 bodies had been buried in mass graves since the earthquake disaster.
Voodoo priests object to mass burials (ABC News)
Jan 18 - Haiti's voodoo priests say anonymous mass burials are an improper way to handle the tens of thousands of dead from the earthquake, and have taken their complaint to President Rene Preval.
Victims see hand of God in Haiti's destruction (The Australian)
Jan 19 - PORT-AU-PRINCE: Deeply religious Haitians see the hand of God in the destruction of biblical proportions visited on their benighted country. The quake, religious leaders said yesterday, is evidence that He wants change.
Solar-powered Bibles sent to Haiti (ABC News)
Jan 19 - As international aid agencies rush food, water and medicine to Haiti's earthquake victims, a United States group is sending Bibles.
Burqa and niqab have no place in Denmark: PM (Sydney Morning Herald)
Jan 20 - The face-covering burqa and niqab veils worn by some Muslim women have no place in Denmark, Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen says, adding his government was considering restricting them.
Imam lends support to French burqa ban (ABC News)
Jan 23 - An Imam in Paris has given his support for a law against full-face veils and burqas in France.
Restoring Nietzsche to the right niche (The Age, Melbourne)
Jan 20 - FRIEDRICH Nietzsche was the victim of ''criminally scandalous'' manipulation by his anti-Semitic sister who condemned the German philosopher to being considered a forerunner to the Nazis, a new book claims.
Orthodox Jew triggers plane bomb scare (Adelaide Now)
Jan 22 - AN Orthodox Jew's prayer rituals, including wearing a sacred box on his head, triggered a bomb scare overnight aboard a US passenger plane, a security source said.
Egypt says Coptic killings were criminal (The Age, Melbourne)
Jan 19 - Egypt has sought to minimise the repercussions of the recent killing of six Coptic Christians in the south by qualifying the incident as a "criminal" rather than sectarian affair.
Doomsday cult member faces execution (ABC News)
Jan 19 - Japan's supreme court has rejected an appeal against the death sentence for a senior member of the doomsday cult behind the 1995 deadly sarin nerve gas attack on the Tokyo subway.
US troops use combat rifles bearing Bible verses (The Age, Melbourne)
Jan 20 - Combat rifle sights used by US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan carry references to Bible verses, stoking concerns about whether the inscriptions break a government rule that bars proselytising by American troops.
Also: US firm backs off 'Jesus' scopes (Sydney Morning Herald)
Jan 22 - A US firm sought to quiet a controversy over coded Biblical references inscribed on gunsights used by US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, announcing it was providing kits to remove them.
Also: Gunsights to lose Bible references (Sydney Morning Herald)
Jan 23 - WASHINGTON: The US company that has been putting coded biblical references on its gunsights used by US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan is to provide the military with kits to remove them.
Mideast bishops convened amid violence (The Age, Melbourne)
Jan 20 - A newly-released Vatican document blames the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the "occupying" of lands for fomenting most of the conflicts in the Middle East, driving Christians out and making life difficult for those who remain.
God row spells change ahead (The Australian)
Jan 22 – (Opinion: Richard Lloyd Parry) [T]his month's attacks on churches in Malaysia, which petered out last week leaving one gutted by fire and nine others vandalised, is a sinister development, a portent of great changes afoot in what used to be one of Southeast Asia's most stable and peaceful democracies.
Also: Four held for arson in Malaysia (Sydney Morning Herald)
Jan 24 - Malaysian police have arrested four men over arson attacks on two Muslim prayer halls, the latest on places of worship amid a dispute over the use of the word "Allah" by Christians, the national news agency reported on Saturday.
Christian/Muslim violence in Nigeria
Ten killed in Nigeria violence (The Age, Melbourne)
Jan 18 - Nigerian security forces have cordoned off a district of the city of Jos where clashes between Christians and Muslims left at least 26 people dead.
Religious violence continues in Nigeria (The Age, Melbourne)
Jan 19 - Religious violence between Christians and Muslims erupted again on Tuesday in Nigeria, as security forces issued a 24-hour curfew for the city of Jos where rioters have burned homes and killed at least 27 people.
150 dead in Nigerian clashes (ABC News)
Jan 20 - Authorities in the central Nigerian city of Jos claim clashes between Christian and Muslim gangs have killed around 150 people.
Nearly 200 die in fresh Nigeria clashes (The Age, Melbourne)
Jan 20 - Nearly 200 people have been killed in fresh religious clashes between Christians and Muslims in the Nigerian city of Jos, a senior Muslim cleric and paramedic says.
Nearly 300 killed in Nigeria religious clashes (The Age, Melbourne)
Jan 20 - Three days of Muslim-Christian clashes in the Nigerian city of Jos have left around 300 people dead, clerics and a paramedic said Tuesday, as troops were deployed to control the unrest.
Religious gang war leaves hundreds dead (ABC News)
Jan 22 - Mass funerals are underway in the central Nigerian city of Jos after days of fighting between Christian and Muslim gangs left hundreds of people dead.
'150 bodies found in wells' after Nigerian massacre (Sydney Morning Herald)
Jan 24 - At least 150 bodies were recovered from wells following deadly Muslim-Christian clashes in central Nigeria in which the estimated death toll already stood at about 300.
Hundreds killed in Nigerian religious violence (The Age, Melbourne)
Jan 24 - At least 364 Muslims died in clashes between Muslims and Christians this week in central Nigeria, according to figures provided by Muslim leaders, a spokesman for Human Rights Watch says.
Russians plunge into icy water for Epiphany (The Age, Melbourne)
Jan 20 - Scantily clad Orthodox Christians braved freezing temperatures throughout Russia on Tuesday to immerse themselves in ice holes in rivers and lakes to celebrate the Epiphany religious holiday.
Baroque ecstasy in the agony (The Australian)
Jan 22 – (Review) THE Sacred Made Real, at the National Gallery in London, is an utterly absorbing exhibition and a substantial contribution to our understanding of an area of art history that is not only unfamiliar to most people, but has suffered from a certain contemptuous hostility for reasons at once aesthetic, moral and philosophical.
Patriarch vows to defend Kosovo claim (Sydney Morning Herald)
Jan 24 - The new head of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Irinej, has vowed to defend Serbia's claim on Kosovo, signalling that the influential church will retain its firm opposition to the region's Western-backed independence.
Abbott's pregnancy hotline reborn as parents' helpline (The Australian)
Jan 18 - ONE of Tony Abbott's most controversial initiatives as health minister -- funding a Catholic charity to help run a pregnancy hotline and hopefully dissuade women from having an abortion -- will be scrapped within six months.
Aussies reveal holidays from hell (Adelaide Now)
Jan 19 - AIRLINES are being slapped with compensation demands for serving "religiously offensive'' meals.
Let the force teach you (Sydney Morning Herald)
Jan 19 - Religious leaders are to be given a hands-on education in modern policing with firearm training and Taser use.
ADF scrambles in row over biblical gunsights (ABC News)
Jan 22 - Defence Minister John Faulkner has ordered the Defence Department to remove references to biblical passages marked on gunsights being used by Australian troops in Afghanistan.
Also: Biblical guns 'won't endanger soldiers' (ABC News)
Jan 22 - Australian soldiers have not been put at risk by revelations some of their weapons have biblical inscriptions on them, General Peter Cosgrove says.
Also: Row over 'biblical' weapons in Afghanistan (The Australian)
Jan 22 - AUSTRALIAN special forces soldiers are using gunsights with biblical references etched on to them as they fight the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan.
Scientology critic adds volume to inquiry call (Sydney Morning Herald)
Jan 23 - A LEADING critic of Scientology is to travel to Australia to support Senator Nick Xenophon's campaign for an inquiry into the tax-exempt status of the church.
Also: Trouble in the house of Hubbard (Sydney Morning Herald)
Jan 24 - It should have been one of Scientology's greatest moments.
Coptic Christians protest against violence (ABC News)
Jan 19 - Close to 2000 Coptic Christrians have marched in Sydney's CBD today to protest against violence in Egypt.
Torah's golden destiny (Daily Telegraph, Sydney)
Jan 24 – (Sport) In line with her religion and sport, [Torah] Bright now lives in the Mormon capital of Salt Lake City, Utah, home of the 2002 Winter Olympics.
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