by Greg Spearritt
Religion News Australia
Apr 3 - 10, 2011
Religion news stories from Australia
(Research: Greg Spearritt)
Australian bishop resigns after diocese abuse scandals (The West Australian)
Apr 4 - VATICAN CITY, April 4, 2011 (AFP) - - Pope Benedict XVI has accepted the resignation of Australian bishop Michael John Malone, the Vatican said on Monday, following child abuse scandals in his Maitland-Newcastle diocese.
Church removes guilty priests (The Age, Melbourne)
Apr 6 - TWO Melbourne Catholic priests guilty of sexual abuse have been removed from the priesthood, Melbourne Vicar-General Bishop Les Tomlinson confirmed yesterday.
Easter heavy metal gig planned for Northcote venue in sin bin (The Courier-Mail, Brisbane)
Apr 4 - THE Victorian Government will move to ban a bad-taste concert from being staged on one of the most sacred days of the Christian year.
Time's up for Perth Archbishop (The West Australian)
Apr 8 - Catholic Archbishop Barry Hickey has resigned before his 75th birthday this month after 20 years leading the Archdiocese of Perth.
Let us get God out of the classroom (The Age, Melbourne)
Apr 4 – (Opinion: Jewel Topsfield) CHRISTIAN education classes taught me to be afraid of the band the Eagles.
Also: Chaplains accused of pushing religion in schools (ABC News)
Apr 8 - Some parents say they have evidence the federally-funded National School Chaplaincy program is being used to push religion to public school students.
Bondi Public School's ban on word Easter at Easter Hat Parade (Daily Telegraph, Sydney)
Apr 4 - A SCHOOL ditched the word Easter from its Easter Hat Parade to try to teach students about religious "tolerance".
Pyne backs status quo on schools (The Age, Melbourne)
Apr 7 - COALITION education spokesman Christopher Pyne has promised to continue a controversial feature of school funding arrangements that provides more than 1000 private schools with more funding than they are entitled to.
State to increase funds for Christian classes (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 8 - THE state government will boost funding to Christian education classes in schools in the budget, with Education Minister Martin Dixon ruling out changes to the controversial program.
Also: Anger at schools' Christian 'bias' (The Age, Melbourne)
Apr 10 - BUDDHIST community leader Dr Sue Best has complained of the ''Christian bias'' in religious education in Victoria, saying if her group had access to government funding, they too could expand to hundreds of schools.
RE must not be an exercise in faith (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 8 – (Opinion: Editorial) CONTROVERSY over religious education in Victorian government schools is hardly new.
Fury as top scientist awarded religion prize (The Australian)
Apr 7 - ONE of Britain's most eminent scientists sparked controversy overnight by accepting a $1.63 million prize for contributions to life's spiritual dimension.
Don't pray for me (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 9 - Despite his battle with advanced cancer, the celebrated athiest Christopher Hitchens still maintains that God is not great, even in Tumourville.
German Catholics leave in droves: report (The West Australian)
Apr 8 - BERLIN (AFP) - Paedophile priest scandals in Germany contributed to a 40-percent rise in the number of Catholics leaving the Church last year, a report said Thursday, five months before a visit by the pope.
Syria lifts niqab ban, shuts casino, in nod to Sunnis (The West Australian)
Apr 6 - BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syria lifted on Wednesday a ban on teachers wearing the full face veil and ordered the closure of a casino, moves aimed at placating conservative Muslims in the tightly-controlled country that has seen weeks of unrest.
French burqa ban goes into force on Monday (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 9 - French police will from Monday become the first officers in Europe empowered to intercept Muslim women wearing full-face veils and to threaten them with fines if they refuse to expose their faces.
Also: French veil ban begins on Monday (Herald-Sun, Melbourne)
Apr 9 - FRENCH police will from Monday be able to threaten Muslim women wearing full-face veils with fines if they refuse to expose their faces.
Men have affairs because wives neglect their responsibilities, MP tells parliament (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 9 - "In Islam, wives are supposed to stop everything to fulfil their husband's demands."
Karzai demands US apology for Koran burning (ABC News)
Apr 4 - Afghan president Hamid Karzai has called on the US Congress to condemn the burning of the Koran by a militant American fundamentalist Christian pastor.
Also: Obama calls for tolerance after Koran burning (The Age, Melbourne)
Apr 4 - US PRESIDENT Barack Obama has called for tolerance in Afghanistan after the burning of a Koran in Florida prompted an attack that killed seven UN workers and sparked violent protests across the country.
Also: Koran burning is 'un-American' says White House (ABC News)
Apr 5 - The White House has slammed Koran burning as "un-American" but said a US pastor's destruction of the Muslim holy book did not justify the killings of UN personnel in Afghanistan.
Also: US Koran burning ignites explosive Afghan cocktail (The West Australian)
Apr 6 - KABUL (AFP) - Afghan fury over the burning of a Koran in the US has been fuelled by disillusion with the West over the war, public outrage by President Hamid Karzai, and the rising voice of radicalism, experts say.
Two killed and dozens hurt in third day of Afghan protests (The West Australian)
Apr 4 - KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (Reuters) - Two policemen were killed and more than 30 people wounded in the southern city of Kandahar on Sunday during the third day of protests across Afghanistan against the burning of a Koran by a militant fundamentalist Christian U.S. pastor, officials said.
Suicide attacks kill dozens at Pakistani shrine (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 4 - Two suicide bomb attacks outside a shrine in the central Pakistani province of Punjab on Sunday killed 41 people, a police officer says.
Suicide bomber kills seven at Pakistan bus terminal (The West Australian)
Apr 4 - KHAR, Pakistan (AFP) - A teenage suicide bomber struck a bus terminal in northwest Pakistan on Monday, killing seven people in the sixth bomb attack in as many days to strike the nuclear-armed country, police said.
Pakistan revamps Taliban fortress for skiing gala (The West Australian)
Apr 6 - MALAM JABBA, Pakistan (AFP) - More than three years after the Taliban shut Pakistan's most famous ski resort, enthusiasts are again slamming down the slopes trying to prove that the feared insurgents are gone for good.
Islamist campaign against Egypt shrines focus fears (The West Australian)
Apr 6 - QALYOUB, Egypt (Reuters) - Wielding crowbars and sledgehammers, two dozen Islamists arrived at the Sidi Abdel Rahman shrine in the middle of the night aiming to smash it to pieces.
US warns Pakistan is losing fight (The Age, Melbourne)
Apr 7 - THE Obama administration has warned that Pakistan lacks a ''clear path toward defeating'' Islamic insurgents in the country's tribal region.
Where extremism rules (The Age, Melbourne)
Apr 8 - ASIF Ali Zardari thundered that his government would fight the violent religious extremism that has gripped his country, threatening to tear it asunder.
Bomb in Indian Kashmir kills prominent Muslim cleric (The West Australian)
Apr 8 - SRINAGAR (Reuters) - A bomb went off outside a mosque in Kashmir's main city Friday, killing a prominent Muslim cleric, police and witnesses said, the first such attack near a religious place in recent years.
Prominent imam killed in Russia's Dagestan (The West Australian)
Apr 9 - MOSCOW (AFP) - A prominent imam who discouraged youth from joining Islamic militants has been shot dead in his home in the strife-torn southern Russian republic of Dagestan, news reports said Saturday.
U.S. report slams Bahrain for repressing Shi'ites (The West Australian)
Apr 9 - DUBAI (Reuters) - Sunni-ruled Bahrain was guilty of human rights abuses including arbitrary detentions, censorship and discrimation against majority Shi'ites before its violent crackdown on street protests, the United States said on Friday.
Beijing church faces eviction in tense times (The West Australian)
Apr 3 - BEIJING (Reuters) - Tears flowed at one of Beijing's biggest "house" churches when some 300 Chinese Christians prayed on the last Sunday before they face eviction from their makeshift place of worship, pressed by officials wary about religion outside of their grip.
Also: New targets in China's crackdown on critics (The Australian)
Apr 5 - CHINA'S artists and Christians have become the latest targets in the biggest crackdown on the Communist Party's critics in decades, with a leading Beijing "underground" church being left homeless and the country's most controversial art figure detained by police at the weekend.
Guru's health failing (The Age, Melbourne)
Apr 7 - One of India's most famous spiritual gurus is in a critical condition in the intensive care unit of a southern hospital where thousands of devotees have gathered.
Syrian authorities arrest prominent cleric - activists (The West Australian)
Apr 8 - AMMAN (Reuters) - Syrian authorities have arrested a prominent cleric who has supported protests against the 11-year rule of President Bashar al-Assad, human rights activists said on Thursday.
Muslims plead for 'more tolerance' in Australia (Perth Now)
Apr 4 - MUSLIMS in Australia say many in their community feel forced to live in enclaves to protect themselves from racism.
Burqa a blight on women: minister (The West Australian)
Apr 9 - Muslims are being urged to refuse to wear the burqa, with a senior State Government minister saying the garment is a symbol of oppression and alien to Australian culture.
Young, female, Melburnian, Muslim (Herald-Sun, Melbourne)
Apr 9 - THEY'RE sporty, they love going out with mates, hitting the beach, staying home with the kids. The one thing these young Melburnians have in common? They're Muslims.
Panel to inspect sites before deciding on religious boundary (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 7 - A PROPOSED spiritual boundary in St Ives is still in limbo after a decision on 11 controversial development applications was deferred yesterday.
Federal Government overturns Bible ban imposed at citizenship ceremonies (Daily Telegraph, Sydney)
Apr 4 - THE Federal Government has overturned a bible ban imposed by immigration officials and will now allow religious groups to hand out holy books at citizenship ceremonies.
Julia Gillard reaches out to Christian leaders (The Australian)
Apr 5 - JULIA Gillard has reassured leaders of Australia's 20 major Christian churches that she supports traditional values and freedom of religion, and is listening to their concerns about the Greens' social agenda on legalising same-sex marriage and euthanasia.
ICB: Does Islam sanction beheadings? (Perth Now)
Apr 10 – (Opinion: Tory Shepherd) THEY love a good Muslim stoush, those Liberal MPs.
Minister's rise from Catholic roots (The Age, Melbourne)
Apr 10 - BEFORE he entered politics in 1996, Martin Dixon spent most of his life in Catholic education.
It's not the end of the world, says Brisbane radio station (Brisbane Times)
Apr 4 - A Brisbane radio station has distanced itself from billboards predicting the impending end of the world.
Churches booming as young embrace spiritual survival (The West Australian)
Apr 5 - Hundreds of Perth teenagers are choosing to spend their Friday nights in church instead of in shopping centres or at parties as Christians embrace technology and modern attitudes.
Cornes: God is not dead just yet (Adelaide Now)
Apr 10 – (Opinion: Lucy Cornes) AN American study using census data from nine developed countries shows a steady rise in those claiming to have no religious affiliation.
Former Jehovah's Witness taking on Watch Tower (Herald-Sun, Melbourne)
Apr 10 - A FORMER Jehovah's Witness is to launch a private criminal prosecution against the religion's world headquarters.
Apr 6 - The Salvation Army on the New South Wales far south coast says it is optimistic about this year's Red Shield Appeal despite the challenge of last month's floods.
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