by Greg Spearritt
Religion News Australia
July 17 - 24, 2011
Religion news stories from Australia
(Research: Greg Spearritt)
Synagogue asks alleged child molester to stand down (The Age, Melbourne)
July 20 - A SECURITY guard accused of sexually abusing boys from an Orthodox Jewish school in St Kilda East has been asked to stand down from the board of management of an Elwood synagogue until a police investigation into alleged paedophilia at the school is completed.
Priests urged to out confessional abusers (The West Australian)
July 21 - The federal government is being urged to follow the lead of Ireland and force priests to report confessions of child abuse to the authorities.
Also: Call to end confessional confidentiality (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 22 - THE independent senator Nick Xenophon has the secrecy of the Catholic confessional in his sights, calling for mandatory reporting on child abuse to include that disclosed to priests.
Quieter tones of civilisation (The Australian)
July 19 – (Review) Devotion by Design, a particularly hushed examination of the function and form of the Italian altarpiece before 1500… looks at how altarpieces were made, what they were for, where they went and how they looked originally compared with how they look now.
The discomfort zone (The Australian)
July 23 - ACCURACY is of tremendous importance to Lloyd Newson.
Parishioners urge bishop appointment (ABC News)
July 19 - Catholic parishioners in Broken Hill are calling for a bishop to be appointed to properly lead the Wilcannia Forbes Diocese.
Push to expand religious teaching (The Age, Melbourne)
July 18 - THE Christian group that teaches the controversial religious education program in Victorian government schools has announced a five-year ''mission'' to extend its reach into independent schools.
Religion in schools not just a matter of faith (The Age, Melbourne)
July 19 – (Opinion: Editorial) Children deserve a multi-belief education.
Nile isolated as Anglicans back ethics classes (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 21 - THE leading opponent to the introduction of ethics classes in NSW schools, the Anglican Church, has reversed its position and says they should be retained, while the Catholic Church now argues they should not be removed as they have ''little impact'' on the teaching of scripture.
Also: Major churches back NSW ethics classes (ABC News)
July 21 - Australia's two biggest churches have given their support for ethics classes to continue in New South Wales schools.
Christian group cleared of urging students to convert (The Age, Melbourne)
July 21 - A FEDERAL investigation into the Christian group that provides religious education in Victorian schools has found no evidence that its chaplains tried to convert students in breach of government guidelines.
Problems at the end of the rainbow (The Age, Melbourne)
July 21 - ELIZABETH Stuart first became suspicious when her five-year-old daughter Isabel pensively asked her on the way home from school if she believed God had made the plants and trees and rainbows.
The God complexity: a faith war in our schools (The Age, Melbourne)
July 24 - IT'S on for just 30 minutes a week and it's taught in fewer than half of all public primary schools in Victoria, but religious education has the power to stir mighty emotions.
Irish PM launches scathing attack on Vatican (ABC News)
July 21 - Irish prime minister Enda Kenny has launched a blistering attack on the Vatican, accusing it of "dysfunction, disconnection and elitism" in its failure to tackle clerical child sex abuse.
Also: Vatican seeks objective debate on abuse after Irish rebuke (The West Australian)
July 22 - VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The Vatican called on Thursday for objective debate over a child sexual abuse scandal in Ireland after the Irish prime minister denounced the Holy See as dysfunctional and narcissistic.
July 19 - BUDDHA'S Delight was on the menu, but it was MasterChef executives left smiling today, after the series special with the Dalai Lama won TV's top spot last night.
Dalai Lama says he will decide successor (The West Australian)
July 19 - WASHINGTON (AFP) - Tibet's spiritual leader the Dalai Lama has insisted that he will guide the choice of his successor, saying China's plans to control the selection of the Buddhist leader were "ridiculous."
Vatican, Malaysia establish diplomatic ties (The West Australian)
July 18 - VATICAN CITY (AFP) - The Vatican and Malaysia have established official diplomatic ties, the Holy See announced on Monday after talks between Pope Benedict XVI and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.
Saudi woman to be tried for driving (The Australian)
July 21 - A SAUDI woman will be tried for taking the wheel, in what she said was an emergency, despite the ultra-conservative kingdom's ban on females driving.
Islamic healers treat wounds in Russia's Chechnya (The West Australian)
July 22 - GROZNY, Russia (Reuters) - Lying on a couch with her eyes closed, 26-year-old Milena sips water blessed by an Islamic healer who sits nearby reciting verses from the Koran to cure her depression.
Tunisia's Islamist party denies it behind riots (The West Australian)
July 19 - TUNIS (Reuters) - The leader of Tunisia's main Islamist political party on Tuesday denied any responsibility for the wave of violent protests in the capital and other cities in recent days.
Fears killed jihadi may be an Aussie (The Australian)
July 21 - AUSTRALIAN officials are investigating a claim that an al-Qa'ida militant killed by a missile fired from an unmanned US drone was an Australian.
Jakarta to Islamabad: hand over bomber (The Australian)
July 21 - INDONESIAN police are expected to file a mutual legal assistance request with their Pakistani counterparts for the transfer of alleged Bali bomber Umar Patek.
Militants plan al Qaeda cartoon for kids, monitors say (The West Australian)
July 21 - LONDON (Reuters) - Al Qaeda sympathisers are planning to produce a children's cartoon film to inspire young Muslim viewers to take up armed violence against the West, security specialists who monitor militant websites say.
Somalia militias recruiting famine's children (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 22 - THE Islamist militias that control most of southern and central Somalia are stepping up their recruitment of child soldiers in the famine-ravaged country, Amnesty International claims.
Noah's "real-life" ark takes shape (Daily Telegraph, Sydney)
July 18 - FOR three years, the quaint old city of Dordrecht has watched in amazement as a local businessman's dream of building a real-life Noah's ark, stocked with thousands of plastic animals, became a reality.
Vatican ejects Chinese bishop (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 18 - A CHINESE bishop ordained without papal approval has been excommunicated by the Vatican for accepting his new post.
Also: China makes plans to ordain more bishops (The West Australian)
July 24 - BEIJING (Reuters) - China's state-backed Catholic Church, which has riled the Vatican with the ordination of three bishops, said on Friday it plans to ordain more bishops, a move that could inflame tensions between the Roman Catholic Church and Beijing.
A devil of a name put on NZ banned list (The Age, Melbourne)
July 20 - NAMING your new bundle of joy Lucifer has been effectively banned by New Zealand's names registrar after three parents had the odd request knocked back.
Guarded Muslims 'halve census figures' (ABC News)
July 18 - Islamic leaders believe their community in Australia is more than double the size of official figures.
Sharia law link to Sydney lashing (The Age, Melbourne)
July 19 - A man who was allegedly held against his bed by four bearded attackers while he was whipped with a cord in Sydney's west has said he was the victim of sharia law.
Also: Intruders whip Sydney man for drinking (Brisbane Times)
July 19 - A Sydney man who was held down on his bed and whipped up to 40 times by strangers had recently converted to Islam and was reportedly being punished for drinking.
Also: New Muslim lashed for drinking in Australia (The West Australian)
July 19 - SYDNEY (AFP) - An Australian convert to Islam was pinned down and lashed 40 times for drinking alcohol by a group of Muslim men who broke into his home to punish him for breaking sharia law, a court heard Tuesday.
Also: Sydney sharia lashing case: second man in court (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 20 - A second man has been granted bail over a western Sydney home invasion in which a man was whipped up to 40 times for religious motivation.
Also: Second man in whipping case gets bail (The Australian)
July 20 - A SECOND man has been granted bail over a western Sydney home invasion in which a man was whipped up to 40 times for religious motivation.
Also: Two charged for whipping Muslim convert in bed (The Australian)
July 20 - A MUSLIM convert was repeatedly whipped with electrical cord during a home invasion allegedly as part of a sharia law punishment for drinking alcohol.
Also: Man accused of sharia law assault called bin Laden 'soldier of God' (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 21 - A MUSLIM man who once called Osama bin Laden a ''soldier of God'' participated in a brutal flogging of a man to impose his religious beliefs and his standing in the Islamic community, police have alleged in court.
Also: 'My drink problem': Victim speaks out as second man charged over flogging (Daily Telegraph, Sydney)
July 21 - A MUSLIM man lashed 40 times in his home as an alleged sharia law punishment has admitted he is battling a drinking problem.
Also: Why 'good' sharia is championed in some surprising quarters (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 22 – (Opinion: Richard Ackland) The court cases of Tolga Cifci and Wassim Fayad are ready-made for hefty doses of hyperventilation by portions of the media, particularly commercial broadcasters.
Also: Lashing accused's parents 'don't want him' (Herald-Sun, Melbourne)
July 23 - A MAN charged over the whipping of a Muslim man as punishment for drinking alcohol has had his bail conditions changed in a Sydney court - because his parents don't want him living with them.
Logic lack in burqa debate (Adelaide Now)
July 19 – (Opinion: Tory Shepherd) MORE than 20,000 people pledged to join a Ban the Burqa protest yesterday.
Also: Burqa bigots taint Australian society (Herald-Sun, Melbourne)
July 19 – (Opinion: Susie O'Brien) DON'T ban the burqa. Ban racist bogans instead.
Also: Burqa rally is about stoking fear not promoting security (The Age, Melbourne)
July 20 – (Opinion: Helen Szoke) A rally calling on Victorians to support a ban on the wearing of burqas has the potential to light a fuse that we might find very hard to extinguish.
Also: Why bless burkas and ban bogans? (The Australian)
July 21 – (Opinion: Breandan O'Neill) IS it racist and irrational to criticise aspects of Islam?
Sharia law at work in Australia (The Australian)
July 20 - SHARIA law has become a shadow legal system within Australia, endorsing polygamous and underage marriages that are outlawed under the Marriage Act.
Also: One set of laws for all citizens (The Australian)
July 21 – (Opinion: Editorial) A FUNDAMENTAL tenet of Australia's secular democracy is that all citizens are equal under the one legal system, which is an important reason why our nation should resist any encroachment of sharia law as a shadow legal system.
Also: Sharia underground: Nation's other law (The Courier-Mail, Brisbane)
July 20 - AUSTRALIA has long been a nation of immigrants - arriving to an attractive global image of sun, surf, bikinis, beer, barbecues and above all freedom to enjoy them.
Also: Australian Muslim women choose to live by own code (Daily Telegraph, Sydney)
July 23 - WHEN Australian Muslim Frida Dakiz's marriage dissolved she was granted a divorce by her local imam.
July 24 – (Opinion: Jamila Hussain) The majority of Muslims in Australia are, like my son, born here or came as young children, are educated, hold responsible jobs, look after their families and steer clear of any involvement in extremism or crime.
10 questions - Samah Hadid (The Australian)
July 23 - SAMAH Hadid, 23, human rights advocate, on misconceptions about Muslims, gay rights and burqas.
Faith taps herd instinct, but culture is personal (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 24 - AS ELECTION day in NSW drew near and polls showed the Greens might hold the balance of power in the upper house, the Catholic Church issued a statewide warning.
What a pack of burqas (Daily Telegraph, Sydney)
July 24 – (Opinion: Piers Akerman) IN THE middle of its cold summer holiday, Europe is struggling with two major issues - the fragile Euro economy and unwanted Islamic migration.
MP pulls pin on same sex debate (ABC News)
July 18 - Tasmanian Liberal MP Michael Ferguson has withdrawn from a public debate on same-sex marriage, following controversial accusations made by Labor backbencher Brenton Best.
The best arguments for God are purely scientific (Perth Now)
July 19 – (Opinion: Roy Williams) MODERN day defenders of orthodox Christianity, of any religion with a supernatural element, face a host of challenges.
Safran senses spirit of the religious rite (The West Australian)
July 19 - There are 50,000 practising Jedis in Australia.
Stolen spirits brought home to be at rest (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 20 - ABORIGINAL elders in Arnhem Land say the "spirits" of dozens of their ancestors whose skeletal remains were stolen from burial grounds more than 60 years ago can now rest after being rebur-ied in a traditional ceremony.
Opera House in terrorism manual (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 21 - THE Sydney Opera House has appeared in an online al-Qaeda magazine on terrorism and bomb-making, prompting the federal government to try to prevent the magazine's spread to the Australian web.
Also: Al-Qa'ida takes aim at Opera House (The Australian)
July 21 - AL-QA'IDA'S official magazine has used Sydney's Opera House as an example of a suitable target for a homegrown terrorist attack, prompting Australian intelligence bodies to try to ban online access to the magazine.
Hillsong takes case for all-hours church to higher authority (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 21 - HILLSONG'S loss of faith in the City of Sydney has it heading to the Land and Environment Court.
Christian lobby backs adult-only rating for computer games (The Australian)
July 22 - THE Australian Christian Lobby has overturned its opposition to a new R18+ category for adult computer games, saying a new in-principle deal would keep extreme games out of Australia.
July 23 – (Opinion: Angela Shanahan) THIS week I received a very excited press release from a very excitable lady representing an organisation called Equal Love which, she is "thrilled" to inform me, is preparing a mass illegal wedding in Melbourne, as a protest against the present marriage laws.
Church bid to block hospital abortions (The Courier-Mail, Brisbane)
July 23 - DOCTORS have accused the Presbyterian Church of religious interference over a move to ban abortions at a southeast Queensland hospital.
Brazilian search for Nannup cult family (The West Australian)
July 20 - The mysterious disappearance of a Nannup family linked to an internet cult has taken a dramatic twist, with police investigating whether they were on a plane which crashed in Brazil four years ago.
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