by Greg Spearritt
Religion News Australia
Jan 8 - 15, 2012
Religion news stories from Australia
(Research: Greg Spearritt)
More schools opting for secular workers instead of chaplains (Sydney Morning Herald)
Jan 10 - MORE than 200 schools that have had a federal government-funded chaplain plan to hire a secular welfare worker instead, taking advantage of changes to the $222 million scheme.
Also: Schools taking secular option for students (The Australian)
Jan 10 - ABOUT 200 schools around Australia have applied to replace their religious chaplain with a student welfare worker, under an overhauled Federal Government program.
Also: Our schools are keeping the faith (The Courier-Mail, Brisbane)
Jan 11 - QUEENSLAND schools remain the most dedicated to their chaplains, after 95 per cent chose to keep the position following a change to the National School Chaplaincy program.
China warns US over self-immolations (The Australian)
Jan 11 - CHINA today warned the US against interfering in its domestic affairs after Washington expressed "serious concern" over a spate of self-immolations by Tibetan monks.
China's Tibetan Buddhists 'in vicious cycle' (The West Australian)
Jan 13 - BEIJING (AFP) - China's Tibetan Buddhists are locked in a "vicious cycle" of radicalisation as an intensifying government crackdown spurs them to increasingly desperate acts of protest, rights groups say.
Immolation sparks Chinese to fire (The Courier-Mail, Brisbane)
Jan 15 - A TIBETAN set himself on fire in China and police fired on scores of locals as they tried to rescue the body.
Group urges China restraint amid Tibet unrest (The West Australian)
Jan 15 - SHANGHAI (AFP) - A rights group has called on Beijing to use restraint after a Tibetan set himself on fire in southwest China on Saturday and police allegedly fired on hundreds of locals, possibly killing one.
Vatican goes to internet for cut-and-paste profiles (The Age, Melbourne)
Jan 10 - ITS ancient library holds more than 180,000 manuscripts and 1.6 million books, and it describes its secret archive as ''one of the most important research centres in the world''.
Gay marriage risk to family cell, says Pope (Sydney Morning Herald)
Jan 11 - POPE Benedict has signalled his firm opposition to same-sex marriage, stating policies that undermine the traditional family threatened ''the future of humanity itself''.
Pontiff's Jewish childhood friend brought two faiths closer (Sydney Morning Herald)
Jan 11 - Jerzy Kluger was a Polish Jew whose lifelong friendship with Pope John Paul II helped the pontiff's efforts to repair Catholic-Jewish relations after centuries of anti-Semitism.
Muslim veil sit-in ends at Tunisian university (The Australian)
Jan 9 - A WEEKS-long sit-in at a Tunisian university that banned the wearing of the full-face Muslim veil has ended, according to a school official.
Don't let Rushdie visit country, says Muslim cleric (Sydney Morning Herald)
Jan 12 - Salman Rushdie is at the centre of a row in his native India, after a conservative Indian Muslim cleric said the author should not be allowed to visit the country to speak at a literary festival.
Iraq bravery hailed as blow to sectarianism (The West Australian)
Jan 12 - BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The bravery of two Sunnis who died trying to stop a suicide bomber killing Shi'ite pilgrims is being praised as a sign that Iraq can overcome sectarian divisions amid its worst political crisis in a year.
Britain says will work with new Islamic govts (The West Australian)
Jan 13 - LONDON (AFP) - British Foreign Secretary William Hague on Friday pledged to support governments elected in the wake of the Arab Spring uprisings, despite "legitimate concerns" over the rise of parties rooted in Islam.
Egypt Muslim Brotherhood would consider IMF aid (The West Australian)
Jan 13 - CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood would consider supporting a deal to obtain emergency aid from the IMF, providing there are no conditions attached and alternatives are explored first, a senior official in the Brotherhood said.
Worshippers crushed in stampede (The Courier-Mail, Brisbane)
Jan 15 - AT least 10 people were crushed to death in the middle of the night in a stampede at a religious shrine in India.
Officer in Mel Gibson anti-Semitic tirade gets trial (news.com.au)
Jan 14 - A US sheriff's deputy who endured an anti-Semitic rant from Mel Gibson for arresting the star won the right to a trial Thursday, over his treatment by bosses after the notorious incident.
Rivals tell Romney to drop 'pious baloney' (ABC News)
Jan 9 - A week after his razor-thin victory in Iowa, Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney is leading in New Hampshire but the gap is shrinking.
Romney facing scrutiny over Mormonism (The Australian)
Jan 10 - MITT Romney is not the first Mormon to run for the United States presidency.
Santorum secures key US evangelical backing (The West Australian)
Jan 15 - WASHINGTON (AFP) - Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum received a powerful shot in the arm as top US evangelical leaders endorsed his White House bid ahead of a crucial South Carolina primary.
Terrorists plan attack on faithful (Courier-Mail, Brisbane)
Jan 8 - PHILIPPINE President Benigno Aquino has warned of a plot by a terrorist group to disrupt a huge religious procession in Manila.
Nigerian violence sparks curfew (The Age, Melbourne)
Jan 9 - PARIS: A north-eastern Nigerian state where there have been numerous attacks on Christians has been put under curfew amid a new wave of violence blamed on Islamists.
Suicide bomb kills 50 (Sydney Morning Herald)
Jan 15 - BASRA: A suicide attack on Shiite pilgrims on the western outskirts of the main southern Iraqi city of Basra has killed 50 people at the end of Arbaeen commemorations.
Also: Bomber kills dozens in Iraq pilgrim attack (ABC News)
Jan 15 - A suicide bomber disguised as a policeman has blown himself up in Iraq's port city of Basra, killing more than 50 people and wounding at least 130 others, police said.
No church for tattooed Bieber (news.com.au)
Jan 9 - JUSTIN Bieber has a tattoo of Jesus Christ's face on his calf, but says he is not uber religious.
Sister hurls abuse at accused sibling in UK witchcraft murder trial (The Australian)
Jan 10 - A 21-year-old woman screamed in a London court today that her own sister "deserved to die" for taking part in the torture of their teenage brother - who was fatally brutalised because he was allegedly a witch.
Methodists losing faith in Fiji (Sydney Morning Herald)
Jan 12 - METHODIST minister Reverend Tevita Nawadra Banivanua had every reason to hope that 2012 was to be the beginning of a new period of rapprochement between his church and Fiji's military regime.
Pacquiao talks religious epiphany (news.com.au)
Jan 13 – (Sport) MANNY Pacquiao has renewed his faith in God, but it still remains unclear if he will fight Floyd Mayweather.
Grisly find reveals Indonesia's fixation with black magic (Sydney Morning Herald)
Jan 14 - ON A Thursday morning last year, Sapari, a cemetery caretaker in Bonasari in East Java, made a disturbing discovery.
India to sue web giants over content (The Australian)
Jan 14 - INDIA'S Government has authorised the prosecution of 21 internet firms, including Facebook, Yahoo! and Google, in a case over obscene content posted online, two sources told AFP.
Scientologists 'go through my bin' (news.com.au)
Jan 14 - OSCAR winner Paul Haggis has claimed that detectives sift through his rubbish after he renounced Scientology.
Fears held for Christian convert (The Age, Melbourne)
Jan 11 - THE husband and friends of an Iranian woman missing from Dandenong for almost a month fear she has been abducted by Muslim hardliners because of her attempts to convert Muslims to Christianity.
Also: Missing Vic woman's husband in custody (The West Australian)
Jan 13 - A Melbourne man who claimed his missing wife may have been abducted by Muslim extremists has been taken into custody after what are believed to be human remains were found buried in the couple's backyard.
Victorian free after 'lenient' 75 lashes (The Age, Melbourne)
Jan 13 - THE whip has swung gently in past cases, more a ritual than a thrashing.
Also: Free after 75 lashes in Saudi Arabian hellhole, Australian thanks Allah (The Age, Melbourne)
Jan 14 - THE man who stepped off the plane from Dubai did not look like his father, Issam Almaribe said.
Also: Pilgrim recounts terror of Saudi lashing ordeal (Herald-Sun, Melbourne)
Jan 14 - MANSOR Almaribe drowned out his pain with tears as he was lashed 75 times in a tiny, bug-infested jail cell, while wearing nothing but a cotton robe.
Group seeks permission for Islamic museum (Sydney Morning Herald)
Jan 15 - A Muslim group is seeking land in the ACT to open a museum dedicated to the contribution the community has made to Australian life.
Broken baptism promises upsets churches (The Australian)
Jan 12 - PARENTS who have their babies baptised then never return to church are "breaking hearts", a church leader in South Australia says.
Take Margaret Court's name off arena, says gay advocate (The Australian)
Jan 13 - AUSTRALIAN Open tournament organisers face calls for Margaret Court's name to be stripped from the arena that bears it because of her outspoken views against homosexuality.
Here's another golden rule: let's look at what we have in common (Sydney Morning Herald)
Jan 14 – (Opinion: Stephanie Dowrick) IN 2012 it's highly likely we will continue to talk a good deal about religion.
Jan 8 - THE Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia was spared any disruption by Adelaide's controversial street preachers who failed to appear at today's Blessing of the Waters ceremony at Glenelg.
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