by Greg Spearritt
Religion News Australia
Mar 18 - 25, 2012
Religion news stories from Australia
(Research: Greg Spearritt)
Tibetan monk in long walk to freedom (Sydney Morning Herald)
Mar 20 - After China invaded Tibet in 1959, a young monk went into solitary confinement.
O'Farrell government freezes Islamic school's funding (The Australian)
Mar 22 - THE NSW government has frozen funding to Sydney's largest Islamic school after an Education Department audit found the school's owners were charging the school millions of dollars in improper fees.
Anti-abuse training for Irish priests (Sydney Morning Herald)
Mar 22 - EVERY trainee Catholic priest in Ireland must attend child protection classes, the Vatican has recommended in a major report on how the church handled the republic's clerical abuse scandals.
Pope to take on drug cartels (Daily Telegraph, Sydney)
Mar 19 - FROM the war on drug cartels to reviving faith in Cuba, Pope Benedict XVI will address some issues.
Drop 'unrealistic' Marx, says Pope (news.com.au)
Mar 24 - Pope Benedict XVI said Cuba's Marxism "no longer corresponds to reality" ahead of his visit to Mexico and Cuba.
Protestants on the rise as pope visits Mexico (The West Australian)
Mar 22 - LEON, Mexico (Reuters) - Worshippers jumping about in church, waving their hands to the swell of keyboards and electric guitars is not a sight any pope would hope to find in Mexico, for long one of the world's most devout Roman Catholic countries.
Pope's trip sparks hopes for change in Cuba (The West Australian)
Mar 24 - HAVANA (Reuters) - For years at Havana's historic Cristobal Colon cemetery, Communist Party members refused to enter the Roman Catholic chapel there for funeral services.
Pope arrives in Mexico, condemns drug culture (The West Australian)
Mar 24 - LEON, Mexico (AFP) - Pope Benedict XVI arrived for a three-day visit to Mexico, his first trip to Spanish-speaking Latin America, condemning the "evil" of drug gangs and praying for victims of violence.
Havana gets gussied up for pope (The West Australian)
Mar 24 - HAVANA (AFP) - A flurry of house-painting and road-paving has spun into full tilt as the only Communist capital in the Americas puts on its Sunday best to welcome Pope Benedict XVI to Cuba this week.
Pope to celebrate Mass before cheering crowds in Mexico (The West Australian)
Mar 25 - GUANAJUATO, Mexico (AFP) - Pope Benedict XVI was to celebrate open-air mass on Sunday as he calls for non-violence and respect for human life during his landmark visit to Mexico overshadowed by complaints from victims of sexual abuse.
Celebrity magazine Hello! launches Pakistan version (The West Australian)
Mar 24 - ISLAMABAD (AFP) - The celebrity and lifestyle magazine Hello! is to launch its Pakistan edition next month with publishers promising to be "socially responsible" in a country troubled by Taliban insurgency.
Brotherhood courts Palestine (Sydney Morning Herald)
Mar 25 - AS IT prepares to take power in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood is overhauling its relations with the two main Palestinian factions in an effort to put new pressure on Israel for an independent Palestinian state.
New library to be a cornerstone of Jewish life (The Age, Melbourne)
Mar 19 - ERWIN Lamm has known his share of suffering.
A rose isn't always a rose (The Australian)
Mar 22 – (Opinion: Kathleen Parker) Most of us, perhaps regrettably, do not get to select our own names and are saddled with our parents' projections of what we might be.
Poll says most Americans want churches out of politics (The West Australian)
Mar 22 - WASHINGTON (AFP) - Fifty-four percent of Americans think churches should steer clear of politics, according to a Pew Research Center poll announced Wednesday during a presidential campaign tinged with faith issues.
With God and the church on their side (Sydney Morning Herald)
Mar 24 - Greenwell Springs Road arcs out through a low-slung industrial tract on the outskirts of Baton Rouge, the capital of Louisiana.
Mar 19 - A BAR on the tourist strip of Seminyak in Bali that is popular with Australians was one of the targets of a terror cell that has been destroyed by Indonesian police.
Also: Bali militants may still be at large (Sydney Morning Herald)
Mar 21 - THE five men shot and killed in Bali over suspicion of plotting a terrorist attack were fired up on religious music, and photos of an unidentified religious figure dressed in white were found among their belongings.
'We were praying, Mum, but our prayers didn't work' (Sydney Morning Herald)
Mar 21 - TOULOUSE: Just before 8am, Ethel Guedj dropped off two of her sons at the Ozar Hatorah private Jewish secondary school in a quiet residential street of north-east Toulouse.
Osama bin Laden directly financed Bali blast (The Australian)
Mar 23 - THE alleged terrorist Umar Patek admitted to involvement in the Bali bombing plot yesterday as evidence emerged that Osama Bin Laden had directly financed the deadly explosion in which 202 people died.
Europe bishops slam Saudi fatwa against Gulf churches (The West Australian)
Mar 24 - PARIS (Reuters) - Christian bishops in Germany, Austria and Russia have sharply criticized Saudi Arabia's top religious official after reports that he issued a fatwa saying all churches on the Arabian Peninsula should be destroyed.
Religious Violence - French killer
French school killer may have filmed the attack (Adelaide Now)
Mar 21 - A GUNMAN who killed four people at a French Jewish school may have filmed the attack.
Mar 21 - THE self-declared Islamist militant holed up in a Toulouse apartment after a series of deadly shootings has broken off negotiations with French police.
French gunman under siege (The Courier-Mail, Brisbane)
Mar 22 - FRENCH police have cornered the self-declared al-Qaida militant who shot dead schoolchildren and troops in a series of attacks.
Mar 22 - French special forces soldiers moved in on the apartment of suspected Toulouse killer, Mohammad Merah, but have now pulled back and are reportedly trying to "wear him down" psychologically with a series of controlled explosions.
Mar 22 - JUST a few weeks ago, Mohammed Merah partied at a nightclub, and an acquaintance noticed nothing out of the ordinary. Another friend said the former car body shop worker liked to talk about "cars, bikes, girls and sports."
Mar 22 - FRENCH police have laid siege to an apartment block where a self-declared al-Qaeda militant who claimed a series of deadly attacks on troops and Jewish children was holed up.
French shooter dead after marathon siege (ABC News)
Mar 23 - The gunman accused of killing seven people in a series of attacks in southern France is dead after police stormed his apartment, ending a 32-hour siege.
French siege ends after suspected gunman is shot in the head (Sydney Morning Herald)
Mar 23 - In a dramatic end to a 32-hour standoff, a masked French SWAT team slipped into the apartment of an Islamist extremist, sparking a firefight that ended with the suspect jumping out the window and being shot in the head.
Frightening side to the 'extremely normal' young man (Sydney Morning Herald)
Mar 23 - AS THE Toulouse siege unfolded yesterday, a fuller picture emerged of the young man behind one of France's worst killing sprees.
French suspect appeared to have many faces (The Age, Melbourne)
Mar 23 - JUST a few weeks ago, Mohamed Merah partied at a nightclub, and a friend noticed nothing out of the ordinary.
Mar 23 - IN a dramatic end to a 32-hour standoff, a masked French SWAT team slipped into the apartment of an Islamist extremist, sparking a firefight that ended with the suspect jumping out the window and being shot in the head.
Mar 23 - THE confessed killer of seven people in southern France died from a shot to the head in a ferocious gun battle with police commandos last night after the Interior Minister ordered police to storm his barricaded apartment.
Diversity fuels culture's flame (Sydney Morning Herald)
Mar 23 – (Opinion: David Meyer) Many years ago, as a young Jewish boy in Paris and on the verge of becoming an adult in the eyes of Judaism, I sat with my community for Friday night prayers.
Better to keep cold-blooded terrorist alive? (Perth Now)
Mar 23 – (Opinion: Tory Shepherd) POLICE wanted to capture Mohammed Merah alive, but a sniper killed him as he jumped out of his window.
Sarkozy seizes the moment after killer rattles a nation (Sydney Morning Herald)
Mar 24 - As the National Front candidate, Marine Le Pen, called for a ''war on these fundamentalist political religious groups who are killing our children'', it was easy for the French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, to take the high road in the sharp political reaction to the terrorist acts of Mohammed Merah, whose killing spree in Toulouse convulsed the nation.
French gunman had 'no ties to al-Qaeda' (news.com.au)
Mar 24 - FRENCH authorities rejected charges that intelligence failures allowed a radical Islamist to kill seven people, insisting there was no evidence he was anything but a lone wolf with no ties to al-Qaeda.
French police question gunman's 'proud' brother (The West Australian)
Mar 25 - PARIS (AFP) - The brother of the French gunman who killed seven people including children in a shooting spree denied involvement in the attacks but said he was proud of his sibling's actions, according to police.
Mar 18 - PRIME Minister Julia Gillard has offered the nation's condolences to the Coptic community after the patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox church died in Egypt overnight.
Also: Grieving Egyptians farewell Coptic Pope (ABC News)
Mar 19 - Tens of thousands of Coptic Christians have held an overnight vigil in Cairo to mourn the death of their spiritual leader Pope Shenouda III.
Also: Thousands gather for funeral of Coptic Pope (ABC News)
Mar 21 - Thousands of mourners have attended the funeral of Egypt's Coptic Pope Shenouda III, who has now been laid to rest in a monastery in the Egyptian desert.
Mar 19 - Philippines boxing hero Manny Pacquiao said on Monday he had been told by God in a dream to retire soon, potentially raising doubt over hopes of a fight with American Floyd Mayweather.
Sikh, rabbi hit gay plan (The Age, Melbourne)
Mar 19 - LONDON. Leading members of two more religious denominations have joined the attack on British government proposals to allow same-sex couples to marry.
US church offers adults only sevices for sex offenders (The Australian)
Mar 21 - A WISCONSIN church has started providing adults-only services so that sex offenders can worship without violating their parole.
Foetuses found in Miami Airport luggage (news.com.au)
Mar 23 - LEAVE it to Miami to shock even a reality-TV film crew.
Mar 23 - NO stranger to controversy, Madonna has hit the headlines again - this time over a looming showdown with Russia's Orthodox Church and a former KGB spy over gay rights.
Thousands of US atheists turn out for 'Reason Rally' (The West Australian)
Mar 25 - WASHINGTON (AFP) - Thousands of atheists, agnostics and other non-believers turned out in the US capital on Saturday to celebrate their rejection of the idea of God and to claim a bigger place in public life.
Embattled NYC church boss proposes afterlife clause (The Courier-Mail, Brisbane)
Mar 25 - THE embattled rector of New York City's Trinity Church had a grandiose plot for retirement - he wanted to spend eternity in the historic lower Manhattan church's graveyard with Alexander Hamilton.
Mar 22 - DISMAYED by Koran burnings and religious violence, Bob Carr has cast back 1100 years to the culturally rich, diverse and tolerant Muslim-ruled nation of Andalusia in Spain for a foreign-policy model Australia can promote.
Spirited away (Sydney Morning Herald)
Mar 17 - When his wife, Kylie, joined a small Christian study group in the Blue Mountains near Sydney, Nathan Zamprogno had no idea his life was about to change forever.
Petrol bomb attack sparks safety fears for Turkish group (The Age, Melbourne)
Mar 20 - PETROL bombs have been thrown at a community centre prompting fears among Melbourne's Alevi population that they could be targeted with more violence on religious grounds.
Growth of religious apps reaches biblical proportions (Sydney Morning Herald)
Mar 21 - Hundreds of editions of the Bible are now available in e-Book format and innovative religious apps are emerging almost daily.
Uniting Church sells properties for $1.2m (ABC News)
Mar 23 - The Gympie Uniting Church has sold its parcel of heritage-listed properties in the centre of the city.
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