Religion

Forcing priests to report abuse not a breach of human rights: Watchirs

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New laws that will force priests to break the seal of confession to report child abuse are not in breach of the ACT’s human right laws, despite concerns about the impact on religious freedoms, the ACT’s Human Rights Commissioner says. Katie Burgess The Canberra Times Under the territory’s expanded reportable conduct scheme, priests in Canberra will be required to report allegations, offences or convictions related to children to the ACT Ombudsman within 30 days from March… But the Australian Catholics Bishops ... Read More »

The rescued Thai boys are considering becoming monks — here’s why

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After their dramatic rescue from Nang Non cave, 12 Thai boys and their soccer coach are mourning the loss of a Thai Navy SEAL, Saman Gunan, who died during the rescue efforts. Andrew Alan Johnson The Conversation The father of one of the boys said that in order to pay tribute to the Navy SEAL, many boys are considering temporarily becoming monks. Ordaining as a full monk – known as “bhikkhu” in Pali, the religious language of the Theravada Buddhism ... Read More »

Thanks for your concern, but my religion is not in need of protection

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The recent contribution to our national debate on religious freedom by Social Services Minister Dan Tehan is to be welcomed. Catherine McGregor Brisbane Times Delivering a named oration in honour of  English cleric Sir Thomas More, Tehan argued that the dilution of Australia’s Christian identity may undermine the nature of our society, which he conceives as deriving its unique character from Judeo-Christian foundations. As veterans affairs minister, Tehan brought genuine compassion to a dysfunctional system that was compounding, rather than ... Read More »

Abortion and the human person

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The fall of Christendom and the rise of secularism has profound consequences for our understanding of the human person. Peter Sellick OnLineOpinion The latter would have it that humanity is but a species among species. This is so because nature is taken as the primary source of our being. Evolutionary theory and the discovery that we share a large amount of our DNA with other species underlines the point. Human beings are biological. The other view of humanity is that, ... Read More »

Massive Turkey-funded mosque stirs unease in secular north Cyprus

This picture shows the Hala sultan mosque in Haspolat (called Mia Milia by Greek Cypriots), in the self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), on July 7, 2018.
North of the Cypriot capital Nicosia, a massive Turkey-funded mosque opening this week has caused a stir in the largely secular Muslim society. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to attend the opening ceremony on July 10 of the 3,000-capacity house of worship, with its four minarets and built in classic Ottoman style. While many have welcomed it, the mosque has sparked concern among some Turkish Cypriots over Ankara's growing influence in the north of the divided island. / AFP PHOTO / Matthieu CLAVEL

Many local residents see imposing structure as part of Erdogan’s efforts to cement control over territory. ‘It symbolizes the Islamist mentality. It’s not an innocent thing’ Dylan Collins The Times of Israel NICOSIA, Cyprus (AFP) — In the flat sunbaked fields north of the Cypriot capital Nicosia, a huge Turkey-funded mosque opening this week has caused a stir in the largely secular Muslim society. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is to attend the opening ceremony, expected to take place on ... Read More »

France has no reason to bar lesbians from IVF, top court advises

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PARIS (Reuters) – There are no legal reasons not to give single women and lesbian couples access to medically-assisted reproduction, the top state advisory body on judicial matters will tell the French government, Le Figaro reported on… Reuters Staff President Emmanuel Macron’s government said last year it wanted to change the law which currently restricts to heterosexual couples treatments such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) that are widely available to all women in countries such as Britain, Belgium and… France ... Read More »

Active citizenship, a social contract, Islam and democracy in Egypt

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The Arab Spring that swept across North Africa in 2011 brought the promise of democracy within reach of millions of Egyptians. Nuraan Davids The Conversation But seven years later this promise hasn’t been fulfilled. That fledgling democracy is now akin to a military dictatorship, where any form of protest or assertion of autonomous thought is constrained. Since the heady days of the Arab Spring, Egypt has been riddled by political protests, labour strikes, and unprecedented violence in its Sinai Peninsula. ... Read More »

President Buhari, Please Stop the Muslim Slaughter of Nigerian Christians

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Muslim herdsmen are massacring their Christian neighbors, and the Nigerian government refuses to act. Babies are being hacked to death. Michael Brown Stream Children kidnapped. Women raped and savaged. Young and old burned alive. Houses destroyed, livestock plundered. Muslim herdsmen are massacring their Christian neighbors while the Nigerian media misreports and the Nigerian government refuses to act. Some even claim the government is complicit in these attacks. President Buhari, as the watching, worldwide community, we appeal to you to act ... Read More »

Christianity CRACKDOWN: Crisis in Nigeria as THOUSANDS killed in ‘pure GENOCIDE’

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THOUSANDS of men, women and children have been killed in Nigeria in what the country’s Christian community are condemning as “ethnic cleansing”. Joey Millar Express Last weekend 238 Christians were killed in a number of attacks by militia in Plateau State, a region in the heart of the country. Campaigners are warning it is just the latest example of “pure genocide” in a country ravaged by religious division. A joint statement issued by the Christian Association of Nigeria said more ... Read More »

What it means to be seen as a real Australian

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What does it take to be considered a real Australian? Being able to speak English helps, according to a new international survey. Matt Wade The Age It found 72 per cent of Australians think migrants who have become citizens and speak English are “real” Australians. That was the second highest share among 27 countries surveyed to agree migrant citizens fluent in the local language are “real” nationals of their country. Who is a real Australian Is an immigrant who has ... Read More »

How to revitalize the Greek Orthodox Church in the 21st century

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Even though I am no longer active in parish affairs, I am still a member of our Church and its Saint Barbara parish in Sarasota, Florida. I continue to follow with concern the financial, leadership and administrative problems facing our Church. Van Coufoudakis ekathimerini I have had a 20-year involvement in parish and diocesan affairs while living and working in Indiana. Moreover, back in 2000, I was selected for the presidency of Hellenic College/Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology ... Read More »

Dalit conversions: An act of rebellion against caste supremacy

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The mass conversion of Dalits to other religions continue to stir anxiety and anger among India’s Hindu intelligentsia. Rahul Sonpimple Al-Jazeera The recent mass conversion of Dalits to Buddhism in Gujarat’s Una district, which included the Dalits who were brutally assaulted by cow vigilantes for allegedly skinning dead cattle, has stirred anxiety among the upper-caste Hindu intelligentsia.  Once again, India’s liberals, radical leftists and conservatives are asking, if not in one then in an analogous voice: “Why are Dalits choosing conversion?” Disturbing ... Read More »

Catholics defend the secrecy of confession amid pressure over child abuse royal commission

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Catholic Church is holding firm against calls to lift the veil of secrecy on confession amid calls from victims and advocates to force priests to report alleged abusers. By political reporter Matthew Doran ABC Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull delivered the Federal Government’s response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse in Canberra on Wednesday. Last year 122 recommendations were delivered to the government, including calls to throw out the sanctity of the confessional. In a statement ... Read More »

Australia sexual abuse: PM accepts landmark inquiry proposals

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The Australian government has accepted almost all recommendations from a landmark inquiry into child sexual abuse as it prepares to deliver a national apology to victims. BBC The five-year inquiry found tens of thousands of children had suffered abuse in Australian institutions. PM Malcolm Turnbull said that his government would act on 104 of 122 official recommendations. The remaining 18 had not been ruled out, he… He will make the apology on 22 October. “The survivors have told their stories ... Read More »

I visited the Rohingya camps in Myanmar and here is what I saw

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Myanmar recently claimed to have repatriated its first Rohingya refugee family. Cresa Pugh The Conversation But, as an official from the United Nations noted, the country is still not safe for the return of its estimated 700,000 Rohingya Muslim refugees, who fled to Bangladesh in 2017 to escape an ongoing state-sponsored military campaign and… Indeed, in recent times, the Myanmar military has been building a fence along the 170-mile border and fortifying it with landmines, to prevent the Rohingya from ... Read More »

Kamila Shamsie wins Women’s prize for fiction for ‘story of our times’

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Home Fire, which reworks Sophocles’ Antigone to tell the story of a British family caught up by Isis, takes £30,000 award Alison Flood The Guardian Kamila Shamsie’s Home Fire, which reworks Sophocles’ tragedy Antigone to tell the story of a British Muslim family’s connection to Islamic State, has won the Women’s prize for fiction, acclaimed by judges as “the story of our times”. The British Pakistani author’s seventh novel riffs on the ancient Greek play in which Antigone is forbidden ... Read More »