Religion

Churches unite to propose Religious Freedom Act

Luk 8h

Major submission to Ruddock panel calls for a new legal “right” John Sandeman Eternity A wide range of Evangelical and Pentecostal Christian churches have spoken with one voice to the Ruddock panel on religious freedom, whose call for submissions closed today. They have received 13,500 submissions: “I think it is safe to say that people are concerned about religious freedom,” says Michael Kellahan, executive director of Freedom for Faith (FFF), a Christian legal think tank. The federal government has set ... Read More »

The Female Quran Experts Fighting Radical Islam in Morocco

Ced 6f

“The women scholars here are even more important than men.” DINA TEMPLE-RASTON The Atlantic Morocco is in a region vulnerable to terrorist recruitment, but it hasn’t had a significant attack on its own soil since 2011, when terrorists bombed a Marrakesh café. Yet ethnic Moroccans have been at the center of ISIS attacks in Europe. The only alleged survivor of the 2015 Paris rampage is a Frenchman of Moroccan origin; his trial began last week. The men behind the Brussels ... Read More »

When judges wear wigs and robes, what’s so offensive about a niqab?

Pelo 3c

The statue representing justice is blindfolded for a reason – to symbolise that all people are treated equally in our courts no matter their wealth, position in society or religious beliefs. Duncan Fine The Age Sometimes the courts fail to live up to that ideal. This week Justice Christopher Beale in the Victorian Supreme Court banned a woman who was wearing a niqab from sitting in the public area of the court where her husband is facing a trial on ... Read More »

Thanks, L’Oréal, but I’m growing weary of this hijab fetish

Sus 1a

Amena Khan’s role in a new ad campaign, though short-lived, shows how the industry struggles to represent Muslim women Nesrine Malik The Guardian This month Amena Khan became the first hijabi model to star in a global mainstream hair campaign. L’Oréal, which featured her in its advert, apparently wanted to promote an important message: hair care is for everyone, whether or not they choose to show their hair in public. I’m not sure who exactly thinks that women in hijab don’t care ... Read More »

Will Religious Instability Destroy Bangladesh?

Fue 4d

Bangladesh was born in 1971 after India intervened in Pakistan’s civil war, which resulted in the independence of what was known as East Pakistan. Doug Bandow The National Interest The new state’s politics were violent too, punctuated by military rule, which pushed to Islamicize the secular state. Bangladesh today is nominally democratic, but politics is bitterly fractious and violent. Moreover, Islamist tides are rising. Like a number of other majority Islamic states, such as Afghanistan and Pakistan, a once relaxed social ... Read More »

Meet the theologian who helped MLK see the value of nonviolence

Cep 2b

After this last tumultuous year of political rancor and racial animus, many people could well be asking what can sustain them over the next coming days: How do they make the space for self-care alongside a constant call to activism? Paul Harvey The Conversation Or, how do they turn off their phones, when there are more calls to be made and focus instead on inward cultivation? As a historian of American race and religion, I have studied how figures in ... Read More »

Sanctions, refugees and the marginalised: Iran uprisings are Australia’s concern too

Asa 2b

Tehran’s response to this week’s anti-government protests in Iran has been harsh and reminiscent of the state response to the post-election uprising of 2009 Omid Tofighian ABC Back then, Iranians contested the re-election of former ultra-conservative president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad by taking to the streets in support of reformist candidate Mir-Hussein Mousavi, and decrying election fraud. A key difference this time around is that the leader of Iran’s reformist movement — former president Seyyed Mohammad Khatami — has joined centrist President ... Read More »

Pope Francis: fake and sensationalised news ‘a very serious sin’

Tana 2b

Pontiff calls on journalists to report precise, complete and correct information, not one-sided reports or ‘old news that has been dealt with’ Associated Press The Guardian Pope Francis has criticised journalists who dredge up old scandals and sensationalise the news, saying it’s a “very serious sin” that hurts all involved. Francis, who plans to dedicate his upcoming annual communications message to “fake news”, told Catholic media on Saturday that journalists perform a mission that is among the most “fundamental” to democratic… ... Read More »

Melbourne archbishop says he’d rather go to jail than report child abuse heard in confession

Hert 1a

Denis Hart says ‘communication with God is of a higher order’ after child sex abuse inquiry calls for failure to report to become a criminal offence Melissa Davey and agencies The Guardian The archbishop of the archdiocese of Melbourne, Denis Hart, said he would risk going to jail rather than report allegations of child sexual abuse raised during confession, and that the sacredness of communication with God during confession should be above the… He was responding to a report from the child ... Read More »

Royal commission recommends sweeping reforms for Catholic Church to end child abuse

Set 8h

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has been dominated by abuses perpetrated in the Roman Catholic Church. Timothy W. Jones Its final report bears enduring witness to abuse on a horrific scale. The Conversation The commission constitutes the most sophisticated and thorough investigation yet into abuse within the Catholic Church globally. Its recommendations are breathtakingly bold. They provide the most comprehensive pathway so far, to redress and prevent abuse in an institution that has had endemic ... Read More »

Bangladesh arrests cleric over fatwa against women farming

Glyk 2b

A Muslim cleric accused of issuing a fatwa banning women from working on farms has been arrested in Bangladesh, police said on Dec. 13. DHAKA Hurriyet The imam and five mosque officials face charges after their announcement prompted locals in the western town of Kumarkhali to try and prevent women from going to work in the fields. “They took the decision after prayers on Dec. 8, banning women from going out of their homes,” local police chief Abdul Khaleque told ... Read More »

Pope Francis asks for forgiveness from Rohingya refugees

Kro 2b

Pope Francis has used the term “Rohingya” for the first time during his current trip to Asia to refer to refugees who have fled in large numbers from violence in Myanmar. ABC Reuters “The presence of God today is also called Rohingya,” he said in an improvised remark after meeting 16 refugees brought to the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka from their camps in Cox’s Bazar near the border with Myanmar. “In the name of all of those who have persecuted you, ... Read More »

Sogyal Rinpoche and the abuse accusations rocking the Buddhist world

Nathi 1a

Punching. Emotional abuse. Eye-popping sexual misdeeds. David Leser The accusations made against Sogyal Rinpoche – a key lama in the uptake of Buddhist principles by the West – have rocked devotees, including many in the top echelons of Australian business. The Canberra Times On a late September evening this year, a group of leading Australian business figures gathered in a Sydney boardroom to discuss a series of allegations that had scandalised the Buddhist world, and shaken their own to the core. ... Read More »

Why I locked myself to the gate of Kirribilli House

Kro 3c

Hwvar Khoshnow was one of five Christian protesters who locked themselves to the front gate of Kirribilli House in non-violent direct action, calling for the evacuation of Manus Island. Eternity News Here, she tells Eternity, why she did it. I’ve been involved in protests before, but I have not risked arrest before or participated in a “lock on”. The worsening situation on Manus was heavy on my heart and I was moved to do something in support and solidarity with ... Read More »

Thou Shalt Not Kill: Catholic Bishops Start New Philippines Prayer Campaign

Dur 8h

MANILA—A top Catholic archbishop on Sunday called for Filipinos to choose peace over violence and end a spate of drug-related killings that have divided the nation. Manuel Mogato Reuters The Epoch Times Archbishop Socrates Villegas, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, was speaking as the church launched a new prayer campaign to “heal the nation and stop the killings” in the… Philippine Catholic bishops have been stepping up opposition to killings blamed on a government crack down ... Read More »

What To Do When Racists Try To Hijack Your Religion

Raub 3c

White supremacists are coopting Norse heathen symbols. Should the heathens ignore them? Protest them? Sigal Samuel Create a new theology? The Atlantic As white supremacists marched through Charlottesville, the high priest of a pagan religion looked on with horror from Reykjavik, Iceland. It wasn’t just their racist message that bothered him. It was that their banners bore the symbols of his religion: Ásatrú, also known as heathenry. “I think it’s obscene,” the high priest, Hilmar Hilmarsson, said of the way ... Read More »