News From Around The World

New Platform Beckons For Religious Scholars And Communities

August 31, 2015 Forbes: At first look, I thought the new site was aimed at the same market as Patheos, the popular platform for readers of all faiths and none to engage in discussion about religion and society.

Bishop to Europe: join war on IS

August 31, 2015 The Australian: Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has called on more European nations to carry out airstrikes against the Islamic State terror group in Syria and Iraq to end the fighting that is driving the growing mass of refugees besieging their borders.

Plan to resettle refugees in Cambodia collapses

August 31, 2015 Sydney Morning Herald: Australia's $55 million operation to resettle hundreds of refugees from the tiny Pacific island of Nauru to Cambodia appears to have collapsed in a diplomatic embarrassment for the Abbott Government.

Persecuted for being Christian - we fled to Britain only to be locked up

August 28, 2015 UK Telegraph: Yarl's Wood has been called a 'place of national concern' in a report by the prison watchdog. In the third of an ongoing series, Radhika Sanghani hears from a woman who was detained there whilst pregnant.

Teacher Priest Seeks OK to Wear Religious Habit in Classroom

August 28, 2015 Associated Press: A Roman Catholic priest who also is a public school teacher has asked officials to allow him to wear his religious habit in the classroom.

Ungodly rise in non-believers

August 28, 2015 The Australian: Changing the way Australians are asked about their religion in next year’s census could see the number of people reporting as atheists jump by more than 10 per cent, a leading demographer says.

Census change: Is Australia losing its religion?

August 28, 2015 Sydney Morning Herald: Next year's census has a very subtle edit that may completely change the way Australia sees itself and have drastic consequences for the way government money is spent on welfare and education.

Marriage not your business: Shorten to PM

August 28, 2015 Sky News: With Julia Gillard now joining the ranks of same-sex marriage supporters, Labor leader Bill Shorten says enough is enough and politicians need to get out of people's bedrooms.

China arrests Christians who opposed removals of crosses

August 28, 2015 CHOOSE: Human rights lawyer and church activists understood to be among people detained after Communist party campaign to take down religious symbols.

Southern Baptist mission board to cut as many as 800 positions

August 28, 2015 Religion News Service: The Southern Baptist Convention will cut as many as 800 employees from its overseas missions agency to make up for significant shortfalls in revenue, officials announced.

Classroom controversy erupts over ‘Gayby Baby’ documentary

August 28, 2015 3AW Melbourne: Australia's Human Rights Commissioner says he has no issue with the NSW government "banning" an Australian documentary that has created all sorts of controversy from the classroom.

Access Ministries accuse Vic Govt of “marginalising religious identity”

August 27, 2015 ABC Online: The Victorian Government will no longer allow special religious education—known elsewhere in Australia as scripture—to be taught during lesson time in the state’s public primary schools.

When the middle classes shun marriage our social cement truly is crumbling?

August 27, 2015 Daily Mail: Why get married? Charles Darwin, the great naturalist, took a properly scientific view of the pros and cons of marriage and jotted down his thoughts.

Nepal on verge of curbing religious freedom

August 27, 2015 World Watch Monitor: The final draft of a new constitution was tabled in Nepal’s Constituent Assembly on 22 August amid protests by Hindu nationalists on the streets. They oppose the idea of secularism, which in the South Asian context simply means pluralism and equal treatment of all religions.

Julia Gillard comes out in support of same-sex marriage, condemns plans for referendum

August 27, 2015 ABC Online: Former prime minister Julia Gillard reveals she has changed her mind about same-sex marriage and now supports it, but says Tony Abbott should allow a conscience vote within his party rather than take the issue to a plebiscite or referendum.\

NSW Education Minister bans school from screening gay film

August 26, 2015 Sydney Morning Herald: The NSW Education Minister, Adrian Piccoli, has banned a Sydney school from screening a film about children with gay parents during school hours.

Minister says Sydney school must show gay parenting documentary after hours

August 26, 2015 Nine MSN: Public pressure appears to have forced a Sydney girls' high school to screen a documentary on gay parenting after school hours, instead of during scheduled lesson time.

Want ‘sustained happiness’? Get religion, study suggests

August 26, 2015 Washington Post: A new study suggests that joining a religious group could do more for someone’s “sustained happiness” than other forms of social participation, such as volunteering, playing sports or taking a class.

Commonwealth facing new legal challenge to offshore processing of asylum seekers

August 26, 2015 ABC News: The Federal Government is facing a new legal challenge to its policy of offshore processing. Lawyers acting for more than 150 asylum seekers will argue that Australia doesn't have the legal power to fund or facilitate detention centres on foreign soil. The High Court has agreed to hear the matter in October.

Gay Marriage’s Tiny, Noisy Choir

August 25, 2015 Quadrant Online: Listen to its advocates and the prohibition of same-sex marriage is a gross injustice perpetrated against a large and oppressed minority. Look at census data, from both here and overseas, and a rather different picture emerges: a crusade owing more to fashion than fact.