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Faith in North Korea; PM announces national apology to abuse survivors; Prince Charles asked to assist UK inquiry.

June 13 2018 


Religious freedom in North Korea

North Korea has been synonymous with oppression for decades, not least of religious believers. But listen to host Andrew West and a Senior Lecturer in the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies at RMIT University, Dr Binoy Kampmark, explore suggestions that religious belief is growing in the Hermit Kingdom in this excerpt from the latest Religion and Ethics Report on ABC Radio National.


I'll rejoice in Trump's triumph when Kim opens his gulags to scrutiny

Former High Court Justice Michael Kirby, who in 2013-14 chaired a UN commission of inquiry on human rights violations in North Korea, analyses this week’s Trump-Kim Singapore summit in this opinion piece for The Age.


PM announces that child sexual abuse survivors will receive national apology this year, as WA agrees to join redress scheme

Watch and read Louise Yaxley’s report on the ABC of Malcolm Turnbull’s announcement that a national apology to survivors of institutional child sexual abuse will be made on 22 October and that the Federal Government has accepted 104 of 122 recommendations from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, and is still considering the remaining 18.


Prince Charles asked to give evidence to UK abuse inquiry on Bishop Peter Ball case

The Prince of Wales has been asked to submit a witness statement to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse about his relationship to the disgraced former Bishop of Gloucester Peter Ball, who received a three-year prison sentence in 2015, having admitted to a series of indecent assaults and the abuse of 18 men aged between 17 and 25. Prince Charles had previously been described by Ball as a loyal friend, and they were in correspondence while Ball was Bishop of Gloucester in the 1990s. Highgrove Estate, the Prince’s private residence, is within Gloucester diocese. An independent review last year dismissed allegations that any member of the royal family intervened on Ball’s behalf.


Bishop Matt Brain delivers first Charge to Bendigo Synod

Bendigo’s new Bishop Matt Brain tells his first Synod as leader of the diocese that sustaining parishes is not always easy and that “over the coming years we will need to work together to use our inherited resources wisely”.


An insult to the people of the Cross: Sacrilegious symbols have no place in Hobart

Bishop Anba Suriel of the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of Melbourne expresses dismay at the installation of several large inverted red crosses around Hobart’s waterfront as part of the Tasmanian capital’s winter festival, Dark Mofo. For more than a millennium, he says, inverted crosses have been used by Satanic worship groups as an anti-Christian symbol in mockery of Jesus Christ – and a reminder of persecution for Christian minorities. “Persecution is not a distant memory in the hearts and minds of the Copts, it is a living reality,” he says.


Drivers urged to join UK churches’ information-gathering effort against modern slavery in hand car washes

Safe Car Wash App, launched by the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church in the UK, can help users identify indicators of modern slavery and have the likelihood of it reported to authorities to take action. Drivers will be asked to spot the possible signs of slavery, including whether workers have access to suitable clothing such as gloves and boots, at any of the estimated 18,000 roadside car washes across Britain.


US Supreme Court declines review of Episcopal property dispute from South Carolina

After a five-year legal battle, the highest court in the US clears the way for the Episcopal Church – part of the Anglican Communion, to which the Anglican Church of Australia belongs – to retake churches claimed by a breakaway diocese. Read a report about the ruling in Charleston’s Post and Courier, the oldest daily newspaper in the American South.


What does it mean to die well?

Natasha Moore, a young female scholar who is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Public Christianity, says she feels cheated by modern Western society’s approach to what makes a good death, writing that it seems “thin, insubstantial, impoverished”. “I want a richer conversation, a fuller picture.”


A Barnabas Church?

A recent visit to Nepal has the Revd Canon Philip Mounstephen, Executive Leader of the UK-based Church Mission Society, pondering what difference it would make to the Church in the West if it was as filled with the Holy Spirit as that in the Himalayan nation.