News and views from Australia and around the world

Melbourne's Christian strongholds identified; Justin Welby on the Commonwealth; and Syrian churches hit back at the West.

April 18 2018 


Melbourne has a ‘Bible ring’: A map of religious affiliation across the city

Melbourne has long had a Bible Belt in its eastern suburbs. Now it has a “Bible ring” in its north-western suburbs, where about two-thirds of the population are Christians. Check out how strong the Christian presence is in your area using the interactive map accompanying this report in The Age.


Why our declining biblical literacy matters

Biblical literacy is probably lower in Australia today than at any point since the convict era, writes Meredith Lake in this article for The Conversation. Why does that matter in understanding Australia’s past and seeking reconciliation with Indigenous Australians?


‘No long hair’: Trinity Grammar deputy headmaster returns to school

Brownie’s back! The Age reports on the return of Deputy Headmaster Rohan Brown to Trinity Grammar School in Kew – and considers what might be next after weeks of discord.


Archbishop of Canterbury urges Commonwealth to put words into action

Archbishop Justin Welby, preaching at a special Evensong at Westminster Abbey before the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London and Windsor, says the Commonwealth of Nations can last and “be a blessing to the world”. Read how in this report from the Anglican Communion News Service.


Syrian Christian leaders condemn air strikes as unjustified and illegal

The US, British and French military response to alleged chemical weapons attacks on civilians by the Assad regime in Syria has drawn fire from churches there. Church Times reports on a joint statement by Church leaders condemning the bombing by Western powers and the vulnerability of Syrian Christians after seven years of conflict.


Iranian asylum seeker whose church attendance ‘dropped off’ loses High Court immigration fight

An Iranian man whose attempts to stay in Australia were denied because his church attendance had “dropped off” has lost his appeal to the High Court. Immigration authorities did not believe the man had genuinely converted to Christianity when his pastor said his attendance had fallen significantly, coinciding with the man’s move to another suburb.


Bishop Victoria Matthews bows out with attack on Christchurch Cathedral preservation campaign

Christchurch’s departing Anglican leader gives her own send-off to civic authorities over the long-running dispute about the future of the city's earthquake-damaged cathedral during her farewell Eucharist to New Zealand.


The joy of Evensong

The Revd Dr Jonathan Arnold, Dean of Divinity at Magdalen College, Oxford, considers how the “resolutely popular” Anglican service of Evensong offers an antidote to the modern age of digital gratification in this reflection for The Spectator.


Martin Luther King, Jr: Political Saint or Moral Philosopher?

Listen to Waleed Aly and Scott Stephens – joined by Paul C. Taylor, Professor of Philosophy and African American Studies at Pennsylvania State University – discuss on ABC Radio National’s The Minefield whether the true legacy of the US civil rights leader has been obscured in the 50 years since his assassination.


Importance of seeing the ‘big picture’

Educator Garry Everett writes about the failure of the film industry, Australia’s banks, the Roman Catholic Church and Cricket Australia to see “the big picture” in this article for The Good Oil, the monthly e-magazine of the Good Samaritan Sisters, the first Catholic congregation of religious women founded in Australia.