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Newsstand 24 August - 31 August

A coalition of organisations, including the Anglican Church, calls for children to be removed from Nauru by November; Australia's first Pentecostal Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, takes office; the Catholic Church delivers its response to the Royal Commission on child abuse

August 31 2018

Children on Nauru need to come off by November, says coalition

A coalition of more than 150 organisations, including World Vision Australia, St Paul’s Cathedral Melbourne, the Refugee Council of Australia and the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre has set a three-month deadline for the Australian Government to remove all children being held on Nauru.

The #KidsOffNauru coalition is demanding that the 119 children on Nauru are released by Universal Children’s Day, November 20, and is calling on the Australian public to sign its petition.


A profile on Australia’s first Pentecostal PM, Scott Morrison

Australia has elected its first Pentecostal Prime Minister. While many of Australia’s PMs have been Christian, or deeply influenced by Christian teaching, Scott Morrison marks the first time a member of a “new” church has reached that office. The others – Anglican, Presbyterian and Catholic – have been members of long-established branches of Christianity.


Catholic Church response to Royal Commission: seal of confession must stay

The Catholic Church will not accept the royal commission's recommendation to lift the seal of confession regarding child sex abuse, arguing it impinges on religious liberties.

Almost nine months after the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse handed down its findings, the Church has delivered its formal reply.

It said it would not change secrecy rules, meaning clergy do not have to report abuse revealed in the confessional.


Conference addresses how the Church should respond to abuse

The Health and Integrity in Church and Ministry conference, held in Melbourne this week, addressed how Christian churches should respond to decades of institutionalised abuse.


Guardian investigation uncovers 407 indigenous deaths in custody since 1991

Aboriginal leaders have called for an immediate review of the “absolutely unacceptable” numbers of Indigenous deaths in custody following an exclusive report by Guardian Australia.

The social justice commissioner, June Oscar, said exclusive figures published by the Guardian on Tuesday were “devastating” and required immediate attention.

Over the past decade, 147 Indigenous people have died. Since the end of the Royal Commission into Deaths In Custody in 1991, 407 have died, the report found.


Church planting booms in Australia even as other churches close

Churches are closing nationwide, but the 'church planting' industry is booming. Meet the millennials building a multicultural congregation from a lawn bowls club.


Church of England advises parishes on the importance of Instagram

The Church's digital team has spent a year training churches in how to use social media, particularly Instagram, "strategically" for "evangelism and discipleship", and says it will have trained 1,000 parishes by Christmas. 

Its advice is that "every church needs a Facebook page" but that the choice between Instagram and Twitter "depends on your audience, and where they are more likely to be."


US President Jimmy Carter: living humbly and serving the Baptist church

Former US President Jimmy Carter, 93, lives a very modest life in his hometown in Georgia – and still teaches Sunday School to a packed-out audience, according to this profile in the Washington Post.


UK women choosing priesthood as second career, figures show

Rising numbers of women are entering the priesthood as a second career, Church of England figures show. 

Following in the footsteps of the Bishop of London, Sarah Mullally, who joined the Church after a successful career in nursing, the number of women aged 40 to 54 being accepted for ordination has grown by 32 per cent in two years. 


Religious people see deeper meaning in everyday events, finds study

New research suggests people who are religious gain happiness from believing there is a deeper meaning to everyday events.

Dr Jonathan Ramsay, senior lecturer in psychology at James Cook University’s Singapore campus, surveyed 231 people from a diverse mix of Christians, Buddhists or Taoists, Muslims and people with no religious affiliation.