Week commencing 23rd January 2023

The Guardian reports that Pope Francis has called for the decriminalisation of homosexuality worldwide, affirming that the Catholic Church must work to put an end to anti-gay laws. Francis has not changed the Catholic Church’s teaching regarding homosexuality, holding that is a sin, but has advocated for the inclusion of LGBTQ+ people in the church.  

BBC News covers Rishi Sunak’s plans to introduce legislation which will allow a National Holocaust Memorial to be built next to Parliament. Planning permission for the Memorial at Victoria Tower Gardens was previously challenged by the London Historic Parks and Gardens Trust, as it will be situated on a Grade II-listed park.  

Al Jazeera reports that Canada has announced the appointment of their first special representative to fight Islamaphobia. Following a series of attacks against members of Muslim communities in recent years, Amira Elghawaby will be supporting Ottawa’s efforts to end Islamophobia, offering advice on government policies and legislation.

Religion News Service features a story on the spirituality of crystals for Gen Z, which suggests that crystals occupy a place once held by traditional religious beliefs.  

AP News reports that faculty leaders at a Minnesota college are calling for the resignation of the university president, following the dismissal of an art history instructor who showed depictions of the Prophet Muhammad. The incident has sparked a debate debate over the relationship between academic freedom and respect for religion.