Week Commencing 7th June 2021

12th June

In The Guardian, Saudia Arabia have announces that they will be limiting hajj pilgrimmage to 60,000 vaccinated people from within the kingdom due to COVID-19.

The Guardian reports, Catholic bishops are conflicted over Joe Biden’s right to communion due to his support for abortion rights. US bishops will meet online to discuss whether high-profile political figures should be denied the sacraments because of their political stance on abortion rights.

11th June

In The Guardian, actor Riz Ahmed calls for urgent change in ‘toxic portrayals’ of Muslims on screen. Ahmed announced a new initiative on social media and YouTube, The Blueprint for Muslim Inclusion, which makes a number of recommendations to the film and TV industry on how to address various issues.

Religion News Service reports, the U.S. Senate has made history by confirming the first presidentially appointed Muslim American judge to a federal court. Zahid Quraishi was confirmed by a vote of 81-16 and awaits judicial confirmation before assuming his post with the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.

The Guardian reports, Buddhist monastery, Samye Ling, petitions against the development of high calibre rifle range in the Esk valley in Scotland. A spokesperson for the monastery has said “We are not trying to stop people from running their business, we would just ask that some respect is shown to places of worship or spiritual significance. Do we want to protect these places of peace for future generations?”

10th June

The BBC reports that last September over 500 sacred objects seized from Afro-Brazilian practitioners by Brazilian police, due to being labelled as “black magic”, have been returned to the Museum of the Republic as an act of historical reparation.

Religion News Service reports, Pope Francis has refused to Cardinal Reinhard Marx’s offer of resignation over the sexual abuse scandal in the church but said a process of reform was necessary and the responsibility for this crisis is to be shared by every bishop.

The Guardian reports: former Australian high court justice Micheal Kirby has warned against the “excessive protection” of religious freedom that could diminish the rights of non-believers and minorities, this follows a reports that showed 70% of Australians say that religion is not personally important to them.

From The Guardian: Amnesty International has collected new evidence of human rights abuses in the Xinjiang region of China, which it says has become a “dystopian hellscape” for hundreds of thousands of Muslims subjected to mass internment and torture.

9th June

David Walker, the bishop of Manchester told The Guardian that faith leaders should face prosecution if they fail to comply with the government’s promised ban on so-called gay conversion practices. Walker said “Where activity has harmed someone, the person who has caused the harm should face prosecution”.

8th June

The Guardian reports, UK government has warned schools to ensure a balanced presentation of opposing views on the conflict between Israel and Palestine. Teachers may struggle to comply as the only GCSE exam board that offers curriculum material on the region has withdrawn its two textbooks following accusations of favouritism towards Israel.

Aljazeera reports that Finland’s football association has begun offering free “sports hijab” to any player that wants one in a bid to attract a greater diversity of players to the sport.