Religion news 2 February 2022

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Chair of Christians in Parliament considering asking PM to quit

The Conservative MP Sir Gary Streeter, well known for his Christian faith and  chair of Christians in Parliament, has told Premier Christian News that he is giving himself until Friday to decide whether to submit a letter of no confidence in the Prime Minister. In an interview, he said that integrity and truth must be at the heart of government and he was grappling with a decision over whether someone has misled the house or isn’t telling the absolute truth: “There has been so much pain and sacrifice and suffering by the British people during lockdown and to see that the rule-makers had a dozen gatherings in Downing Street – when I can remember not seeing my mum for weeks and weeks and she was on her own – all of us have got a little story of sacrifice and pain”.

Jewish groups furious at Amnesty International report on “apartheid” in Israel

Jewish groups have reacted furiously to Amnesty International’s report saying Palestinians in Israel are living in a form of apartheid. The report says territorial fragmentation, segregation and control, dispossession of land and property and denial of economic and social rights amounts to apartheid and must be dismantled. The Board of Deputies and the Jewish Leadership Council accused Amnesty International of a “preposterous slur”, saying it had a history of  one-sided positioning on Israel. The World Jewish Congress said the report fuels the fires of antisemitism. The Muslim Council of Britain welcomed the report and called on the International Criminal Court to consider the crime of apartheid in its current investigation into the situation in Palestine.  

Whoopi Goldberg apologises for saying the holocaust was not about race

The US actor and talk show host, Whoopi Goldberg, has offered her sincerest apologies after saying the holocaust isn’t about race, but about man’s inhumanity to man. She made the comments during her TV show “The View”, when discussing the Tennessee school board’s decision to ban Art Spiegelman’s novel Maus, a survivor’s tale from the holocaust, on the grounds that its rough, objectionable language and sketches of naked women were unsuitable for 13-year-old students. After a social media backlash, she clarified that she believed the holocaust was about both inhumanity and race.  “As Jonathan Greenblatt from of the Anti-Defamation League shared, ‘The Holocaust was about the Nazi’s systematic annihilation of the Jewish people – who they deemed to be an inferior race’. I stand corrected”, she said.

Bishop calls for Royal Commission on the future of policing

The Church Times reports that the former Bishop of Liverpool, James Jones, has called for the establishment of a Royal Commission on the future of policing. He was speaking at the launch of a report by Cumberland Lodge Towards Justice: Law enforcement and reconciliation, which says the needs of victims, survivors, and their families should be at the heart of the justice system. The Bishop, who chaired the independent panel into the Hillsborough disaster, said a review was needed as the criminal landscape had changed dramatically, with investigations into non-recent cases, cyber crime, child sexual abuse, international fraud, misconduct in public office, hate speech, discrimination, trafficking, and modern slavery.

Italy’s national chaplain to the armed forces rages against Archbishop Vigano

Italy’s chaplain to the military, Archbishop Santo Marciano, has raged against  the disgraced former papal nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, for telling the military to defy the country’s mandatory vaccination requirements and criticising the police for enforcing Covid-19 laws. In a public letter, Mariano blasted: “Enough with the misinformation!”, reminding the armed forces that the church supports vaccines and it is a duty to protect the health  of all.  Vigano has previously said that Covid-19 does not exist, supported President Trump and called for Pope Francis to resign.

Book identifying Anne Franks’ betrayer withdrawn

Jewish News reports that the book “The Betrayal of Anne Frank”, which is reported to have identified the man who betrayed her to the Nazis, has been withdrawn, after academics described it as libellous nonsense. Ambo Anthos, the Dutch publisher, apologised to “anyone felt offended”. The book claimed that a lawyer gave the Frank family up in order to save his own, but a historian is quoted saying it is lacking in evidence.


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