Religion

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The car that was set ablaze outside Perth’s Thornlie Mosque. Offensive graffiti was also scrawled on a wall nearby. AAP

Can religious vilification laws protect religious freedoms?

Legislating against racial and religious vilification is highly fraught, as the ongoing debate around Section 18C has demonstrated, and unlikely to become less so any time soon.
According to a recent poll, 45 percent of Americans believe extraterrestrials have visited the Earth. Raphael Terra, 'UFO Sunset.'

Why are people starting to believe in UFOs again?

Whether it's Hillary Clinton's courting the UFO vote or Donald Trump's lending credibility to various conspiracy theories, the "triumph of reason" seems to have gone by the wayside.
A Hindu devotee prepares to participate in a fire-walking ceremony to honour the goddess Draupadi in Durban in 2011. Reuters/Rogan Ward

Behind the God-swapping in the South African Indian community [part 1]

Since the 1920s Pentecostal churches have had a major impact in South Africa's Indian community. Their converts have grown larger than all the other Christian denominations put together.
Peter Paul Rubens, Lot and his family escaping from the doomed city guided by an angel, circa 1615.

Friday essay: The Qur’an, the Bible and homosexuality in Islam

For Muslims generally, as for conservative Christians, homosexual acts are sinful. Christian gays and lesbians have had to work hard for a measure of recognition among fellow-believers; their Muslim counterparts are just beginning that struggle.
With attendance at mass continuing to flag, the Catholic bishops' influence has waned with it. Shutterstock

Catholic bishops speak out – but is anyone listening?

The Catholic bishops have exhorted Australians to cast a "vote for the voiceless", but it is doubtful that their plea will be paid much heed – by politicians or the public.

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