Melbourne Anglicans reject multi-faith religious education in schools.

MELBOURNE Anglicans have rejected a call to introduce a multi-faith general religious education into all Victorian state schools, in a move described as a return to sectarianism.

Melbourne historian Peter Sherlock, who seconded the proposal, said Friday night's vote at the Melbourne synod was ''a stunning reversal of 140 years of campaigning for religious education in schools'' and a return to 19th century sectarianism.

Witches, God, climate change ... it's a matter of belief

People are inclined to believe what they want, with or without evidence. It makes the likelihood of a fruitful scientific debate on climate change seem remote, reports Michael Bachelard.

Muslim academic condemns silence over wife beating

AUSTRALIA'S Muslim leaders must admit there is a domestic violence problem in their communities and argue against the supposed justification for wife-beating from the Koran, a leading Muslim academic said yesterday.

"Many Muslims are not prepared to discuss this, as though it did not exist," said Professor Abdullah Saeed, head of the National Centre for Excellence in Islamic Studies. "The reality is, it exists in Muslim societies, and religious and community leaders have to say there is a problem here."

No U-turn on abortion: Abbott

TONY Abbott says he will not wind back the clock on abortion law should he become prime minister, and argues his personal evolution has been in a ''reassuring'' direction for progressives.

AD/BC rock solid in curriculum

THE time-honoured terms BC and AD are safe from the clutches of political correctness in classrooms.

The agency responsible for the national school curriculum yesterday denied it ever intended to remove the terms from history classrooms.

Newspaper reports last month suggested BC and AD would be replaced by the academic terms BCE (Before Common Era), CE (Common Era) and BP (Before Present).

The man and the Mufti

Egyptian-born Ibrahim Abu Mohamed is the new Mufti of Australia. A political moderate, though religiously orthodox, he faces formidable challenges within and outside of the Islamic community, writes Barney Zwartz.

Fresh Yeshivah sex charge

MELBOURNE'S orthodox Jewish Yeshivah community has been rocked by another alleged child sex abuse scandal with a youth worker arrested on indecency charges.

Former Chabad Youth leader Aron Ezriel Kestecher, 26, of East St Kilda, has been charged with four counts of indecent acts on a child under the age of 16.

Kestecher, known as ''Ezzy'', is also understood to have recently worked as a substitute teacher at Yeshivah College, the East St Kilda boys' school at the centre of a police investigation into paedophilia.

Clergy victims need justice now

To prevent further harm, there must be an independent inquiry into sexual assault and the Catholic Church.

The state government's decision last week to put on hold a public inquiry into sexual abuse in the Catholic Church is unconscionable and carries a serious risk of further suicides by victims of clergy sexual assault.

Child abuse and the church: no more excuses

It is now the state's responsibility to hold an inquiry

Muslims: Anglicans more negative

ANGLICANS are far more negative about Muslims than Catholics, according to an important annual survey about social cohesion.

Anglican antipathy rose nearly 10 per cent in the past year, the Scanlon National Cohesion Survey headed by Monash University professor Andrew Markus shows.

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