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Schools choose ‘opt in’ for religious instruction
JODY O’CALLAGHAN | Last updated 05:00 24/07/2014

More schools are choosing an ”opt in” system to avoid backlash from parents unhappy about their children taking part in religious instruction.

Christchurch mum Tanya Jacob is leading the fight against a law that permits religion being taught in state schools after her son was made to wash dishes for opting out of bible class at his school.

Secular Education Network (SEN) spokesman David Hines, who with Jacob is leading the Human Rights Commission complaint, says it is becoming more common for schools to adopt an opt-in process ”in response to criticism”.

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Student Opts Out of Bible Classes in New Zealand School, So He’s Told To Do the Dishes Instead
July 23, 2014 By Hemant Mehta

They teach religious education in many New Zealand schools, but in some cases, the lessons veer into religious indoctrination. (That’s why groups like the Secular Education Network are trying to change the laws to fix that.)

That’s also why parents sometimes allow their kids to opt out of the classes.

When that happens, what are the students supposed to do? Maybe they do homework in another classroom. Maybe they read a book. Maybe they just go to the library.

But I didn’t think this was an option:

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Papua New Guinean revivalist churches push dangerous campaign for ‘faith-healing’ of AIDS
Papua New Guinea correspondent Liam Cochrane | 23 July 2014

Revivalist churches in Papua New Guinea are promoting prayer as a substitute for medication to those with HIV, according to human rights groups.

PNG is a deeply Christian society, and most mainstream churches are trying to improve attitudes to those living with HIV.

But with poor medical facilities and a widespread belief in sorcery, belief in faith healing is growing.

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