US Presbyterian pastors free to marry same sex couples
Pastors can, if they wish, marry same-sex couples in areas where this is legal, the Presbyterian Church (USA) has decided. The general assembly also called for a change in how marriage is defined, if a majority of presbyteries agree.
Is harshness to sick, disabled and poor people increasing ‘welfare’ costs?
Successive UK governments have made it harder for people in need to get social security, at a devastating human cost. Public services have also been cut, supposedly to save money. Might this have ended up costing taxpayers more?
At least three Muslims were shot dead in southern Sri Lanka after a hardline ‘Sinhala Buddhist’ group went on the rampage. Dozens more were injured and buildings set alight as the Bodu Bala Sena marched on Aluthgama and surrounding areas.
The use of food banks in the UK rose dramatically in 2013/14, a report published on 9 June revealed. A gripping documentary shown on the same day focused on the experience of children living on or below the breadline.
Allegations that a mentally ill prisoner in Florida was tortured to death, followed by a cover-up, have focused attention on the US prison system. Inmates and staff at Dade Correctional Institution in Miami have claimed that abuse was common.
Minorities, dissidents and the poor in India are at risk as extreme-right politician Narendra Modi takes control as prime minister. He represents the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), part of the Hindutva movement, which misuses religion in the quest for power.
New Zealand’s Anglican church has agree to explore ways of blessing same-sex relationships, while protecting the freedom of those who disagree. Meanwhile senior Church of England clergy have warned that opposing inclusion is undermining Christian witness.
Equal marriage is now taking effect in England, Wales, Scotland and many other parts of the world. Some Christians welcome this, others are unsure or opposed. Against this background, theological reflection on sexuality and gender identity is particularly important.
Indian candidate Narendra Modi stokes religious extremism
Extremist politician Narendra Modi has dangerously inflamed religious tension during the Indian election. “This is the land of Lord Ram,” he declared in Faizabad, standing in front of a picture of the god. In 1992 fanatics tore down a nearby mosque and pledged to build a temple to Ram in its place.
Modi followers condemn principal for questioning Gujarat development model
Supporters of far-right candidate Narendra Modi have condemned a college principal for speaking up for justice and the environment during India’s parliamentary election. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) complained to the Electoral Commission about Frazer Mascarenhas, principal of St Xavier’s College and a Jesuit priest.