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.
Threats by Narendra Modi allies intensify fears for India’s future
A former close associate of Indian prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi has reportedly urged that Muslims be forced out of ‘Hindu areas’. This follows other threats by leaders of the far-right Bharati Janata Party (BJP), intensifying fears about what might happen if he wins power.
Another crisis for Church of England, newspapers warn
"First gay clergyman to wed plunges Church into crisis: Archbishop under pressure to sack canon who flouted ban on same sex marriage", announced the Mail dramatically. "Church of England faces 'crisis' as gay priest weds" was the Telegraph headline.
Modi victory would harm India, artists and academics warn
Sculptor Anish Kapoor and writer Salman Rushdie are among those who have signed a letter to the Guardian warning that, if Narendra Modi became Prime Minister, “it would bode ill for India's future”. The chief minister of Gujarat belongs to the far-right Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The Archbishop of Canterbury, equal marriage and safety of Africans
Letting same-sex couples marry in the Church of England would be catastrophic for Christians in countries such as South Sudan, Nigeria and Pakistan, claimed Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby. He also has “real hesitations” about equal marriage because of the Bible and tradition.