Death does not scare Sagai Nair. She lowers the deceased into coffin boxes, carries them by foot to the graveyard with five other volunteers, uses a shovel to dig six feet inside the earth, and recites verses from the Bible for the grieving families. After paying her last respects, she burns her protective gear, sanitizes herself, and prepares for the next burial. In a coronavirus hotspot, 47-year-old Nair is the only woman in India burying the dead—a traditionally male-dominated occupation.
How will progressive Christians react to rising anti-Semitism in this pandemic?
In years past, I’ve invited my non-Muslim friends and community members to visit my mosque for interfaith Iftars. These were opportunities to discuss similarities in fasting across Muslim, Christian, and Jewish traditions, as well as chances to share food and friendship. Now, these interfaith events are impossible. But there are still ways to come together in friendship and solidarity for Muslims during COVID-19 Ramadan.
Jagmeet Singh is leader of Canada’s New Democratic Party. His campaign to become the country’s next prime minister made international news — in part because of his progressive politics, and in part because of his appearance as a practicing Sikh. In 2019, Singh became the first racial and religious minority to lead a major political party in Canadian history. He remains one of the highest-ranking politicians and most prominent faces in Canada.
And yet, it’s undeniable that the election of Donald Trump and the presidency that has followed — and the Christian response to all of it — have revealed how disconnected many American Christians have become from Jesus. In particular, the uncritical support Trump enjoys from many white evangelicals in the religious right, and the Faustian bargain they have made for power, are turning many Americans (and others) away from Christianity altogether.
In Narendra Modi’s India, an ominous new project is in progress. The recently instituted National Registry for Citizens (NRC) in Assam excludes almost 4 million from citizenship – effectively creating one of the largest groups of stateless people anywhere in the world. A majority of them are Muslims, and while those of other faiths can apply for reconsideration, Muslims cannot. Reports indicate plans to implement NRCs in other borderlands.
From July 16-18, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo hosted the second annual Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom, which is touted as the “the largest religious freedom event of its kind in the world.” More than a thousand attendees representing delegations from 106 countries arrived in Washington D.C. to discuss challenges to religious liberty and how to collectively address the threats facing people of faith worldwide.
Though much of the trip was spent studying the past, at no point was the connection to present day more striking than when the group returned to their hotel after Auschwitz and turned on CNN. The news segment featured the detention centers along the U.S.-Mexico border and the deplorable conditions there.
Uighur leaders and experts located outside China have warned that the situation could worsen, and “mass murder” could not be ruled out. With upwards of 10 percent of the Uighurs being held against their will, it is being called the worst and the most neglected humanitarian crisis of the past 10 years. Why is this is happening, and what makes the Chinese government see Muslims as a threat?
While the Trump administration has been vocal about confronting religious persecution for global Christians, many of its domestic and foreign policies only serve to exacerbate the conditions that make Christians in these regions more vulnerable. The Iraqi Christian Chaldean community in the United States has been susceptible to deportations in the aftermath of Trump’s executive orders. The “Muslim travel ban” has done little for Christian migrants and other vulnerable religious communities from nations now under travel restrictions to the United States.
Pence clearly scratched an itch for the crowd that gave him a standing ovation and loud chants of “U-S-A” after he was introduced. His words were also a familiar refrain in the white evangelical community. According to a 2017 study by the Public Religion Research Institute, white evangelical Protestants were the only religious group more likely to believe Christians face discrimination compared to Muslims.
It was Wednesday, March 27th. I was one of 20 rabbis and cantors, assembled by T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights and the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS), to witness and report on the border. A few hours earlier, CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan (now ICE’s acting director) had held a press conference at the same spot.
As executive director of the Shoulder to Shoulder Campaign, my professional life is concentrated on counteracting anti-Muslim discrimination and violence. When I started this work, there were many from my white Christian community of origin that wondered if I had converted to Islam — as if that’s why I started doing this work. I understood where the people asking this question were coming from, but the assumption behind it bothered me. They assumed the only reason Christians would care about anti-Muslim hate in the United States is if they had converted to Islam themselves. The assumption caused me to dig deeper into why I would care enough about this issue to devote myself to it not in spite of my Christian identity but because of it.
Let me tell you what it’s like to walk into a classroom studying world religions after a mass shooting at a house of worship. I know because I’ve done it twice in six months. Last October, my students and I returned to class after 11 people were gunned down in Pittsburgh during Shabbat services. Last Friday, we awoke to a shooting that killed 50 people during Jumu'ah prayers at a New Zealand masjid.
So far, Aslan’s cable shows — including his Muslim-American family sitcom that was dropped by ABC — have not panned out. But his ambitions to reach a broader audience remain as large as ever. And unlike the somewhat braggadocios and didactic style of commentary that he’s become known for in front of television cameras, he’s eager to change minds while occupying a different place: behind the camera.
A Muslim man was executed in Alabama on Thursday, as originally scheduled, after the U.S. Supreme Court voted 5-4 to allow the execution, denying his request for an imam's presence in the execution chamber.
Attorneys for Domineque Ray, 42, had argued that Alabama's execution policy favored Christian inmates because a chaplain is allowed in the room, often kneeling next to the death row prisoner, and praying with the inmate if requested.