Posts in Politics
The many charms of West Sumatra: grandmas with eight husbands, teens studying Plato and the No. 1 food in the world

This Indonesian province has a rich history of a matrilineal society that’s shifting from its indigenous culture toward a more austere form of Islam. Cultural and theological divides are widening with less openness to discussion.

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5 reasons the world needs a wake-up call on religious persecution

(OPINION) The United Nations has established for the first time ever on Aug. 22 a day to draw attention to people groups around the world violently persecuted for their religious beliefs: Yazidis in Syria and Iraq, Christians in Nigeria, faith minorities in Pakistan, Rohingya in Myanmar, Uighur Muslims in China and others.

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Don’t underestimate the Vatican’s power in Italian politics

(OPINION) Italy’s government has been plunged into chaos after the nationalist-populist coalition that had struck fear across the European establishment collapsed. It means that Italians could potentially be going to the ballot box once again this fall. It’s also a reminder of how powerful the Catholic church remains in determining the country’s politics.

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Anger in Kashmir, thanks in Jammu: South Asia's Hindu-Muslim conflict heats up

After India’s unilateral decision to rid the Muslim-majority region Kashmir’s special autonomy from the constitution, some are angry and fear a rise in Hindu settlement, while others cheer the move as a way to help Hindu and Sikh refugees from Pakistan and Kashmir.

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These 24 Indian villages are eliminating caste names to fight discrimination

A group of village councils in North India decided to tackle caste discrimination by changing their names — stripping their postal addresses, name plates, social media accounts and vehicle windshields of caste markers.

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Hong Kong activist Agnes Chow: faith gives us 'belief and courage to fight for freedom'

The 22-year-old Catholic woman has been one of the faces of the pro-democracy movement against Chinese repression in Hong Kong since 2012.

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Kashmiris worry about their future as Indian government relaxes lockdown

As the Indian government’s communication ban reaches two weeks, it announced that 50,000 landline connections have been restored for calls after crowds surged last week to the few phones available from government offices. Internet and mobile networks remain shut.

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Comrades vs. Catholics: The difference in media coverage

(COMMENTARY) The Democratic Socialists of America held their convention last week in Atlanta. By coincidence, the Knights of Columbus held their annual convention in Minneapolis. It’s no coincidence whatsoever that the Democratic socialists received plenty — and perhaps more favorable — coverage compared to the Catholic group.

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What is Christian nationalism? Shootings spark renewed debate

A statement by the grassroots coalition Christians Against Christian Nationalism and then recent mass shootings have renewed debate over the term “Christian nationalism” and what that means for American politics.

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More than thoughts and prayers: The Catholic church and gun control

(OPINION) There is a new terror threat that faces our nation. The rise of domestic terrorists with easy access to guns have made even a routine weekend trip to the mall something to fear. Those memories of covering vigils and funerals — many involving children and teens shot and killed in senseless gang violence — came flooding back to my mind this past weekend.

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Kashmir cut off from the world as India strips its autonomy

The Hindu nationalist-led Indian government has stripped Muslim-majority Kashmir of its agreed-upon terms of accession, a special status granting autonomy under the Indian constitution, and sent in more than 40,000 troops to the already heavily militarized region. Kashmiris there are living under curfews without access to phones, Internet or cable TV channels while elected representatives are under house arrest.

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Will the new British Foreign Secretary take religious persecution seriously?

(COMMENTARY) Jeremy Hunt’s resignation puts his plan for an international overhaul of asylum requests, from persecuted Christians especially, in limbo with the UK’s new foreign secretary Dominic Raab.

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Faith and politics: Your guide to the Democratic presidential debates

We break down each candidate’s faith affiliation and how their religion could inform their chosen policy issues. Some might surprise you.

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Attacks on Muslims and Christians Continue to Rise in India

After Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s election in 2014 and reelection this May, brutal mob attacks by Hindu nationalist groups against India’s Muslim and Christian minorities have continued to steadily rise.

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India's plan to resettle Hindus in Muslim-majority Kashmir

The Indian government is reportedly forming a new plan to resettle thousands of Kashmiri Hindus back to the Kashmir Valley, an army-occupied territory disputed with Pakistan. The plan would likely further inflame Hindu-Muslim tensions.

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Religious freedom has never drawn a bigger crowd (from all walks of faith)

(COMMENTARY) The U.S. State Department’s second annual Ministerial on religious freedom drew over 1,000 official invitees and many more for side events.

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How a growing evangelical Christian community in Latin America could threaten democracy

The book Evangelicals and Power in Latin America attempts to explain how the rise in evangelical voters will affect power and politics, human rights and the future of democracy in Latin America.

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