India's ruling Hindu nationalist party has approved legislation in the country's most populous state that lays out a prison term of up to 10 years for anyone found guilty of using marriage to force someone to change religion. The decree for the state of Uttar Pradesh was passed Tuesday and follows a campaign by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party against interfaith marriages. The party describes such marriages as "love jihad," an unproven conspiracy theory used by its leaders and Hindu hard-line groups to accuse Muslim men of converting Hindu women by marriage.
Harvest Rock Church and Harvest International Ministry filed an emergency petition with the U.S. Supreme Court requesting an injunction pending appeal in their federal lawsuit against California Gov. Gavin Newsom. The ministries, which allege Newsom’s executive orders violate the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guaranteeing freedom of religion rights, are represented by Liberty Counsel, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization committed to religious freedom.
Pope Francis is supporting demands for racial justice in the wake of the U.S. police killing of George Floyd and is blasting COVID-19 skeptics and media organizations that spread their conspiracies in a new book penned during the Vatican’s coronavirus lockdown.
Catholics split almost evenly in supporting Donald Trump or Joe Biden in the presidential election. Now they’re sharply divided over a declaration by the head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops that the president-elect's support for abortion rights presents the church with a “difficult and complex situation.”
Catholic bishops of the United States open a national meeting Monday under dramatic circumstances. A pandemic has compelled them to meet virtually from their far-flung dioceses. A hard-fought presidential election has caused sharp divisions in their own ranks. And six days before the meeting, the Vatican released a revelatory report detailing how clerics in the U.S. and abroad failed to hold ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick to account until many years after suspicions of serial sexual misconduct had become widespread.
It's not exactly divine intervention, but even the pope considers the U.S. presidential race over. President-elect Joe Biden, a lifelong Roman Catholic, spoke to Pope Francis on Thursday, despite President Donald Trump refusing to concede. Trump claims — without evidence — that the election was stolen from him through massive but unspecified acts of fraud.
The Vatican’s report into ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick has raised uncomfortable questions the Holy See will have to confront going forward, chief among them what it’s going to do about current and future clergy who abuse their power to sexually abuse adults. Priests, lay experts and canon lawyers alike say the Vatican needs to revisit how the church protects its seminarians, nuns and even rank-and-file parishioners from problem bishops and cardinals, who for centuries have wielded power and authority with few — if any — checks or accountability.