Religious News From Around the Web October 26, 2020
Pope Supports Same-Sex Unions, Bahai’s Imprisoned in Iran, Brandeis University Bans Discrimination Based on Caste, China Continues to Suppress Religion, Pope Names First African-American Cardinal
Pope Francis Supports Same-Sex Unions
Pope Francis signaled his support for same-sex civil unions several times in the past, even as far back as when he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires, as well as in 2014 and 2017. And he once again voiced support in a new documentary released on Oct. 21.
More Bahai’s Serve Prison Sentences for their Beliefs
Farid Zirgi Moghaddam began serving a five-year sentence in the central prison in the city of Birjand, in Eastern Iran, on October 19, 2020 – a prison sentence that was based solely on his belief in the banned Baha’i faith, according to the Center for Human Rights in Iran. A one-year sentence for “propaganda against the state” was struck down earlier this year.
Brandeis University’s Caste-Bias Ban Under Fire
Late last year, Brandeis University banned discrimination based on caste. The ban seeks to protect South Asian immigrants of low- and sub-caste status who say they routinely encounter discrimination. Dalits, or “untouchables,” rank lowest in Hinduism’s caste system. Hindus have objected to the new policy, saying it is biased against them and is enforced unfairly.
China Continues Suppression of Religion
The Chinese Communist government continues to suppress religious belief and practice in China. The country has allowed some censored Christian literature to be distributed, but recently, China Aid says censors have begun removing the words “Christ” and “Jesus” from some publications. The government has also removed hundreds of crosses from Christian churches, removed or destroyed Buddhist statues, has said it will decide who the next Dalai Lama will be, and requires a say in the selection of Catholic Bishops.
Pope Names First African-American Cardinal
Pope Francis announced 13 new cardinals – the most senior clergymen below the pontiff – from eight nations in a surprise address on Sunday. Wilton Daniel Gregory, the African-American 72-year-old Archbishop of Washington, D.C., will be one of the cardinals installed in a ceremony at the Vatican on 28 November.