Religion News April 22, 2024

Police met with Jewish leaders today after the man moved on because he was “openly Jewish.”

Jewish leaders will meet the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police today to discuss an incident in central London when Gideon Falter, chief executive of the Campaign Against Antisemitism, was told to leave the pro-Palestinian march route. A police officer, filmed on social media, told Mr Falter that he was “quite openly Jewish” and that the officer was concerned about his presence on the route. Mr Falter told The Times that the protesters shouted abuse at him and his group. After speaking with the police, they were escorted away from the march along a side road. The Met has since apologized twice. Mr Falter is calling for the resignation of Met Commissioner Mark Rowley, saying the incident proved police were sacrificing the rights of law-abiding Londoners to appease lawless gangs.

Teenager charged with terrorist offense after Bishop was stabbed with knife

A 16-year-old boy has been charged with an act of terrorism after allegedly attacking Assyrian Orthodox Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel with a knife during a livestreamed service at a church near Sydney last week. The case was heard in court on Friday, but the boy did not appear as he is being treated in hospital. The court was told he has a long history of behavior consistent with mental health problems and is under assessment. The case was adjourned to June 14 and there was no bail application. Police say the teen traveled 90 minutes to the church from his home address.

New pilgrimage route honoring female founders of Christianity in Kent

Churches from Canterbury to Folkestone have launched a new pilgrimage route, highlighting royal Kentish women who were key to the establishment of Christianity in England around AD 600. The “Royal Kentish Camino” follows the family of Bertha, wife of King Ethelbert, and begins at St. Martin’s Church in Canterbury, where she prayed with St. Augustine in her private chapel. Next is St Mary and St Ethelburga Church, Lyminge, where the remains of her daughter, Queen Ethelburga, are believed to have been found. She played a crucial role in the conversion of northern England after her marriage to King Edwin, and returned to Lyminge when he died. The end of the route is at St Mary and St Eanswythe, Folkestone, dedicated to Bertha’s granddaughter, and Ethelburga’s niece, Princess Eanswythe, who is recorded as founding a Christian community in Folkestone. It is believed that her bones were hidden in the church wall and are now in a shrine. The route is 37 kilometers long and offers spectacular views and old villages.

St James’s Church Piccadilly theme garden at Chelsea Flower Show

A garden reflecting a project to renovate St James’s Church Piccadilly and the surrounding land will feature at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show. The church has paved grounds and a parsonage to the front, adjacent to Piccadilly, and a café and side garden, which survived the Blitz. The rector, Lucy Winkett, told the Church Times that the garden is a “truly beautiful oasis” away from the hustle and bustle of Piccadilly, and is home to a drop-in advice center in a shed. An ambitious £20 million scheme, the Wren Project, will see the building, courtyard, garden and rectory merge into a green environment and provide new pedestrian access routes between Jermyn Street and Piccadilly. The Chelsea Flower Show exhibition garden, designed by landscape architect Robert Myers, will incorporate some of these themes entitled “Imagine the World is Different.”

Declining figures for Sunday school attendance, raised in the House of Commons

A parliamentary written response from the Second Commissioner for Church Estates has revealed statistics on Church of England Sunday school attendance, which have shown a sharp decline over the past twenty years. Andrew Selous MP was answering a question from Neil O’Brien, another Conservative MP. The figures show that in 2003 there were 154,000 children under the age of 16 in churches C or E on an average Sunday. By 2022, that had dropped to 70,000. The average number of Sunday visitors among adults was 802,000 in 2003, falling to 477,000 in 2022.

Call to prevent interfaith work from being denigrated and undermined

Laura Marks, co-founder of the Jewish and Muslim women’s network ‘Nisa-Nashim’, says she has never seen ‘such strong attempts’ to denigrate interfaith work, despite the need being so urgent in the aftermath of the war in the Central -East. which “threatens to tear communities apart in Britain”. In a signed article in the Jewish News, she says interfaith work is criticized for being “naïve, idealistic or somehow fluffy,” with critics saying it has failed people and should be abandoned. She says people and organizations are being discredited for their association with undesirables and that “guilt by association has become the norm”, adding that there are attempts to undermine interfaith work or intimidate those involved because in extreme positions are appropriate to stir up distrust. Instead, she says history shows that years of dialogue can lead to a more peaceful future, citing Northern Ireland as an example, where women took the lead. She is very concerned about what the intimidation will lead to, with participants and funders walking away. In a week when many non-Jewish people will be invited to the seder table for the Jewish Passover, she is calling for more people to get involved.

Passover is from April 22 to 30. Our fact sheet on the customs and meaning of Passover can be found here:

Bahai celebrates 100e anniversary of the General Assembly in India

The Bahá’ís of India have marked the 100e anniversary of the Bahá’í National Spiritual Assembly of India, with a reception and large gathering at the Lotus Temple in New Delhi. About 250 guests, including government officials, interfaith leaders and members of civil society organizations, heard speakers, listened to musical performances and received a message from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, expressing appreciation for the contribution of Baha’is in promoting social cohesion during the past years. the past century. Bahá’ís have been in India since 1844 and their numbers are a matter of debate: the 2011 census listed 4,572, but some Bahá’í studies put it closer to 2 million.

Salman Rushdie’s testimony of survival 33 years after the fatwa ruling

Salman Rushdie, the author of the Satanic Verses, has written a harrowing account of the knife attack that almost killed him two years ago. It happened at the Chautauqua Institute in upstate New York, 33 years after Ruhollah Khomeini, Iran’s supreme leader, issued a fatwa ordering Rushdie to die because of blasphemy in the book. In his latest book ‘Knife’, Salman Rushdie describes the injuries that led to the loss of his eye and the use of one hand. The book is said to read like a meditation on life, loss, love and art, telling the story of how people around him saved his life. His attacker is in custody awaiting trial.

Greece’s opposition leader says his success is a divine destiny

The Telegraph reports that Stefanos Kasselakis, the 36-year-old head of the Syriza party, Greece’s left-wing opposition party, has claimed that the oil in his baptismal font formed the shape during his baptismal service, indicating a mystical fate. His parents were told that the sign meant he was destined to “become a priest, or very important.” He has been a banker at Goldman Sachs, a shipowner and eventually the opposition leader. But the revelation was greeted as ‘somewhat shocking’ by his political competitors, with one claiming a green sun was seen at his baptism, and another a hammer and sickle.