Why are Western feminists silent about the plight of Iranian women?


This year, we have witnessed perhaps the most significant protest against the Iranian regime since the Islamic Revolution of 1979. In response, the bloodthirst of the mullahs has been on full display. Yet, Iranian women continue to protest for the basic right to wear the hijab or not. These protests have persisted, though the world may ignore the plight of these Iranian women as the news cycle always seems to move on. Iranian women face daily threats of violence. More than 50 girls schools across Iran have suffered from apparent poisonings.Just last week, Iran put on trial the brave female reporters who visited Mahsa Amini in prison and told the whole world what the regime had done to her. But where are the voices of the feminists in the West? Where are the cries of the champions of human rights? Where are the women’s rights advocates calling for justice for Iranian women? Where are all the media headlines giving them the attention they deserve? Where are our leaders around the world drawing their red lines? Do Iranian women deserve equal justice as much as anyone else? Rarely have we seen such desperate bravery, and rarely have we seen such global indifference. The hallmark of this era may very well be the absence of outrage when women are repeatedly abused by societal power structures. As a human rights leader, I have watched human rights movements emerge for decades. I’ve witnessed many horrors. But rarely have I been as disheartened as I am watching the global indifference to the plight of the women and girls of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Their plight matters as much to me as women who are repeatedly sexually harassed and abused in my homeland here in India. Shame on [...]

Why are Western feminists silent about the plight of Iranian women?2023-06-20T15:48:23+00:00

The Christian Post | Voice | Will Indian Dalit get the same fair shake as Rishi Sunkak?


The choice of Rishi Sunak as the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister illustrates that Western democracies are progressing and are effective at providing opportunities for minorities and people who were previously oppressed. The same statement was made by American democracy with the election of President Obama. Sunak, by sheer merit, has risen to the powerful position of prime minister. It’s a sterling example that truly pluralist democracies are the way forward. India and other developing democracies ought to learn from this. Other democracies are still on this journey to empower minorities and see them as equals. It is one of the great ironies that a man of Indian descent is leading the people of the United Kingdom, whom many still characterize as colonial oppressors, and yet in India we cannot seem to give a Dalit an opportunity as prime minister. At the state level, we have had Dalit chief ministers. Indian presidents are elected through a system by which the party in power in New Delhi generally gets the president they want, and we have now had Muslim, Dalit, and Tribal presidents. But it is the government in power and the prime minister which have executive power, and they ultimately rule the nation. So far, we have never had a Dalit or a Tribal prime minister. It is a further irony that in the war of words that erupted in India about Sunak’s rise to the prime minister position, many treated our former “oppressor,” England, as the one now to give lessons on how to treat a minority. In a scathing statement, Indian Congress leader P. Chidambaram tweeted, "First Kamala Harris, now Rishi Sunak. The people of the U.S. and the U.K. have embraced the non-majority citizens of their [...]

The Christian Post | Voice | Will Indian Dalit get the same fair shake as Rishi Sunkak?2023-06-20T15:45:47+00:00

Premier Christianity | Opinion | Indian Sikhs are miraculously encountering Jesus – and there’s nothing authorities can do to stop it


Despite persecution by extremist Hindu factions, there is a revival happening among India’s Sikh community in the Punjab that is now attracting the attention of the national media. You can’t stop the work of the Holy Spirit, says Bishop Joseph D’Souza. Last week, India Today ran a cover story on Sikh pastor, Ramjit Singh, and his miraculous conversion to Christianity. The revivals that are taking place among Indians in Punjab are incredible. You’ll read over and over about answered prayers and unexplained miracles. You’ll hear of divine deliverance from drug addictions and terrible diseases, or entire families receiving a vision from Jesus himself. A SIMPLE STORY It is a story which tells the tale of an indigenous, Sikh revival. This isn’t the work of Western missionaries in Punjab, and includes not a hint of Western influence. There are no fraudulent conversions, no monetary kickbacks, no outside forces looking to destroy a culture. Not a single example of coercion can be found when reading about the ongoing miracles in Punjab. It’s simply a story of Jesus coming to live and dwell among humanity through his Holy Spirit. ANTI-CONVERSION LAWS CANNOT STOP A DIVINE MOVEMENT Yet India Today’s cover story is likely to increase attacks on Christians in the country. Right-wing Hindu factions continue to accuse Indian Christians of forced conversions, when what is really at play is a divine visitation by Jesus and his Holy Spirit These stories further refute the need for proposed anti-conversion laws; Indian Christians are not involved in any sort of illegal activity, they are simply practicing their faith within the guarantees afforded to them by the constitution. God is doing the rest. THE POWER OF CHRIST This is not about defaming or replacing Sikhism in the Punjab. [...]

Premier Christianity | Opinion | Indian Sikhs are miraculously encountering Jesus – and there’s nothing authorities can do to stop it2022-11-18T19:46:02+00:00

Washington Examiner | A Hindi minority should not impose its cultural identity on a diverse Indian nation


One of India’s greatest assets is its unity in the midst of a complex diversity of cultures and languages. Yet today, India is beset by deep divisions between its Muslim population and the cultural and religious groups known as Hindutva. If this were not enough, India is now facing the specter of even greater division as the president considers a recommendation to make Hindi the official language of instruction in institutions of higher education across the entire nation. This kind of revisionism would be no help to a growing and developing India. What is at stake is India’s exquisite uniqueness, with its unrivaled span of languages and cultures and its economic engine in world markets. In a nation populated by people from all the major religions, we must remember that language is about culture. It is not about religion. India is a land of great local language cultures that span thousands of years. Tamil is older even than Sanskrit. The Oriya, Malayali, Telugu, Bengali, Konkani, and Marathi languages are likely all older than Hindi. To impose one North Indian language, Hindi, as the lingua franca of the entire nation will create violence and hatred between states, threaten the integrity of India, and reduce opportunity by reducing English education, which has catapulted India to economic superpower status. The Indian constitution already accepts Hindi as a national language, but only about 300 million Indians in a nation of 1.3 billion speak Hindi as their mother tongue. Groups in non-Hindi states are already pushing for their state languages to be declared national languages. Accepting the mother tongue of all Indian states as national languages would do justice to India’s diverse cultures. If Hindi were adopted as the official language of higher education, world-renowned institutes of [...]

Washington Examiner | A Hindi minority should not impose its cultural identity on a diverse Indian nation2022-11-18T19:33:18+00:00

The Western Journal | Op-Ed: King Charles Takes Major Stand for Christian History as ‘Defender of the Faith’


When King Charles III was announced as defender of the faith, I watched with relief. I know that may surprise you since I am an Indian bishop, and — like most of us — I have my share of opinions on British colonialism in India. But I also have a 2,000-year-old Christian heritage to look back on in India (going back to the missionary journeys of the Apostle Thomas), and I appreciate the candor of the British king in unashamedly acknowledging Britain’s own Christian history. This wasn’t a foregone conclusion. Reports had alleged that Charles would consider being styled “defender of faith” due to a modern, multi-faith, diverse Great Britain. In a nation with deep Christian roots, that nod to political correctness would have denied the fact that a country can have a majority religion and simultaneously welcome everyone. Real pluralism doesn’t require changing history. By being “defender of the faith,” Charles does not reduce the multi-faith nature of modern Britain. Rather, defending the faith enables and requires the king to defend the religious freedom of other faiths even while honoring his own. For all its colonial vices, it is Protestantism that gave birth to modern democratic states and worked out a universal franchise for people of all faiths. This has been a hugely important concept and practice for human and civil rights against tyranny. These values are especially important for our times when individual rights are being trampled on in many modern states. Charles is acknowledging the contribution of the Protestant faith to Britain and the world, notwithstanding its many historic problems. The problems are typically highlighted above the contributions, and that isn’t right. The wanton looting of nations like India under colonialism while the British church stood by was wrong, [...]

The Western Journal | Op-Ed: King Charles Takes Major Stand for Christian History as ‘Defender of the Faith’2022-11-18T19:28:18+00:00

Townhall | If the U.S. Can’t Protect Salman Rushdie, Is All Hope for Free Speech Lost?


After living in secret since 1989, it was in the safety and freedom of the United States that Salman Rushdie was attacked with a knife by a religious zealot. The brutal stabbing shows that extremists’ plans can succeed despite stringent state-imposed restrictions in otherwise free democracies designed to stop such perpetrators. It also underscores the near-universal pressure in the modern era to curb freedom of speech. Salman Rushdie was the greatest living Indian-born English novelist when the Ayatollah Khomeini offered a $3 million bounty and issued a fatwa calling for Rushdie’s assassination for his novel, The Satanic Verses. Rushdie went into hiding and, even with high security, almost lost his life as he was stabbed in front of a New York audience gathered to hear him speak. The Rushdie attack illustrates the disregard held by certain societies for the fundamental human right of freedom of speech. It also reveals the cowardice of politicians who want to be politically correct rather than principled on an important human rights issue. The free world has capitulated to religious extremists on issues of religion and faith, and remains silent when books, films, or art is banned under the guise of hurting someone’s religious or cultural sentiments. Islamic nations have been largely silent on the fatwa against Rushdie. Instead, extremists in those nations have threatened anyone who speaks against the attack. The encouraging exception is Muhammed Al Issa, the Secretary General of the Muslim World League based in Mecca, who spoke up quickly and forcefully, condemning the attempt on Salman Rushdie’s life. Al Issa said the violent attack was “a crime that Islam does not accept.” His additional comments to the Arab News on the subject reflect great courage and he deserves the [...]

Townhall | If the U.S. Can’t Protect Salman Rushdie, Is All Hope for Free Speech Lost?2022-11-18T19:28:24+00:00

Washington Examiner | How an extremist ideology destroyed a nation and how it can happen again


Sri Lanka’s recent economic collapse is one more case of extremist ideologies destroying nations and economies. On July 13, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa was forced to flee Sri Lanka. Left in the wake of disastrous economic policies, Sri Lanka’s citizens now scramble to find bare necessities such as fuel, milk, and toilet paper. The Rajapaksan ideology introduced an organic farming policy that dealt a death blow to the agricultural sector in Sri Lanka. This was nothing short of environmental extremism that ignores the needs of the poor and fails to seek a balanced approach in addressing environmental issues. The global environmental lobby, which continuously predicts apocalyptic events, gave the Sri Lankan government five stars for the organic farming policy that killed a growing economy and decimated a thriving middle class. The same lobby cannot be found now when it comes to providing food for starving Sri Lankan families. The United States is trapped in the same kind of environmental extremism with its intransigent policy on fossil fuels. Banning fossil fuel expansion within a nation of vast natural resources (and yet continuing to import fuel from other nations) is senseless and has severely undermined the U.S. economy, sending a ripple effect through the rest of the world. It is clear to economists that the resistance to the invasion of Ukraine would not have the severe economic global impact it is having if the U.S. had been self-sufficient in its oil production. Environmental extremism has led to fuel prices climbing to unsustainable levels, and it has adversely affected the livelihood of millions around the world. It is true that as humans, we are meant to steward our natural resources and exercise responsible concern for all of creation. While we [...]

Washington Examiner | How an extremist ideology destroyed a nation and how it can happen again2022-08-18T14:58:45+00:00

Premier Christianity | Britain’s asylum resettlement plan is more colonial than reformative


Growing up in India, I remember slowly realising that not everyone in my country was treated the same or as equals. Depending on their birth - and sometimes color of skin - some of my friends were not allowed to go into the houses of wealthier people or even into some public places, such as places of worship. On the other hand, friends who belonged to families from higher castes that were often wealthier and had better social standing were treated better. Because the caste system was not abolished by law during India’s independence, many people are still given preferential treatment over others because they were born in the right caste. This is obviously not right, but it is how much of the world operates. Human discrimination is still the curse of societies, including parts of Europe and Arica. What is most tragic, though, is to see countries that chastise those who deprive others of their human rights behave the same way. Britain’s new asylum resettlement plan is a prime example. Earlier in May Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a new scheme to process asylum seekers, whereby anyone entering the country without permission will be relocated thousands of miles away to Rwanda for processing. The first batch of asylum seekers have arrived in Rwanda even as the European human rights court has halted sending any more asylum seekers. Meanwhile Britain - like many other European countries - has opened its doors generously to Ukrainians fleeing the war in their country. The British government has even announced it will pay families who provide housing for these refugees a monthly stipend. This is good and affirms basic human values. Of course, the world should do as much as [...]

Premier Christianity | Britain’s asylum resettlement plan is more colonial than reformative2022-07-12T15:08:09+00:00

Christian Post | The Holy Spirit: Signs, wonders and righteousness


We live in an age of self-obsession. But one of the great characteristics of Christianity is that personal, spiritual renewal is ultimately always about the world we’re living in and not just our own individual lives. This is a lesson of the Charismatic renewal a century ago that we must pass along to a new generation. In the spring of 1906, a series of revivals erupted in a neighborhood of Los Angeles. People spoke in tongues, miracles took place and many reported experiencing the power of the Holy Spirit. At the center of it all was the great African-American preacher William Seymour. Today millions of Christians trace the history of their faith back to those days in that Los Angeles neighborhood. Known as the Azusa Street Revival, this revival — along with other similar events in Asia, Europe, and Latin America — ignited the Charismatic and Pentecostal movements, which today number more than 630 million people. As an unapologetic, self-confessed Charismatic bishop from India, I believe global Christianity owes an enormous debt to the pioneers of the Pentecostal and Charismatic movement. The movement brought into sharp focus how the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs are met by the baptism or filling of the Spirit. It insisted that the Spirit of God is present in our world and that we can expect to see His manifestations in our lives. This was a much-needed reform. Christianity, under the influence of modernism, had grown to dismiss the experiential dimensions of the Kingdom of God and the holistic needs of the human person. Modernism had turned rationalism into the new deity, a point argued and developed well by the late, great scholar of ancient Christianity, Thomas Oden. In effect, the church had [...]

Christian Post | The Holy Spirit: Signs, wonders and righteousness2022-03-31T16:01:54+00:00

Premier Christianity | How many civilians must die before the Russian Orthodox Patriarch intervenes?


I’m perplexed. This week a Russian Orthodox priest said to his congregation, “Hopefully soon, we’ll have Moldova, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Georgia, and the Baltic states join our great Russia.” I feel like someone put me in a time machine and transported me back to the dark ages. Are the Russians engaging in some kind of crusade? This behaviour by a person of the cloth is, simply put, abominable. How is it possible for any Christian leader who reads the Bible that I read, to do anything but condemn - in the most direct terms - the senseless, brutal invasion of Ukraine by Russia? How many civilians must die before the Russian Orthodox Patriarch, Kirill of Moscow, intervenes? How much of the global credibility of the Christian faith must be destroyed before he disassociates from the state power that is causing the biggest man-made disaster in Europe since the Second World War? Let’s be clear: this is Putin’s war in Europe. And he has co-opted the Russian Orthodox Church in his venture. AN UNJUST WAR It is not the war of the Russian people against Ukraine, and it certainly isn’t some kind of arcane holy war. On the contrary, the powerful Russian Orthodox Church ought to be appropriating whatever influence they have to stop these senseless acts. Putin’s descent into the madness of power may be a surprise to some but it shouldn’t have been a surprise to our Russian Orthodox brothers and sisters, as his ascent has run parallel to the ascent of the political influence of the Church under Patriarch Kirill. PUTIN’S SPIRITUAL OLIGARCH NEEDS SANCTIONING BY OUR PRAYERS AND FROM OUR PULPITS Along the way, he destroyed dissent. He ensured the longevity of his power [...]

Premier Christianity | How many civilians must die before the Russian Orthodox Patriarch intervenes?2022-03-14T17:17:29+00:00
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