‘Jewface’ row: West End musical accused of cultural appropriation

Jewish actors and playwrights criticise Falsettos for using non-Jews to play Jewish roles A West End musical about a Jewish family is at the centre of a row over cultural appropriation, with critics saying the lack of Jewish involvement in the production is typical of an industry that sidelines talent from the community. Falsettos, which is coming to London an open letter, which said the producers demonstrated a startling lack of cultural sensitivity and at worst, overt appropriation and erasure of a culture and religion increasingly facing a crisis. To the best of our knowledge, no one in the cast of the UK premiere is Jewish, and neither is the director or anyone on the team, the letter stated. The …

Extreme abortion laws shine light on Trump’s courting of religious right

Evangelical backing for a thrice-married celebrity is not as odd as it seems: on abortion, the supreme court and more, the president has delivered win after win After bowing his head in prayer, King Cyrus, deeply flawed men who nevertheless carried out Gods will. David Barker, director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at American University, suggests Christian evangelicals start with an assumption of human depravity that sets expectations low, so Trumps lying and philandering and Twitter rage and can be overlooked. Speaking at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) in Washington, Barker also noted the parallel between Christian nationalism and white nationalism over Trumps 2016 election slogan, Make America great again. He said: While it is certainly true, …

The Guardian view on religious freedom: protect believers | Editorial

Editorial: Across much of the world, millions of people are persecuted for their beliefs The massacre in churches in Sri Lanka forms part of a global pattern of religious persecution and hostility. To target Christian churches on their holiest day of the year is not only an attempt to kill as many families as possible, but also to maximise the shock and demoralising effect of the attack, a tactic familiar from the sectarian wars in Iraq. If this atrocity was perpetrated by jihadis, as seems likely, it is also an attempt to bring about a clash of civilisations. This is not the pattern of most religiously inspired murder, not least because it is an assault by a minority on a …

Western powers using Christianity to ‘subvert’ China, says religious official

Head of state-sanctioned Protestant churches in China says anti-China forces in the west are trying to interfere with social stability The head of Chinas state-sanctioned Protestant church has claimed that western forces are trying to use Christianity to influence society and subvert the government, saying that Chinese Christians needed to follow a Chinese model of the religion. Chinas constitution guarantees religious freedom, but since President Xi Jinping took office six years ago, the government has tightened restrictions on religions seen as a challenge to the authority of the ruling Communist party. The government has deradicalisation programme in its restive far western region of Xinjiang has also caused widespread opprobrium in western capitals and amongst rights groups, who say authorities have …