February 2019 Church & State Magazine - February 2019

Indian Women Enter Temple For The First Time

  Rob Boston

Three women in India overcame sometimes violent protests to enter a temple that had for centuries been declared off-limits to most members of that gender.

Two women entered Sabarimala temple early last month, and a third visited the structure a few days later. Their actions came in the wake of a ruling by the Indian Supreme Court, which last year struck down a policy that forbade women who were of an age at which they might be menstruating from entering the facility. The court ruled that all women must be permitted to worship at the temple in the southern state of Kerala.

Despite the court ruling, protestors blocked the entrance to the temple and prevented women from entering, sometimes threatening violence. The Washington Post reported that the first two women to get in – a university professor and a government employee – are both in their 40s. They walked a three-mile path to the temple starting at midnight, accompanied by four police officers. They were able to enter shortly before 4 a.m. Both have been threatened and are under police protection.


Americans United & the National Women’s Law Center file suit to challenge Missouri’s abortion bans.

Abortion bans violate the separation of church and state. Americans United and the National Women’s Law Center—the leading experts in religious freedom and gender justice—have joined forces with thirteen clergy from six faith traditions to challenge Missouri’s abortion bans as unconstitutionally imposing one narrow religious doctrine on everyone.

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