Latest Religion and politics News

In Modi's India, opponents and journalists feel the squeeze ahead of election

Apr. 15, 2024 02:23 AM EDT

NEW DELHI (AP) — Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government are increasingly wielding strong-arm tactics to subdue political opponents and critics of the ruling Hindu-nationalist party ahead of the nationwide elections that begin this week. A decade into power, and on...

India's national election will take place in phases over 44 days. Here's why it takes so long

Apr. 14, 2024 23:20 PM EDT

NEW DELHI (AP) — Nearly 970 million people — or over 10% of the global population — are eligible to vote in India's general elections that start Friday and last to June 1. The mammoth exercise is the biggest anywhere in the world and will take 44 days before results are announced on June 4. ...

India's Modi vows to boost social spending, make country into a manufacturing hub ahead of election

Apr. 14, 2024 04:35 AM EDT

NEW DELHI (AP) — Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday vowed to boost social spending, develop infrastructure and make India into a global manufacturing hub as companies shift away from China, as he unveiled his Hindu nationalist party’s election strategy. Modi hopes to...

Lebanon official urges restrictions on Syrian refugees after slaying blamed on Syrian gang

Apr. 09, 2024 11:36 AM EDT

BEIRUT (AP) — Lebanon’s caretaker interior minister said Tuesday that this week's slaying of a local politician by what authorities say was a gang of Syrian nationals signals the need to restrict the number of refugees entering the country from neighboring Syria. Bassam Mawlawi...

India's opposition makes its election case, calling Modi an autocrat and promising aid to the poor

Apr. 05, 2024 06:52 AM EDT

NEW DELHI (AP) — India’s main opposition party vowed to boost social spending and reverse what it views as a slide into autocracy as it laid out its campaign promises on Friday, two weeks before the start of a weeks-long, multi-phase general election. Most polls have predicted a...

Here's what you need to know about the world's largest democratic election kicking off in India

Apr. 01, 2024 05:16 AM EDT

NEW DELHI (AP) — The world’s largest democratic election could also be one of its most consequential. With a population of over 1.4 billion people and close to 970 million voters, India’s general election pits Prime Minister Narendra Modi, an avowed Hindu nationalist, against...

Algeria's government pushes staples to subsidized markets to stave off Ramadan shortages

Mar. 28, 2024 10:53 AM EDT

ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — Algeria's government has flooded newly opened markets selling subsidized goods with pantry staples to stave off shortages during Islam's holy month of Ramadan, when demand typically increases in Muslim-majority countries and prices tend to rise. Authorities...

Feds say California's facial hair ban for prison guards amounts to religious discrimination

Mar. 26, 2024 19:58 PM EDT

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The federal government is asking a court to halt California's enforcement of a rule requiring prison guards to be clean-shaven, saying it amounts to religious discrimination for Sikhs, Muslims and others who wear beards as an expression of their faith. ...

As India's election nears, some Bollywood films promote Modi politics by embracing Hindu nationalism

Mar. 22, 2024 01:05 AM EDT

NEW DELHI (AP) — The movie trailer begins with an outline of the iconic glasses worn by Mohandas Gandhi, the leader who helped India win independence from the British colonialists in 1947. In the backdrop of a devotional song that Gandhi loved, the outline slowly morphs into what appears like his...

India’s main opposition party accuses the government of freezing its bank accounts ahead of election

Mar. 21, 2024 06:55 AM EDT

NEW DELHI (AP) — The Congress party, India’s main opposition political group, accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government on Thursday of stifling democracy and crippling the party by freezing its bank accounts in a tax dispute ahead of national elections. India has...