The inclusion of voices like the Free Churches Group and Baptists Together in King Charles III’s coronation represents the culmination of a gradual move towards inclusion of religious dissenters in British life.
Although historic women’s ordinations are obviously a point of pride for mainline denominations like the ABCUSA, women still have to break through the “stained glass ceiling.” While women make up 50% of students in ABCUSA-run seminaries, the numbers of female senior or solo pastors lag behind, and Baptist women in ministry report numerous experiences of institutional misogyny.
Progress protecting religious minorities is now under severe threat. As Protestant churches in western Ukraine prepare to receive refugees from the frontline, a long shadow of Russian military presence is spreading across the country. Ukrainian Baptists are simultaneously hopeful and careful.
Concerns for the mighty and the oppressed sit uncomfortably side by side. I believe this is often due to the fear of being called out as “biased,” “political,” or “ideological.” As an antidote, some churches adopt the stance of impartiality, sitting on the fence on important moral issues such as reproductive rights, or challenging imperialism, racism, and xenophobia.