By Bobby Ross Jr. | Religion Unplugged
Protecting all faiths: “Prayer and contemplation will accompany pomp and celebration on Saturday when King Charles III is anointed with vegan holy oil consecrated in Jerusalem and the Archbishop of Canterbury places the St. Edward’s Crown on his head for the first time,” the Washington Times Mark A. Kellner notes.
Saturday’s coronation “will not be the ‘woke’ mash-up some conservatives feared but will be unprecedented in its inclusivity,” the Washington Post’s William Booth reports from London.
“The new king wants to present himself not only as the ‘Defender of the Faith,’ meaning the Church of England, but all faiths, here and across the realm,” the Post adds.
Emphasis on diversity: “Religious leaders representing the Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh traditions will for the first time play an active role in the ceremonies,” according to The Associated Press’ Danica Kirka.
More from AP:
At a time when religion is fueling tensions around the world — from Hindu nationalists in India to Jewish settlers in the West Bank and fundamentalist Christians in the United States — Charles is trying to bridge the differences between the faith groups that make up Britain’s increasingly diverse society.
Achieving that goal is critical to the new king’s efforts to show that the monarchy, a 1,000-year-old institution with Christian roots, can still represent the people of modern, multicultural Britain.
At Religion News Service, Catherine Pepinster offers details from Britain’s 2021 decennial census:
The ethnic diversity is matched by changes in the country’s religious makeup. Just 46% said they were Christian on census day — a drop of 11 percentage points in 10 years. Meanwhile, other faiths, including Islam, Judaism, Hinduism and Sikhism, grew by 100,000 adherents in a decade.
But the most significant difference is the growth of those who said they have no religion — an increase of 8.5 million, bringing those with no faith to 22 million, or a third of the population.
More details: An 8-pound Bible was specially hand-bound for Charles’ coronation, Kellner points out.
At the Deseret News, Kelsey Dallas outlines the relationship between religion and the coronation, scheduled for 6 a.m. EDT.
This column appears in the online magazine Religion Unplugged.
Featured photo via Shutterstock