Forum 18 Archive: KAZAKHSTAN: “A general unwillingness to properly protect human rights” – 25 February 2015.

Kazakhstan pretends to be a modern democratic state, but it is, in fact, nothing less than a heavily cosmetised (post)communist dictatorship, where religious persecution is rampant.

If oil money would make countries civilised, the whole Middle East would look like the Garden of Eden. It obviously does not, not does Kazakhstan (or other similar ‘stan’s, like Azerbaijan, for instance).

In almost all of history, the vast majority of people understood the view from the bottom due to their own life circumstance. Most of the people who have ever lived on this planet have been oppressed and poor. But their history was seldom written except in the Bible (until very recently in such books as Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States). Only in modern times and wealthy countries do we find the strange phenomenon of the masses of people having an establishment mentality! This relatively new thing, called “the middle class,” gives many of us just enough comfort not to have to feel the pinch or worry about injustice for ourselves. Only by solidarity with other people’s suffering can comfortable people be converted. Otherwise they are disconnected from the cross–of the world, of others, of Jesus, and finally of their own necessary participation in the great mystery of dying and rising. Most of us in the Northern Hemisphere have a view from the top even though we are nowhere near the top ourselves. The mass of people can normally be bought off by giving them just enough “bread and circuses,” as the Romans said. Read More…


The main papers presented in the two CS Lewis symposia that took place at Iasi University, in 2013 and 2014, have nust been published in the Volume 5, Issue 2, 2014 of the Linguaculture journal, a peer reviewed academic publication of the Linguaculture Centre for (Inter)cultural and (Inter)lingual Research at the Iasi University. You may download HERE the papers published in the current issue of this journal.

There are some very good article published there. I highly recommend it to you, if you are interested in CS Lewis.

The journal also includes my paper called C. S. Lewis, Reluctant Convert and (not so) Reluctant Anglican

Friday 20th February 2015

In this talk given at St Paul’s Cathedral last night, the Archbishop of Canterbury reflected on what makes a good Lent for individuals, communities and society as a whole.

Some things stick in the memory. In 2004, when I wasworking at Coventry Cathedral, I was in a part of Africa which was in the midst of some very serious fighting. A group of black-clad militias was moving across the area, killing, looting, burning.

With a colleague I drove into the area where the fighting was going on to a small town that was under siege, or had been. On the way there, after a long period in the car on very bad roads, we stopped for a few moment break. There was a series of burnt huts to our right, and I walked a few metres towards them.

Around me rose ash. It was this time of year; in fact it was the Monday before Ash Wednesday. The ash rose in clouds, settling on me, from the burnt houses and, as I walked, I realised the ash from those who had been burned.

That was ash without hope, ash without change, ash rising in clouds to call all who saw it to acknowledge human evil but not to promise anything better. Read More…


Dear friends,

As I have already well started the journey of facing the challenges of this new year I cannot think almost every day of the necessity of writing some thoughts (it has taken long enough to let them settling down!) regarding the second edition of the C. S. Lewis Symposium that took place in November, at the Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi.

My heart is full of gratitude, first of all, that through this ministry, the Lord has brought in my life so many wonderful people and the mere fact that I am connected in so many ways with you is amazing! Thank you for all the encouragement and support, for caring, praying and helping in any way. It is a blessing that transcends all my desires and imagination!  The words are weak and fail as always when we tend to speak about God’s grace.

This time the symposium was a harder battle, hard enough to let me, after many months of working hard, knocked down for a while! But, it ended up in being a great event, much appreciated by the professors and students from the University and by all the other participants.

I will just remind you that because I am in a PhD program on C. S. Lewis in The English Department of The University of Iasi I was granted the privilege to organize a Symposium in 2013, with the occasion of the 50th anniversary of C. S. Lewis’s death. Through God’s blessing, the event was so successful that the English Department decided to have a second edition, which took place in November, last year. In addition, an entire issue of the Lingua Culture journal, was devoted to C. S. Lewis. Read More…

Posted by: DanutM | 25 February 2015

Richard Rohr on the Bible’s Bias Towards the Poor

Most of political and church history has been controlled and written by people on the Right, because they, more than those on the Left, have the access, the power, and the education to write books and get them published. One of the few subversive texts in history, believe it or not, is the Bible! The Bible is most extraordinary because it repeatedly and invariably legitimizes the people on the bottom, and not the people on the top. The rejected son, the barren woman, the sinner, the leper, or the outsider is always the one chosen of God! Please do not take my word on this, check it out. It is rather obvious, but for some reason the obvious needs to be pointed out to us. In every case, we are presented with some form of powerlessness–and from that situation God creates a new kind of power. This is the constant pattern, hidden in plain sight. Read More…

Justin Welby

In a 52-page pastoral letter, issued ahead of May elections, Church of England calls for ‘fresh moral vision’ in British politics (see HERE a commentary about it the conservative journal The Guardian.).

You may find HERE a summary and the key points of this important document.

The Conservative government called it ‘hard-left propaganda’. No surprise there. As I have written in a tween tonight, ‘too much talk about the poor’ in it. and that is something conservativs and the rich they defent can hardly stomach. As Zoe Williams said in an article in The Guardian,

I can see why. Read More…


An article by Bob Allen, from Baptist News Global.

A quarter century after forming to resist fundamentalism in the Southern Baptist Convention, theology professor Roger Olson says the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship is increasingly polarizing over liberal views gaining ground in the originally moderate group.

A professor at a moderate Baptist seminary says some individuals within the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship are starting to sound more liberal than moderate, prompting others to worry the quasi-denomination is drifting leftward and away from its evangelical roots.

Roger Olson, professor of theology and Christian ethics at Baylor’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary, said in a Patheos blog Feb. 22 that a division is developing in the 1,800-church network founded in 1990.

On one hand, he said, there are those who want to elevate the Baptist concept of “soul competency” to question traditional orthodoxy. Others “want to hold to basic Christian orthodox and evangelical commitments while avoiding rigid, narrow dogmatism over secondary matters.”

Olson said Cecil Sherman, the founding coordinator of the CBF who died in 2010, was by all accounts the figurehead leader of the moderate Baptist party that left the Southern Baptist Convention to establish a truly moderate — neither liberal nor fundamentalist — Baptist group in the South. Read More…

(Thanks to David Iach for this link.)

Flashpoints: The Emerging Crisis in Europe.

A major new book by New York Times bestselling author and geopolitical forecaster George Friedman (The Next 100 Years) with a bold thesis about coming events in Europe, this provocative work examines ‘flashpoints’—unique geopolitical hotspots where tensions have erupted throughout history—and why conflict is due to emerge again.

“There is a temptation, when you are around George Friedman, to treat him like a Magic 8-Ball.” —The New York Times Magazine Read More…

Posted by: DanutM | 23 February 2015

Carl McColman – The Dazzling Darkness


“There is in God (some say)
A deep, but dazzling darkness”

— Henry Vaughan

“Truly, you are a God who hides himself,
O God of Israel, the Savior.”

— Isaiah 45:15

“Your brightness is my darkness. I know nothing of You and, by myself, I cannot even imagine how to go about knowing You. If I imagine You, I am mistaken. If I understand You, I am deluded. If I am conscious and certain I know You, I am crazy. The darkness is enough.”

— Thomas Merton,
Prayer Before Midnight Mass,
Christmas 1941

God is always present, yet hidden. When the metaphysical poet Henry Vaughan described God’s “dazzling darkness,” or Thomas Merton declared that God’s brightness is his darkness, they were participating in a mystical tradition that can be traced back through Saint John of the Cross (“the dark night of the soul”) to the anonymous author of The Cloud of Unknowing (who equated darkness with God’s mystery) all the way back to the great mystical theologian of the sixth century, Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite, who  eloquently spoke of God’s mystery as “hidden in the darkness beyond light, of the hidden mystical silence.” Read More…

Prezentare in cadrul Forumului Dialogos de la Arad, in 21 februarie 2015.

Prelegere sustinute de istoricul iesean Dr Dorin Dobrincu in cadrul Forumului Dialogos, simbata 21 februarie, la Arad.

Posted by: DanutM | 23 February 2015

560 de ani de la Biblia lui Gutenberg

Originally posted on Suceava Evanghelica:

În 1455, pe 23 februarie, era tipărită celebra Biblie a lui Gutenberg, Biblia de 42 de rânduri tipărită de Gutenberg este primul incunabul cunoscut, fiind considerată prima carte tipărită cu litere mobile din Europa. Din tirajul total, în toată lumea s-ar mai găsi, astăzi, aproximativ 45 de exemplare, din care unele incomplete.
Incunabul se numește un exemplar dintr-o carte tipărită în primii ani ai introducerii tiparului, mai precis, înainte de 31 decembrie 1500. Prin extensie, termenul este folosit pentru a desemna un exemplar care face parte dintre cele mai vechi tipărituri.


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Posted by: DanutM | 23 February 2015

Pope Francis – Miracle of Unity

This was recorded during a ‘meeting on Oct. 10 and the lunch at the pope’s Vatican residence, Casa Santa Marta, was in honor of Francis’s friend Bishop Tony Palmer, an Anglican evangelical who was killed in a motorcycle accident in August’ (see more about this HERE).

You may download HERE the transcript of this discussion.


Posted by: DanutM | 23 February 2015

Martin Marty – Pope Francis

Pope Francis greeting pilgrims
Pope Francis greeting pilgrims

Depressed, weary, or frightened by stories of USIS and ISIS and other horrors, plus by debates over “religious extremism” and the role of Islam, we focus instead on the not-unimportant figure of Pope Francis, who makes news and inspires reflection. We recommend as a jumping off point Eamon Duffy’s review of three major books: “Who Is This Pope?” which is easy to access online (see “Sources” at the end of this column.)

For a change, we also word-searched “Protestants and Pope Francis” and were astonished to observe how many and how varied were the answers to Duffy’s question, “Who Is This Pope?”

Note first how acceptable this pope is among what many consider “standard-brand ecumenical Protestants,” who historically were on the front lines of engaging, interpreting, plus—until the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) and some aftermath operations—critiquing and opposing the Roman Catholic Church.

Their spokespersons in the aftermath had much to criticize in Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. They cheer Pope Francis for many of his ways. Read More…

Posted by: DanutM | 23 February 2015

Richard Rohr – Right and Left

The idioms “Right” and “Left” came from the Estates General in France, where to the right of the throne sat the nobility and the clergy (interesting how the clergy moved over there, given Jesus’ poverty), and on the left sat the commoners–over 90 percent of the French population at that time. I suspect that some form of the Right is necessary for order and continuity in a culture, and some form of the Left is necessary for truth and reform in a culture. You need them both, and they recur in every culture in some form. It is only dualistic thinkers who cannot see this.


In the biblical tradition, these two poles are symbolized by the kings/priests and the prophets, beginning with the Egyptian Pharaoh, and the first prophet, Moses. There is a necessary tension between the kingly/priestly world view and the prophetic world view. There is only one instance in the Hebrew Scriptures that those two ever make friends, and then only barely. This is when David the King accepts the critique of Nathan the prophet after Nathan accuses David of his deceit, violence, and corruption. David has the humility to admit, “I have sinned against the Lord” (2 Samuel 12:13). Moreover, he does not chop Nathan’s head off, which is the norm in all of literature. It is this action that sets David on a course toward wholeness and holiness. But it is rare.

Read More…

Sightings logo

Despite my agreement with my esteemed colleagues Professors Bruce Lincoln and Anthony Yu in most aspects of their response in last week’s Sightings to an earlier  Sightings piece, “After the ‘Charlie Hebdo’ Massacre: Islam Must Open Itself To Critique,” by a third distinguished colleague, Professor Jean-Luc Marion, their conclusions strike me as ignoring important dimensions of the issues at hand.

The terrible events of January 7-9 in Paris were not, as they aver, the symptoms of social and economic disadvantage, or similar factors. Symptoms of such problems manifest themselves in France, as in many other countries, in increased petty crime, gang activity, drug use, elevated unemployment, occasional car-jackings, arson and riot, and the like.

Among these symptoms, I do not see fit to include targeted, cold-blooded murder, which is what took place in Paris. Read More…

Posted by: DanutM | 23 February 2015

Chawkat Moucarry – A Christian View of Islam

This lecture was delivered by my World Vision colleague Dr. Chawkat Moucarry, on Thursday 19 February 2015, at the Patriarch Ilia II Foundation in Tbilisi, Georgia, as part of its intellectual and spiritual development programme for youth. Over sixty young people participate in this lecture, which ended with a question – answer session and a little reception.

Posted by: DanutM | 23 February 2015

The ISIS horror show: what you now need to know


In case you want to really understand ISIS related things beyond the biases of the media.

Originally posted on Waging Wisdom:

higher learningSpeaking recently at the National Prayer Breakfast, President Obama called ISIS a “brutal, vicious death cult.” As the atrocities and inhumanity of the ISIS horror show spread and worsen, as air strikes continue, and as more combat troops are inserted, even people who have remained largely uninformed now know that they need at least some understanding of ISIS that goes beyond CNN or Fox News. So I thought it would be useful to gather in one place, for easy access, a number of short but informative articles on this.

Last year, over the space of two or three months on this blog, I posted several threads of well researched background articles that readers found helpful for learning what ISIS is on about. These non-sensationalistic but necessary pieces delve well beyond typical news coverage, talk radio punditry, political newspeak, and the religious hyper-ventilating that leaves far too many important questions…

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Posted by: DanutM | 23 February 2015

The Nazareth Home of Jesus?


interesting news

Originally posted on Larry Hurtado's Blog:

In the latest issue of Biblical Archaeology Review, archaeologist Ken Dark (University of Reading, his personal page here) recounts for a general readership his recent work in/around Nazareth, proposing identification of first-century house structures, and other features of first-century Nazareth: Ken Dark, “Has Jesus’ Nazareth House Been Found?” Biblical Archaeology Review 41, no. 2 (2015): 54-63, 72.

He contends that in that time Nazareth would have been a small town or large village, with craftsmen, plenty of fresh water (from several springs), and an economic level generally somewhat higher than some scholars have imagined.  There are a number of photos of structures and artefacts, as well to illustrate what he discusses.

He also contends that his survey of the surrounding area, particularly looking at the area between Nazareth and the larger and nearby town of Sepphoris (information here) suggests a striking difference in accommodation to Roman culture.  The…

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Posted by: DanutM | 23 February 2015

Biserica sub comunism, interviu Alfa Omega TV


Vasi Croitor – un interviu despre cartea lui, Rascumpararea memoriei

Originally posted on Răscumpărarea memoriei:

Acest articol reprezintă transcrierea interviului acordat postului Alfa Omega TV în noiembrie 2014, transcriere publicată ulterior în revista AOTV. Mai jos sunt și înregistrările video. A fost primul interviu dat „la rece”, în care a fost discutată esența cărții.

vasilica croitor material extras cavvasilica croitor interviu
Un interviu de exceptie despre Biserica evanghelica in perioada comunista (cu accent pe Biserica Penticostala din care pastorul V. Croitor face parte), bazat pe un studiu prelungit al arhivelor Securitatii. Este prezentata istoria si o radiografie a starii Bisericii in perioada comunista, tehnici de control, persecutie si compromitere a liderilor Bisericii de catre autoritatile comuniste, forme de rezistenta a crestinilor, problema restaurarii “turnatorilor” care au colaborat cu comunistii. La final, este prezentata nevoia de reforma a Bisericii pe 3 nivele – reforma morala, institutionala, spirituala – precum si tranzitia de la program de biserica la o abordare relevanta pentru societate.

Sunt născut în Suceava, dar din 1997, când am terminat Institutul Teologic…

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Christian de Chergé
Christian de Chergé

If it should happen one day — and it could be today — that I become a victim of the terrorism which now seems ready to encompass all the foreigners living in Algeria, I would like my community, my Church, my family, to remember that my life was given to God and to this country. I ask them to accept that the One Master of all life was not a stranger to this brutal departure. I ask them to pray for me: for how could I be found worthy of such an offering? I ask them to be able to associate such a death with the many other deaths that were just as violent, but forgotten through indifference and anonymity.

My life has no more value than any other. Nor any less value. In any case, it has not the innocence of childhood. I have lived long enough to know that I share in the evil which seems, alas, to prevail in the world, even in that which would strike me blindly. I should like, when the time comes, to have a clear space which would allow me to beg forgiveness of God and of all my fellow human beings, and at the same time to forgive with all my heart the one who would strike me down. Read More…

A Government Mouthpiece Reports on a Missionary Movement | ChinaSource.

This is quite remarkable. An official Chinese journal comments of the dangerous missionary endeavours of Chinese Christians in Muslim countries.

Posted by: DanutM | 22 February 2015

Richard Rohr – Who Would Want to Be a Prophet?

By definition, the prophet has to be on the edge of the inside of institutional religion. It’s a hard position to hold, and it must be held both structurally and personally, with wisdom and grace. There are many times it would be easier to leave the system or to play the company man/woman and just go along with the game. Jesus understood this. He loved and respected his Jewish religion, yet he pushed the envelope wide open. He often healed people on the Sabbath, which was a deliberate statement against making a practice into a dogma that was higher than human need (Matthew 12:1-8). Yet he honored the same Jewish establishment by telling some he had healed to “go show yourselves to the priests” (Luke 17:14). Jesus walked the thin line of a true prophet, or what Ken Wilber so wisely names as the central principle, “transcend and include.”

Read More…


Sanctitatea Sa Patriarhul Tawadros al II-lea a anunțat includerea celor 21 de Noi Martiri Copţi din Libia în Sinaxarul al Bisericii Ortodoxe Copte ieri, 21 februarie 2015. În fiecare an pomenirea lor se va face la data de 8 Amshir în calendarul copt, ceea ce corespunde zilei de 15 februarie în calendarul Gregorian şi celei de 2 februarie în calendarul iulian. Tot în aceeași zi, Biserica Coptă – care are mulţi credincioşi mai cu seamă în Egipt şi Etiopia –  sărbătoreşte Întâmpinarea la Templu a Domnului nostru Isus Christos.

Includerea Noilor Martiri în Sinaxarul Bisericii Copte este recunoaşterea sfinţeniei martirajului lor, echivalentul canonizării în celelalte Biserici.

Numele noilor martiri, aşa cum au fost anunţate de Episcopul Bisericii Copte Anba Ermia, sunt:

1. Milad Makeen Zaky
2. Abanub Ayad Atiya
3. Maged Solaiman Shehata
4. Yusuf Shukry Yunan
5. Kirollos Shokry Fawzy
6. Bishoy Astafanus Kamel
7. Somaily Astafanus Kamel
8. Malak Ibrahim Sinweet
9.Tawadros Yusuf Tawadros
10. Girgis Milad Sinweet
11. Mina Fayez Aziz
12. Hany Abdelmesih Salib
13. Bishoy Adel Khalaf
14. Samuel Alham Wilson
15. Muncitor din localitatea Awr
16. Ezat Bishri Naseef
17. Loqa Nagaty
18. Gaber Munir Adly
19. Esam Badir Samir
20. Malak Farag Abram
21. Sameh Salah Faruq

Papa Francisc a spus cu referire la aceşti 21 de creştini martirizaţi: “Au fost asasinaţi doar pentru că erau creştini. Sângele fraţilor noştri creştini este o mărturie care îşi înalţă glasul. Fie că sunt catolici, ortodocşi, copţi sau luterani, nu contează: sunt creştini! Sângele este acelaşi. Sângele dă mărturie pentru Cristos. Amintindu-i pe aceşti fraţi care au murit doar pentru faptul de a-l fi mărturisit pe Cristos, vă cer să ne încurajăm unii pe alţii să mergem înainte pe calea ecumenismului, pe care o încurajează ecumenismul sângelui. Martirii sunt ai tuturor creştinilor”.

(Sursa, AICI)

Posted by: DanutM | 22 February 2015

Fr Richard Rohr on Liberation and Poverty

I believe the Exodus story–with Moses and the Jewish people–is the root of all liberation theology, which Jesus clearly exemplifies in the synoptic Gospels (see Luke 4:18-19). Liberation theology focuses on freeing people from religious, political, social, and economic oppression (i.e., what Pope John Paul II called “structural sin” and “institutional evil”). It goes beyond just trying to free individuals from their own particular “naughty behaviors,” which is what sin has seemed to mean to most Christian people in our individualistic culture.

Liberation theology, instead of legitimating the status quo, tries to read reality, history, and the Bible not from the side of the powerful, but from the side of the pain. Its beginning point is not sin management, but “Where is the suffering?” This makes all the difference in how we read the Bible.

God sees all the many kinds of suffering in the world. The world tends to define poverty and riches simply in terms of economics. But poverty has many faces–weakness, dependence, or humiliation. Essentially, poverty is a lack of means to accomplish what one desires, be it lack of money, relationships, influence, power, intellectual ability, physical strength, freedom, or dignity. Scriptures promise that God will take care of such people, because they know they have to rely on God.

After the tragic events in Paris on the 7th of January, the director of a major weekly magazine declared that democracy gives the right to blasphemy. Such a radical statement of freedom of speech may seem shocking, but is a long-standing practice within the French culture going back to the Enlightenment, Voltaire being the emblematic figure. Tolerated under the Ancien Regime, it was adopted as a principle in the Declaration of human rights and became effective with the abolition of the blasphemy law in 1830; it was confirmed in 1905 in the legislation on the separation of Church and State.

Of course we are all in favour of freedom of conscience (thus freedom of religion) and of speech, whether in words or caricatures. Minorities in France such as Jews and Protestants have paid a very heavy tribute because of its absence. Though double-edged, satire even with regards to religious matters can be healthy and thought-provoking! But ‘one cannot scoff at everything and deride what is left’ without measuring the consequences of one’s action. Contempt, scorn and disrespect towards someone and their belief or world and life view is to be regarded as irresponsible behaviour and reveals a total lack of consideration for one’s neighbour. This of course doesn’t imply that we should avoid challenging one another nor should we shy away from a healthy debate. Ideas matter and are of paramount importance. We are what we think. But the principle of the love and respect of one’s neighbour implies that we consider carefully both the content and the form of our speech and caricature.

In fact, French law establishes limits to freedom of speech. One can for example be sued for abuse and slander, for discrimination and racism as well as anti-Semitism and revisionism. Why then such complacency in French culture and legislation towards offences against religious belief? Since the Enlightenment, divine transcendence has gradually been excluded from the public sphere. A contemporary thinker recently said that one of the major differences between the American and French Revolutions was that the latter lacked any reference to God. Conceived on a purely horizontal level, it was an expression of humanism. As a consequence, religious belief is incompatible with a man-centred world and life view and its present resurgence creates perplexity and hostility among many of our contemporaries. Since the sense of sacredness is considered as unreal at best, as a speech event and as fiction it should have disappeared from the cultural and social environment by now! Apparently humanism doesn’t account for an essential aspect of reality, the invisible world with God as its apex. The freedom of blasphemy can thus be seen as an illusory attempt to negate and even to eradicate it!

That’s why beyond the question of freedom of conscience and of speech (however important they may be) the real issue at hand is related to what constitutes the foundation of a civilization. As André Malraux said prophetically many years ago: ‘The nature of a civilization is made up of the sum of what is brought together by a religion. Our civilization is unable to build either temple or tomb. It has the obligation to find an ultimate value or to decline and fall into decadence.’ If we are to meet the challenge of the Islamic religious world and life view and its drifts towards violence and terror, humanism with its rejection of the supernatural reality, so well illustrated in the ideology underlying CHARLIE HEBDO, will not suffice. It is thus of paramount importance for the French and European cultures to rediscover their Judeo-Christian roots and to place the infinite and personal God who has not kept silent at the centre of its value system, including the key notion of the separation of religious communities and State.

Pierre Berthoud

Pierre Berthoud
Professor Emeritus, Faculté Jean Calvin
Chair of the Fellowship of European Evangelical Theologians

(Source, HERE)




Frank Wolf

Former American congressman Frank Wolf, who ‘recently co-founded the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative and accepted an appointment to a newly endowed chair for religious freedom at Baylor University’, has suggested, together with his colleagues in the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative a six points plan for the preservation of Christians in Iraq. Here they are, as presented in a recent article in Christianity Today:

  • Create the Nineveh Plains province in Iraq to shelter Christians and other minorities.
  • Establish the Nineveh Protection Unit, a defensive National Guard. (This is already in formation.)
  • Allow faith-based relief and development groups to operate openly in the region.
  • Require the return of property, especially churches and monasteries, confiscated by the Islamic State.
  • Require the Kurdistan regional government to insure religious freedom for all groups.
  • Prosecute terrorists for crimes against humanity, war crimes, and if needed, for genocide.
Posted by: DanutM | 21 February 2015

Beating Back ISIS


Martin Accad does again a brilliant analysis of the latest moves of ISIS and the different positions Western media took on this.
Thanks a lot, Martin.

Originally posted on The Institute of Middle East Studies:

By Martin Accad

Every few days, we seem to wake up to another massacre committed by ISIS. And these are, of course, only the ones that the media reports. ISIS, in reality, is committing massacres on a daily basis. We have become familiar with their crimes in Syria and Iraq since last summer. But now their latest playfield, we are learning, is Libya. And their latest scapegoats are the Copts of Egypt.

In a recent, 21-page long analysis in The Atlantic, entitled ‘What ISIS Really Wants,’ Graeme Wood argues that the ISIS interpretation and application of Islam is one of many ‘legitimate’ manifestations of Islam. He nowhere argues that this is the only, or even the main, interpretation of the religion. Therefore, though it is important also to read and be aware of Wood’s critiques, it seems to me that many have been too quick in…

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ANALYSIS: The strange masochism of Labour-supporting evangelicals | Lapido Media – Centre for Religious Literacy in World Affairs.

Whether you agree or not with the thesis of this article, the analysis of the way evangelicals in Britain vote is interesting and important.

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