Priest in Bagdhad – ‘People are so scared’

Andrew White, Anglican priest in Bagdhad

Greetings from Baghdad.

The new slaughter of the Christians here in Iraq continues in the last hour there have been 12 attacks on Christian homes in Baghdad. All are at risk, there is nothing we can do to guarantee safety. We can though pray and from tomorrow we are starting three days of fasting.

People are so very frightened. Frightened for their lives. Last week’s massacre is still being felt and there is no sense of security whatsoever. Their future is uncertain. Continue reading “Priest in Bagdhad – ‘People are so scared’”

Dr. Muhammad Farooq Khan – A Pakistani Martyr for Peace

This is a very sad night for me. I have just received news that a good friend in Pakistan, Dr.Muhammad Farooq Khan, has been killed today in the Swat Valley. He was for a long time on the Taliban hit list, because of his moderate views. He was a good man and a man of peace. The world will be poorer without him. May Allah rest him in peace!

I have met Dr. Farooq a few years ago in Istanbul, at a Channels of Hope training. Channels of Hope is a World Vision programme training Christian and Muslim leaders on alleviation of stygma related to HIV & AIDS.

After this training, Dr. Farooq, a well known psychiatrist and a public personality of national stature in Pakistan, has been involved in training Muslim leaders in his country for using this effective methodology. Continue reading “Dr. Muhammad Farooq Khan – A Pakistani Martyr for Peace”

Nine Believers Arrested in Iran

Iranian State television reported the arrest of nine people on the charge of carrying out evangelism just outside of Hamedan, a well-informed Christian Network reported on Wednesday, September 15.

According to an Iranian State Television report monitored by the Farsi Christian News Network (FCNN) these nine Christians were cooperating with Christian-Zionist organizations.  The TV report labeled those arrested as “Christian Zionists” and “evangelicals”. However, it did not mention their relationship with Israel. Continue reading “Nine Believers Arrested in Iran”

Martin Marty – Franklin Graham on Islam and Violence

I don’t think it will be a surprise for anybody if I said I do not like Franklin Graham.  Nor do I think he cares much. Worse for him though is that, the saying goes, his father, Billy Graham, does not like him too much either. And how could one like such a big mouth that, more often than not, speaks before his mind starts running and the two catch up when the damage is already done? Billy Graham, who, in spite of his human mistakes, was a world level diplomat, knows better than that.

Franklin, like many American fundamentalist Evangelicals today, picks regularly on the Muslims. Since  everything is, supposedly, perfect with their own religion, they are now on a… crusade? (good heavens) to sort out the religions of others. At any price, as long as they are not the ones paying for it.

It seems that Franklin has done it again, in the context of the Koran burning rage, and, thus, he became, again, the topic of Martin Marty’s musings in the latest issue of Sightings. Here it is, fully deserved. As Kate Moos, from Speaking of Faith, says here, ‘Martin Marty rarely swings for the fences, but when he does, he knocks it out of the park’.

* * * Continue reading “Martin Marty – Franklin Graham on Islam and Violence”

Robert Hunt on Religious Freedom

Dr. Robert A. Hunt

There is a lot of discussion these days about the supposed superiority of the ‘Christian’ West on Muslim (and other world faiths) societies in terms of religious freedom, as well as a lot of ignorance concerning the ambivalent and slow development of this concept in Christian societies.

In the article quoted below, Dr. Robert A. Hunt, an expert on Contemporary Muslim societies and movements, Muslim-Christian relations, inter-religious relations as well as inter-religious and inter-faith dialogue, brings us with our feet on the ground and advises us, implicitly, to approach this matter with much more caution, humility and patience towards others, avoiding to impose on them, against their will (by force, or otherwise) our worldviews, as superior as they may be. Continue reading “Robert Hunt on Religious Freedom”

Testamentul spiritual al Fratelui Christian de Chergé

Când se profilează un „Adio”

Dacă mi s-ar întâmpla într-o bună zi – poate chiar astăzi – să cad victimă terorismului care pare să-i ţintească acum pe toţi străinii care trăiesc în Algeria, mi-aş dori ca obştea mănăstirii mele, Biserica mea, familia mea, să-şi amintească de faptul că viaţa mea a fost DĂRUITĂ lui Dumnezeu şi acestei ţări.

Să accepte că singurul Stăpân al vieţii tuturor nu a fost nicidecum străin de această plecare violentă. Să se roage pentru mine: oare cum mă voi afla vrednic de o asemenea ofrandă? Să ştie să pună această moarte alături de atâtea altele, la fel de violente, lăsate în indiferenţa anonimatului. Viaţa mea nu este mai de preţ decât o alta. Nu este nici mai prejos decât o alta. În orice caz, ea nu are nevinovăţia copilăriei. Am trăit îndeajuns de mult să mă ştiu complice răului care vai, pare să predomine în lume, şi chiar şi-al celui care m-ar lovi orbeşte. Continue reading “Testamentul spiritual al Fratelui Christian de Chergé”

Christian de Chergé, un martir contemporan

Dom Christian de Chergé, OSCO (Ordinul Cistercienilor de Stricta Ascultare) s-a nascut la Colmar, in Franta. A fost hirotonit ca preot catolic la 21 martie 1964, si la 20 august 1969 s-a alaturat Manastirii Notre Dame d’Atlas din Algeria, al carei prior (abate) a devenit din 1984. (Mai multe despre ordinul cistercienilor, AICI.)

In 27 martie 1996, Christian a fost rapit din manastire, impreuna cu alti sase calugari. Toti cei sapte au fost ucisi in data de 21 mai a aceluiasi an. Nici acum nu se stie daca autorii acestei crime odioase au fost fortele islamiste rebele sau insasi armata algeriana.

Redau mai jos testamentul acestui martir contemporan, devenit de atunci un text clasic al spiritualitatii crestine, mai intii in versiunea originala franceza si apoi in traducere in limba engleza (la care au probabil acces mai multi cititori ai acestiu blog. Documentul a fost scris cu mai mult de un an inaintea mortii sale si a fost descoperit abia dupa acest trist eveniment, la 26 mai 1996. (Poate incerca cineva o traducere buna in limba romana? Daca da, ma ofer sa editez traducerea si sa o public aici.) Continue reading “Christian de Chergé, un martir contemporan”

Des Hommes et des Dieux (Of Gods and Men)

Continue reading “Des Hommes et des Dieux (Of Gods and Men)”

Palestinian Christians

Motto:  “A strong Palestinian church is the best chance for future reconciliation between Palestinian & Israeli people“ – Palestinian Prime Minister, Dr. Salaam Fayyad

The Arab Palestinian Christians have deep roots in the Holy Land. The great majority, estimated at 400,000 worldwide or roughly 6.5 % of all Palestinians, are of indigenous stock, whose mother tongue is Arabic and whose history takes them back, or at least some of them, to the early church.

Of the 750,000 Palestinians that were forced from their homes in 1948, some 60,000 were Christians, 7% of the total number of refugees and 35 % of the total number of Christians living in Palestine at the time. A further estimated 180,000 have subsequently departed. Continue reading “Palestinian Christians”

Religious Intolerance in Kosova

I have received recently the English translation of an article published in Albania, in the Kosova media, about the growing religious intolerance in this new country. The author, Nga Gani Mehmetaj, is a known journalist and director of KosovaFilm, a state-owned film company. He is a member of the Evangelical Protestant Church in Kosova.

The translation is far from perfect, but it is good enough to be understood by those who do not know Albanian.

Please read below the translated text. The original article can be found HERE.

Continue reading “Religious Intolerance in Kosova”

On the Muslim Brotherhood in Romania

I have received some day ago this interesting quote about the presence of the Muslim Brotherhood in Romania, from a friend who studies this movement for academic purposes.

Dear Danut,

I’ve just stumbled on a dated article on Islam in Romania. It has a brief description of an Arab group I’m particularly interested (the Muslim Brotherhood/ the Wasatiyya movement). They also operate in Ukraine and that’s the context for my research. However, they are highly active in the rest of Europe, and come under the umbrella of the Federation of the Muslim Organisations in Europe. I’ve just reaslised that the group associated with the MB has been active in your hometown as well. Here is a quote (Lederer, Gyorgy (1996) ‘Islam in Romania’, Central Asian Survey, 15: 3, 349 — 368): Continue reading “On the Muslim Brotherhood in Romania”

Pastor Artur Suleimanov Killed in Dagestan

Zina and Artur Suleimanov were pastoring the Hosanna Church – the largest Pentecostal Church in the southern Russian republic of Dagestan (see the picture below).

Continue reading “Pastor Artur Suleimanov Killed in Dagestan”

15 ani de la masacrul din Srebrenica – UPDATE

Exact acum zece ani, in 11 iulie 2000, vizitam pentru prima oara Sarajevo, in Bosnia. In acea zi, atmosfera in oras era sumbra si televiziunea transmitea in permanenta programe legata de consecintele razboiului din Iugoslavia.

Se implineau atunci 5 ani de masacrul din Srebrenica, in care peste 8.000 de barbati au fost ucisi cu singe rece de militarii sirbi condusi de generalul Ratko Mladici, care se afla si in prezent in libertate – o tragedie care ar fi putut evitata daca contingentul de 400 de soldati olandezi din forta de pace ONU ar fi intervenit asa cum se cuvenea .

Continue reading “15 ani de la masacrul din Srebrenica – UPDATE”

Crestini persecutati in Pakistan – din nou despre Gojra

Anul trecut, in august, anuntam AICI si AICI teribila tragedie care a lovit comunitatea crestina din Goira, in Punjab, Pakistan. Iata mai jos o serie de inagini legate de aceste tragice si regretabile evenimente.

Ii multumesc lui Dumnezeu pentru sansa pe mi-a dat-o de a oferi, prin intermediul World Vision, un ajutor celor loviti de aceasta napasta.

Liberty University Finally Decides to Investigate the Lies of Ergun Caner – NEW UPDATE

Ergun Caner, president of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, the self-appointed expert in Islam and a staunch promoter of Islamophobia among American Evangelicals, has been accused in the last years, on various blogs and lately in the media, of being a fraud and a liar.

Continue reading “Liberty University Finally Decides to Investigate the Lies of Ergun Caner – NEW UPDATE”

Richard Mouw – Building the Bridge: Evangelicals and Muslims Together

Dr. Richard J Mouw

It is a great honor for me to be invited to speak to you this evening. I care deeply about the kind of in-depth dialogue that you folks are engaged in at this conference, and I am honored by the very fact that you would ask me to add some of my own thoughts to the discussion. I have to be clear at the outset, though, about something that I hope you know already: that when it comes to the in-depth understanding of the subject matter of this conference, I am at best an amateur among experts. But I do care deeply about relationships between evangelicals and Muslims. And the fact that the title of this conference refers to the larger context of “religion in the public square” gives me a little bit of encouragement, since I have devoted much energy to thinking about, and contributing to, the broader dialogue about religion and public life.

Continue reading “Richard Mouw – Building the Bridge: Evangelicals and Muslims Together”

Scot McKnight about the Israeli-Gaza incident

Here are some of the questions that Scot McKnight asks about the latest militarist act of the state of Israel (and my short answers):

  • Was that boat, or the flotilla, properly contacted in advance to say the boats must pass inspection? Is this protocol?
They obviously did not. The Israeli never bother to do such things when Palestinians are concerned.

Evangelical Christians and Muslims Engage in Bridges of Faith Conversation

May 17, 2010

Evangelical Christians and Muslims Engage in “Bridges of Faith” Conversation

Toronto – Evangelical Christian and Muslim scholars and religious leaders met May 13-15 in Toronto for the fourth in a series of “extended conversations” between the two faith traditions. The dialogue, titled “Foundations of Our Faith: Religion in the Public Square,” is part of an ongoing effort to “reach out across the religious boundaries despite the recognized differences in some of our essential religious beliefs,” according to organizers.

Continue reading “Evangelical Christians and Muslims Engage in Bridges of Faith Conversation”

The Diary of A Psychiatrist – Update

The Diary of A Psychiatrist, an extremely interesting film by my friend Khalid Hussain, a window into real life in Pakistan, including the conflict between the Muslim majority and the Christian minority.

Continue reading “The Diary of A Psychiatrist – Update”

Ce legatura exista intre pietism, nazism si sionism?

Manfred W. Kohl – Oversees Council

In luna martie a acestui an participam la conferinta Christ at the Checkpoint, organizata de Bethlehem Bible College. Una dintre cele mai interesante prezentar din cadrul acesti reuniuni teologice a fost aceea a lui Manfred Kohl, fost Director at World Vision Germania si in prezent Director de dezvoltare al Oversees Council, o organizatie care sustine peste o suta de seminarii teologice din tari in curs de dezvoltare.

Lucrarea lui Kohl s-a concentrat pe istoria si caracteristicile pietismului, o miscare de revigorare a luteranismului care  avut o influenta decisiva asupra teologiei, a spiritualitatii si a practicii sociale a evanghelicilor.

Continue reading “Ce legatura exista intre pietism, nazism si sionism?”

Iraqi Church Leaders Call for End to Violence

(Source of picture: New York Times)

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Following the double bombing of a convoy of buses carrying Christian students and university workers, the General Secretariat of the Council of the Christian Church Leaders of Iraq (CCCLI) invited members of the Council to convene in emergency session in Qaraqosh. The attack near Mosul in northern Iraq on Sunday 2 May 2010 destroyed three buses and partially damaged two others. One person was killed, and 188 were seriously injured. The buses fell victim to a car bomb and an improvised explosive device (IED) as they traveled from the district of Hamdaniya centre to the University of Mosul.

Continue reading “Iraqi Church Leaders Call for End to Violence”

CNN Tells the Story of Fatmire Feka

Fatmire is a 22 year old young lady from Kosova that World Vision has mentored to become a world level peace activist. As I have shared already on this blog (HERE and HERE), I had the privilege to visit her twice in her village home south of Mitrovica, Kosova, and I greatly admire her passion for peace and reconciliation.

Here is her story as told my CNN: Continue reading “CNN Tells the Story of Fatmire Feka”

The Apostles of Hate

Doug Howard, professor of history at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mi., writes in Books & Culture an incisive review of a strange book published last year in the US.

The author is Kamal Saleem (not his real name) and the book is called The Blood of Lambs. A Former Terrorist’s Memoir of Death and Redemption. I reproduce here a few excerpts from the review, as a teaser, for a text worth reading, because it exposes in  a lucid manner the kind of Islamophobic hysteria that dominates much of American Evangelicalism. Continue reading “The Apostles of Hate”

Patriarch Michel Sabbah on the situation of Palestinian Christians

Michel Sabbah, former Latin (Catholic) Patriarch of Jerusalem

This interview of His Beatitude Michel Sabbah, former Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, was taken recently by the journalist Laurent Grzybowski for the periodical La Vie (you may find HERE the text of this interview in French).

Continue reading “Patriarch Michel Sabbah on the situation of Palestinian Christians”

War and peace in Quran and the Bible

Philip Jenkins and Shaker Elsayed on war in the Bible and in the Quran, moderated by Riz Khan on Al Jazeera English.

Brother Andrew on Christian Jihad

Lynne Hybels on Christ at the Checkpoint

Channels of Hope – a Christian tool that became a blessing to Muslims

Christo Greyling is a Christian minister in South Africa. He became infected with HIV after a blood transfusion. He soon became painfully aware of the stigma and rejection that HIV&AIDS brings to those suffering from it, unfortunately also in the Christian community. That prompted him to create, together with a few health specialists and the support of World Vision International, a programme for church and community leaders, called ‘Channels of Hope’ and aimed at awareness raising and alleviation of stigma related to HIV&AIDS. Continue reading “Channels of Hope – a Christian tool that became a blessing to Muslims”

Pakistan: Attack on World Vision staff brutal and senseless – UPDATE

Last year I spent a wonderful week in Pakistan, visiting with my colleagues there. Among other things, I have spent a delightful night in Oghi, in the World Vision team house with my Muslim Pakistani colleagues. Now, six of them are dead and other eight are injured, fightin:g for their life as a result of a senseless attach from Muslim fundamentalists.

May God have mercy on them, their families and their attackers.

Here is an official message from World Vision on this tragic incident: Continue reading “Pakistan: Attack on World Vision staff brutal and senseless – UPDATE”

Together, But Divided – A Journey Through Cyprus

Being in Cyprus at this time, I can see again how painful is the separation between the Greek part of the island and the Turkish occupied part.

If you are interested to understand better the situation in this place, I recommend to you a very well made and well balanced Deutche Welle documentary on this theme. You may find it HERE.