The New York Times covers ISIS’ final blow to remaining communities of Chaldeans, Assyrians and others who claim the name of Christ in Iraq’s Mosul.  Many made their home on the plains of Nineveh in the north of the country, an area mentioned in the Bible’s Book of Genesis.

Read the full story here.

 

Originally posted on Daniel Hill's Blog:

courthourse

A bunch of you asked me on FB and Twitter if I’d write a little bit more about the trial yesterday, so here is the more extended version.

I drove down to Murphysborough, IL yesterday (this is their courthouse above) to testify on behalf of a young woman that has been part of our congregation since she was a teenager. It is a case that’s been dragging on since her senior year of college at SIU, and yesterday was the sentencing.

It’s not unusual for me to be in court with one of the younger members of my congregation. I’ve had to come to grips with the fact that even the smallest offense can turn into an epic punishment for someone that doesn’t have the luxury of being white.

That reality was on full display yesterday. Usually when I go as a character witness to speak on behalf of someone…

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Guest writer  Camille J. Hallstrom provides a rarely reported glimpse of Ugandan Christian leaders as they have attempted to “inject charity into lawmakers’ understanding” of the issues leading to that country’s recent legislation passed regarding homosexual behavior.  She examines pivotal events in Ugandan history  that greatly inform the culture on this issue, and presents insight into the effects of the involvement of Western rights activists.  

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If Western rights activists wish to actually help conditions in Uganda to improve and not worsen, they must develop cultural sensitivity and humility, seeking dialogue with those on the ground who have a proven track record in pursuing mercy and charity with lawmakers. – CH

As is not uncommon, when the West deals with a different society, it can be culturally insensitive and consequently heavy handed.  Those who deplore the current Ugandan anti-homosexuality legislation must realize that the West’s behavior and tactics have helped to push the law into existence.  Furthermore, those who deplore the legislation should be careful of whom they call enemies, since they may be attacking the very persons who have worked to keep draconian laws from being put on the books. Continue Reading »

I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Kyuboem Lee a few years ago while I was attending seminary.  Dr. Lee is the general editor of the Journal of Urban Mission, adjunct professor and lecturer in Urban Mission at Biblical Seminary in Philadelphia. He has served for decades as an urban pastor.

Before I met Kyuboem, I would hear students already acquainted with him call him “Kyu.” I had never heard any more than that of his name, and had never seen his name in print. But with such a moniker, he already carried an air of mystery. To activate my imagination even further, his name was spoken in hushed and reverent tones.

“‘Q’ is on campus…” Continue Reading »

International flights always provide the opportunity to gaze through an airplane’s window, lost in thought.

Given this past week’s events of Dennis Rodman’s widely publicized trip to North Korea, I am hoping that as he wings his way home he will take considerable time to think.

For Mr. Rodman, the necessary apologies have been made, and for the duration of his flight he is away from scrutiny. However, he returns home facing a new patina of tarnish on his reputation; once he lands, he must confront the ramifications of playing a modern-day “Marilyn Monroe” to Kim Jong Un’s “John F. Kennedy”.

If I were Rodman gazing out of that window, I would no doubt marvel at my ability to travel to distant lands, and stand among the leaders of nations; as African Americans, this was not always so easy for us to do. Continue Reading »

Heroes are, most often, simple people standing at the intersection of a moment of crisis and pre-established values. -K. A. Ellis

Over the last few days, the story of brave 17-year-old Aitzaz Hasan has broken through the borders of Islamabad and onto the global scene. Echoing Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai’s globally publicized ordeal, Hasan thwarted an assault on his school by a would-be suicide bomber, by chasing the bomber away from the school. Unlike Miss Yousafzai however, Hasan did not survive the attack. As the bomber detonated his weapon of destruction during the chase, Hasan gave his life so that hundreds of his classmates might live.

Each day, heroic acts are committed, and many of their actors will go unsung. Generally speaking, heroes are not glory-seekers. They are, most often, simple people standing at the intersection of a moment of crisis and pre-established values.

What catches our attention with young Hasan is the juxtaposition of the two deaths: one person’s self-destruction that only held significance in yielding the deaths of others, contrasted with a second death, made far more significant by the numbers who survived.

It’s easy to name the true hero in this situation; the one who would die so that others might live, a pattern that those who affirm life cannot deny for its larger significance.

Those of us who believe in the God of Redemption can easily see the echoes of the ultimate sacrifice of life for lives.

The Associated Press gives Hasan’s full story here.

ImageHow does one begin to explain this feeling?

Korean culture has a name for it … they call it Han.

Han. The overwhelming feeling of helplessness in the face of irreversible cultural sorrow; a cold fist that reaches deep into a people’s collective soul, only to pull away having grasped a fistful of emptiness and despair.

Something…  simply…  is…  not…  right. Continue Reading »

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