By G. Jeffrey MacDonald For the past two months, worshipers at St. Columba’s Church in Washington, D.C., have been met by a new kind of greeter: an armed, off-duty police officer in a marked police vehicle. He is there to deter violence and respond if a gunman should ever open fire. Call it a sign of the times. St. Columba’s took the step as calls for security grew louder … [Read more...] about How Should Churches Protect their People?
Middle Eastern Christians are on the brink of “imminent extinction,” the Archbishop of Canterbury has warned. Writing in The Daily Telegraph ahead of a Westminster Abbey service to celebrate the contribution of Christians in the region, he said Christians face a “daily threat of murder.” In the last few years, he said, they have been slaughtered by Islamic State, and in … [Read more...] about Abp. Welby on a ‘Daily Threat of Murder’
By G. Jeffrey MacDonald Participants hopping from one hotel to the next for General Convention meetings got a sobering reality check July 7 as Bishop Samuel Enosa Peni of Nzara, South Sudan, briefed the World Mission Committee on the deteriorating situation in his country. “In only two years, the crisis came again — worse than it was before,” Bishop Peni said, referring … [Read more...] about Sudanese Bishop Pleads for Rescue
Religious-freedom activists feel heightening concerns for Pakistan’s Christian minority. Recent months have shown a sharp upturn in persecution and an increasing numbers of blasphemy cases. Now Christians face another imposition after a ruling by Pakistan’s High Court that all citizens must declare their religion when applying for identity documents. Pakistan has strict laws … [Read more...] about Concerns for Pakistani Christians
Words & Photos by Asher Imtiaz. Poetry by Mari Reitsma Chevako. As a photojournalist and a Pakistani living in the United States, I was searching for an experience in the heart of the country that was authentically American and different from my experiences in previous travels. I chose a trip to Nebraska for the Independence Day weekend. What I found was something I … [Read more...] about From Captivity to Freedom
Videos and photos from Rowaid Hesa’s hometown of Qaraqosh, Iraq, give him no comfort these days in central Massachusetts, where he landed after fleeing Iraq four years ago. The images depict only devastation left by Islamic State militants, who forced all remaining Christians to leave town in a caravan in 2014. Still, he watches them because they show his family’s plight. … [Read more...] about A Marshall Plan for Iraq
Archbishop Justin Welby reflects on meeting Iraqi Christians in Jordan, on the first day of his visit to Jordan, Israel, and the Occupied Palestinian Territories: One woman told me that she can endure persecution as a Christian because the Bible teaches that that is to be expected. What she did not expect was that the worldwide church would ignore their plight. As we left … [Read more...] about ‘We Must Embrace Them’
By John Martin A religious freedom and advocacy charity based in the United Kingdom has expressed anger about a United Nations committee vote to deny its application for observer status with the body giving voice to Non-Governmental Organizations. The application by Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), which has been continually deferred since 2009, was finally rejected … [Read more...] about U.N. Spurns Freedom Watchdog