The hope of Peter and Paul

The news out of Syria worsens by the day. I tweeted a string of stories yesterday morning that tax the soul: priests murdered, one horrifically beheaded on video; a suicide bombing near Maryamiyya Cathedral; Syrian Christians reasonably asking why the U.S. is at war with them.Reading these stories can lead a person down a dark path of human emotions -- hatred and despair being perhaps the most prominent. But today the church celebrates two men who might add a peculiar hope to that mix. … [Read more...]

The Bible’s answer to corrupt government and false religion

The book of Daniel is a lot of things, but one is a sustained critique of corrupt government and false religion.Nebuchadnezzar, representing both, swings into view immediately. The Babylonian king has defeated Judah and taken not only its leading citizens into captivity, but also the sacred vessels from the Jerusalem temple. These he deposits in the temple of his god.The young Daniel is one of Hebrews taken captive, as are his friends Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (or by their … [Read more...]

Egyptian Christians weather ‘climate of impunity’

Entryway of St. Mark's Coptic Cathedral

Christians in Egypt suffer amid a "climate of impunity," according to the U.S. State Department's newly released International Religious Freedom Report.Despite word of positive developments -- including prosecution for the murder of a Coptic man and occasionally increased police security for threatened Copts -- the meager gains hardly diminish the unimaginable threats regularly faced by believers in one of the world's oldest bodies of Christians."While recognized and unrecognized … [Read more...]

Egypt intensifies crackdown on Christians, dissidents

President Morsi

A Christian schoolteacher in Egypt has been detained by authorities for allegedly insulting Islam and Muhammad. Demyana Emad is twenty-three and teaches social studies at the Sheik Sultan Primary School in Luxor. She denies the charge and claims extremists urged students to falsely accuse her.The allegation is troubling. Last year another Christian teacher, Bishoy Kamel, was sentenced to six years in prison on similar charges, including insulting Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi. Covering … [Read more...]

Tech highlights revival of the faith in Russia

video

I found this video very moving. It captures scenes from an exhibition on Orthodoxy in Moscow. It's touching to see the deep reverence shown by the faithful. And it's horrifying to view the footage of the Communists and their destruction of churches and icons.Even for for those of us in the West who've never witnessed anything like this, nor have any cultural memory of such barbarism, it's a soul-wrenching thing to behold. Watch it twice. … [Read more...]

Christians suffering, dying in anonymity around the world: New book exposes their plight

Persecuted by Paul Marshall, Lela Gilbert, and Nina Shea

After gathering to protest the Muslim Brotherhood at their suburban Cairo headquarters, several of the demonstrators, mostly Coptic Christians, were dragged by Brotherhood thugs to a nearby mosque after Friday prayers and tortured.Mosque officials were apparently powerless to stop the hours-long assault, which for one man resulted in a broken skull, broken arm, bleeding in the right eye, and wounds from birdshot.I learned of the story yesterday morning, moments before attending a panel … [Read more...]

Egyptian Christians seek unity amid strife

Pope Tawadros II

While Egyptian Christians face ongoing strife in their Muslim-majority nation, there are signs of encouragement as leaders of five different Christian groups begin meeting for the first time to forge a way forward together.Evangelical, Anglican, Catholic, Greek Orthodox, and Coptic Orthodox leaders met Monday in Cairo for the first gathering of the United Council of Egyptian Churches. Coptic Pope Tawadros II led the group, which was the dream of his predecessor, the late Pope Shenouda III, … [Read more...]


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