First Yahweh, Now Allah: The Elevation and Politicization of God’s Name

Malaysian Christians have long used the name "Allah" when they speak of God.  No more, though--on January 21, Malaysia's Federal Court ruled that a weekly Catholic newspaper may no longer use the word "Allah" to refer to God.  Muslims have been unhappy--according to Datuk Zainul Rijal Abu Bakar, president of the Muslim Lawyers Association of Malaysia--because the word "Allah" was used to refer to a non-Muslim God.An eight-year dispute between the Malaysian government and the Roman Catholic Ar … [Read more...]

From Jerusalem: Ecumenical Surprises During Pope Francis’ Holy Land Trip

Cecilia Lakin

It's a busy week for news from the Holy Land.  The Vatican is gearing up for Pope Francis's historic trip to the Holy Land on May 24-26.This will be a uniquely ecumenical trip:  Pope Francis will take with him his two good friends from his years as archbishop in Argentina, Rabbi Abraham Skorka, co-author of his book On Heaven and Earth, and Islamic studies professor Omar Abboud.And a highlight of his trip will be a planned meeting with Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I at the Ch … [Read more...]

BREAKING: Israel Issues Restraining Orders to Protect Pope Francis During His Visit

Israel has clamped down on potential troublemakers in the days leading up to Pope Francis' historic visit to the Holy Land on May 24-26.According to a report released today by Reuters, Israeli police and the Shin Bet internal security service handed restraining orders to several Jewish right-wing activists whom they believed intended to cause "disruptions during the pope's visit and be involved in provocative illegal acts."I wrote earlier about the "price-tag" vandalism by Jewish … [Read more...]