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...]

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The People in Jerusalem on Pentecost: Who Were They?

Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven staying in Jerusalem. At this sound, they gathered in a large crowd,but they were confused because each one heard them speaking in his own language.They were astounded, and in amazement they asked, “Are not all these people who are speaking Galileans?Then how does each of us hear them in his native language?We are Parthians, Medes, and Elamites, inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and P … [Read more...]

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

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...]

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