“Violence Triggered by Arson Attack on Cairo Church.” “Christians Targeted in Iraq.” “Is Islam the Problem?” “Coptic Christian Protesters Block Main Highways in Egyptian Capital.” “Vatican Condemns Killing of Christian Official in Pakistan.”
These are just a few examples of international headlines concerning the recent turmoil in the Middle East. As the 24-hour news cycle continues to flood our screens with images of heartbreaking struggle and pain, it is easy to be disillusioned and disconnected by both the scale of violence and the distance from which it takes place. Yet we are connected to the struggles in the Middle East, through an undercurrent of faith and love.
Amidst the conflict in the Middle East, people of faith have been banding together to both assert their faith and protect the faith of others. Egyptian Christians formed a human barricade in Cairo’s Tahir Square while Muslim brothers and sisters prayed. Muslims have reached out to Christians affected by sectarian violence in Pakistan and Egypt. Leaders from Palestine and Israel are approaching reconciliation talks.
So what does this have to do with the Wild Goose Festival?
One of the major focuses of the Wild Goose Festival is justice, and to encourage different social, spiritual, racial and economic heritages to come together in a creative space to forge new relationships. The Wild Goose festival is one way to offer a positive response to the cynicism of the news cycle and assert support for brothers and sisters across the globe, whether Christian, Muslim, Jew, Hindu, Buddhist, Seeking or Doubting. The struggle of the Middle East is one for justice. The Wild Goose festival wants to be part of that struggle.
A resistance of hope pushes against the stream of oppression and violence, and the Wild Goose Festival intentions to be part of the empowering witness that stands alongside the oppressed. The Goose is part of a movement to embrace creativity and faith, forming relationships with enemies and friends alike in order to push beyond our fractured political and national identities. The Goose is a creative space in which unity is expressed through diversity, conversations can happen, prompting a renewed confidence in the goodness and beauty of God’s creation.
Andy Scott is a Duke Divinity Student living in Durham, NC. He is volunteering with the Wild Goose Festival and wants you to come.