“How ‘God is Light'” and the World’s Darkness

“How ‘God is Light'” and the World’s Darkness January 30, 2020

 

WC Public Domain Image orange with black clouds
Darkness attempting to cover the source of light   (Wikimedia Commons public domain image)

 

He came to me from the fields

With the gold of the grain in his eyes,

And soon he was beyond me,

Having seen the white sea of light

where angels are.

(Lucy Mack Smith, speaking of her son, the young Joseph Smith.  From the poetic drama The Prophet, by Clinton F. Larson.)

 

My column for today in the Deseret News:

 

“How ‘God is light’: The concept of a close link between light and God runs through many religious traditions”

 

***

 

Unfortunately, though, the world isn’t always light:

 

Christianity Today:  “No Matter Where You Are, Religious Freedom Is Getting Worse: A decade of analysis from Pew details what global faith leaders already know: From China to Europe, from the Middle East to the US, persecution is climbing.”

 

GetReligion:  “Darkness returns – Rabbi Lord Sacks on new wave of anti-Semitism in Europe and America”

 

National Review:  “China Sentences Founder of One of the Nation’s Largest Independent Churches to Nine Years in Prison”

 

Jewish News:  “Jewish leaders call for action on China’s ‘intolerable’ treatment of Uyghurs: Munich-based WUC president Isa Dolkun met representatives of Jewish groups in event hosted by Board of Deputies”

 

New York Times:  “Her Uighur Parents Were Model Chinese Citizens. It Didn’t Matter.  When Zulhumar Isaac’s parents disappeared amid a wave of detentions of ethnic minorities, she had to play a perilous game with the state to get them back.”

 

BBC:  “Inside China’s ‘thought transformation’ camps”

 

GetReligion:  “China and its creepy facial recognition technology targets Uighur Muslims”

 

Daily Mail:  “China will rewrite the Bible and the Quran to ‘reflect socialist values’ amid crackdown on Muslim Uighur minority”

 

MEMRI:  “Jihadi Clerics Issue Fatwa Permitting Muslims To Celebrate Spread Of Coronavirus In China, Accuse China Of ‘Exporting’ Coronavirus To East Turkestan”

 

Not, however, to end on quite so completely dark a note:

 

National Review:  “Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting & Friends”

 

***

 

Meanwhile, with China on our minds, here’s some potentially useful information and advice from the invaluable Dr. Jeff Lindsay:

 

Dealing with the Wuhan Coronavirus: Some Thoughts for Those Traveling or Living in Asia”

“Updates on the Wuhan Coronavirus”

 

And I haven’t forgotten the desperate need that some of you out there have for more and more material to put into your Christopher Hitchens Memorial “How Religion Poisons Everything” Files.  This item, also related to China, should fit very nicely:

 

“Church sends aid to China amid coronavirus outbreak”

 

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