Monday, December 13, 2010

End of a Christian Presence in Iraq?

Attacks on Christians in Iraq have been occuring heavily since late October, and many Christians are beginning to pack up their cars with their belongings and flee due to the violence. Many are going to Northern Iraq (where it's a little less hostile) or abroad.

This fleeing is similar to the Jewish exit in Iraq in 1948.

Not safe for Chrsitians to worship aloud in Iraq.

Teach Them Young

Hopefully, classrooms across the world will one day communicate the importance of religious tolerance to children.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Violence Toward Christians in India

I was reading an article posted two days ago, about the escalating violence toward Christians in India. Then, I decided to go to YouTube and see what I could find, and found this "secretly obtained" footage of preachers and Christians being beaten because of their beliefs. I do not like this violence, but the hurt we see when we watch this is nothing compared to the hurt these people must be feeling-- both physically from the beatings, and spiritually from the inability to express their beliefs.

At the end of the video, a man says, "You all have to pray for us. We have homes there [India] and we don't have freedom to worship openly... So [everytime] we are persecuted and we are jailed."

More attacks on Christians in Afghanistan

Gayle Williams worked with the poor and disabled in Afghanistan for the past 3 years, spreading the Christian word.

She was killed by a gunman in Kabul on Saturday, December 11th because of her religion.

"We killed her because she was working for an organization which was preaching Christianity in Afghanistan," a spokesman for the insurgent group, Zabihullah Mujahid said.
(News Blaze)

"Islam & Women in USA after 9/11"

Christianity Explodes in Sub-Sahara Africa

There are now twice as many Christians as Muslims in Sub-Sahara Africa, "where once Christians and Muslims combined made up less than a quarter of its population, the region now has 21 percent of the world[']s Christians."  

This video notes that the Muslims and Christians have no hard feelings toward each other, which leads me to believe that they have a good sense of religious tolerance and the ability to freely communicate what they believe.

Hugs in Thailand Show Religious Tolerance

The main religion in Thailand is Theravada Buddhism, but the country is a big supporter of religious tolerance. I think this new video does a great job of communicating the country's openness to other religions by showing how loving and accepting it is through "hugs." If you watch the video on YouTube, you can read an entire summary about the importance of religious tolerance.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Religulous, the conversation continued

Going off of the previous post, here is an interview with a Catholic priest on his view of the movie Religulous.


Religulous is a movie that came out in 2008. I have never seen it, but I know a few people who have seen it and they say it's very interesting and brings up a lot of different questions about religion. 

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Westboro Church Update

SUPER ironic. So here's the short story broken down.

Just a refresher...Westboro Church is the church who crashes soldiers funerals and hoots and hollers with signs saying, "Thank God for Dead Soldiers," "God hates America," etc. etc.

So here's the scene:

Ryan Newell is a retired Sgt. War Veteran who served in Afghanistan.
Ryan Newell apparently started following some Westboro Church members after they held a protest at a local high school.
Ryan Newell gets arrested for stalking.
Ryan Newell was in jail on $500,000 bond.
Ryan Newell spent a WEEK in jail.

Westboro Church members go along with their daily, hate-spreading messages.


Read the full story here.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The War on Christmas Continues

In the United States, we are lucky to be able to debate and communicate freely about religious issues. The Atheist billboard that we've mentioned in a few posts has been counter-attacked: The Catholic League has put up a billboard on the other side of the Lincoln Tunnel to promote the message of their beliefs.

This is actually a very witty article about the battle. Besides the sarcastic humor, it tells a good chronology of the billboard war.

What is religious freedom?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Touching on an age-old issue...

Muslim Orphans in America?

Not so much. Check out this full article explaining the complicated system still in place for Muslim orphans to be adopted in the U.S. Although many Americans want to adopt from Iraq and other Islamic countries, the process is at a standstill. There are laws in place that complicate the transfer of orphans from the Middle East to the Western world.

From what I understand, the reason for this lack of cooperation stems back to a time in history involving slaves.

Just a short excerpt:
"Ingrid Mattson, a professor of Islamic studies at Hartford Seminary in Connecticut, said adoption in that period had more in common with slavery. Men would take in boys, then erase any tie between the child and his biological family. The goal was to gather as many fighters as possible as protection for the tribe. Orphans' property was often stolen in the process."

Interesting that these laws are still in place...but for what?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Religious freedom stats by country

The link above lists different countries around the world and profiles them in terms of religion.

It lists each country by each religious body, and also gives an overall look at their religious freedom status.

It's a great way to compare and contrast different countries. Take a look.

Dalai Lama discusses religious freedom in Tibet