Friday Prayers for Egypt: Jerusalem Recognition

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Jerusalem Recognition

God, Friends don’t always agree. But not all issues are the same. Jerusalem is, and has often been, historically different. Changing longstanding US policy, the American president recognized the city as Israel’s capital, and began the process of moving the embassy. The Egyptian president warned against it, and then spoke against it. Most of the … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Utmost Force

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Utmost Force

God, After over 300 people were killed at a mosque, the state must do something. The president issued a directive to the army and police: utmost force, within three months. Terrorism must be eradicated from the Sinai. And may it be so. God, but with the utmost care. There are civilian lives at stake, unmercifully … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Fish, Rice, Water, Vice

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Fish, Rice, Water, Vice

God, Small developments can multiply. Small disagreements can explode. For those involved there is no small. For the nation, wait and see. The region’s largest fish farm opened in one of the nation’s poorest districts. The pollution from burning post-harvest rice straw witnessed significant reduction. The negotiations with Ethiopia over Nile dam construction reached an … Continue reading

Giving Thanks, for Khartoum and Kennedy

Giving Thanks, for Khartoum and Kennedy

Happy Thanksgiving to all American friends. Religious freedom is one item of gratitude, as well as positive signs it may be developing around the world. Consider again these promising signs I’ve been privileged to report on the past two years: Arab Gulf — Why Christianity is Surging in the Heart of Islam Indonesia — World’s … Continue reading

Must the Muslima Wear a Headscarf?

Must the Muslima Wear a Headscarf?

Identity politics are dangerous. Unfortunately Muslims have long been swept up into the fray. Sometimes willingly. In many traditional and conservative societies, women have covered their heads. This is not exclusive to Islam, whatever the Quran says about it. But a time came also when Muslims were mobilizing on the basis of faith, using it … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Princes, Churches

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Princes, Churches

God, Help Egypt navigate her way in the world. Help her navigate her way at home. Ally Saudi Arabia has launched new efforts to curb Iranian influence in the region, while securing power and reform in the kingdom. There is war in Yemen and Syria. There are palpitations in Lebanon. There is ongoing regional instability. … Continue reading

The Game of Thrones Christians Should be Watching

The Game of Thrones Christians Should be Watching

This article was first published at Christianity Today on November 16, 2017. Before the crown prince of Saudi Arabia stunned the world with his sudden arrest of dozens of fellow princes and millionaires on corruption charges, he stunned many Christians with his stated desire to moderate its version of Islam, commonly dubbed Wahhabism. Saudi Arabia … Continue reading

Islamism: Contextualist or Essentialist? Or Both?

Islamism: Contextualist or Essentialist? Or Both?

My new article for Providence Magazine. In an excellent review of Shadi Hamid and Will McCants’ Rethinking Political Islam, Olivier Roy says there are generally two ways to think about Islamism. Writing in Foreign Affairs, he first briefly introduces three important shockwaves—the Arab Spring, the fall of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and the emergence … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: World Youth

Friday Prayers for Egypt: World Youth

God, They came from around the world. They discussed much local and regional. If they paid attention, they watched leaders consult and sign million dollar contracts. And they lent presence to an effort to give a strong message: Egypt wants to listen to the youth. The world should do the same. So they should, God. … Continue reading

What’s in Your Lunchbox?

What’s in Your Lunchbox?

One morning before school, Alexander, our newest kindergartener, was fiddling with Egyptian coins and thinking through options at the school canteen. His eyes lit up when he realized he could buy a milk box … maybe chocolate, maybe strawberry, or maybe banana! He looked up and asked, as if he had a revelation. “Mom, how … Continue reading

Secondary Separation, in Islam

Secondary Separation, in Islam

In fundamentalist Christian circles there is an approach to the world known as ‘secondary separation’. While the Bible notes Christians are not of this world, there is tension when Jesus says they are also in this world, and should not expect to be removed. Fundamentalism is one expression of this tension, that leans in the … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Accountable

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Accountable

God, It was too big a disaster. After 16 security personnel were killed in an ambush in the Western desert, several top police and military brass took the fall. Among them, Sisi’s son’s father-in-law, the chief-of-staff. The message is powerful: All are accountable. It was too big an opportunity. After contentious debate about two islands … Continue reading

Distributing Aid to Iraqi Christians

Distributing Aid to Iraqi Christians

Five days ago Iraqi Christians were displaced from their city – again. As Fox News reported, they had only recently returned to Teleskof following its liberation from ISIS. Here are pictures from those trying to help. The recent Kurdish referendum effort led the Iraqi government to reclaim disputed land held by the Peshmerga forces. Christians … Continue reading

How Do Copts Endure their Martyrdoms?

How Do Copts Endure their Martyrdoms?

From my article published at Providence Magazine: “On a day like today,” Fr. Samaan Shehata was murdered in Cairo. The day was October 12, but he likely read those very words in mass just one day earlier, introducing the lives of the saints. Hunted down and stabbed repeatedly by a Muslim extremist, his name now … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Death and Dishonor

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Death and Dishonor

God, All life is precious, all that exists. Even in death you care for their life. But those that never existed? What then if they did? Last week sixteen policemen were killed in a shootout with terrorists. Foreign news agencies put the death toll much higher, relying on unnamed security sources. Egypt reacted angrily, and … Continue reading