Friday Prayers for Egypt: Nation, City, River

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Nation, City, River

God, To present an idea, men come together. To discuss, they meet. Three conferences this week convened weighty issues. Human contact helps relations. Human hubris may drive apart. But the ideas matter, and make a difference. President Sisi presented the accomplishments of his four years in office. From national projects to economic reform, it may … Continue reading

How Many ISIS Jihadis in America?

How Many ISIS Jihadis in America?

A recent edition of the New Yorker tackled the problem of ISIS fighters returning to their home countries. Given the controversies in the US about Muslim bans and extreme vetting, it is interesting to note other nations have it much worse: A new report, to be released Tuesday by the Soufan Group and the Global Strategy … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Slow Boil

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Slow Boil

God, The waters of Egypt are simmering. Lower the temperature. The Nile is her lifeblood, and a dam in Ethiopia may impact historic share. But also threatened Sudan leans instead to Turkey, a Brotherhood-aligned adversary. The Israelis are her neighbor, and a president in America complicates the status quo. But the New York Times published … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Crimes and Executions

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Crimes and Executions

God, When police do their job there is usually nothing remarkable to report. Society is protected, the blotter is filled. Many thanks to you and them for Egypt’s low crime rate and day-to-day safety. But recently three female singers have faced legal action over videos and public statements. Seventy-five people and officials have been arrested … Continue reading

The Arrogance of Enemy Love: A Poem to ISIS

The Arrogance of Enemy Love: A Poem to ISIS

This article was first published at The Table. Many have been impressed by the forgiveness Coptic Christians have offered to their enemies. Beheaded, ambushed, churches bombed, shot in cold blood – they have not retaliated. Instead, though anger boils, they pray for their persecutors. In the links above you can explore the opportunities I have … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Churches

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Churches

God, A small group of terrorists killed worshippers at a church in southern Cairo. A large mob of neighbors vandalized a different church further south. A sizeable allotment of police and military guarded churches throughout the country. A fair portion of churches remain closed for security reasons. A tiny percentage of services suffered disruption to … Continue reading

The Floating Interfaith Bridges to Sinai

The Floating Interfaith Bridges to Sinai

Buried in an Ahram Online story about Egypt’s efforts to develop the restless northern Sinai region is a testament to the nation’s insistence on shared identity. Terrorism in the region has killed Muslim and Christian alike. Part of the problem, analysts say, is that Sinai has been long neglected. Isolated from the Egyptian mainland, tribal … Continue reading

The Christmas Rabbits of C.S. Lewis

The Christmas Rabbits of C.S. Lewis

Creation is alive with the spark of God, often witnessed in the innocence of children. For those made curious by the title, it is actually an amalgam of two oddly related God moments recently experienced through the pen of two celebrated English writers. The first came through reading Watership Down to my children. The classic … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: National Health

Friday Prayers for Egypt: National Health

God, Egypt has long been sick. Nurse her to health, and strengthen her immune system. Some vital organs show signs of life. Others lag behind. Parliament passed an anticipated national health insurance law. Vigorously debated, a point of contention was on the cost to the state versus the cost to the citizen. Perhaps it was … Continue reading

The Genesis of Salafi-Jihadism

The Genesis of Salafi-Jihadism

Did you know that not all Salafis are jihadis? Often in popular understanding they of the long beard are the chief perpetrators of religious violence and terrorism. Many are, but it does not have to be so. Another popular version of Salafism adopts political quietism, believing Islam commands them to obey the ruler — almost … Continue reading

Friends of Zion’s Christians?

Friends of Zion’s Christians?

This article was first published at Christianity Today, on December 15, 2017. American evangelicals rediscovered their brethren in the Middle East in recent years. The promise of the Arab Spring, followed by the threat of ISIS. Beheadings and other martyrdoms, followed by forgiveness. Many decided we must become better friends, and work harder for the … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Candidates Pending

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Candidates Pending

God, Presidential elections will take place in Egypt sometime this coming spring. The incumbent is expected to run for a second term. But as of now no opposition is certain. There is time, and there are those who are interested. A former prime minister and presidential runner-up is meeting with his party to determine best … Continue reading

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