Filed under Current Events

From Russia, Without Love: Ukraine Marks Orthodox Christmas with Biggest Schism Since 1054

From Russia, Without Love: Ukraine Marks Orthodox Christmas with Biggest Schism Since 1054

This article was first published at Christianity Today, on January 6, 2019. The Orthodox Church of Ukraine has been born again. On January 6, it received the tomos of autocephaly—the documentation of its independence among Eastern church bodies—from one Orthodox heavyweight, the Patriarch of Constantinople, despite the vociferous opposition of another heavyweight, the Patriarch of … Continue reading

Covenantal Theology: Can Muhammad’s Ancient Promise Inspire Muslim-Christian Peace Today?

Covenantal Theology: Can Muhammad’s Ancient Promise Inspire Muslim-Christian Peace Today?

This article was first published at Christianity Today, on December 21. Christians esteem the biblical progression of covenants—Abrahamic, Mosaic, Davidic—finalized by Jesus as he ushered in the New. But for the sake of religious freedom in the Muslim world, should they embrace a further covenant: Muhammadian? Recent scholarship suggests the potential promise, newly fulfilled in … Continue reading

O Come, Ye Gazan Christians, to Bethlehem

O Come, Ye Gazan Christians, to Bethlehem

This article was first published at Christianity Today, on December 20. Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity has restored its sparkling mosaics and marble columns to their original glory for the first time in 600 years. “It has become such a beautiful church,” Ziad al-Bandak, head of the local project committee of Christian leaders, told the … Continue reading

Egypt Approves 168 More Churches

Egypt Approves 168 More Churches

This article was published at Christianity Today on December 17. Egyptian Christians now have an additional 168 legal church buildings. On November 30, a cabinet committee approved the requests of Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox, Protestant, and Catholic churches to formally register facilities long functioning as centers of worship. Prior to a new law passed in August … Continue reading

The Cost of Religious Freedom

The Cost of Religious Freedom

This article was originally published on September 20, 2018, and in the October issue of Christianity Today. This article expands my previous coverage of Andrew Brunson and the US-Turkish crisis to include also issues related to advocacy for Christians in Iran. Why did advocacy succeed for the drug dealers but not the pastor? And what … Continue reading

Evangelical Ethiopian Helps End Orthodox Schism

Evangelical Ethiopian Helps End Orthodox Schism

This article was first published at Christianity Today, on August 14. Ending 27 years of schism, Ethiopian Orthodox Christians in their homeland and in America reunited the two feuding branches of one of the world’s oldest churches. Ironically, the push came from the Horn of Africa nation’s new evangelical prime minister. “It is impossible to … Continue reading

What Next for Syria?

What Next for Syria?

The conflict has turned a corner as the Syrian government regained control of Damascus and begins pushing into rebel-held areas. LobeLog interviewed Josh Landis of Syria Comment to ask him what happens next. The full interview is worth reading, but here are a few excerpts on competing regional policies. Turkey: Idlib was one of the … Continue reading

What Jordan’s Evangelicals Think of Templeton Winner King Abdullah’s Interfaith Acclaim

What Jordan’s Evangelicals Think of Templeton Winner King Abdullah’s Interfaith Acclaim

This article was first published at Christianity Today on July 2, 2018. Photo by Pietro Naj-Oleari/© European Union 2015 – European Parliament/Creative Commons   For his lifelong commitment to religious peace, King Abdullah II of Jordan recently became the second Muslim ever to win the prestigious, $1.4 million Templeton Prize. And Jordan’s Christian minority is … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Homeland Future

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Homeland Future

God, Give Egyptians their right representation. May they bear well the concerns of their district. But in whose name? Many MPs have publicly signaled their intention to switch parties, and the Future of a Homeland is poised to receive them. Doing so would make them the largest party in parliament. Some are current independents, leaving … Continue reading