Filed under Current Events

When Islam is Not a Religion in America

When Islam is Not a Religion in America

This article was first published at Christianity Today on September 9. Is Islam a religion? This question is regularly posed by populists seeking to restrict Muslims in America. If Islam is not a religion—if it is a militant ideological system, for example—then some argue it is not subject to First Amendment protection. At stake is … Continue reading

A Tale of Three Churches

A Tale of Three Churches

This article was first published in the Summer 2019 print edition of Light magazine, produced by the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. In January, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi of Egypt stood side-by-side with Pope Tawadros II, patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church. Inaugurating the Cathedral of Nativity, the largest church in the Middle East, he … Continue reading

Should Christians Praise Partial Religious Freedom?

Should Christians Praise Partial Religious Freedom?

This article was first published in the June print edition of Christianity Today. …The tension over praising limited gains is also a factor in Uzbekistan, a Muslim-majority secular nation whose citizens have the right to convert but which the United States has designated a Country of Particular Concern (CPC) since 2006 over religious freedom violations. … Continue reading

How Palestine Divides Messianic Jews

How Palestine Divides Messianic Jews

This article was first published in the May print edition of Christianity Today. Among Christians in America, Israel can be viewed as a fulfillment of prophecy, a democratic ally in a region of chaos, or an occupier oppressing stateless Palestinians. How to choose? Given that 2 out of 3 US evangelicals have a positive perception … Continue reading

Cinema of God: Muslims Memorialize Augustine

Cinema of God: Muslims Memorialize Augustine

This article was first published in the April print edition of Christianity Today. The students at Wheaton College were surprised: Wait, Saint Augustine was African? Shown the international award-winning Augustine: Son of Her Tears for a freshman seminar that reads his Confessions, they witnessed history brought to life beyond the text, said Sarah Miglio, dean … Continue reading

Pew: US Christians Like the Israeli and Palestinian People More Than Their Governments

Pew: US Christians Like the Israeli and Palestinian People More Than Their Governments

This article was originally published at Christianity Today, on April 24, 2019. When it comes to the longstanding Israeli-Palestinian conflict, do American evangelicals favor one side or the other? Research Center finds one-third actually feel favorable toward both—when it comes to their peoples. And one-third feel unfavorable toward both governments. Politico Magazine recently profiled Telos, … Continue reading

Arab Spring Again? Christians in Sudan and Algeria Cheer Regime Change

Arab Spring Again? Christians in Sudan and Algeria Cheer Regime Change

This article was originally published at Christianity Today, on April 18. …early signs are promising. On April 10, one day before Bashir’s arrest, the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) leading protests put out a call for Christian participation, acknowledging “you have suffered sectarian and psychological restrictions for years … [which have left you] without the right … Continue reading

Judeo-Christian Politics… in Israel?

Judeo-Christian Politics… in Israel?

This article was first published at Christianity Today on April 11, 2019. In one of the most tightly contested Israeli elections in years, Benjamin Netanyahu appears poised to remain prime minister. His Likud party is projected to win 35 seats in the 120-member parliament, the Knesset, tied with challenger Benny Gantz’s Blue and White party; … Continue reading

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