Tagged with Iran

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

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Uber, Iran

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Uber, Iran

God, If the world is being remade, make it well. Peace is pending in North Korea, while Iran is thrown in doubt. Taxis fall out of favor, as private conveyance newly legalizes. And metro prices have risen again. Give guidance to Egypt in wading the waters. The region has already been shaken. Will it shake … 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

The Importance of ‘Nizam’

The Importance of ‘Nizam’

This quote is taken from an Iranian, but I think the sentiment — and language — would be the same for many Arabs: On July 4, Mahmoud Esmaeili, a 33-year-old software engineer, became an American citizen. Here’s why: “I like the system here. I like the rule of law. You know what to expect and … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Qatar Continues

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Qatar Continues

God, Since last week there has been much written but little resolved. Qatar and the Gulf allies have traded accusations and attempted mediation. But now a line in the sand has been drawn. A list of demands has been issued. Egypt, joining Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and others, have given Qatar ten … Continue reading

A Christian Captain for Iranian Soccer

A Christian Captain for Iranian Soccer

Yesterday I posted about religious contradiction in Saudi Arabia. Today posts a Guardian article about Iran, in the other direction: The 32-year-old midfielder, known as Ando – or Samurai, due to his hairstyle – is not shy of showing his Christianity, often crossing himself on the field. In April, Teymourian, who has played for Bolton … Continue reading

Egypt Exports Interfaith ‘Bridge’

Egypt Exports Interfaith ‘Bridge’

IN IRAQ, ISIS zealots smash centuries-old artifacts and blow up churches. In Yemen, Shia militias plough through cities as Sunni neighbour Saudi Arabia rains down missiles. Egypt is not without its own religious tension, but a timely interfaith art exhibition in Cairo intersects with perhaps the only potentially good news coming out of the region. … Continue reading

The Great Game

The Great Game

Growing up, I loved the game Diplomacy. Die-hard aficionados compete in hours-long, even days-long competitions vying for mastery of early 20th Century Europe. For both lack of sufficient passion — and players — I enjoyed the computer version. The basic premise is to be one of the seven great powers at the time — England, … Continue reading

The Syrian State of Play

Here is a link to a well organized and concise description of the different actors present in the ongoing Syrian conflict, from War on the Rocks. If you would like a good primer, it is worth your time to read. Keeping up with the news reports and ever-changing developments is difficult. Here is the general … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: IMF, Sinai, China, Iran

Friday Prayers for Egypt: IMF, Sinai, China, Iran

God, Much of Egypt’s attention turned outside its borders this week, and though Sinai is not foreign, it is almost a separate land. Military operations against Islamic extremists have been underway for some time, but lately there have been religious delegations sent, even from the president. These have involved former jihadists who wish to turn … Continue reading

Will Islamism Yield to Christianity?

Will Islamism Yield to Christianity?

I was invited to comment on an article posted on the Mission of God blog, concerning the inevitability of the Arab Spring turning Islamist, and then the rejection of Islamism for Christianity. Please click here for the video post; my response (slightly edited) follows below. I think Dr. Cashin’s core point is correct: A system … Continue reading

Rethinking Iran

It is a given that every nation must pursue its interests, and these are often at odds with one another. Yet the United States suffers from the inconvenient reality that the majority of its population holds to a sense of morality vis-à-vis interests. In order to take decisive steps in the international arena, the government … Continue reading

Making Sense of Syria

Much of the world has been aghast at news coming out of Syria, as the demonstrations now common in much of the Arab world have been brutally suppressed. Government sources, however, claim they are fighting an armed insurgency. Media, notably, has been blocked from the country, lending credibility to the idea that the government has … Continue reading

Bahrain, Conspiracies, and US-Iranian Cooperation

The pace of popular protest and change in the Middle East has been bewildering. In such cases limited information, new realities, and subtle biases make the resort to conspiracy theory understandable. Tunisia caught everyone by surprise. When the demonstrations erupted in Egypt suddenly a connection was seen, and widely feared. Who was running the show? … Continue reading