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From the Chains of Trafficking to the Ties of Christian Community

In March 2018 a bold decree was made by Oba Ewuare II, the traditional ruler of the kingdom of Benin (located in southern Nigeria). Oba Ewuare II was upset that his beloved kingdom had received negative international press regarding the high numbers of women and girls who are coerced into trafficking and sexual exploitation and “bound” to their traffickers through voodoo juju rituals, so he decreed that all victims of these rituals are free.

“Now we are part of a community”: Youhanna, Yosra, & Abeer

Youhanna and Yosra, and their four adult children Martin, Alen, Aiden, and Abeer are from Qaraqosh, Iraq. In 2014 they were forced to flee their home when ISIS invaded and destroyed their predominantly Christian area. After spending several years in asylum in Lebanon, they had the good fortune of being sponsored to come to Canada by Harvest Bible Chapel. Martin arrived in September of 2017 and the rest of the family arrived in January of 2018.

Confronting My Silence

I wish I had taken a vow of silence. But I haven’t. Far from any overtly noble rationale, I simply went quiet. For the past 11 months, I’ve hardly done any writing, I’ve only read two books, and I’ve been abnormally disengaged from the urgent crises and conversations of the past year. And I don’t have a good justification for doing so.

More recently – and more substantively – however, I’ve started to recognize three different themes that have impacted my lack of writing this past year.

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Jesus' Take on Family Values

We’ve been hearing lots of talk about family lately.

In the USA, the nomination of a new Supreme Court judge has prompted talk of family values. The detainment and separation of migrant families has done the same. In Canada, the announcement of compensation for those harmed by the Sixties and Seventies Scoop has raised questions about Canada’s treatment of Indigenous families. And then, of course, there is the more banal talk of family vacations and weddings that each summer brings.

Finding Hope in 2018

As we sat in the fireside room at A Rocha’s property, Sir Ghillean Prance, a small group of volunteers and I (a stay-at-home mom) we felt a sense of awe that this man, who had been knighted by the queen for his work as a botanist, was so down to earth and hope-filled. One thing he said has stuck with me. When asked what gave him hope over his long career –he knew about and was working towards combating climate change already 20 years ago – his answer was: “Christ’s resurrection and human ingenuity”. 

Hospitality Builds Bridges

I had the opportunity to study abroad this past semester in Amman, Jordan. I’m not going to lie, I was a bit nervous about living in a foreign country for four months and attempting to learn the basics of a challenging language, while learning the ins and outs of a culture so opposite of mine in many ways.  

On the Road Together towards Justice

Review of Journeys to Justice (Novalis, 2018) by Joe Gunn

How should churches deal with political issues? That question has long sparked incandescent discussions among Christians. Many hold that God calls Christians to promote public justice. Yet we differ strongly on what those policies and which political parties, if any, Christians should support. With many white evangelicals backing Donald Trump in 2016’s presidential campaign, the issue soared into public consciousness, triggering months of embarrassing negative media coverage.

Summer Justice Reads - CRC Staff Picks

Looking for summer beach reads? Here's what some Christian Reformed justice staff are reading this summer. 

Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo - Zora Neale Hurston

Viviana Cornejo

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I became personally involved in questions of justice in Palestine/Israel because of a friendship with someone who grew up and went to the Catholic school in Jerusalem. He had to leave in 1967 and has no right of return to his home. It is a great sadness for him. Now he does not want to go back because he would not be able to bear going there while his homeland is under Israeli military occupation.

Is Jesus a Zionist?

Jesus would find modern Zionism peculiar. More than that, in his own day, he rejected the closest thing to it. But first let’s explain our terms.

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