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Peace & War

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What is Happening in Israel and Palestine?

Over the Easter weekend, the news media was once again flooded with violent images coming out of Israel and Palestine. We saw groups of masked Palestinians stoke fires made of tires while thick smoke rose into the grey-blue Gazan sky. On the other side of the barrier fence we saw Israeli artillery vehicles shoot teargas to disperse the crowds, and a hundred snipers shoot live ammunition as the people ran for cover. What is going on over there? Will the violence ever end?

Welcoming Refugees: From Compassion to Action in 4 Steps

I remember the excitement I felt when our refugee friends walked into the waiting area at O’Hare. The little group from our church did not know how to speak to them, but we had attempted some signs in Arabic and brought small gifts and flowers to try to show them a warm welcome.

We Were Once Strangers Too

I first started truly learning about the Syrian refugee crisis in November 2015, when I heard about children dying and boats capsizing and sentiments expressed in off-hand comments like "Why should we let them in? They're not refugees, they're just migrants."

The Sanctity of Life in the Heidelberg Catechism: The Sixth Commandment

In his comments on the sixth commandment, “You shall not murder,” John Calvin writes, “The purport of this commandment is that since the Lord has bound the whole human race by a kind of unity, the safety of all ought to be considered as entrusted to each.” As creatures made in God’s image, we are called to do whatever is required to “defend the life of our neighbor; to promote whatever tends to his tranquility, to be vigilant in warding off harm, and, when danger comes, to assist in removing it” (Institutes of the Christian Religion, 2.8.39).

The Burden of Palestinian Christians’ Oppression

“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” – Galatians 6:2 (NIV)

So You're Going to the Holy Land?

As I listened, the truth became clear to me: These are not issues. They are people. 

Omar Khadr, The Kings University, and Micah 6:8

Editor's introduction: Omar Khadr, an Afghan-Canadian, is accused of having thrown the grenade that killed American Sergeant Christopher Speer in 2002 when Khadr was 15. He was incarcerated at Guantanamo Bay for ten years. The Government of Canada’s interrogation of Omar at Guantanamo "offend[ed] the most basic Canadian standards [of] the treatment of detained youth suspects," according to a 2010 ruling of the Supreme Court of Canada.

From Peacetalker to Peacemaker: 3 Keys to Loving our Muslim Neighbors Better

The sky was full of helicopters and reporters waiting to tell a story.

After the Dec. 2, 2015 attack on San Bernardino, a lot was communicated. One of the prominent themes was about Muslims in America. It was the talk in our town as the radical extremists who carried out the attacks were residents of my city (Redlands, CA), a town neighboring San Bernardino.

14 people were killed and over 20 injured on that awful day. It was chaotic.

Books that Keep Me Hoping

When we turn on the TV or read the news online and in papers these days, we often find stories of injustices and violence in our own communities and around the world. With the brokenness around us, we long to hear more stories of hope, reconciliation, and redemption. Over the years I have read a few memorable books that have reminded me of the power of human spirit and displays of courage, compassion, strength, forgiveness, and resilience in the midst of tragedy and injustices.

Can Muslims and Christians Find Peace in Nigeria?

Wukari is a partially destroyed city. It is a city at war with itself.

Wukari is the capital of the Jukun kingdom in Nigeria’s Middle Belt region. Its residents are Christian, Muslim, and Traditionalist. The majority are Christian, members of the Christian Reformed Church of Nigeria because of over a hundred years of South African and CRC evangelism, education, and health care missions. The long-serving traditional ruler is also Christian.

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