ISIS/ISIL/Daesh

Syria: Evolving Perceptions of a Tenacious Conflict

In May of 2017, I was privileged to join a group of travelers who spent ten days in Syria and Lebanon. Eleven of us traveled from the United States on a trip organized by the Syria/Lebanon Partnership Network of the PC(USA). Entitled “Mutually Encouraged by Each Other’s Faith,” the goal of the trip was “to share worship, fellowship and a mutual time of learning with PC(USA) partners in Syria and Lebanon.”

Alongside those objectives set by the organizers of the trip, my own goal arose from my belief that the conflict in Syria is one of the greatest humanitarian crises in my lifetime. I continue to wrestle with the ways in which a person like myself, committed to non-violence, can find a path through that violence-filled conflict.

This blog post reports on what I learned and my thoughts on the way forward for this painful and protracted conflict.

The Cross Confronts Islamophobia

I have become convinced that much of the work that we, as Christians, as peace seekers, and as the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship, have to do around all issues related to the Middle East and to Gun Violence in our own country is in countering Islamophobia.

Finding Community and Empowerment After ISIS

This blog post was written by one of the delegates who preferred not to attach their name to a blog, but wanted to reflect and share about the day our delegation spent in Suleimani visiting a children's center and a women's center.
 
A visit with Rahim Amin Hassan of the "STEP" Program (Seeking To Equip People).

We Have Not Forgotten You

"We neither manufactured these weapons, nor feel proud exhibiting it. In fact, these were used by those who threatened our existence. We also admit that these very weapons helped us achieve our freedom."

A Prayer for This Week: For an End to Terror

Holy One,

In a week when praying feels like the only thing we can do, words are hard to find. Yet somehow we pray, with words, with tears, with sighs too deep for words.

We pray for all people and places that have experienced the terror of violence this week as the aftershocks of fear and grief reverberate through bodies and buildings:

          For the 43 people in Beirut and the 129 in Paris who were killed by Daesh;

"Do It!"

It was my wife Lorie’s and my privilege to accompany Kayla Mueller’s parents, Marsha and Carl Mueller, to Northern Arizona University October 23-24, Homecoming weekend.  The purpose for our campus visit was to gather with approximately 60 kindred souls at the Christian Campus Ministry Center Friday evening, and another like number of people at the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBS) Saturday afternoon to celebrate the life of alumna Kayla Jean Mueller, ’09.

Religion, Politics and Way in Today's Middle East

A presentation by Walter Owensby: "In the few minutes we have here today, I’ll not even pretend to touch on all of the issues at stake in the announced topic. My comments will initially focus on several points of intersection between religion and politics in the present Middle East war. Then I’ll close with a few thoughts about what might be useful U.S. policy perspectives in the face of great complexity."

Responses to "The Challenge of the Islamic State and A Response Founded on Christ's Call to the Work of Peace"

Our document The Challenge of the Islamic State and A Response Founded on Christ’s Call to the Work of Peace has sparked a healthy discussion on the issues surrounding this topic. In an effort to bring the conversation to one place instead of individual inboxes, we publish this blog post with the purpose of the comments section serving as the online discussion forum.

Section II: What, then, is the Church in the United States to Do?

Section I: The Islamic State and the Events that Have Brought Us to this Point

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