Showing posts from October, 2013

Sad News

Recently got news that two of our supporting churches are dropping us. Makes the heart sad. Nothing personal, just changing missionary strategies or something like that... Please pray that others would step in to make up for the loss.

The Myth of Muslim Tolerance in Spain

Great article at the New English Review titled 'The Myth of the Golden Age of Tolerance in Medieval Muslim Spain' by Norman Berdichevsky . Here is an excerpt: The tolerant Spain of The Three Great Monotheistic Religions [...] gradually contracted and was eventually extinguished as a result of repeated invasions of the peninsula from North Africa by severe Muslim-Berber tribes people who brought with them a fanaticism reminiscent of Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Only later did a resurgent Christian-Hispanic reaction begin to imitate this intolerance. The term “Golden Age” of Muslim Spain most correctly applies to a relatively short period from the eighth to the mid-eleventh century and is even more accurate when applied to the Christian North of the country for a period of more than three hundred years. (1050-1390). Read the whole article here .

The Economist: why going on Haj is getting harder

From The Economist : But the growing global Muslim population of 1.6 billion, coupled with cheaper international travel, has brought its own problems. Back in 2004, 2.2m Muslims went to Mecca. Last year the number was 3.2m, the highest ever. Stampedes in 1990, 2004 and 2006 caused hundreds of deaths. This year Saudi Arabia, which gives a quota of haj visas to each country on the basis of the size of its Muslim population, has slashed the number of visas for foreign pilgrims by 20%, as it carries out renovation works to expand the capacity of the Grand Mosque. Thanks to an outbreak of the coronavirus in the Kingdom, many countries have asked elderly and sick Muslims not to travel. Read it all HERE . Pray for Muslims as they go on Haj, that God will draw them close to himself through his Son our Savior, Jesus Christ, by the power of his Spirit.

Turkey: a mixed bag for religious freedom

Turkey can be a difficult country to interpret. On the one hand, legal conversion there is possible and I very much appreciate that. On the other hand, the notions of identity there mean that anyone who leaves Islam is understood to have betrayed the Turkish people. But here is a little bit of good news: For almost a century, the bells of St. Giragos, a magnificent 14th-century church built of sturdy black basalt bricks, were silent. Severely damaged during the 1915 massacre and deportation of local Christians, it stood roofless and abandoned for decades, a poignant reminder of the void left by the killing of its congregants. Yet for several months now the tolling of bells can once again be heard emanating from the belfry and echoing through the city’s narrow alleyways and busy markets. St. Giragos recently underwent an extensive $3 million dollar restoration that included a new roof, the reconstruction of all seven of its original altars—a unique feature for a chur