IMES Regional Brief – March 2019

It is Time to Talk about the Persecution of Muslims
February 28, 2019
What Use Is Our Lent?
March 14, 2019
In our brief for March 2019, we look at the case of Shamima Begum, an “unrepentant” teenaged woman seeking to return to the UK after having joined up with the Islamic State. If Begum and others like her in Syria and Iraq need to pay for any crimes they might have committed, it will be the church’s role to initiate restorative action. Another issue we examine is that of the Sudanese women fighting against oppression and how the church must prayerfully heed God’s voice as communicated in His word to be able to speak out against the injustice and atrocities committed against women, not only in Sudan, but around the world. As we speak of injustice, we examine the discourses surrounding Palestine and Israel. We must acknowledge that both Jews and Palestinians have been suffering for years from the ongoing conflict and both peoples are deserving of empathy and justice. The Church much stand against and root out both antisemitism and anti-Palestinian bigotry wherever it is found in our struggle against injustice and pursuit of reconciliation. In Egypt and Algeria, we find a similar scenario unfolding, only with different actors on the stage. The Egyptian parliament approved constitutional amendments allowing President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to remain in office until 2034, which has created controversy in the Egyptian street. How can the church in Egypt and the global church defend universal values in the public sphere without engaging in compromising transactions with the state or political parties? In Algeria, the President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, in power since 1999, declared his widely expected candidacy to a fifth term in April elections, sparking protests throughout Algeria. This incident invites pastors and leaders of our churches and Christian organizations to follow a counter-cultural pattern of leadership and empower responsible people from the younger generations to lead, not only after them but also alongside them. In Lebanon, the scene looks more hopeful as the newly elected government made promises to fight corruption in the country and restore the collapsing economic system. Though most are cynical, the church should seize this momentous opportunity to support this governmental effort by teaching and promoting Kingdom ethics and advocating for change in the community.

Lebanon

A Seed of Change

On 31 January, after months of negotiations, Prime Minister Saad Hariri was able to form a government. With the confidence of the parliament...Read More

Egypt

Amendments to the Egyptian Constitution between Refusal and Criticism

The approval by the Egyptian parliament of constitutional amendments allowing President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to remain in office until 2034...Read More

Iraq/Syria

Women Jihadists and their Children, Born in Territory Formerly Held by ISIS, Force Western Societies into Self-Examination

Shamima Begum, now 19, was one of three teenagers from east London who were caught on camera...Read More

Palestine/Israel

Neither Anti-Semitism, nor Anti-Palestinian Bigotry Belong in the Church – Or Society

In Western discourses surrounding Palestine and Israel, it has become increasingly common to equate criticism of the Israeli state with antisemitism..Read More

Algeria

Algeria: It is Time to Pass on the Baton

81-year-old Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, in power since 1999, declared his widely expected candidacy to a fifth term in April elections...Read More

Sudan

Sudanese Women Fight Against Oppression

As protestors continue to seek justice in the streets of Sudan, security forces continue to stand in their way...Read More

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