Peace-Building

June 3, 2021

Palestine, Evangelicalism, and the Problem of Power

by Caleb Hutcherson As I write this, a ceasefire has been negotiated between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas. Again. During those 11 days, more than 230 people in Palestine, including 66 children, have been killed. Along with at least 12 people in Israel, including 2 children. One report dropped […]
March 18, 2021

Are “Democratic” Societies Learning Too Much from the Lebanese?

By Bassem Melki These days we are seeing people in “democratic” societies choosing to follow leaders who represent their own personal interests rather than leaders who identify with a country’s wider identity. People must ask themselves again if they will look for leaders who fit the values representing their communities […]
February 25, 2021

Darkness Does Not Tolerate the Light of Truth: Reflections on the Savage Murder of Lokman Slim

By Martin Accad “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not understood it;” but “the darkness will not overcome it.” These words are part of the testimony of John the apostle, in his gospel (1:5), concerning Jesus. Earlier this month (on the 4th of February, which also […]
December 9, 2020

Talking Non-Christian Religious Experiences: Avoiding Compromise and Demonization for the Sake of the Good News and Social Peace

By Tim Brys A few years ago, I was left rather shaken when confronted with the fact that Christians are not the only ones to enjoy deeply meaningful religious experiences. Consider for example the following account that I read in William James’s classic work, The Varieties of Religious Experience. James […]
November 19, 2020

Seeking Truth in a Land of Lies: A Pathway to Peacebuilding and Reconciliation

By Martin Accad and Tim Brys We previously wrote that Lebanese society is defined by sectarianism. This marriage of religion and Middle Eastern tribalism leads most Lebanese to think and live according to the dictates of their sectarian (tribal) leaders, whether they be Sunni, Maronite, Druze, etc. The 15 years […]
October 14, 2020

Sectarianism: the unhappy marriage of tribal and religious identity in Lebanon

by Martin Accad and Tim Brys Whereas peacebuilding is generally viewed as a noble vocation, there are many who question the legitimacy and purpose of interfaith dialogue, notably in Evangelical circles. But what of places where religious belonging overlaps with sectarianism and where sectarianism represents the frontline of conflict? Lebanon […]
September 14, 2020

Christians and Muslims Praying Together: Compromise or a Sign of Hope?

By Tim Brys, Martin Accad and Brent Hamoud When COVID-19 hit Lebanon in February 2020 bringing the country to a near standstill, the team at the Institute of Middle East Studies was challenged to rethink its peacebuilding initiatives in light of new social-distancing realities. This was quite difficult for programs […]
April 30, 2020

Interfaith Solidarity this Ramadan

By Martin Accad My two young children (10 and 8) gathered around us a few days ago. My wife and I were going to have a heart-to-heart with them. Though we had so far decided to spare them the feelings of financial insecurity, we felt it was time to have […]