IMES Blog

August 31, 2016

Welcome to The IMES Blog!

Welcome to the official blog of the Institute of Middle East Studies (IMES), a research and resource institute of the Arab Baptist Theological Seminary in Beirut, Lebanon. IMES addresses subjects significant to the MENA region prophetically, sensitively and in a non-partisan manner for the purpose of carrying out its mandate to bring […]
December 2, 2020

Free Speech in Contention: On Offense, Faith, and Democracy

                                                                                                by Wissam Nasrallah I can still remember the day when my mother could not find Danish butter in Saudi supermarkets as a result of a boycott against Danish products by many Arab and Muslim countries after dozens of cartoons of the prophet Muhammad were published by the Danish newspaper […]
November 25, 2020

It Is OK for Christians to Love Their Country

By Walid Zailaa Last Sunday, Lebanon commemorated Independence Day. A year has passed without much hope. The one-year-old revolution that did unite for the first time the dreams of the Lebanese people against the corrupted ruling elite is fading away and with it the hope of a true independent Lebanon […]
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 […]
November 11, 2020

Arab Baptist Theological Seminary 60th Anniversary Virtual Celebration Report

The Arab Baptist Theological Seminary’s 60th Anniversary is an opportunity to remember God’s faithfulness through many decades of fruitful ministry. A vision “to see God glorified, people reconciled, and communities restored through the Church in the Arab world” daily motivates this dynamic community of students, staff, and partners to minister […]
November 4, 2020

When the State of Israel Becomes the New Testament’s Hermeneutical Key

by Wissam al-Saliby There are theological issues that are up for debate. And there are Biblical passages that are difficult to understand. But what I did not expect to hear in separate sermons in two different Evangelical churches in the Canton of Geneva, is Christian Zionist preachers reinterpreting the Parable […]
October 28, 2020

Middle East Conversations 2020 Webinar Report- Lebanon’s Year of Meltdown: Faith Refined

The 17 October 2019 outburst of popular protests was a watershed moment for Lebanon. It effectively launched a tumultuous 12-month period dominated by three prevailing national crises: a street protest movement fueled by rapidly deteriorating socioeconomic and political conditions, a public health emergency brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, and […]
October 21, 2020

Some Passports Are More Equal Than Others: A Brief Theological Reflection on Passports, Privilege, and Global Inequality

by Brent Hamoud 2020 has been a most perplexing year, and even passports are feeling it. To mitigate the spread of COVID-19 nations have implemented unprecedented measures restricting the entry of select passports. This has added intrigue to an already dynamic historic moment, and no doubt some were slightly amused […]
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 […]