IMES Blog

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 […]
October 7, 2020

Is Following Jesus a “Politic?”

by Mike Kuhn Is following Jesus a “politic?” That question is perhaps the latest step in a life-long progression. Early in life I was taught that Jesus saved me from my sin so I could go to heaven when I die. Later came the realization that being a “Christian” meant […]
October 1, 2020

Are we Closer to a Peaceful Middle East? Politics, Abraham, and the Good Samaritan

By Nabil Habibi The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain recently signed a peace deal with Israel. The deal is of great importance economically and politically. In more than one sense, this might be the first actual peace, “warm peace” (a peace which goes beyond the political level to an actual […]
September 24, 2020

Middle East Conversations 2020 Webinar Report: Rethinking Missions During Pandemic: Considerations from the Middle East

Contemporary models of Christian missions have been tested by the unprecedented conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic. In recent months the realities of social distancing, travel restrictions, increased government tracking, and economic decline have challenged the way missionaries, sending agencies, and receiving ministries conduct “business.” While a sense of frustration is […]
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 […]
August 27, 2020

Middle East Conversations 2020 Webinar Report: No Space or New Space? Navigating Exceptional Times as the New Normal for the Local Church

As churches worldwide remain largely empty to mitigate health risks of COVID-19, profound questions are being asked about the very nature of church. Virtual formats indeed provide many congregations with valuable engagement methods, but prolonged physical distancing is proving a daunting and disorienting ordeal for faith communities. 2020 is an […]