Anything can label itself as being “Christian,” so we must always look to the person of Christ to guide us, because he already laid out a life for us that perfectly reflects what it means to be God incarnate on earth. Christ is everything.
My life depends on Christians announcing the good news AND that Muslims are not demonic worshippers of some foreign God. My life depends on Christians having those complex, emotionally exhausting conversations during the holidays with uncle Harry when he makes a derogatory remark. My life depends on you, as Christians, being willing to be uncomfortable in your own spaces and not being silent when someone says something Islamophobic.
I’ve been undoing this cycle for years now, grasping for whatever bits of myself I could salvage and building a whole woman with these fragments, gently weaving them together with truth, with pride, with love, and with hope that I now know. Because for all the ways America has taught me shame and taught me to hide, the people of America have taught me hope. That hope has filled in my gaps.
At the hectic border crossing between La Guajira department in Colombia and Zulia state in Venezuela, there are a surprising number of kids in school uniforms – niños pendulares, or pendulum kids.
Practicing silence can be counter-intuitive among progressive Jesus-followers who want to usurp the Trump-supporting, fear-mongering, Fox News version of Christianity. We’re emboldened to speak up and out, responding to next oppressive policy, the next breaking story, the next call to use our privilege to work on behalf of those who have little or none. But we risk something in this cycle: the development of a savior complex that loses touch with God’s direction of our call because we are too busy working to hear it.
Migrant people hold the now and the not yet in tension. In the midst of waiting to make it up north and taking their turn for a credible fear interview at the border, life continues. People find ways to feel alive, to keep hope alive. At La Casa del Peregrino, holding on to hope looked like doing karaoke, coloring banners, and making beaded bracelets. They were not devoid of life.
Dr. Denis Mukwege, who has just received the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize for his work in the Democratic Republic of Congo, shows us one example of what global Pentecostalism can look like. Mukwege is sharing the award with Nadia Murad of Iraq for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict.
Mukwege’s Panzi Hospital, located in Bukavu at the heart of the conflict-ridden South Kivu province, treated over 50,000 survivors of sexual violence during the last 20 years. Mukwege has also repeatedly criticized the Congolese government. In 2012, he was almost assassinated and his family was held at gunpoint.
In late September, about 20 men and women sat on folding chairs on the back patio of a large, colonial house in Ohio. The youngest in the group were in their mid-20s; the oldest were in their 70s and 80s. They’d traveled from New York, Nevada, Montana, California, as far as away as Calgary, Canada, to this small city 38 miles northeast of Cincinnati. Many of them wore bright yellow T-shirts with bold red letters that read “JESUS SAVES” or “TRUST JESUS,” and they sat facing a makeshift pulpit, decorated with signs reading “HEAVEN OR HELL?” and “PREPARE TO MEET THY GOD."
More than 1,000 young adults risked arrest Monday in Washington, D.C. by flooding the offices of Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), and Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.). It’s the second time this winter that the Sunrise Movement has taken to the capitol in what Sunrise Movement co-founder Varshini Prakash referred to as part of a concentrated effort, “[to] build policy support and people power” around a Green New Deal.
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