the Web Editors 09-30-2016

1. Using Sound to Explore One of Syria’s Most Notorious Prisons

“The user is immersed in both an auditory and visual experience narrated by the detainees. As you explore the different locations you can hear water dripping through the pipes, the faint sound of birds or the footsteps of approaching guards.”

2. Social Media Got You Down? Be More Like Beyonce.

I mean … isn’t that always the answer to the question? But really, a very important read for the swipe generation.

3. Hip Hop and Liberation of Women in Kabul

How some women are defying deprecated Taliban mores and making their voices heard.

09-30-2016

Image via RNS/The Tennessean/USA Today

The members had no idea that word of their efforts to start the Islamic Center of Nashville had reached Yusuf Islam, the famous British musician and Muslim convert also known as Cat Stevens, until his check arrived in the mail.

“I was thinking, ‘What a miracle,’” said Elberry, who was a Vanderbilt University graduate student from Egypt at the time.

Image via RNS/The Star-Ledger/John O'Boyle

The Internal Revenue Service has reclassified one of the most famous Christian organizations, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

At the request of the Graham organization, the IRS changed its tax status from a nonprofit to an “association of churches,” The NonProfit Times reported on Sept. 26. The change was made last November.

The change means the 66-year-old Christian organization no longer has to file what the IRS calls Form 990, a public statement of its financial information, including salaries for top officials. It will continue to publish an annual financial report, available to the public on its website.

Catherine Woodiwiss 09-29-2016

Image via /Shutterstock.com

The survey, released by the Pew Research Center on Sept. 28, polled more than 4,500 adults on the use of contraception and other recent “values” controversies in an effort to put data to the often-public communications breakdowns between America’s understanding of religious liberty and nondiscrimination. Other hot button issues in the survey included whether businesses should be required to provide wedding services to same-sex couples, and whether transgender people should be able to use the restrooms of the gender with which they identify — both of which revealed national opinion to be nearly evenly split.

Image via RNS/Reuters/Rick Wilking.

The letter writers, who say they “are not here endorsing or denouncing a political candidate,” cite what they believe are consequences of a progressive agenda. The results, they say, include a “growth industry trafficking in human baby organs and body parts,” a “Transgender agenda imposed by Obama-government edict,” and “(h)ostility towards Judeo-Christian religious liberty in our courts.”

Jim Wallis 09-29-2016

Image via Michael Fleshman/Flickr

Clear racial profiling and abusive treatment of communities of color does little to reduce crime or make people in the community feel safer. Instead, it provokes the opposite — creating an aggressive environment of complete mistrust, confrontation, and anger. People of color who are stopped and searched over and over and over again, having done nothing wrong, rightly come to view the police as an oppressive, even illegitimate, force in their lives and communities.

Joe Kay 09-29-2016

Image via /Shutterstock.com

To be led by the spirit of a loving God means that when we see fear and pain and need around us, we head toward it. That’s the job description. Look it up.

Image via /Shutterstock.com

The study comes in the same year that Larycia Hawkins — Wheaton College’s first black, female professor to receive tenure — parted ways with the evangelical flagship school after she posted on Facebook that both Christians and Muslims worship the “same God.” The controversy stirred fresh debate among evangelicals about whether all religions worship the same God, and whether God accepts the worship of all religions.

Image via RNS/Reuters/Baz Ratner

Peres, who was 93, was the last major surviving founder of Israel, and evolved from a hawkish defender of the Jewish state to a champion of the two-state solution in which Israelis and Palestinians would co-exist in peace.

Religious leaders remember him for reaching out to people he once considered his enemies.

Image via RNS/Washington National Cathedral/Danielle Thomas

The two panes bearing the image of the flag were replaced last month with red and blue panes to match surrounding glass, said Kevin Eckstrom, chief communications officer for the cathedral. Adjoining panes honoring Confederate generals remain in place but “their long-term future is really very much up in the air,” he said.

Eckstrom said on Sept. 28 that he learned of the change in the windows the day it occurred — Aug. 26 — when an architect met with members of a cathedral committee who quickly decided on the specific replacement glass.

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