Sojourners Magazine: April 2015
THE MERCILESS BRUTALITY of ISIS jihadists—from the beheading of 21 Egyptians to the burning alive of a Jordanian soldier—is a moral outrage and a deepening concern for the world’s political powers. While debate rages about military answers, another under-the-radar response has emerged inside of ISIS-held territories: Nonviolent resistance.
Maria J. Stephan, a senior policy fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace, explores this underreported movement energized by peace activists in both Syria and Iraq, activists who have not given up hope for their countries. From individuals, such as Soaad Nofal and her courageous public stand against ISIS in Raqqa, Syria, to long-standing organized groups committed to peace, a grassroots wave of resistance is countering violence with hope. And Sojourners contributing editor David Cortright writes about the limits of a military response to terrorism and the alternatives that, in the long run, can promote outcomes of lasting peace.
Stateside, Virginia Gilbert studies the increasing burden of education debts on college graduates, which has created a type of indentured servitude that for many proves difficult to escape. And the government has become the collection agency.
Our Beatitudes series continues with a confessional account from author Josh MacIvor-Andersen, one that informs the calls for mercy in our own lives today. “Lord have mercy” is both a cry for healing in a broken world and a call for God’s intervening hand.