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Buddhists Expelled from Malaysia for Praying in Muslim Hall

Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Photo courtesy RNS/Auswandern Malaysia/
Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Photo courtesy RNS/Auswandern Malaysia/flickr.com

The government of Malaysia expelled a group of Singaporean tourists for chanting Buddhist prayers inside an Islamic prayer room where they erected a large Buddhist painting on the wall facing Mecca.

The government also revoked the permanent resident visa of the businessman who allowed the Buddhists to pray at his beach resort in Johor state, about 185 miles south of Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Muslim-majority Malaysia.

The government’s response is the latest in a series of crackdowns on behavior deemed disrespectful of Islamic traditions and beliefs.

VIDEO: Five Stages of Climate Grief

As climate change takes its toll on the Earth, many people are paralyzed by inaction—perhaps not out of fear or guilt, but because of despair. To confront climate change, we may need to first deal with our sense of grief, argues Katharine M. Preston in “Mourning for the Earth” (August 2013, Sojourners).

Watch this film essay to learn more about the five stages of climate grief.

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VIDEO: Rethinking Evangelism

In “Waiting on God,” from the July 2013 issue of Sojourners magazine, Episcopal priest Linda Kaufman shares how she fell in love with Jesus all over again. While exploring myriad ways to know Christ, Kaufman watched “How Great Leaders Inspire Action,” a TED Talk by Simon Sinek, which helped her realize that people make decisions based on values and belief rather than reason or logic. According to Sinek, decisions are not made in the cerebral cortex (the thinking part) of the brain, but rather in the limbic or “reptile” part of the brain.

Kaufman realized:

“If decisions are made in the reptile part of our brain, I can barely even get my thinking to consider what this means for evangelism and sharing the love I have for Jesus with others. If it’s not the thoughts and words that will win others to Jesus, then how are we to share this ground of our being with others?”

Watch this video to explore how to communicate Christ, if most decisions made by people are based on values and belief.

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VIDEO: Dirty Wars

As part of Sojourners magazine’s July 2013 coverage on drones, we sat down with investigative reporter Jeremy Scahill to take an inside look at the covert wars waged by the United States and the drones that have become an integral part of the unending global “war on terror.”

Read “Peering in the Dark Corners,” by Catherine Woodiwiss, to shed light on how drones have become a tool of permanent war. To learn more about Scahill’s work, watch his new film Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield.

For Sojourners’ continuing coverage on drones and drone warfare, visit Drone Watch.

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VIDEO: Beyond Bars

I first learned about Susan Burton when I watched her receive an award as one of CNN’s top 10 heroes. Burton, a former drug addict who served prison time, captivated me by the way she never allowed her past to define her. As the founder of a New Way of Life Reentry Project, Burton continues to provide housing and support for more than 500 formerly incarcerated women in south Los Angeles.

Learn more about this extraordinary woman in Sojourners magazine.

Burton remains committed to supporting programs that help formerly incarcerated women break the cycle of repeat imprisonment. Beyond Bars—a project that Burton advises—seeks to curb mass incarceration in the U.S., a problem fueled by for-profit prisons and institutionalized racism.

Beyond Bars produced the following video to help put a face to the problem. After watching it, ask yourself whether mass incarceration serves the common good.

And ask yourself whether you believe in second chances. As a broken follower of God, I know I sure do.

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VIDEO: 6 Months After Superstorm Sandy, Hope Emerges

Church in Massapequa, N.Y. offers help. Photo courtesy of Mike DuBose.
Church in Massapequa, N.Y. offers help. Photo courtesy of Mike DuBose.

This week marked six months since Superstorm Sandy left entire communities devastated, families homeless, and many with little hope. But in the midst of this natural disaster, many banded together. As is true with many of our nation's tragedies, recent and throughout our history, communities form and hope emerges amid struggle. Sandy taught us about resilience. It showed us what it truly means to reach out, serve, and love our neighbor. 

One young filmmaker in New York, Farihah Zaman, caught that resilience and acts of service on video. Here, she shows us how tragedy can turn into a joint effort to acheive the common good. 

Top 5 Earth Day Videos

ixpert / Shutterstock
Japan and Siberia. Elements of this image furnished by NASA. ixpert / Shutterstock

Today is Earth day! More than 1 billion people in 192 countries are participating in Earth Day festivities, which means there must be some good videos out there on the Internet commemorating this occasion, right? Right. So here are the five of our favorites videos  — in no particular order — celebrating the Earth and the day designated for it.

1. Where did Earth Day come from? Get some info about Earth Day.

 

Keystone XL: The Dirty Facts

In February, more than 30,000 people demonstrated in Washington, D.C., against the Keystone XL Pipeline. During his speech at the largest climate rally in U.S. history, 350.org founder Bill McKibben stated, “I’ve waited my whole life for this.”

Read the rest of Bill’s stirring speech in “The Battle is Joined,” featured in Sojourners magazine’s special climate change issue (May 2013). Join the battle to stop the construction of this pipeline. Check out the resources below to learn the dirty facts about Keystone XL.

Upworthy’s #NoKXL Video

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Wealth Inequality in America

While the rich become even richer, everyone else is getting poorer. Yet most people don’t even realize how wide the wealth gap is and underestimate the level of inequality in the U.S.

Rev. Otis Moss III sets the record straight in “The Growing Wealth Gap,” in the May 2013 issue of Sojourners magazine.

With the racial wealth gap reaching an all-time high, Rev. Moss urges Christians to act boldly against poverty—the “cruel thief of dreams.” Read more about this alarming trend here, and check out the infographic below.

 

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VIDEO: Malawi Activist on Climate Change

While many people continue to believe there is no climate crisis, those most affected by global warming—particularly in the global South—know otherwise. According to Sojourners magazine’s interview with Malawi activist Victor Mughogho, the “impacts are quite severe on the ground.”

Victor and his organization, Eagles Relief and Development Programme, works with local churches in Malawi to address the effects of climate change. Together, Christians are caring for their neighbors and adapting to the changing environment. But are these efforts enough?

Find out the answer by reading our exclusive interview with Victor and watching this video below.

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