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Lebanon

There are presently more than 63.9 million “persons of concern” in the world. This designation includes refugees, people awaiting recognition as refugees and people who have fled their homes but not sought refuge in another country (internally displaced persons or IDPs). Of these, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reports, 16.1 million are […] Read More

The vision of humanity is inherently myopic. We are barely able to see the needs of our neighbor in the house, apartment or even cubicle beside us, let alone to recognize the needs of our neighbor across borders. Yet that is precisely what Christ calls us to do. Humanity’s natural proclivity is to act, and […] Read More

I had a chat with the water-filter guy. He was bemoaning the fact that, as a former procurement manager in Dubai, he had not been able to find a suitable job after returning to Lebanon. This, he attributed to the large influx of Syrian refugees who had flooded the job market. Moreover, he seemed none […] Read More

A group of anti-Muslim “crusaders” were stopped last week from carrying out their planned violence against a Somali Muslim community in Kansas. News of this plot in the U.S., where I’m from originally, seemed to me horrifically similar to the 1982 “Sabra and Shatila” massacres that took place in Lebanon where I now live, in […] Read More

Where does it begin – the hatred that wants to hear women and children scream in terror? What kind of narrative makes one willing to cause their suffering? If America is “ever going to get turned around, it will be a bloodbath,” Patrick Eugene Stein is quoted as saying. He is one of three conspirators […] Read More

Compassion is a powerful force. Stories of compassion are often found in places of tragedy and suffering. These are the locations of wounded and broken people. Members of a small Baptist church in the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon know about compassion. They saw more than a million Syrian refugees pour into their country – desperate […] Read More

More than 65 million people were forcibly displaced by conflict in 2015, according to a United Nations’ Refugee Agency (UNHCR) report, nearly 6 million more than 2014. Of the total, 21.3 million were refugees, which include 16.1 million under the UNHCR’s mandate as well as 5.2 million refugees registered by the United Nations Relief and […] Read More

Western fears about Islam and Muslims seem to be surging again, and there are political and religious leaders quick to point to anecdotes or news clips that only further incite tensions and hostility. They emphasize horror stories and brutal tragedies that can affirm our worst suspicions about a religion and its followers that still seem […] Read More

Fragmentary experiences can inform and sharpen one’s understanding of the world. That has been my experience over 25 years as executive director of the Baptist Center for Ethics/EthicsDaily.com. Here are a few experiences that have expanded and enriched how I interpret the world: The “prosperity gospel” creates profound challenge for African Baptist churches. At a […] Read More

In the immediate as well as broader canonical contexts of the Quran, if it were not for the extensive exegetical tradition of Islam, verse 157 of SÅ«rat Ä€l-Ê¿ImrÄn (SÅ«ra 4) would be understood simply as another piece of polemic against the Jews who, in verse 155, were being accused of breaking their covenant with God […] Read More