How Should Christians Respond to Christchurch Mosque Massacre?

89945Eleven evangelical experts weigh in as death toll of New Zealand Muslims hits 50.

On March 15, Muslim worshipers at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, suffered a terrorist attack at the hands of an avowed white supremacist. 50 people were killed, with another 50 injured.

Prior to the attack, the citizen of Australia posted a lengthy manifesto to social media, filled with anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim themes. He then proceeded to livestream the shooting. Some victims originally hailed from Pakistan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Malaysia.

Given recent attacks on Christians in their places of worship, including many in Muslim nations, CT invited evangelical leaders to weigh in: How should Christians respond to Christchurch?

Richard Shumack, director of the Arthur Jeffery Centre for the Study of Islam at Melbourne School of Theology, Australia:

The thing that came to mind immediately is Jesus’ beatitudes. How should Christians react to Christchurch? With mourning, a hunger for justice, and peacemaking. Christians must mourn with their Muslim brothers and sisters, thirst for the perpetrators of this heinous crime to be brought to justice, and put every possible effort into brokering peace in an age of furious tribalism.

I also embrace wholeheartedly the poignant wisdom of Dostoevsky quoted by the Anglican bishop of Wellington, New Zealand: At some ideas you stand perplexed, especially at the sight of human sins, uncertain whether to combat it by force or by humble love. Always decide, “I will combat it with humble love.” If you make up your mind about that once and for all, you can conquer the whole world. Loving humility is a terrible force; it is the strongest of all things and there is nothing like it.

FULL ARTICLE FROM CHRISTIANITY TODAY 

Christians, Islamophobia Is Our Problem

COMMENTARY
By Catherine Orsborn3-20-2019

2019-03-19t012144z_1_lynxnpef2i03p_rtroptp_4_newzealand-shootout_1I looked at the faces and read the stories of the people killed in New Zealand last Friday. I saw my own toddler in the face of the 3-year-old boy. I felt the anguish his family must be going through losing such joy from their lives. I thought about the children who no longer have a mother or a father, and the people who lost a brother, a sister, a best friend. It’s moments like this, when I see the human impact of hate, that I am called back to the “why?” of my own work.

As executive director of the Shoulder to Shoulder Campaign, my professional life is concentrated on counteracting anti-Muslim discrimination and violence. When I started this work, there were many from my white Christian community of origin that wondered if I had converted to Islam — as if that’s why I started doing this work.

I understood where the people asking this question were coming from, but the assumption behind it bothered me. They assumed the only reason Christians would care about anti-Muslim hate in the United States is if they had converted to Islam themselves. The assumption caused me to dig deeper into why I would care enough about this issue to devote myself to it not in spite of my Christian identity but because of it.

This theological grounding is a major part of why I started and stay involved in this work. But there’s something else that should be pulling white Christians into addressing Islamophobia: it’s our problem.

Why Islam Overtaking Christianity is Good for Christians

14359962849_1440794a9b_cApparently, Pew Research projects that Islam will overtake Christianity as the world’s largest religion by the year 2070.  This projection is based mainly on birth rates – Muslim women have more children than other religious groups, at 3.1 per woman for Muslims versus 2.3 for others.  In addition, the average age for Muslims is seven years younger – 23 – than other religious groups.

Naturally, many American Christians, especially conservative-evangelical types, are terrified.  Many already hold persecution complexes, and this knowledge seems to vindicate their xenophobic fear that “they” are taking over (even though by the time Islam becomes the world’s largest religion, Muslims will still only make up about 2% of the US population).

Reactionary violence aside (and no matter what happens, reactionary Christians gonna react), this impending de-throning of Christianity as the world’s largest religion is the best thing to happen to Christianity since the Reformation.  Finally, at long last, Christians will have to wake up.

No more can we rest on our laurels, assured that we’ve somehow “won” the game of religion.  No longer can Christian spiritual arrogance and chauvinism stand when Christians are a minority.

It will no longer be enough that we have converted the most people, or hoarded the most wealth.  Churches will no longer be able to fall back on the argumentum ad populum.

FULL ARITLCE FROM PATHEOS

Jews, Christians and Muslims band together to protest Trump’s immigration orders

a7fb2355a538461eb7ea3055552982c8_1486179632799_2703119_ver1-0FOX 32 NEWS – Jews, Christians and Muslims all banded together Friday to protest President Trump’s immigration orders.

The protesters formed a human chain in front of a mosque in southwest suburban Bridgeview.

The human chain in front of the mosque was a symbol of many faiths linking together to fight the president’s orders.

“These are our neighbors living in communities next to us. And they need support and encouragement to know they don’t have to live in fear looking over their shoulder,” said Presbyterian Minister Adam Malak.

“I want them to know that I’m here in solidarity with them, as my faith tradition teaches me to love they neighbor, I wanted to be here to show that support to them,” said Deacon Michael Fakete.

FULL ARTICLE FROM FOX 32 NEWS IN CHICAGO

Trump’s refugee policy raises a question: How do you tell a Christian from a Muslim?

Busy street scene, Damascus SouqPresident Trump’s telling, the Middle East is a place where Christians run a daily gantlet of persecution, threatened at every corner by religious zealots eager to chop off their heads.

The U.S. government under previous administrations, he alleged, showed little pity.

“If you were a Muslim, you could come” to the U.S., he said in an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network on Friday, “but if you were a Christian, it was almost impossible.”

In an executive order he signed Friday, he suspended refugee resettlement from seven Muslim-majority countries for 120 days.  (Late Saturday night, a federal judge in New York issued an order halting the removal of refugees or others who hold valid visas to enter the U.S. The order appears to affect up to 200 people who were detained in transit to the United States.)

The order notes, however, that the secretaries of State and Homeland Security may jointly decide to admit some refugees “including when the person is a religious minority in his country of nationality facing religious persecution.”

But in proposing what commentators have called a “religious test,” Trump has not yet answered one crucial question: Just how does one differentiate between Muslims and Christians?

FULL ARTICLE FROM THE LA TIMES 

Jewish, Muslim volunteers using ‘Mitzvah Day’ to do good deeds, give Christians a Christmas break

mitzvah_day_in_metro_detroit_0_51742004_ver1-0_640_480DETROIT (WXYZ) – While many Christians will celebrate Christmas with church, presents and a family dinner there are thousands of people in the metro Detroit area that will get the day off, but have little to celebrate.

It’s why for several decades people of the Jewish faith have taken advantage of the day to step up volunteer efforts during what’s now called “Mitzvah Day.” They have also joined together with those of Muslim faith to give back.

“It’s a day we’re proud of,” said David Kurzmann, a member of the Jewish Community Relations Council and AJC. “It’s a day that, for decades now, has become a family tradition.”

Nearly 1,000 Jewish and Muslim volunteers spread themselves across Detroit on Christmas to take part in ‘mitzvahs’ — good deeds — helping Detroit area social service agencies in 51 different communities.

“We can enable the Christian employees here to take some time to be with their families and take the place of some regular volunteers from the Christian community that would regularly be here,” said Kurzmann.

FULL ARTICLE FROM WXYZ NEWS

Study finds Christians in the U.S. tend to be less educated than Hindus, Jews, and Muslims

ap02121302524A study published Tuesday by the Pew Research Center revealed that in the U.S., Hindus are nearly three times more likely than Christians to have attended college or vocational school. An analysis of data collected in 2010 revealed a surprising gap in education between Christians and religious minorities, with Jews, Buddhists, Muslims, and the religiously unaffiliated more likely than Christians to have obtained a postsecondary degree. Of the 267 million Christians in the U.S. in 2010, only 36 percent had gone on to receive a postsecondary education.

More than anything, the study says, the findings are reflective of the country’s immigration policies. Lead researcher Conrad Hackett explained the gap is “largely a byproduct of immigration policies that favor highly educated and highly skilled applicants who have the financial means to set up life in a new country,” The New York Times reported. While just 14 percent of Christians were born abroad, an estimated 87 percent of Hindus were.

FULL ARTICLE FROM THE WEEK