Friday, March 31, 2006

Another look at Afghanistan's Christianity

Another article on the Christian community in Afghanistan. This one points out a few interesting things: that there are also Sikh and Hindu communities in the country; most Afghans don't seem to mind their Christian neighbors, and that these incident has been exploited by some political groups; and the political exploitation of Islam has led to a disillusionment that is a factor in recent conversions. Also, the Christian community in Afghanistan and Pakistan pre-dates colonialism.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Rahman safe in Italy

Abdul Rahman has been granted asylum in Italy. No doubt a necessary step if his life is to be saved.

I have decided that in the future I will post similar stories. They don't always invlove Afghanistan or Islam, but they usually get an odd mention on a slow news day and are gone. I'll also try to link to the BBC when possible, because they tend to keep an extensive archive of stories. That way I won't have to worry about dead links.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Rahman Freed

Abdul Rahman has been freed. The courts grasped for an excuse to let him go -- is he crazy? is he still an Afghan citizen -- but in the end the government bowed to Western pressure. You can read more here. I only pray someone doesn't take it on themselves to enforce Islamic law.

Monday, March 27, 2006

A Secret Christianity

Here is another link about Abdul Rahman and life as an Afghan Christian. Sadly, I think we can expect the West to do nothing at all about this situation.

Friday, March 24, 2006

More News... This time from Afghanistan. And not so positive.

An Afghan man, Abdul Rahman, converted to Christianity and may now be killed by the state for apostacy. There's been an international outcry, but many in the country are digging their heels in. This quote is from the BBC:

"The Prophet Muhammad has said several times that those who convert from Islam should be killed if they refuse to come back," says Ansarullah Mawlafizada, the trial judge.

"Islam is a religion of peace, tolerance, kindness and integrity. That is why we have told him if he regrets what he did, then we will forgive him," he told the BBC News website.

There are reports that the President of Afghanistan is giving assurances that the man will not die, but I haven't seen any official announcements. Mr. Rahman converted to Christianity sixteen years ago.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Good news from Iraq

Today two Canadian Christian aid workers were freed in Iraq. They had been kidnapped last November and at one point a deadline was given, after which they would be killed if the US and its allies didn't release all their prisoners in Iraq. That date passed and nothing was heard about them, until another member of their group, an American, was found dead. He hadn't been kidnapped at the same time, but a Brit who had been was also freed. The three were rescued by a joint US-UK military operation. Given their group's leftist leanings, that was probably not their preferred method, but I am sure their families are just glad they are alive and safe.

I don't know if this story would have peaked my interest if they weren't Canadians or if they weren't always being described as Christians. Apparently over 400 foreigners have been kidnaped and about 55 killed. About 43 are still being held. Still as both a Canadian and a Christian, I identified with these guys. I'm glad their stories have ended well.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Not Quite Settled

I thought I was settling into my new place fairly well, but I am beginning to wonder. This week I was looking at the growing number of unfinished things in my life and was surprised at how many there are. I have a couple of good ideas for PBR articles, but I am getting nowhere with either. I usually have more than one book going at a time. I counted how many I have started recently and discovered there were ten. Ten! That pretty much means I won't finish any unless I get a little proactive. I could go on and on.

Most things are unpacked or stored away. The place is looking livable, but somehow I haven't quite picked up my old routines. Not yet, anyway.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Graphic Visionaries

First off, I am not endorsing the validity of either of these authors' views, nor am I equating religious experiences with schizophrenia. That out of the way, I think these are both very interesting pieces.

The Religious Experience of Philip K. Dick tells of an experience Dick, an American writer, had in 1974. He spent the rest of his life trying to explain it. It has been adapted by R. Crumb. In My Mom Was A Schizophrenic Chester Brown questions the validity of much of what modern society says about this mental illness.

I thought I'd post these links, because our society really isn't comfortable with too much religion. When Jews said to Jesus "Aren't we right in saying that you are a Samaritan and demon-possessed?" (John 8:48), we can look back and wonder how they could be so blind, but when the guy next to us pushes the spiritual envelope we're all to quick to say he's being legalistic or maybe just nuts.

I also think they are good examples of using the graphic medium to discuss important issues.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Moving? Moved? When is it actually finished?

This past weekend we moved from our home of 14 years and 11 months, a three bedroom townhouse, to an apartment. Both the rent and location are much, much better, but it only has two bedrooms and we have too much stuff. We're trying to unpack, but we have no where to put things. We're giving or throwing away a lot, too. To top it off I have been injured (a swollen knee), my wife has had exams, and my daughter's high school musical has just gone into performance! A friend told me that in a couple of weeks it'll all be finished. I'd like to believe her. I'm trying to believe her!

Moreover, my internet connection, which was supposed to be hooked up on Feb 27th, probably won't be up until March 6th. My provider is trying to figure out why the connection isn't working, and would like to come over. But no one can be home in the daytime until the 6th. I know what you're thinking: No internet means more time to unpack! But I actually use the 'net for things like banking and I don't want to do that at the library or work.