The war of the cross

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Posted on 19th September 2014 in Briefings, Comment & Analysis

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Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, International Director of Barnabas Fund

When ISIS changed its name in June from “the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant” (ISIL, or the Arabic acronym ISIS) to simply “the Islamic State”, this was a shift of enormous theological and eschatological significance.

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Is the international response too little, too late for Iraq’s beleaguered Christians?

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Posted on 15th August 2014 in Briefings, Comment & Analysis

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Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, International Director of Barnabas Fund

In the year 363 AD, a very holy man by the name of Mattai, fleeing persecution under the Roman Emperor Julian the Apostate, founded the monastery of St Matthew’s. Lying 20 miles from Mosul in northern Iraq, it became a place of refuge. In 1850 Presbyterian and Congregational missionaries entered Mosul and there they established a mission. In time the evangelical Church in Iraq was born, with congregations in northern Iraq situated at both Mosul and Kirkuk.

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“Struck down, but not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:9)

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Posted on 26th June 2014 in Briefings, Comment & Analysis

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The Apostle Paul, writing his second letter to the Corinthians, uses four emotive phrases in chapter 4 verses 8-9 to describe the conditions that he and his colleagues had faced in their perilous mission. He uses phrases drawn from either a military conflict or wrestling in the sports arena.

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Threat to wider region, Christian presence, as ISIS takes Mosul

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Posted on 13th June 2014 in Briefings, Comment & Analysis

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Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, International Director of Barnabas Fund

The alarming fall of Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul, to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) on Tuesday (10 June) and the group’s rapid advance south yesterday to Tikrit has sent shockwaves throughout the region.
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Syria continues to be a tragedy for Christians

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Posted on 10th March 2014 in Briefings, Comment & Analysis

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Here is one mother’s story after the beheading of her son.

Gulf feud reveals growing ideological divide over political Islam

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Posted on 6th March 2014 in Briefings, Comment & Analysis

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By Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, International Director of Barnabas Fund

The divide within ideological Islam is growing. This week saw Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and United Arab Emirates withdraw their ambassadors from Doha in protest at Qatar’s interference in their internal affairs. (more…)

Muslims take stand against Islamic violence; call for aid fund

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Posted on 28th February 2014 in Briefings, Comment & Analysis

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By Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, International Director of Barnabas Fund

In the wake of the sentencing yesterday of two British Muslims for the bloodthirsty and brutal murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby on the streets of London, it is worth noting that there are other Muslims taking a courageous stand against violence practised by Muslims. A particular example is Khaled Hroub, a scholar from Cambridge University. Dr Hroub has addressed the issue of Islamic violence against non-Muslims and also the hollow defence offered by many Muslims to try to protect their religion. He goes so far as to call for the creation of a special Muslim fund to provide aid for the victims of Muslim violence.

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US must remember its values and stand for religious freedom

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Posted on 13th February 2014 in Briefings, Comment & Analysis

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By Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, International Director of Barnabas Fund

The United States has a noble history of upholding and defending civil liberties, religious freedom in particular. It has put these values at the heart of its relations with other countries, challenging those who do not share them.

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“Death for blasphemy” ruling: a test for Pakistan’s government

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Posted on 30th January 2014 in Briefings, Comment & Analysis

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By Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, International Director of Barnabas Fund

The government of Pakistan now has less than a week to respond to a ruling by the country’s Federal Shariat Court (FSC) that the option of life imprisonment for blasphemy be removed, leaving only the death penalty.

The order, issued on 4 December 2013, sent a chill through the country’s minority Christian community, against whom the “blasphemy laws” (section 295 of the Pakistan Penal Code) are frequently used to settle personal scores; other minorities are also particularly vulnerable. It specifically concerns section 295-C, which prohibits “defiling the name of Muhammad”. (more…)

Christians rejoice as Egypt approves new constitution

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Posted on 23rd January 2014 in Briefings, Comment & Analysis

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By Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, International Director of Barnabas Fund

I can see my beloved country standing on the doorstep of a new day. Do pray that the hopes and dreams of millions of people, of a more settled, secure and democratic country, will be fulfilled.

The Most Rev. Dr Mouneer Hanna Anis in Cairo, Bishop of Episcopal/Anglican Diocese of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa

 

Egypt’s Christians are rejoicing following the passage of a new constitution that replaces the 2012 Islamist-sponsored code and strengthens rights and freedoms. (more…)