In Dinka Bor tradition, long ebony shafts serve as walking sticks for the elderly, as scepters for newly married women and as weapons for initiates into manhood. Wooden spears are vital to Dinka cattle herders moving through alien territory. Hardwood branches, carved by Christian evangelists into crosses, are still implements of worship.
Christians from all traditions and from across the political spectrum have been pressing President Bush to try to get more United Nations peacekeeping troops on the ground in Darfur to stop the unrelenting violence there. The National Council of Churches endorsed the UN resolution in August that called for sending UN troops.
Mauricio Avilez isn’t sleeping well. He’s jumpy. It’s hard for him to concentrate on his studies. He’s learned surreptitiously that the paramilitary groups in his country, Colombia, want him dead. So he worries about unfamiliar cars on his street and motorcycles that cruise too close to the curb or near the window of a taxi he is riding in.
Several of the United States’ allies remain among the world’s most egregious violators of human rights, according to a recent report from a nonpartisan federal panel, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.
Republican member of Congress Henry J. Hyde opened a budget hearing of the House International Relations Committee on February 16 with a speech he called “Perils of the Golden Theory.” A reporter for National Public Radio called it flowery. I found it to be eloquent and nuanced, with a profundity one rarely encounters at a congressional budget hearing.
Filipino churches seeking justice over the summary killings of church and human rights workers are looking to the international Christian community to pressure the government in Manila to put a halt to the assassinations.
The Lutheran Church in El Salvador and officials at the Salvadoran Lutheran University contend that a robbery and brutal murder on their campus in late January was an act of intimidation aimed at the church for being outspoken in politics.
Los Angeles County supervisors, faced with a lawsuit to remove a tiny gold cross from the county seal, have voted to remove it, but the Roman goddess Pomona will stay. County supervisors voted June 1 to remove the cross, which was incorporated into the seal’s original 1957 design to represent the Catholic missions founded by Jesuit missionaries.
Though it is hard to imagine the situation in Colombia getting much worse, church leaders and human rights groups are warning that the violence is in fact increasing, and that a “dirty war” like the one in El Salvador in the 1980s and in Chile and Argentina in the 1970s is likely to erupt.