What will happen if Barack Obama makes good on his promise to withdraw American troops from Iraq by 2011? One scenario is that hostilities between Iraq’s Shi‘ites and Sunnis will reignite in a destructive civil war, plunging the country into further chaos.
When denominational officials look at the number of empty pulpits in their churches, they worry about a shortage of pastors. Some have strategized about new ways to recruit candidates for ministry. “The clergy shortage is impacting me at every turn,” says Bishop Ted Gulick of the Episcopal Diocese in Kentucky.
Since the 9-11 terrorist attacks the U.S. State Department has sponsored a number of study programs that bring Muslim scholars from around the world to the U.S. with the aim of showing off the American way of separating church and state, and demonstrating how American society is able to both nurture faith traditions and support religious diversity.