Pentecostal and "Pentecostal-like" churches are growing spectacularly in Africa. But discussing these churches without discussing their emphasis on success is like discussing computers without mentioning software.A true believer is successful; if not, something is very wrong. Consider the names of the churches: Victory Bible Church, Jesus Breakthrough Assembly, Triumphant Christian Centre.
Icon you not: In June, an image of Jesus could seen on a car window in Texas, the word Allah was visible in a sliced tomato in Britain, the face of God could be seen on the ceiling of a Tennessee church and Elvis’s profile was sighted on a rock in Colorado (Chicago Sun-Times, June 19).
Can you outsource a war? The Bush administration seems to be trying to do just that in Iraq, where it has relied to an unprecedented extent on private companies such as Halliburton and Blackwater to prosecute the war. Before the recent surge in troops, there were about as many private contractors—125,000—in the war zone as regular troops. Between 25,000 and 50,000 of these contractors protect military bases and the Green Zone, guard key personnel, provide escorts for convoys and train Iraqi soldiers. Who is accountable for the close to $4 billion that has gone to these “security services"? And to whom are these mercenaries accountable morally and legally?