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What Losing Your Religious Freedom Actually Looks Like

A district court in Ethiopia has charged six members of an Ethiopian Orthodox Church (EOC) with inciting public disturbance, destroying public trust in government officials and spreading hatred after it surfaced in the media that official complaints were made to the government about increasing persecution of Christians in a Muslim-dominated area in the south of the country.

Transforming the Religious Impulse Gone Bad

Eric Schmitt’s recent New York Times story, “In Battle to Defang ISIS, U.S. Targets Its Psychology,” was startling. You might, at first glance, call it 2014’s most hopeful story about the nightmare called the “Islamic State” and its echoes around the world. Schmitt profiles Maj. Gen. Michael Nagata, commander of American Special Operations forces in the Middle East. Nagata has organized a military/academic/private-sector think-tank to ask: “What makes the Islamic State so dangerous?”

The Challenge of ISIS in America:  Perspectives of Interfaith Leaders and Peacebuilders

A complex history of religious, political, and ethnically based conflict has now thrust the world into a wrenching conversation around the significance of a terrorist organization calling itself the Islamic State (known by other acronyms such as ISIL or ISIS or simply IS). Here in the U.S., this conversation has broadened to a more volatile discussion around religion, secularization, Islam and human rights.

Global Religion – A Perfect Storm, by the Numbers

Religiously related beheadings broadcast this summer over the internet snapped the world to attention, initiating a dark new chapter in global religious relationships. We might call this a tragic aberration if the madness were confined to Iraq/Syria, or if religious freedom was not diminishing globally even as religiously related conflict is accelerating. But this new level of violence could push us to a tipping point. Humankind’s best hope may be the willingness of peacemakers, religious and secular, to join hands strategically to end absolutist violence, wherever it’s found.