Thursday, February 04, 2016

Anglicans Confront Challenge of Islam; The Fellowship of the Suffering...more links

Anglicans Confront Challenge of Islam
Christianity and Islam together comprise the world’s two largest faiths, each monotheistic and centered upon the importance of proselytization – and in many parts of the world, they are on a collision course.

“The prospects for religious war in the next decade are extremely high unless groups like Boko Haram and ISIS are uprooted,” warned Baylor University History Professor Philip Jenkins.

Jenkins, an Episcopalian, was one of seven speakers presenting at the annual Mere Anglicanism Conference January 28-30 at the Charleston Music Hall in Charleston, South Carolina. Mere Anglicanism is the kind of rare event that attracts a cross-section of participants from both the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church in North America, as well as overseas Anglicans and the local Diocese of South Carolina...

A.S. Haley: Report on Mere Anglicanism 2016 (Part I) The theme of this year's Mere Anglicanism Conference in Charleston, South Carolina was "The Cross and the Crescent: the Gospel and the Challenge of Islam." Over the course of four sessions, seven speakers gave the sold-out audience a comprehensive view of Islamic ideology and history, along with the understanding and tools which Christians need in their personal dealings with Muslims.

The Conference was carefully balanced. Two of the speakers analyzed the tenets of Islam and their contrasts with those of Christianity; two of the speakers spoke to the historical and present-day conflicts between Islamic countries and Western ones; two offered insights and approaches to discussing religion with followers of Mohammed, garnered from their years of experience in dealing with Muslims from all walks of life; and the seventh speaker offered a moving personal testimony to his own conversion from Islam to Christianity -- a decision which cost him his closest ties to his own family. In order to keep my report easier to follow, I shall divide it into two parts. I will first discuss those speakers who gave analytical and historical critiques of Islam, and then cover those who offered pragmatic advice in the second part....

The Fellowship of The Suffering
 Those who previously were uninformed about – or in denial of – the severity of the trials that face Christians around the world have had to come to grips with the graphic images of martyred men in orange jumpsuits on a Libyan seashore. Multiply those martyrs by the millions and spread them throughout punishment and prison camps in North Korea, scorched-earth villages in Sudan, bomb-blasted churches in Pakistan, house churches and police stations in China, corpse-lined streets in northern Nigeria, etcetera, and it’s the Fellowship of The Suffering.

As the Institute on Religion and Democracy’s Religious Liberty Director for 22 years, I have been privileged to know great sorrow for my persecuted brothers and sisters. The sorrow has been great because the persecution and death of fellow Christians is overwhelming in scale. And some sorrow has been great because it was more personal...


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