We weren't planning to get involved in the Syrian refugee struggle, but when the crisis became world news, we packed our family into our minivan and drove roughly 2,000 miles from Estonia to help. What we saw there changed our lives.
When we arrived in Serbia, we found that the refugees come in waves. At one moment, the temporary camps will have less than 100 people waiting for a bus to the next border. Then as buses come in and unload, suddenly there will be thousands of refugees there, without shelter and food, and sometimes without warm clothes.
We collected and carried humanitarian aid to two camps in Serbia — one at the central train station of Belgrade, the other near a bus station by Serbia's southern border with Macedonia. We had already received donations from individuals and churches in eight countries that allowed us to purchase blankets, clothes, food, and heaters. We filled our van four times, and, each time, the van was emptied and the supplies distributed within minutes. more >>
I know I'm not the only one whose Facebook page has been blowing up with various opinions and strategies concerning the Syrian refugees and their relation to American national security. I've admired my friends who've brought up the issue with wisdom and a listening heart — no matter what side they've come down on.
After sitting on the sidelines for a couple days, here's my take on five things to ask ourselves:
1) Is it really us vs. them? more >>
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton asserted on Thursday that Muslims are "peaceful and tolerant people" and have "nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism."
In a speech given at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City, the former Secretary of State and First Lady discussed how she feels the United States should be doing more to combat the Islamic State terrorist organization. She also criticized Republicans who often claim "radical Islamic terrorism" is America's biggest threat.
"The bottom line is that we are in a contest of ideas against an ideology of hate, and we have to win. Let's be clear, though. Islam is not our adversary," Clinton argued. "Muslims are peaceful and tolerant people and have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism. The obsession in some quarters with a clash of civilization or repeating the specific words, 'radical Islamic terrorism' isn't just a distraction." more >>
The terrorist attacks in Paris have resulted in a renewed focus on the previously announced plan by the Obama administration to relocate 10,000 refugees from Syria to the U.S. Various Republican candidates and many state governors have expressed concern over the policy in the wake of the attacks, with as many as 26 governors announcing that their states will not accept Syrian refugees — although their legal or practical ability to prevent the refugees from coming to their state is unclear.
President Barack Obama has fought back against these reactions and defended his policies, saying, "We are not well served when, in response to a terrorist attack, we descend into fear and panic."
This, of course, is not the first time that Americans have been faced with the issue of dealing with refugees fleeing some form of oppression or political reprisal in countries around the world. more >>
Is it wrong for Christians to consider reasons to not admit Syrian refugees? Many believe it is and are denouncing Christians who believe otherwise, especially politicians.
"After the terror attacks in Paris last week, it didn't take long for the League of Super Christians currently running for president to begin contradicting everything Jesus and every prophet in the Bible ever uttered about extending grace to the poor, the refugee, the destitute and the strangers among us," wrote Tony Norman, a professing Christian and columnist with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "Looking around for an issue to demagogue, a good chunk of the presidential field and a bunch of Republican governors decided that the 10,000 Syrian refugees America has already agreed to take in now represent an unacceptable terrorist threat."
Similarly, an article at Think Progress accused Christian governors who are refusing refugees of being hypocritical and asserted "that's not what Jesus would do." Citing Matthew 25:41-43, the article said the Bible calls on Christians to "welcome the stranger." more >>
Your understanding of the history of Thanksgiving may be about to change. "Saints & Strangers," a two-night miniseries that premieres Nov. 22 on National Geographic Channel, is a visually stunning, action packed account of the first Thanksgiving in 1620. The series delivers a rare, in-depth chronicle of events leading up to the historic meal, as well as insight on the dynamics at play between Pilgrims and Native Americans, from each of their perspectives.
In an exclusive interview, The Christian Post spoke to actors Vincent Kartheiser, Kalani Queypo, Tatanka Means and writer Seth Fisher about the real-life events that are recounted in "Saints & Strangers."
Vincent Kartheiser, who plays William Bradford — the Christian English leader who settles in Plymouth in search of religious freedom — spoke of the integrity brought to the project by National Geographic and producers of the miniseries. more >>