NEW YORK — At age 12, the concerns of most American children usually revolve around schoolyard politics and the awkwardness of becoming a teenager, but for Rifqa Bary, a young girl in Ohio, a life-changing decision to secretly convert to Christianity completely consumed her world and left her living in constant fear.
"I was terrified of my parents finding out, and for four years I hid my faith and my friends were afraid for me," Bary, now 22, told The Christian Post on Wednesday, a day after the release of her new memoir, Hiding in the Light: Why I risked Everything to Leave Islam and Follow Jesus.
When Bary was 8, her family relocated from Sri Lanka, an Island near southeast India to the U.S., and first settled in Ohio. It was two devastating ordeals suffered by Bary that caused her family to flee her homeland and that would, in essence, lead to her leaving Islam for good. more >>
An interfaith imperative that brings together over 30 leaders from major world religions, including the World Evangelical Alliance, has launched a call to action to end extreme poverty by 2030 and tackle issues such as climate change.
"What does it mean for the Church to understand that God loves all the world?" asked Christine MacMillan, WEA's director for public engagement, in a phone interview with The Christian Post on Friday.
"There are two questions that you cannot change the answer to for yourself, or anybody else: Who your parents are, and where were you born. And the answer to those questions for some people in this world is devastating. We need to acknowledge that we do not live on an equal plane on this Earth, and God gives us a challenge to create some form of equality by loving our neighbors as ourselves." more >>
The New York City mayor's office recently announced their plan to allow private pre-kindergarten schools that receive taxpayer funding to have prayer breaks and a flexible calendar schedule.
By the start of next school year, pre-K schools, including religious ones, will be allowed to have time for prayer and religious instruction during the day.
Actor Michael Douglas penned an op-ed on Sunday, speaking out about an experience dealing with anti-Semitism his son faced and how religious bias may be obliterated by speaking and building bridges across religions.
"Speaking up is the responsibility of our political leaders," Douglas wrote in the Los Angeles Times. "Speaking up is the responsibility of our religious leaders, and Pope Francis has used his powerful voice to make his position and that of the Catholic Church clear, saying: 'It's a contradiction that a Christian is anti-Semitic. His roots are Jewish. Let anti-Semitism be banished from the heart of life and of every man and every woman.'"
Douglas also cited Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan for helping build relations between Jewish and Catholic communities. He noted that the challenge is to "stand up to hatred of the Jewish people." But different religious factions have to come together in order to do so. Christians and Jews are not enemies but are born from the same Abrahamic traditions, as his own father, Kirk Douglas, once stated. more >>
Christian mother of two Jessey Eagan is making headlines with her announcement that she's using the 40 days of lent as an opportunity to "idetify with the other" by wearing a hijab and blogging about her experiences, #40daysofhijab, on her website, where she's sharing some of the reactions she's received from both Muslims and Christians around her community in Peoria, Illinois, and beyond.
The inspiration that led Eagan to wear the hijab for 40 days can be read in Part 1 of The Christian Post's interview in which she explains why she decided to wear the scarf headcoverings traditionally worn by women in some Muslim sects and what impact this gesture is having on the people she meets.
In Part 2 of CP's interview with Eagan (below), she talks about how she and her husband strive to connect with Muslims in their community, adding that her primary goal behind #40daysofhijab isn't to convert Muslims to Christianity or evangelize to them but to spark dialogue and understanding among people of all faiths. more >>
Jessey Eagan, a Christian mother of two and part-time children's director at Imago Dei Church in Peoria, Illinois, has chosen to wear a hijab this Lenten season and has been blogging about her experience #40daysofhijab since she started.
In an interview with The Christian Post on Monday, Eagan explained why she decided to wear the traditional head covering — worn in public by women of some Muslim sects, but not all — and shared some of the the reactions that she's received from both Christians and Muslims.
The following is an edited transcript from CP's Part 1 interview with Eagan. more >>