Paganism is a blanket term covering practices ranging from witchcraft to nature worship. Such diversity creates a daunting task for Christian evangelism, since it’s difficult to identify a focus when finding common ground with pagans. With this in mind, how can Christians effectively share the Good News with their pagan brothers and sisters?
The answer, religious experts and pagans agree, lies in study and sincere empathy for paganism's many strands. Many pagans see their practice as an individual journey, so respecting each person's religious travels on a case-by-case basis is crucial.
"Pagans share with Christians the belief that we are fundamentally spiritual beings," said James Beverley, a professor of Christian thought and ethics at Tyndale Seminary in Toronto, Canada, and associate director of the Institute for the Study of American Religion. "With pagans, Christians long for meaning beyond the material realm and hope for life after death." more >>
A faith-based media production company is asking online viewers to choose their favorite videos from its own list of the top videos in 2011 aimed at promoting tolerance, peace, and social justice.
Odyssey Networks bills itself as the nation's largest multi-faith coalition dedicated to social causes through the production and distribution of media.
The “Top 11 Videos of 2011” include topics such as illegal immigration, poverty, and the 10th Anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the U.S. more >>
Modern paganism to outside observers often seems like a patchwork of random ideas. True paganism isn't far off from that description, its practitioners agree.
Ivo Dominguez, Jr., a high priest in Dover, Delaware’s Assembly of the Sacred Wheel, a Wiccan sect, said that paganism is usually used as a general term for faiths ranging from Wicca's witchcraft to reverence of nature. It's hardly definitive, he said, and for most pagans, their beliefs are built from a range of personal experiences and trial-and-error.
"It (paganism) contains a broad range of traditions and pantheons. Many pagans are drawn to particular parts of worship related to their genetic ancestry, while others just like what makes their hearts sing. Overall, most people that find their way into paganism have an interest with direct personal experience with the divine,” said Dominguez. more >>
Nigeria gripped news headlines over Christmas weekend when Islamic extremists bombed Christian churches in five different cities. Though such tragedies give the appearance of rampant religious violence, many experts now caution that religion is just one among several factors fueling strife in the West African nation.
As reported yesterday by The Christian Post, 39 people were killed when terrorists bombed churches in the cities of Madalla, Jos, Kano, Damaturu and Gadaka, on Christmas Day. The violence has intensified since then, with the city of Potiskum suffering arson at 30 different Christian shops and civilians fleeing the various attack sites.
John Campbell, the Council on Foreign Relations' Ralph Bunche Senior Fellow for Africa Policy Studies, said that although religion remains a divisive issue in Nigeria, it isn't the only concern causing the country problems. more >>
Recent winters have seen Christians fighting against the "War on Christmas" to defend Nativity scenes, the real meaning behind the holiday, and wishing people a “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays.” But just how much of the Christmas traditions we see today is truly Christian in origin?
Centuries earlier, Christians put together many Christmas traditions as it's practiced today by co-opting ideas from their pagan neighbors.
"It's important to know your roots," said Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel. "A lot of things we do today have pagan and pre-Christian origins." more >>
NEW YORK – A group of Christian and Jewish leaders gathered in front of the Iraqi Mission to the United Nations in New York City Wednesday to appeal to Iraqi authorities about the escalating violence against Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq.
Led by Dr. Paul de Vries, president of the New York Divinity School, the leaders spoke briefly with Ambassador Hamid Al-Bayati, permanent representative of Iraq to the United Nations, bringing the diplomat’s attention to the plight of Iraq's religious minorities, who have been facing escalating violence since the U.S. invasion of the country in 2003. The interfaith group sought to impress upon Al-Bayati the need for the government to protect its people, especially now that U.S. troops have left the country.
The Christian leaders emphasized that the Christmas season is a particularly dangerous time of the year for the Christian community, as terrorist organizations have targeted Christian holiday services in the Middle East in the past and have specifically recommended attacks on churches. more >>