The Vienna deal has been signed and likely will soon be ratified, which raises the question: Will any government intervene militarily to stop the nearly inevitable Iranian nuclear buildup?
Obviously it will not be the American or Russian governments or any of the other four signatories. Practically speaking, the question comes down to Israel, where a consensus holds that the Vienna deal makes an Israeli attack more likely. But no one outside the Israeli security apparatus, including myself, knows its intentions. That ignorance leaves me free to speculate as follows.
Three scenarios of attack seem possible: more >>
While the recent nuclear deal between Iran and six major world powers has stoked debate in the U.S. over the Obama administration's negotiating tactics, Iranian Christians are reportedly "thanking Christ" and view the agreement as an "answer to prayers," one Iranian priest has said.
"I can certainly say that all Christians, along with all the Iranian people are rejoicing because their prayers were answered," Chaldean Iranian priest Hormoz Aslani Babroudi, national director of the Pontifical Missionary Society of Iran, told Fides News Agency.
"From now on it will be easier for the world to have a positive outlook toward Iran, the desire for harmony will prevail and it will be easier to show everyone that Iran is not what some media networks report. We can work and use science for the good of the country, we can develop technologies to live better." more >>
Several Western world leaders and the government of Iran have reached a historic deal which is set to limit its nuclear activities in exchange for lifting economic sanctions. President Barack Obama and his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani have both praised the deal, calling it a "new chapter."
"Today, after two years of negotiations, the United States together with the international community has achieved something that decades of animosity has not: a comprehensive long-term deal with Iran that will prevent it from obtaining a nuclear weapon," Obama said on Tuesday morning from the White House.
Obama added that "every pathway to a nuclear weapon is cut off" for Iran. more >>
After outspoken Jewish Author Avi Lipkin told a prominent evangelical gathering last month that "all" churches have Muslim spies cataloging Christians for the day Jihad is called on America, one former Muslim who is now a Christian pastor says Lipkin's claim is nothing more than a fear-driven "conspiracy theory."
Lipkin, who is an Israeli citizen and frequent critic of Islam, tours American Christian churches and issues dire warnings about the jihadi threats the religion presents to the world. In mid-June, Lipkin, who has authored seven books, spoke at the the Skyline Wesleyan Church's Future Conference in San Diego, hosted by the church's pastor, Jim Garlow, where he explained that his wife works eight hours a day listening to Arabic hardline radio, internet and TV feeds for the Israeli government.
"My wife has picked up broadcasts that say all the churches in America have Muslim spies in them, including former Christians who converted to Islam," Lipkin proclaimed on June 15. "When Muslims come to you and say, 'Oh yes, we have accepted Christ and we are born-again,' you gotta be real careful because lying in Arabic is not only permissible it is commanded. Lying is a virtue in Islam to defeat the enemy." more >>
UNESCO has officially designated as a World Heritage site the location of the baptism of Jesus Christ on the eastern bank of the Jordan River. Scholars have said it is not known whether the exact location falls on the Jordanian or Israeli side of the river, which has long stirred a tourism dispute between the two countries.
The Associated Press reported on Monday that although the U.N. cultural agency declared that most Christian churches believe the Jordanian side to be the location of Jesus' baptism by John, as found in Matthew 3 and other passages, scholars say there is no way to be certain which side of the river was the precise location.
Jodi Magness, an archaeologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said that UNESCO's decision "has nothing to do with archaeological reality." more >>
Many remember the tragedies of the Second Sudanese Civil War and the historic peace agreement made in 2005. To help bring about this peace process, the Bush Administration appointed Senator John Danforth as Special Envoy to Sudan in 2001. Without Senator Danforth's efforts and dedication serving in the role of Special Envoy, the civil war may have continued and the nation of South Sudan might not exist.
After a year of the bloody campaign waged by the Islamic State in the Middle East, the current Administration has the opportunity to appoint a Special Envoy focused on this region.
The position of Special Envoy to Promote Religious Freedom of Religious Minorities in the Near East and Central Asia was signed into law one year ago, but since its creation it has remained empty. more >>