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Mecca for Sale

From the February 2015 Print Edition

Mecca is threatened. The city is the sacred center of attention for all Muslims. It is the location of the qibla, or direction of prayer, and the destination for millions of participants in the annual hajj, the pilgrimage required for all Muslims who can afford it, at least once in their lives. But . . . . Continue Reading »

Bosnian Muslims Celebrate an Islamic Christmas

From Web Exclusives

Most of the world’s Christians—as well as many non-believers—celebrated the birth of Jesus on December 25. Members of the Egyptian Coptic, Ethiopian, most Slavic Orthodox, and Georgian Orthodox churches, with some Greek Orthodox faithful, will mark the festival on January 7. The fourteen-day difference reflects the retention by certain Orthodox congregations of the Julian calendar, which was replaced by Gregorian reckoning in the majority of Orthodox societies early in the twentieth century. Continue Reading »

Is Latvia Putin’s New Target?

From Web Exclusives

In May 2014, I attended an interfaith conference in Kosovo where I met Janis Priede, an associate professor in the department of Oriental Studies at the University of Latvia, located in the national capital, Riga. Having watched, from the Balkans, the Russian annexation of Crimea and further attempted partition of Ukraine during the first half of the year, I expressed my concern to Prof. Priede that Latvia, a member of the European Union (EU) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), could be the next object of aggression by Vladimir Putin. He agreed. Continue Reading »

Trotsky the Fox

From Web Exclusives

With the publication of Trotsky: A Biography, Robert Service, a professor of Russian history at Oxford and an outstanding authority on the Russian Revolution, has completed a biographical trilogy treating the main architects of Soviet Communism… . Continue Reading »

What Happened at Medjugorje?

From Web Exclusives

In 1981, a year after the death of ex-Yugoslavia’s communist dictator, Josip Broz Tito, events in Medjugorje, a small town in Bosnia-Hercegovina, began to stir the Christian world. Six Croatian Catholic children-four girls and two boys, then aged from ten to sixteen-claimed to have experienced visions of the Virgin Mary. Even now, after twenty-eight years, three of the Medjugorje seers still report nightly visitations … Continue Reading »

Broken Promises

From the April 2006 Print Edition

“Never forget what happened here!” John Paul II demanded in 1993 when he visited Albania ” where, under the dictatorship of Enver Hoxha, the Communists were at their most ferocious in the suppression of religion. More than a dozen years later, the pope’s heartfelt warning seems . . . . Continue Reading »