Francis in Sarajevo

On Saturday, June 6, Pope Francis ­visited Sarajevo, the ­capital of partitioned Bosnia-Hercegovina. Although treated by international media as a typical papal tour, the event strengthened the potential of the Croat Catholic hierarchy in Bosnia to serve as agents of peace and reconciliation. This . . . . Continue Reading »

The Bard's Religion

A Will to Believe: Shakespeare and Religion  by david scott kastan oxford university press, 155 pages, $40.00If Zeno were to write Shakespeare criticism, he might sound a little like David Scott Kastan. The George M. Bodman Professor of English at Yale University’s meticulous, short book on . . . . Continue Reading »

Going South

From Every Tribe and Nation: A Historian’s Discovery of the Global Christian Story by mark a. noll baker, 224 pages, $19.99 In 1900, over 80 percent of Christians lived in Europe and North America. By 2050, the comparable figure should be just over a quarter, with the remainder distributed across . . . . Continue Reading »

On Rescuing Syrian Christians

A nice piece by Charles Krauthammer in the Washington Post, on the efforts of Lord George Weidenfeld, a British Jew, to save some Syrian Christians. Weidenfeld was himself rescued by Christians in 1938. A British Protestant group brought him to London from Vienna, thus saving him from the Holocaust. . . . . Continue Reading »

The Political Christian

The “Pastor Protection” bill just breezed through the Texas House and Senate with strong bipartisan support, and should soon be signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott. The purpose of the bill is to enshrine in law the ability of pastors to marry those couples whom their faith allows to be married, . . . . Continue Reading »

Mary, Mary's Son, and Islam

Does Islam worship the one God of Abraham, like Jews and Christians, or some other god? Many strident voices insist Allah is a different god. Inconveniently, though, the three great monotheistic faiths claim Abraham as their patriarch and resulting from that, each claim Abraham’s one God as their . . . . Continue Reading »

World Christianity by the Numbers

The annual “Status of Global Christianity” survey published by the International Bulletin of Missionary Research is a cornucopia of numbers: Some are encouraging; others are discouraging; many of them are important for grasping the nature of this particular moment in Christian history. Continue Reading »

Bosnian Muslims Celebrate an Islamic Christmas

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 »