The Gaza and Middle East crisis appeal, launched by our friends at Christian Aid in the light of the recent escalation of violence in the area, will help those most in need, working through partners to provide medical assistance and other essential services.
International lawyer and ecumenical consultant Dr Harry Hagopian, who is a valued Ekklesia associate and Middle East expert, has been interviewed by Civil TV about the latest challenges presented by the privately owned water company in Israel against the Church of Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, which is under the care of three Christian traditions.
In my latest Middle East analysis podcast, attention is focused on the maelstrom of violence tearing through Syria. If reports are to be believed, this conflict continues to claim between 100 and 200 lives a day.
Back in September, there were expressions across the world of what was dubbed 'Muslim rage' by the media, following the tawdry trailer for a film entitled 'Innocence of Muslims' ostensibly intended to defame the Muslim prophet Muhammad and insult the ummah of Islam worldwide. But Dr Harry Hagopian paints a much deeper and wider picture of Muslim discontents and provocations experienced throughout the Middle East and North Africa and elsewhere. Challenging simplistic 'clash of civilisations' theses, he says that what we need is not further disengagement between peoples and cultures, but rather further re-engagement.
“How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire! And the tongue is a fire,” wrote James two thousand years ago, in a letter read in many churches last Sunday. He warned that “every species of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by the human species, but no one can tame the tongue—a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse those who are made in the likeness of God.”
All Things Considered, the half-hour award-winning flagship of BBC Wales (radio) that is presented by Roy Jenkins every Sunday at 9:00 AM, will discuss Syria live tomorrow (Sunday, 5 August 2012) and I will be a panellist in the BBC studio.