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Links on R&P from around the web

How Evangelicals Pushed Back on Biden’s Refugee Reversal

posted on April 27, 2021

For Christianity Today, Stefani McDade reports, “Evangelical advocates played a crucial role in holding President Joe Biden accountable to a promise to raise the limits for refugees coming to America.” In April, the Evangelical Immigration Table, which includes nine evangelical organizations, released a statement urging the White House to reconsider its cap. On a phone call with several evangelical organizations arranged by the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, White House officials promised that Biden would raise the number of refugees allowed entry.

Read at Christianity Today

Biden Recognizes Atrocities Against Armenians as Genocide

posted on April 27, 2021

Aamer Madhani, Matthew Lee, and Zeynep Bilginsoy of the Associated Press report, “The systematic killing and deportation of more than a million Armenians by the Ottoman Empire forces in the early 20th century was ‘genocide,’ the United States formally declared on Saturday, as President Joe Biden used that precise word after the White House had avoided it for decades for fear of alienating ally Turkey.” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey rejected the declaration. The AP reports that Erdogan sent a message to the patriarch of the Armenian church just before the White House announcement, calling for a continuance of “the culture of coexistence” between Muslim Turks and Christian Armenians.

Read at The Associated Press.

The Death of George Floyd Reignited a Movement. What Happens Now?

posted on April 21, 2021

Audra D.S. Burch, Amy Harmon, Sabrina Tavernise, and Emily Badger of The New York Times report on both the progress achieved and challenges that remain for Black Americans after Derek Chauvin’s conviction. The Rev. Otis Moss III, pastor of Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ, said the past year did not bring a racial reckoning. “‘Reckoning suggests that we are truly struggling with how to reimagine everything from criminal justice to food deserts to health disparities — we are not doing that,’ he said. Tuesday’s guilty verdict, he said, ‘is addressing a symptom, but we have not yet dealt with the disease.’”

 

Read at The New York Times

Why Defining Gossip Matters in the Church’s Response to Abuse

posted on April 21, 2021

Kate Shellnutt of Christianity Today writes, “Christians are right to heed scriptural warnings about gossip, secrets, and lies. Yet the American church has also seen a pattern of leaders referencing such teachings to silence and discredit victims and whistleblowers.” Some Christians leaders and organizations have tried to prevent members and employees from speaking out about abuse or misconduct, accusing them of “spreading rumors” or “false allegations.” Stephen Witmer, a Massachusetts pastor, said, “We’ve seen, particularly in the past several years, powerful people able to harm others—sometimes over the course of many years—and get away with it, in part because the victims were isolated and unaware of each other, in part because the organization protected its leaders from appropriate criticism.”

Read at Christianity Today

Georgia Faith Leaders Urge Boycott of Home Depot Over Voting Law

posted on April 21, 2021

Nick Corasaniti of The New York Times reports, “A major coalition of Black faith leaders in Georgia, representing more than 1,000 churches in the state, called on Tuesday for a boycott of Home Depot, arguing that the company had abdicated its responsibility as a good corporate citizen by not pushing back on the state’s new voting law.” Home Depot has its headquarters in Georgia, and it has a large workforce in the state. The Rev. Timothy McDonald III, pastor of First Iconium Baptist Church in Atlanta, said, “We’ve got to use whatever leverage and power, spiritual fortitude that we have, including our dollars, to help people to understand that this is a national campaign.”

Read at The New York Times

“I’m Still Learning”: The Journey of George Floyd’s Brother Philonise

posted on April 21, 2021

Robert Samuels of The Washington Post profiles Philonise Floyd, George Floyd’s brother, who has become an activist since his brother’s murder. “I had confronted racism before, but I always just tried to take the high road,” he told Samuels. “When that officer killed him, my brother never got the chance to take the high road. Racism killed him. So now it is my duty to speak out.” He has felt his brother’s presence in church in recent weeks. “If justice could not come by the law, Philonise hoped peace could come through faith,” Samuels writes.

Read at The Washington Post

Return the National Parks to the Tribes

posted on April 20, 2021

For The Atlantic, David Treuer reports, “For Native Americans, there can be no better remedy for the theft of land than land. And for us, no lands are as spiritually significant as the national parks.” He argues for the return of the national parks to native tribes, contending that this move would both right historical wrongs and avoid partisan mismanagement. Treuer writes, “The national parks are the closest thing America has to sacred lands, and like the frontier of old, they can help forge our democracy anew.”

Read at The Atlantic

The “Herald Square Bomber” Who Wasn’t

posted on April 20, 2021

For The New York Times Magazine, Rozina Ali profiles Shahawar Matin Siraj, a man convicted on terrorism charges through the work of an informant. His case, in which an informant helped plan a terror plot, raises questions about the use of entrapment in the post-9/11 war on terrorism. Ali writes, “In some respects, the government’s counterterrorism policy may be manufacturing the very threat it was meant to confront.” Siraj remains incarcerated after losing his appeals, having served 16 years of a 30-year sentence.

Read at The New York Times Magazine

Biden Wavers on Restricting Refugee Entry

posted on April 20, 2021

Zolan Kanno-Youngs and Miriam Jordan of The New York Times report that President Biden has walked back his decision to maintain the Trump administration’s historically low number of refugees allowed entry to the U.S. The administration is promising an updated number by May 15. Jenny Yang, the vice president for advocacy and policy at World Relief, an evangelical resettlement agency, said, “The president broke his promise once and at this point, he needs to back up his statements with concrete actions that will actually start to rebuild the refugee program again.” The decision comes alongside a surge in migrant children crossing the southern border, which the Biden administration cited as one of the reasons for its hesitancy to increase refugee admissions.

Read at The New York Times

This Land Is Sacred to the Apache, and They Are Fighting to Save It

posted on April 13, 2021

Dana Hedgpeth of The Washington Post reports that a mining company is poised to take control of Oak Flat, a parcel in Arizona that includes sacred Native American land. The Chairman of the San Carlos Apache tribe Terry Rambler said, “I call Oak Flat the Sistine Chapel of the Apache region.” The land holds special significance for the tribe given its healing properties and importance in creation narratives. An Apache advocacy group has filed a lawsuit to stop the transfer, but the case has not yet been decided.

Read at The Washington Post