Four Weeks of Pain: Terrorism, Ramadan, and a Christian Response

I sat down with Tyler Burns and Jemar Tisby on their Pass the Mic Podcast a few days ago – they wanted to process the recent spike in terror attacks perpetrated by ISIS (Daesh) around the world. Here’s the audio from that podcast:


Distant attacks on humanity, such as at the Ataturk airport in Turkey or the streets of France, can seem abstract to us who live a world away;  meanwhile, domestic attacks on innocent citizens, such as the recent one in Orlando, can be heartbreaking and confusing. I appreciate that both Pass the Mic and The Reformed African American Network make room to bridge the gaps, and help make the abstract a reality to its listeners with the addition of their Weekly Roundup of global events, called “We Persevere.

In the podcast, we discuss what drove the recent increase in attacks,  and how Christians and Muslims alike are reflecting on these horrific acts. We offer a few suggestions from Scripture and history, and make the case again that the Global Church is us. We also examine how the extreme brutality of the Islamic State is actually driving many former jihadis to find Christ, and share stories from the field.

We wrapped up discussing possible Christian responses to such devastation. Perhaps one the most profound and practical things we can do in response to distant brutality is to respond at home not with a spirit of fear, but with sound mind.

For example, we can learn from how our neighbors do community, and reflect that back to them by in inviting them into ours. As I mention in the podcast,  we only gain by inviting our Muslim neighbors  and other members of our communities affected by these tragedies to share a meal. Many are mourning these global atrocities in isolation, and this is yet another opportunity to “mourn with those who mourn,” affirm humanity, and bring Hope to all touched by such tragedy. Circle letter-e-monogram-md

One Comment

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  1. Angelina Van Dyke July 18, 2016 — 12:48 am

    Thank you Karen, this is so helpful! I teach many Saudi students, and during Ramadan, one of them nearly dropped out of his classes. I can only guess what may have gone on for him.

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