Sunday, August 18, 2013

Local Arlington VA church discusses mission, infrastructure work in Sudan; persecution of Christians during violence in Egypt

The summer early Sunday morning service at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Arlington, VA today (Aug. 18) focuses on a couple of testing overseas issues. 

Indian-raised missionaries Jacob and Aliamma George presented their work in South Sudan, a new nation split off recently from the Sudan in 2005, with temporary capital of Juba.  The country has already experienced controversy over media freedom.  Darfur is not far away. 

Africa would present opportunities for faith-based development projects, such as clean water, but it would be very difficult for many civilians to go there, not only because of primitive conditions, but because of lawlessness and disregard for human rights in many governments.  For example, Uganda has a reputation for horrible anti-gay policies.  Likewise, it would be difficult for contractor employers to recruit suitable people who could go and lvie there.

But the George couple did focus mainly on the missionary aspect, of winning converts to Christianity.  I don’t recruit or convert people, and likewise I don’t like to be recruited!

At the service, the dire situation in Egypt was mentioned.  It was reported that nineteen Christian churches in Cairo had been burned, and that Christians are “scapegoated” for feuds among Muslims amounting to Civil War.  Somehow, that reminds me of the scapegoating of gays in Russia.  

Later today, I saw billboards from Avaaz (link) at the Metro this one about Syria.

Update: Aug. 21

There are stories in the Washington Post (such as front page Aug. 21) by Abigail Hauslohner about the burning of Christian churches in Egypt, over 60 of them, many in the Nile Valley, apparently by vigilantes or rogue groups as police look the other way.  Typical story here.

Update: Aug. 24

The Washington Post has an important editorial on the situation with Christians (especially Coptic) in Egypt here

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