Afghanistan war veteran helps others escape homelessness
Plus India adds "anti-terrorism squads" to town with Islamic seminary
Hi ReligionUnplugged readers,
Don’t miss executive editor Paul Glader’s interview with veteran Fernando Arroyo. Arroyo served both in Afghanistan and Iraq in the U.S. Army, and after combat struggled with PTSD and suicidal thoughts. He says it was divine intervention that saved him, and now helps other veterans with PTSD, depression, anxiety, drug and alcohol addictions to recover and transition out of homelessness.
“The point of me sharing my story is to let veterans know that there is hope, that there is a way of finding community and, mainly, the hope comes from Jesus Christ,” Arroyo said. “I want veterans out there to know that they're not alone. I want veterans to know that there is hope and that their life is definitely worth living.”
As the Taliban assumes rule of Afghanistan, a state government in northern India is increasing its number of “anti-terrorism squads”, sparking fears of Hindu nationalist suppression of Muslims. Indian Muslims have also faced online harassment after a prominent Muslim politician compared the Taliban’s rise to rule to India’s freedom movement.
See you next week.
A state government in North India known for its Hindu-first moves is increasing its number of “anti-terrorism squads” in the wake of the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan. Meanwhile, a Muslim member of parliament appeared to support the Taliban on social media, sparking online harassment against Muslims.
Jehovah's Witnesses and Muslims in Russia jailed on "extremism"-related charges for exercising freedom of religion or belief face years of restrictions and stigma after the sentence ends, including blocked bank accounts, restricted movement and voting rights, harsher penalties for another offense and more. This means that the religious lives, health, reputations and finances – of people who have not engaged in any violent activity or infringed upon the human rights of others – could be adversely affected for well over a decade.
Jesus Show ‘The Chosen’ Is Inviting Fans To Be Extras by Joseph Holmes
Hot off the success of its second season, Jesus series “The Chosen” is inviting fans to be in the crowd of 5,000 Jesus miraculously feeds in the third season’s adaptation of the gospels. Fans shouldn’t expect to spend time with Jesus for free, however.
Church Offers Physical, Spiritual Help After Historic Flooding by Bobby Ross Jr.
In hard-hit Waverly, Tenn., a town of 4,300 people near Nashville, 19 died and hundreds are displaced after historic flooding destroyed or damaged their homes Aug. 21. Donations continue to pour in as a church provides shelter to those in need.
Kabul Airport Attacks Strand Afghan Contacts Of Christian Humanitarians by Cheryl Mann Bacon
One of the families at the gate of the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul Thursday had gone there with papers John and Jan Bradley helped them acquire and a letter the retired Air Force general had written for them. As of late Thursday afternoon, the news from Afghanistan was not good. And not clear.
After more than two decades struggling with a post-Soviet economic recession, destabilization brought on by the Chechen independence movement, the Second Chechen War and several anti-terrorist operations, Georgia’s Pankisi Valley is rebuilding its reputation and attracting tourists — enough to secure a coveted spot in the world’s most popular guidebook, “Lonely Planet,” in 2020. Several local women opening guest houses are behind the effort to revive tourism.
Taliban’s Religious Ideology Has Roots In Colonial India by Sohel Rana and Sumit Ganguly
(ANALYSIS) As scholars who research ethno-religious conflicts in South Asia, we have studied the origins of the Taliban’s religious beliefs. The roots of this ideology – Deobandi Islam – can be traced to 19th century colonial India.
Female Muslim Activists Become Targets Of Online Harassment by Rishabh Jain and Fateh Veer Singh Guram
A fake online auction targeted Muslim women in India with derogatory language, harassment and rape threats. Muslim women activists who endure frequent cyber bullying from Hindu nationalist online trolls say it’s far from an isolated incident in India.
Flood Swamps Tennessee Church’s Building — For The Second Time by Bobby Ross Jr. and Calvin Cockrell
The Pinewood Church of Christ in Nunnelly, Tenn., had to rebuild after devastating floods swamped the Volunteer State in May 2010. More than a decade later, a deluge again has ravaged the Hickman County congregation’s meeting place.
Weekend Plug-In: Out Of Nowhere, Afghanistan Might Be The Biggest Religion Story Of The Year by Bobby Ross Jr.
Are UFOs A Threat To Traditional Religious Belief? by Terry Mattingly
What Is An 'Evangelical?' by Richard Ostling
Don’t miss our latest podcast
How do you help the homeless and mentally ill in America?
Religion Unplugged visited the Orange Country Rescue Mission in California to learn more about one of the most innovative approaches to homelessness in America. We spoke with Jim Palmer, the president and CEO of the Rescue Mission at the Village of Hope, a unique college campus-like facility that trains homeless men and women in life and job skills while treating other aspects of the whole person. Find it on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or listen directly on our website.
In case you missed it
Editorial picks from our archives
Afghan Christians Are Facing A Taliban Reign Of Terror by Lela Gilbert
(OPINION) As this story unfolds, many of us are experiencing something like déjà vu. In the summer of 2014 we watched as Islamic State/ISIS rampaged across Iraq and committed genocide against Christian and Yazidi communities. Although ISIS and the Taliban have fought each other, they practice the same deadly tactics.
Afghans in and outside the capital describe scenes of violence, deteriorating living conditions and shrinking personal freedoms amid the Taliban’s rise to power with the U.S. troop withdrawal set to complete on Aug. 31.
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