Election Special: Persecuted Christians, Mask-less Worship Gatherings & QAnon


Manage episode 276134346 series 2476380
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...in which in lieu of a new YHP episode, we feature friend of the podcast Jon Ward and his *fantastic* conversation with WORLD Magazine contributors Mindy & Emily Belz. Jon's show notes are below. **** Mindy Belz has been with World Magazine since its founding in 1986. It’s a publication aimed at evangelical Christians, started by her brother in law, Joel Belz. Emily Belz, Mindy’s daughter, is also at World now, and has worked at the New York Daily News and The Indianapolis Star. Mindy has spent 20 years covering the plight of Christians in Iraq and Syria. This is a story that truly did get overlooked: before the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003, there were about 1 million Christians in Iraq, living out a version of the faith with incredibly ancient roots. Many Christians in that region still speak Aramaic, the tongue that Christ himself spoke. But 17 years later, the Christian community in Iraq has been decimated by violence and intimidation. Only about 100,000 Christians remain there. The faith there has almost become extinct in terms of sheer population size. Mindy and I discuss a little bit how much decisions made, or not made, by the Bush administration, are responsible for that. Mindy’s book on this topic, “They Say We are Infidels: On the Run from from ISIS With Persecuted Christians in the Middle East,” came out in 2015. I recommend it. The suffering of this community there, and in Syria, is tough to comprehend. I first thought of interviewing Mindy when I saw her tweet something last May. It was in response to protests against COVID restrictions. "For 6 yrs I've reported on Christians chased from their homes & churches by ISIS, seen their testimony, steadiness, care for one another. How utterly disheartening to watch the American church come apart in a 10-wk shutdown. They shall be known by their demand for their rights,” she wrote. Mindy’s bigger critique of American Christians is two fold: they have no idea what real religious persecution looks like is one part of it. But she also notes the narrowness of demanding rights to do whatever one wants while disregarding the impact of not wearing masks and distancing on those who are most vulnerable — which is not just the older but also people who are poor and on the margins, those without health insurance who are going to avoid going to the doctor or ER if they get sick until it’s too late. And she contrasts this with a vision of the common good that characterizes Middle East Christians... **** Jon also brings this into conversation with the recent spate of mask-free and non-distanced worship gatherings led most prominently by Sean Feucht. The Long Game Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-long-game/id1248994688 Join the Patreon for exclusive episodes (and more) every month: patreon.com/dankoch Email about the "sliding scale" for the Patreon: youhavepermissionpodcast@gmail.com YHP Patron-only FB group: https://tinyurl.com/ycvbbf98 Website: youhavepermissionpod.com Join Dan's email list: dankochwords.com Artwork by http://sprungle.co/

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