There are clear, pro-life reasons why mothers and fathers need time with new babies. When our twins were born in 2019, I took six weeks off work. My husband did too—thanks to his then-employer’s family leave plan, offered equally to new mothers and fathers alike—and it’s impossible to overstate how indispensable his leave became. It wasn’t that I had a difficult physical recovery. Mercifully, I didn’t, especially by the standard of multiples pregnancies. But I found I couldn’t set myself up for tandem nursing alone, which meant that without my husband’s help, I would have been nursing 50 percent of…

As Erbil Christians finally get to govern themselves, Chaldean Catholic archbishop Bashar Warda explains to CT how ISIS freed Christians from the centuries-old understanding that they are second-class citizens. This week, the Christian enclave of Ankawa in Erbil, the capital city of Iraqi Kurdistan, was designated by the autonomous region’s prime minister as an official district with administrative autonomy. Starting next week, Christians will directly elect their own mayor and be in charge of security, among other matters. Prime Minister Masrour Barzani called Ankawa a home for “religious and social coexistence, and a place for peace.” Archbishop Bashar Warda, the…

After yet another military overthrow of a democratically elected leader in West Africa, minority evangelicals debate the role of faith in politics. In its 63 years of independence, Guinea has had three presidents. Last month, the West African nation suffered its third coup d’etat. This time, says the local Christian minority, their Francophone country might just get it right. “Alpha Conde cannot return,” said Etienne Leno, a Christian and Missionary Alliance (CMA) pastor. “We are praying that the new military authorities—who we find to be wise and intelligent—will be led by God.” On September 5, Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, head of…

A webinar about the facts, falsehoods, and theological implications of critical race theory—and the way forward for the church. With hysteria and misinformation swirling all around it, critical race theory has become nearly impossible to discuss without stirring up ideological fears and partisan divisions. Yet many believe its ideas must be responded to if the church is ever going to take seriously issues of diversity, justice, and racial reconciliation. Join Christianity Today’s Russell Moore and a diverse panel of evangelical leaders as they explore the facts, falsehoods, and theological implications of critical race theory. Our Panelists Nathan Cartagena Nathan is…

Lessons I’ve learned in praying for and working with the Chinese church. Last week, a friend asked me to meet for coffee. She is a young mother, and after seeing the now-world-famous image of a young Afghani mother handing away her baby over a barbed wire fence to an American soldier, my friend found herself struggling to emotionally grapple with what she had seen. Though she has been praying consistently for the situation in Afghanistan, as the image continued to loop through her mind. She wanted advice regarding how to be concerned for the suffering church without succumbing to the…

The recently released New Testament translation adopts Native American descriptors for God—the Creator and Great Spirit. It’s a Bible verse familiar to many Christians—and even to many non-Christians who have seen John 3:16 on billboards and T-shirts or scrawled across eye black under football players’ helmets. But Terry Wildman hopes the new translation published Tuesday by InterVarsity Press, First Nations Version: An Indigenous Translation of the New Testament, will help Christians and Indigenous peoples read it again in a fresh way. “The Great Spirit loves this world of human beings so deeply he gave us his Son—the only Son who…

Evangelical Fellowship of India panel responds to Pew research as annual tally of religious freedom violations gets released. Christians in India are seeking to square conflicting research on communal tensions in their country. About 100 Christian leaders from across the subcontinent attended an online consultation last month hosted by the Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI) to discuss the findings and ramifications of a recent landmark report by the Pew Research Center, entitled “Religion in India: Tolerance and Segregation.” A panel of seven leaders convened by EFI, which represents 65,000 churches and hundreds of Christian organizations across India, discussed the strengths…

As the world debates the US withdrawal, 15 leaders reflect on how they are applying their faith to understand how to best advocate for justice in the aftermath. It will be hard to forget the images of Afghans mobbing outgoing aircraft, some clinging on to planes with their bare hands, in their desperation to leave their country following the Taliban’s takeover of Kabul. President Joe Biden’s follow-through on former President Donald Trump’s planned withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Taliban’s prompt takeover, and the seeming lack of coordination and planning to evacuate translators and others at risk of persecution have sparked intense…

As more evangelical figures embrace crowdfunding, is the format demanding too much of them? To release her first contemporary Christian music album back in 2004, Beth Barnard signed a contract with Sparrow Records during her freshman year of high school. Her 11-song debut was self-titled Bethany Dillon, a stage name she adopted at the recommendation of execs who thought her maiden name—Adelsberger—would be a mouthful. Through Sparrow (now Capitol Christian Music Group), Barnard spent most of her teen years recording music. Her hit songs were nominated for Dove Awards and appeared on WOW compilations. She then married Shane Barnard—one Shane-half…

It’s one thing to tell the city that you’re there for its good. It’s another to show it. Six weeks after Stu Davis left his job as pastor at one of Colorado Springs’s largest churches in 2013, most of his kitchen appliances broke. Then his car broke. When his employee health insurance ran out, all three of his children had to make separate visits to the hospital. “There were definitely times when I was angry at the Lord,” Davis said. “It was just a super, super hard season.” Those trials made Davis think differently about the role of the church…

United more than ever across denominations, many evangelicals want “homeland and life” over “homeland or death.” A few days after Hurricane Elsa swept across the center of Cuba, Christians of all denominations joined in a nationwide day of prayer and fasting for their country on Wednesday, July 7. The call was made after months of increasing tension on the island amid severe scarcity of food and medicine and as the number of COVID-19 infections began to rise precipitously and the once-lauded health system threatened to collapse. Church leaders of all denominations reported that they were increasingly under surveillance and had been…

A wave of activists across countries and denominations is calling for the end to non-disclosure and confidentiality clauses. A growing number of ministers, missionaries, Christian workers, abuse victims, and victims’ advocates are publicly objecting to the non-disclosure agreements and confidentiality clauses used by major religious organizations. They say the legal tool that was designed to protect tech industry “trade secrets” is widely misused to conceal abuse, preserve secrets, and protect powerful reputations without regard for the human cost. On Wednesday, a group of them launched a campaign to end “the misuse of non-disclosure agreements,” called NDAs, with a website and…

“The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof,the world and those who dwell therein.” Psalm 24:1 When the topic of biblical stewardship and finances comes up, what is one guiding principle that quickly comes to mind? The most common answer is almost certainly tithe. And yet, for a word that is so common in the language of church life, there’s a good deal of misunderstanding about what it means. So let’s clear up some of the confusion by looking at what the Bible teaches about tithing and the Christian’s relationship to it. First of all, the tithe (which simply…

A conversation with the director of the National Institutes of Health. Over the last year of the US pandemic, a few key scientists and medical professionals have been lifted onto the national stage by their timely expertise. Americans turn to them for information, insight, and even pastoral care of a certain kind. Among those is the physician-geneticist Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and founder of BioLogos. Timothy Dalrymple, president and editor in chief of Christianity Today, and Ted Olsen, CT’s executive editor, spoke recently with Collins about the Delta variant, vaccine hesitancy among evangelicals, and…

For international schools, the pandemic offered new opportunities for public witness around the world. It also resulted in staff shortages and unpredictable enrollment. Andrea Dugan, the superintendent of Mountainview Christian School in Indonesia, was on vacation last year when she found out from a local newspaper that one of her students was hospitalized with a suspected case of COVID-19, among the first in the area. She returned home to Indonesia to extend the school’s quarter break before eventually making the call for her 210 students to go virtual for the remainder of the semester, just days before the Indonesian government…

“What I believe makes me an outsider.” This is a sentiment shared by many Christians these days. Far removed from the time of a “moral majority,” we are now living with greater awareness that this broken, sinful world is not our home. What the Bible teaches about Christians is becoming clearer to our generation in the West: we are “sojourners and exiles” in this world (1 Pet. 2:11). With this in view, we can find both comfort and challenge when we consider how incredibly relevant the message of the book of Daniel is for the church in every generation: God…

How the church should help the rising number of people sleeping on the streets. Across the country, American cities are unsuccessfully grappling with how best to address homelessness. This month, Austin criminalized sitting, lying, or camping in public. Sausalito, an upscale community in the Bay Area canceled its annual art festival when its location conflicted with the proposed place to relocate the homeless population that is currently living on the city’s waterfront. Los Angeles is considering moving forward with establishing a government-funded tent encampment. Nationally, here’s how The New York Timessummed it up in March of this year. "Homelessness in…

Elite believers often sound more like disciples of Jacques Derrida than Jesus Christ. That needs to change. A few years ago, I was asked to speak about the gospel’s justice imperative at a local Christian high school. Upon arrival, I was escorted through campus by a young administrator, who thanked me for coming to engage a topic the school’s elders had ignored for too long. With Dietrich Bonhoeffer–like resolve, he and another young teacher confided that they were subversively trying to change the culture at the school. I immediately, and perhaps hastily, commended their efforts. The truth is, too many…

How believers can stay up on the day’s events without becoming prisoners of the moment. At Bethel University in Minnesota, where I’m a professor of English and journalism, I often teach a course for college seniors called “What Good is Leisure?” (Many students who sign up mistakenly believe they’re in for a restful three-credit experience.) It’s a course about “the architecture of time,” to use Abraham Heschel’s phrase, and my students this year were more responsive than ever to the flabbiness of their calendar. COVID-19 had destroyed the rhythm of their weeks. It had beckoned them to spend hours doom-scrolling…

“Do not be surprised, my brothers and sisters, if the world hates you.” 1 John 3:13 Christian persecution is at a record high globally, according to religion freedom watchdog organization Open Doors in announcing its 2021 World Watch List. It reports more than 340 million Christians now suffer high levels of persecution for their faith—even for simply reading the Bible—representing 1-in-8 Christians worldwide, 1-in-6 in Africa, 2-out-of-5 in Asia, and 1-in-12 in Latin America. [Read the Bible Gateway Blog post, Bible Verses for the International Days of Prayer for the Persecuted Church] In other words, on average, every day, 13…

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