Q&A with Heather Mercer who went on to work for freedom in Kurdistan and adopt a Kurdish son. When she was 24 years old, Heather Mercer was one of two American women in a group of eight international aid workers and 16 Afghans captured by the Taliban. One month later, a terrorist organization protected by the Taliban launched a successful attack on the United States that shifted the course of history for both nations, and Mercer became briefly famous. She was, for a moment, a kind of icon of the American plight, hostage to this unknown group with unknown aims….

In India, Christian volunteers didn’t wait for churches when COVID-19 hit. The resulting Love Your Neighbor Network offers lessons for believers in other countries suffering second waves. Amid the harrowing stories of COVID-19 carnage in India, hundreds of Christians across the country have volunteered via the Love Your Neighbor Network, an organic lay-led effort that has brought relief and comfort to tens of thousands of Indians impacted by the pandemic. In May 2020, during the world’s largest nationwide lockdown, Rahul George, an entrepreneur in Bengaluru and founder of the network, was stirred to do something when he saw visuals on…

For decades, Christians in Jordan have celebrated what Pope Francis pines for. Last Sunday, after weeks of living in pajamas while confined to our homes in coronavirus quarantine, my family attended the Palm Sunday services at the Amman Baptist Church in Jordan. We woke up early, showered, shaved, fixed our hair, put on our Sunday best, and then traveled the long distance from the bedroom to the living room to watch the livestreamed songs and sermon celebrating the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. The timetable above is not an error. While evangelicals around the world joined Catholics in commemorating…

What Kierkegaard taught me about reviving the spirit of the season. Does giving up espresso bring me closer to God? This thought burned through my mind as I sat and listened to the boys’ choir sing Psalm 37 during Evensong at Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford, England, a few years ago. With Ash Wednesday a mere two days prior, it seemed like everyone was giving up lattes and social media and the internet and announcing it to the world. One friend defended fasting from these activities because of how they intrude on our daily lives. I agreed. I, too, could…

My teenage son is prone to eye rolls and sassy comebacks. But an encounter in a parking lot showed me a gentler side.

Last fall Florida voters approved vote restoration for former felons. But under a bill formalizing the measure, not all those people can vote.