Sunday Faith News/Views 1-9-11 @ Maggie’s Notebook

In this week’s Sunday Faith posting you’ll find stories about your iPhone, the YWCA, Abraham Lincoln, living with the Ten Commandments, new Christian blogs, and Christians in Iraq. Religion and politics make perfect sense to me. In these Sunday Faith round-ups I plan to bring news and views of both, concerning the other, or each individually. I’m praying God’s blessings on each of us as we walk the journey into 2011.

Aljazeera blogger Rhodri Davies has a post about a Christian church in Irbil, Iraq in the Kurdistan Region. At an evening service at St. Joseph’s church in Irbil, four guards bearing Kalashnikov rifles stood guard at the gates.

St. Joseph Christian Church, Irbil, Iraq

Many Christians fled to Irbil in 2003, believed to be as many as 6,000 (1,000 families) coming from Baghdad, Mosul and Kirkuk. The Kurdistan region is seen as a refuge for Christians, however extremists are coming from other parts of Iraq and some “terrorist activity” has been seen.

I had just seen a 500-stong Chaldean congregation – an independent Christian Church that has been in Iraq since the 2nd Century – attend Sunday evening mass.

It appeared to be a resilient and devout community that conveyed buoyancy and longevity.

Septuagenarian women in traditional red and black local dress sat alongside teenage girls adorned in perfume.

A choir of 30 members sang hymns from a balcony, above families who arrived from the darkness outside to acknowledgements from community members within.

Collection plates were filled and warm interactions conducted post-service.

Iraq’s Christian community numbers between 450,000 and 500,000 today, down from between 800,000 and 1.2 million in 2003, when the US invasion and occupation provided space for groups such as al-Qaeda to attack them.

But even in a relatively safe enclave such as Iraqi Kurdistan, where tolerance and safety might be anticipated, their freedom has a specific delineation.

It is one limited to the nature of a persecuted people and defined by the reach of its would-be oppressors.

Zilla of the Resistance has been focusing on the persecution of Christians around the world. This week she has a heart-wrenching story of Christians dying at the hands of Islam in Iraq. Please read Doorbell Death for Iraqi Christians. Does your pastor know? Does the leader of your Christian Women’s group know? Does your Bible Study leader know?

Last week in my first Sunday Faith blog, I provided a link (or thought I had) to God’s Answer is always Jesus and a discussion of God’s will for The Law in our lives today. The link was incorrect. My apologies to readers! I hope you will go back and read this post that centers around Colossians 2:14. This week, the blog author Following Him, continues on with Jesus Took It Out Of The Way, and “blotting out of the Law.

I mentioned last week that Z, the blogtress at geeeeeZ!, faithfully has a “Sunday Faith” blog up each week. Today she is quoting from the American Patriot’s Bible with a story about Joshua Speed, a close friend to Abraham Lincoln, and the matter of the “faith” of both men. You may be surprised at what you learn about Abe in this post.

Thinking Christian has compiled a list of Christian blogs established in 2010. This blogger has started a new blog series titled Thinking Christianly: Ten Essential Aspects.

The C-word (Christian) is to blame for the UK YWCA to rename itself. “Christian” no longer represents the women involved in the organization, which is considered a “charity.”  Today Britain’s YMCA is known as Platform 51. In the trash heap of liberalism is 155 years of the Young Women’s Christian Association. Read this story at

How about some “faith” news concerning your iPhone? Remember the Manhattan Declaration? Apple approved an iPhone app, then pulled it after ”

…a small but well organized group of homosexual activists voiced their objections. Minor modifications were made to help it pass Apple’s muster.

Just before Christmas, Apple rejected the app again, citing in a letter that the “references or commentary about a religious, cultural or ethnic group that are defamatory, offensive, mean-spirited or likely to expose the targeted group to harm or violence will be rejected.

Note to readers: As I search for news and views on “faith,” please understand that I cannot vouch for the integrity of the links I provide. I cannot read every word of every article about “faith” on a particular site I’m linking. If there is objectionable material found somewhere on the website, I am not endorsing it. Please see my Sunday Faith blogs as an “article-by-article” interest, not an overall endorsement of any site, author or blogger.

Photo courtesy of Aljazeera by Rhodri Davies