Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris

The cathedral that was the heart of Paris has burned to the ground.  Work on the great medieval cathedral began in 1160.  Nearly a thousand years this iconic building bore witness to Western Christian civilization at its best.  It was perhaps the greatest example of Gothic architecture on the planet.

The world will never see the construction of another great cathedrals like it – surely we have all lost a part of our shared history on earth.

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University Hospital of Peace – attacked

Unidentified armed individuals entered the compound of the hospital. Their intrusion and aggression was condemned by Dr. Marie Gréta Roy Clément, the Minister of Public Health and Population of Haiti.

A doctor serving at the hospital was the victim of the attack which took place from last Saturday night until Sunday morning. The hospital is located at Delmas 33.

Sad news

An Ethiopia airliner crashed on its was from Addis Ababa to Nairobi. Flight 302 plunged to the earth shortly after takeoff.

Those who died included at least 32 Kenyans; 18 Canadians; nine each from Ethiopia and France; eight each from the United States, China and Italy; and seven from Britain, according to the airline. The identities of many of the victims, including the Americans, have not been released yet. Nineteen U.N. workers were on board. One person who died in the crash was a child protection specialist who worked for Save the Children, Tamirat Mulu Demessie.

Also among the dead was Professor Pius Adesanmi,  from the Institute of African Studies at Carleton University in Ottawa. He was the author of  the award winning book “You’re not a country, Africa.”  He was injured last year in a serious car crash in Nigeria.

Before the flight he posted a picture of himself on Facebook with Psalm 139:9-10, ““If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.”

 

 

Sad day in Kenya

Al-Shabaab attacked another Westernized target in Kenya today, likely killing a number of foreigners.  At least 15 people have died so far, but the number is likely to go higher.

What does al-Shabaab want?  They want to impose strict Islamic law in Somali. To accomplish this, they need to get out foreign powers like Kenya which support the government it wants to bring down.  Kenya is part of the African Union peacekeeping force.

The site of the attack, 14 Riverside, is home to offices of international companies including Colgate Palmolive, Reckitt Benckiser, Pernod Ricard, Dow Chemical and SAP.

One of the confirmed dead is reported to be a US citizen.  Does this mean that Americans can’t travel to Kenya?

Perhaps mission teams should avoid places that terrorist identify with Western corporations like 14 Riverside.

Ethiopia

According to World Watch Monitor, 15 priests were killed in the Somali region of Ethiopia. Ten orthodox and 9 evangelical churches burned in recent violence.

Tariffs

Turkey is now facing trouble from the US over that nation’s refusal to release an American pastor who has been jailed for 21 months on accusations of spying for the state Department and being a terrorist.  You might recall that Brunson has worked for 20 years as a missionary in Turkey and ran a small church in the city of Izmir.

The Trump administration doubled tariffs on aluminum and steel. Congress is pushing to block delivery of F-35 fighter jets and halting funding from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund until his Brunson’s release.

Erdogan says his country will not loose an economic war with the US – this in spite of that nation’s currency tumbling against the dollar.  Erdogan says he has talked to Putin about the economic ties between Russian and Turkey.

The bottom line is that Turkey wants the US  to send them a Pennsylvania-based cleric, Fethullah Gulen. Erdogan claims the cleric is behind a failed coup attempt. The US says Turkey hasn’t provided proof of that claim.

Can you imagine yourself in Brunson’s situation?

did you hear about this summit?

The US.State Department convened a global summit of 350 representatives from 80 countries to advance religious freedom.  The U.S. Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom.

Meanwhile in Nicaraguan the church is trying to mediate between the protesters and the government.