be.encouraged

be encouraged by stories from around the world

Why I Left Westboro Baptist Church

Why I Left Westboro Baptist Church (TED TALK) What’s it like to grow up within a group of people who exult in demonizing … everyone else? Megan Phelps-Roper shares details of life inside America’s most controversial church and describes how conversations on Twitter were key to her decision to leave it. In this extraordinary talk, she […]

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Houses Of Worship To Serve As Trump-Era Immigrant Sanctuaries

LAURIE GOODSTEIN NEW YORK TIMES – Protecting immigrants is shaping up to be a priority of the religious left, an amorphous collection of people and groups reflecting many faiths and ethnicities. It has been jolted into action by Mr. Trump’s victory and his selection of an attorney general nominee who supports a crackdown on immigrants… […]

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The Sacred Fragility of Life: Tim Winton, Faith and Fundamentalism

Simon Smart I once had a fight with my wife over a Tim Winton book. Well, not really a fight, but let’s say, a spirited disagreement. We had both just finished reading Breath and she was more than a little annoyed at her erstwhile literary hero Winton, for what she perceived to be his overly […]

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Sister Maria and Imam Moussa

Sister Maria is an 80-year-old Italian nun who arrived in the DRC in 1959, one year before its independence. Since 1984, she has worked as a midwife in Zongo at the hospital, which is run by the Congregation of the daughters of Saint-Joseph of Genoni from Italy. Sister Maria moves around the hospital as if […]

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My Emancipation From American Christianity

John Pavlovitz, Pastor and Writer, Updated: 08/12/2015 09:59 I used to think that it was just me, that it was my problem, my deficiency, my moral defect. It had to be. All those times when I felt like an outsider in this American Jesus thing; the ever-more frequent moments when my throat constricted and my heart raced […]

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Learning To Love Boko Haram

Peggy Gish   In 2009, Boko Haram militants entered Monica Dna’s home in the middle of the night. Monica watched them behead her husband and slit the throats of two of her three sons. Then, turning to her, they slashed her left arm as she raised it in defense, cut her throat, and left her […]

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My fellow Baptist, favourite President, Jimmy Carter.

What he’s most proud of is that he didn’t fire a single shot. Didn’t kill a single person. Didn’t lead his country into a war – legal or illegal. “We kept our country at peace. We never went to war. We never dropped a bomb. We never fired a bullet. But still we achieved our […]

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Dan And His Love For Afghanistan

Deep Abiding Love in Afghanistan: the Life and Work of Dan Terry by David Wildman Before his death at age 64 in August 2010, Dan Terry had worked with Global Ministries in Afghanistan for nearly 40 years. He was one of ten volunteers who were conducting a Nuristan Eye Camp when they were ambushed in […]

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Letter From Nepal- Heroic Local Response

Marcy Noble (living in Nepal for the last 17 years, serving with TEAM) reflects on the week since the Earthquake that impacted Nepal on the 25 April 2015. “We’re all doing a lot of contemplating now that the shakes are subsiding and life seems to be returning to a new normal. We’re all asking what’s […]

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Some Famous Examples Of Pacifism

A pacifist is somebody who opposes war and refuses to kill. There are different levels of pacifism. • Absolute pacifists – Someone who refuses to kill whatever the circumstances. Even in self-defence. • Conditional pacifists – Someone who generally opposes war, but may accept there are times when it is necessary, for example, when you’re […]

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Nuns Train Peacemakers In Kenya

In Kenya, tribal tensions simmer just below the surface of every conflict. In December 2007, this tension exploded after a viciously contested election plunged Kenya into a three-month-long bloodbath of tribal conflict. Many activists and outside observers accused the Kenyan Election Commission of ignoring evidence of vote rigging to keep the current government in power. […]

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Jean Vanier & What Love Looks Like

Vulnerability, Disability and the Witness of Jean Vanier The challenge for anyone who would try to reflect on the suffering of those who are described as “disabled” is that they must do so from the presumption that they are not disabled. As a result, it is hard to avoid appearing pretentious and arrogant to those […]

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