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I’ve just had the privilege of listening to Dr. Denis Mukwege as he visited Stockholm. PMU and Läkarmissionen, two Christian aid organizations that have supported Mukwege and the Panzi Hospital for decades. We celebrated Mukwege with music, speeches and donations. Among other things, we sang Mukwege’s favorite hymn, “The Promises will Never Fail” (Löftena kunna ej svika) by Swedish Pentecostal leader Lewi Pethrus, in Swedish and Swahili.
Missionary and nurse Kerstin Åkerman pointed out how prophetic Mukwege is. He has this ability – naturally or supernaturally – to have a visionary mindset and see things before they happen. For example, he stressed the importance of starting the building process of the Panzi Hospital quickly in 1998. Nobody understood why. (more…)
My friend Katarina Hedman wrote this on Facebook today. I asked if I could send it on.
A couple of years ago I was at a Christian conference. The speaker was a completely ordinary charismatic with a dramatic voice, a suit, some extra pounds and was – of course – a man. Nothing out of the ordinary. This man even made attempts at being funny. And judging by the reaction of the room, he succeeded. Only I couldn’t laugh.
Majority of his jokes were about women. About how little men understand these strange creatures and how awful mothers-in-law are, and so on. Again, no different than what we are exposed to daily. Not just in church. He delivered joke after joke as if the service was his personal little comedy gig. Like men often do.
Today my feed is flooded with #metoo and men trying to be gallant. But the cause of sexual harassment isn’t that some poor bloke has had a drink too many. It doesn’t even start with a porn addiction or other tangible ways of displaying a poor view of women. It starts here. With jokes, like those that one pastor filled his message with and the crowd happily and uncritically laughed at. (more…)
As the election to the European Parliament gets closer, I want to highlight some of the biggest European sins that unfortunately are not very present in the political debates.
Lust is not that hard to define. The New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia defines it as “The inordinate craving for, or indulgence of, the carnal pleasure which is experienced in the human organs of generation. The wrongfulness of lust is reducible to this: that venereal satisfaction is sought for either outside wedlock or, at any rate, in a manner which is contrary to the laws that govern marital intercourse.” Lust is exetremely common in the Western world today. Sexism, pornography and nudity is abundant as never before.
In Denmark, an absurd video was published by their own parliament that tries to convince the youth to vote through violence and sex. The video caused outrage even in Denmark, but this country is very liberal when it comes to sex and nudity.
Blachman is sent on national television where a nude woman has to be silent while the host Blachman talks about her body together with a male guest. They will also start to air “2 blowjobs, thank you“, where a male host buys sex from prostitutes to guide the audience in the totally legal danish sex trade. And one of the biggest fishing magazines in Denmark publishes “fish porn”, a picture of a nude woman holding a fish in every number, just to get more readers.
We could go on and on describing the nudity in Italian and Spanish television, on the sexism in most countries’ commercials and how sex generally is accepted as something fun to do with many different people. The church has often criticised this, but often in a clumsy way. And when it comes to the politicians, nothing is done.
A friend who is working with missions in Asia told me the other day about a Pakistani Christian girl, Samariya Nadeem, from Punjab in Pakistan, who was abducted by a Muslim landowner and forced to marry him after conversion to Islam. There is a petition directed to the Chief Minister of Punjab that asks him to free Samariya and make sure that freedom of religion and the freedom to marry volontarily is protected in Pakistan.
So far, police have failed to pursue any legal action against the local wealthy Muslim landowner who abducted the girl because of the influence he wields. Police investigators were also unable to talk to the bruised and terrified victim. Anonymous police sources confirmed that the girl was “abducted” and forced to marry. However, an Islamic cleric involved in the affair said that it was “not illegal to abduct and convert non-Muslims”.
Civil society groups and human rights activists have appealed to Punjab’s chief minister to take action and return Samariya to her parents and bring her abductor to justice. Kidnappings and forced marriages are a major issue in Pakistan, especially in Southern Punjab and in the interior of Sindh province. It is common in the region that young, religious minority, women and girls are forcefully converted and married away to influential landlords who keep them as slaves.