In The World—July 30, 2017

July 30, 2017 No Comments »
In The World—July 30, 2017

By Melissa Wuske

Adopting 6 to Keep Family Together

Christopher and Christina Sanders are foster parents who have 5 biological children. They know the importance of keeping kids from the same family together and in a stable home, so the couple recently made the bold choice to adopt a family of children they’d been fostering—6 kids in all. The dramatic expansion shows the power of love across biological lines, and the new family also shows that race doesn’t determine who can be in a family: Christopher and Christina are black, but the 6 children becoming part of their family are white. “We’re all the same in God’s eyes, so the color of anyone’s skin has never had a bearing on any of this,” Christopher said.

An ISIS Fighter’s Radical Repentance

“I am in control of when your life will end. Stop being scared.” That’s the message Pastor Abraham sensed from God that quelled his fears about sharing Christ with the Muslims crossing the Syrian border. So Abraham was calm when Fadi, an ISIS fighter, came to his home. Again Abraham felt assurance from God: “Speak to him strongly and directly; don’t be afraid.” 

When Abraham told Fadi that Islam is inspired by Satan, Fadi began to shake, but not with rage. “God is here beside you now,” Abraham said, “and He is putting his hand on your shoulder, asking you, ‘What do you want?’”

“I want salvation,” Fadi said. Abraham told Fadi that Jesus would forgive his sins. From that first meeting Fadi’s life has changed. He visits Abraham and continues to learn about Jesus, turning from his past to follow Christ.

Religion and Education

“The idea that highly educated people are less religious, on average, than those with less education has been a part of the public discourse for decades,” said a recent Pew Research report, but “the relationship between religion and education in the United States is not so simple.”

According to the report, 68 percent of evangelicals who graduated from college attend church weekly, compared to 55 percent of those who didn’t go to college. They’re also more likely to pray daily, say they are absolutely certain of their belief in God, and state that their faith is very important to their lives.

The same pattern applies across the educational spectrum: evangelicals with graduate degrees are the most dedicated to their faith (87 percent scored high on Pew’s overall religious commitment level), and those who dropped out of high school demonstrate the least commitment (81 percent scored high).

Diversifying Wikipedia

Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia that anyone can edit. Many believe it has the potential to harness the collective knowledge of a range of people and better represent diversity than more traditional encyclopedias. But, according to a survey by the Wikimedia Foundation, only 8.5 percent of those editing on the site are women. As a result, articles about topics generally considered feminine tend to be shorter and have fewer citations.

The report doesn’t mention race or other cultural demographics, but disparities in Wikipedia articles suggest that most editors are white and from North America and Europe: there are Wikipedia articles for 9 of Haiti’s 37 first ladies, but all 45 U.S. first ladies have entries; the article for the History of Montana has 90 citations, but the History of Botswana only has 3.

To help the site better represent the diversity of its readers, groups of activists are holding edit-a-thons that encourage women and people of all cultural backgrounds to add entries and develop existing entries on Wikipedia.

Melissa Wuske is a freelance editor and writer. She and her husband, Shawn, live and minister in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. Find her work online (melissaannewuske.com).

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