In The World—October 8, 2017

October 8, 2017 No Comments »
In The World—October 8, 2017

By Melissa Wuske

Eyewitnesses of ISIS

In May, 29 Coptic Christians were killed by ISIS in Minya, Egypt. Survivors of the attack have given a chilling look at what happened, and the grim reality that faces Egypt’s Coptic minority population.

Mariam Adel was on the bus where the massacre happened. Her husband and nine of her other relatives were killed. She remembers the attackers telling the women to convert to Islam. “Renounce our faith? Of course not,” said Adel. “If we had, they might have let us off the bus and treated us well. But we only want Jesus and we are confident he will not leave us.”

Mina Habib, a 10-year-old boy, also survived the attack, but his father did not. “They asked my father for identification then told him to recite the Muslim profession of faith. He refused, said he was Christian. They shot him and everyone else with us in the car. . . . Every time they shot someone they would yell ‘God is great.’”

According to Mokhtar Awad, research fellow at George Washington University’s Program on Extremism, ISIS blames Christians for supporting the campaign against the Muslim Brotherhood group. “They have systematically incited against Christians and blamed them entirely for the coup and for the fall of the Muslim Brotherhood,” Awad said.

How Adults View Black Girls

A report by Georgetown Law’s Center on Poverty and Inequality looked at adults’ perceptions of young black girls. “What we found is that adults see black girls as less innocent and less in need of protection as white girls of the same age,” said Rebecca Epstein, lead author of the report.

According to data gathered by surveying hundreds of adults, adults are more likely to think of black girls as older than white girls of the same age; believe that black girls don’t need as much nurturing, protection, support, and comforting as white girls; and feel that black girls are more independent than white girls and know more about adult topics.

“These findings show that pervasive stereotypes of black women as hypersexualized and combative are reaching into our schools and playgrounds and helping rob black girls of the protections other children enjoy,” said Jamilia Blake, an associate professor at Texas A&M University, who coauthored the report.

Communion Must Have Gluten

A recent letter from the Vatican to bishops around the world reaffirmed that communion wafers must have gluten, though low-gluten wafers are allowed.

“It may seem a small thing to people,” said Chad Pecknold, a theology professor at Catholic University. “But the Catholic Church has spent 2,000 years working out how to be faithful to Christ even in the smallest things. To be vitally and vigorously faithful . . . is something which is simply integral to what it means to be Catholic.”

Some Catholics with celiac disease were concerned about the ruling because even a small wafer could make them sick for a day or more. Low-gluten wafers, however, should be safe for people with celiac disease, said Claire Baker, spokeswoman for Beyond Celiac: “You’d have to be very devout or really excited about going to church to eat that much at communion. You don’t eat communion wafers like you eat crackers.”

Facebook Ventures into the Real World

The skyrocketing cost of living in Northern California may have met its match: Facebook, a giant of the online world, is planning a real-life community on its existing land. “Working with the community, our goal for the Willow Campus is to create an integrated, mixed-use village that will provide much needed services, housing, and transit solutions as well as office space,” the company announced in a Facebook post.

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

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