Religious Capital – Hellven http://hellven.org/ Wed, 22 Jun 2022 22:18:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://hellven.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/cropped-icon-2-32x32.png Religious Capital – Hellven http://hellven.org/ 32 32 Biden should give peace in the Holy Land a chance https://hellven.org/biden-should-give-peace-in-the-holy-land-a-chance/ Wed, 22 Jun 2022 22:18:15 +0000 https://hellven.org/biden-should-give-peace-in-the-holy-land-a-chance/ By Ben Joseph* (UCA News) – The churches of Jerusalem, where every square inch of land signifies history, heritage and authenticity for the three Abrahamic faiths, are eagerly awaiting the visit of US President Joe Biden next month. Biden will visit the Middle East July 13-16 as part of his three-country tour of Palestine, Israel […]]]>

By Ben Joseph*

(UCA News) – The churches of Jerusalem, where every square inch of land signifies history, heritage and authenticity for the three Abrahamic faiths, are eagerly awaiting the visit of US President Joe Biden next month.

Biden will visit the Middle East July 13-16 as part of his three-country tour of Palestine, Israel and Saudi Arabia. The itinerary is set in a time of growing unrest and diminishing Christian presence in the land where Jesus lived to preach the Gospel and died.

Due to decades-long violence, Christians belonging to the Eastern and Eastern Orthodox Catholic and Protestant Churches are emigrating en masse from Jerusalem. Deprived of its Christian presence, the Holy Land could eventually be reduced to a museum, attracting foreign visitors and international pilgrims to discover the relics of its ancient multi-religious coexistence.

Commenting on the visit of the Catholic President to the Holy Land, Theophilus III, the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, pointed out that Israeli extremist groups, with the tacit support of the government in power, threaten the life of Christian communities.

The Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, the second-largest landowner in Israel after its government, lost three properties in the Jaffa Gate neighborhood of occupied Jerusalem’s Old City last week after Israel’s Supreme Court ruled rejected his request to cancel a suspicious agreement. .

As the much-acclaimed peace process between Israel and Palestine is stalled with no way back, unilateral annexation plans are initiated by individual actors and illegal settlements are on the rise.

Asking the US administration to distance itself from radical formations, the patriarch urged Biden to find a solution to attacks on churches and monasteries “perpetrated by extremist groups, in the silence of official Israeli authorities”.

Palestinian Christians in Israel are concentrated in the Galilee in northern Israel and around Jaffa and central Israel. In the occupied Palestinian territories, Christians mainly reside in the areas of Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Ramallah, which serves as the de facto administrative capital of Palestine.

Bethlehem has just one in five Christian families – a decade earlier they made up more than 84% in Jesus’ birthplace. In Israel, Christians represent 2% of its 9.5 million inhabitants.

In 1922, when the curtain fell on the Ottoman era, Christians constituted 11% of the population of Palestine, which is now reduced to just 1%.

Archbishop Yasser Ayyash, Patriarchal Vicar of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, who is in full communion with the Pope, has asked President Biden to put on his agenda the violence perpetrated by extremist groups in the Holy Land.

Hosam Naoum, Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Jerusalem, Jordan and the Middle East, called for greater awareness within the international community of the pitfalls that endanger the Christian presence throughout the Holy Land.

The three-country trip will begin in Israel and Biden will visit East Jerusalem, home to the holiest sites in Judaism, Christianity and Islam, such as the Temple Mount, al-Aqsa Mosque and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

East Jerusalem is recognized as part of the State of Palestine by 138 nations. It is occupied by Israel after it was captured in the 1967 Six-Day War. The Palestinian Authority is demanding that East Jerusalem be made the capital of a future Palestinian state and Biden’s visit could give Palestinians false hope about his future.

The US president’s trip to Israel aims to increase the Jewish state’s integration into the volatile Middle East region. The Indo-Abraham Accord and the I2U2 four-nation grouping (the United States, the United Arab Emirates, Israel, and India) will be used by President Biden as a stepping stone to gaining greater acceptance of Israel in the region .

India, which wields great influence in the Middle East with its large expatriate labor force, will support Israeli and American companies to market their cutting-edge technologies among Middle Eastern countries.

From Israel, Biden will fly directly to Jeddah — a rarely used route that requires Saudi approval — which aims to normalize ties with the Jewish state and Saudi Arabia.

Biden will also travel to the West Bank to meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. The meeting will probably take place in Bethlehem.

Abbas will pressure Biden to reopen missions for Palestinians in Jerusalem and Washington as his plummeting popularity among Palestinians is exploited by Hamas, an Islamic resistance movement fighting for statehood independent Islam in historic Palestine.

Biden’s efforts are aimed at maintaining Israel’s military superiority in West Asia and strengthening the US government’s strategic ties with Israel, the only nation among the nine nuclear powers that does not admit to possessing nuclear weapons.

Missiles and weapons will not bring peace to the three Abrahamic religions which are tied to the politics of ethnic identity in the Holy Land. It would be better for all of them if Biden gave peace in the Holy Land a chance.

*The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official editorial position of UCA News.

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Child soldiers still recruited in Yemen https://hellven.org/child-soldiers-still-recruited-in-yemen/ Mon, 20 Jun 2022 21:55:15 +0000 https://hellven.org/child-soldiers-still-recruited-in-yemen/ Houthi rebels in Yemen are reportedly recruiting child soldiers to fight in the country’s civil war. The rebels had promised to end the practice as part of a truce agreement reached with the United Nations in April. However, hundreds of boys were recruited in the weeks following the signing of the agreement, report Houthi representatives, […]]]>

Houthi rebels in Yemen are reportedly recruiting child soldiers to fight in the country’s civil war.

The rebels had promised to end the practice as part of a truce agreement reached with the United Nations in April.

However, hundreds of boys were recruited in the weeks following the signing of the agreement, report Houthi representatives, aid workers and civilians.

Video posted online shows man teaching Yemeni children the duties of a powerful army musket.

Local residents confirmed at The Associated Press that the video was shot over the past few weeks in the rebel-held area of ​​Amran.

Houthi officials said they saw nothing wrong with the practice, saying boys as young as 10 or 12 were considered men.

These “are not children. They are real men, who should defend their nation against Saudi and American aggression,” a Houthi leader said. He spoke to the AP on the condition of anonymity.

The Houthis have used what they call “summer camps” to teach religion and train for combat. These camps take place in schools and mosques in Houthi-held areas in Yemen. The Houthis hold parts of the north and center of the country, as well as the capital Sanaa.

The conflict in Yemen began in 2014 when the Houthis took control of Sanaa. This forced the government to flee south. A Saudi-led military group went to war in early 2015 in an attempt to return the government to power.

The war in Yemen is one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world. It killed over 150,000 people, including over 14,500 civilians. The country is in a quasi-famine.

Child soldiers have been involved for years. Nearly 2,000 children recruited by the Houthis were killed on the battlefield between January 2020 and May 2021, according to UN experts. Pro-government forces also used child combatants, but far fewer. UN aid officials say the government has also taken bigger steps to end the practice.

FILE – Kahlan, a 12-year-old former child soldier, demonstrates how to use a weapon, at a camp for displaced people where he took refuge with his family, in Marib, Yemen, July 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty, File)

Overall, the UN says more than 10,200 children were killed or injured during the war. But it is unclear how many of those killed were combatants.

In April, the rebels signed what the UN children’s agency called an “action plan” to stop recruiting child soldiers. UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the rebels had promised to identify child combatants and release them within six months.

Four aid workers from three international organizations working in rebel-held areas said they had observed more Houthi efforts to recruit children in recent weeks. The Houthis suffered many casualties, including in a nearly two-year battle for the town of Marib.

Aid workers said the rebels pressured families to send their children to the camps. In return, they receive aid, including food, from international organizations.

Two residents of Amran province said Houthi members came to their home in May. They told them to prepare their five children, ages 11 to 16, to attend camps at the end of the school year.

Later that month, the parents said, the children were taken to the school in Amran, the very location where the video was taken.

A father said he was told that if he did not send his children, his family would no longer receive food.

A Houthi leader posted a video in early June as he visited one of the camps. This shows dozens of children in uniform standing in a military type formation. They declared allegiance to the supreme leader of the rebel movement, Abdul-Malek al-Houthi.

I am Dan Novak.

Dan Novak adapted this story for VOA Learning English based on reporting by The Associated Press.

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words in this story

recruit v. to find the right people and integrate them into a company, an organization, the armed forces, etc.

musket nm a firearm that has a long barrel and is held against your shoulder when fired

resident nm someone who lives in a particular place

truce nm an agreement between enemies or adversaries to stop fighting, arguing, etc., for a certain period of time

anonymity nm the quality or state of being unknown to most people

mosquenm a building that is used for Muslim religious services

famine nm a situation in which many people do not have enough to eat

dozennm a group of 12 people or things

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The Vulnerability of Catholic Leaders – OpEd – Eurasia Review https://hellven.org/the-vulnerability-of-catholic-leaders-oped-eurasia-review/ Sat, 18 Jun 2022 22:05:35 +0000 https://hellven.org/the-vulnerability-of-catholic-leaders-oped-eurasia-review/ By John Dayal (UCA News) – The dear Catholic Bishop of Pune could not have chosen a worse time to seek dialogue with the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), the Hindu umbrella group working to make India a nation of Hindu hegemony. The country’s political and social climate is still turbulent following a bloody televised debate […]]]>

By John Dayal

(UCA News) – The dear Catholic Bishop of Pune could not have chosen a worse time to seek dialogue with the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), the Hindu umbrella group working to make India a nation of Hindu hegemony.

The country’s political and social climate is still turbulent following a bloody televised debate in which a spokeswoman for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the political wing of the RSS, made disparaging remarks about the prophet Muhammad.

She was suspended and her male colleague sacked by the party to prevent a threat of an economic boycott of India by Islamic nations.

Protests in India have been vigorous. Police fired on protesters in Ranchi, the state capital of Jharkhand. Among the two young Muslims who were killed was a student who was awaiting his high school exam results.

In neighboring Uttar Pradesh, ruled by Hindu monk Ajay Bisht, or Yogi Adityanath, who continues to lead his sect, police arrested 109 Muslim protesters. The Chief Minister is now known as “Bulldozer Baba” due to his high-profile policy of bulldozing the homes of political and social activists who challenge the regime as well as occasional suspects.

This time, the Uttar Pradesh government bulldozed the home of activist Afreen Fatima, who had led a protest against blasphemy. The house belonged to his mother, who is not politically active. Afreen called it an “act of vendetta” and an attempt “to crush government critics”.

Reporters recording the two-hour demolition said the family’s belongings were dumped in an open space nearby. Among the household items and books was a poster saying “When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty”.

In this difficult situation that has been developing for a week, Catholic and Protestant leaders in India have remained completely silent. This time around, it lacked the empathy and solidarity seen in Karnataka during protests against the new anti-conversion law and the ban on the hijab worn by Muslim students in school and college.

That silence was broken by Bishop Thomas Dabre of Pune, who served on the Pontifical Council for Dialogue and is known to meet leaders of other religions.

He even surprised his admirers – including this columnist – when he declared: “The Christian community accepts the ideology and principles of the RSS. We need to establish communication and coordination between Christians and [Rashtriya Swayamsewak] Sangh.

The post went viral in Christian circles within minutes, and within an hour sprang up in angry memes on Facebook and Twitter. Many of us thought the bishop had been misquoted.

A Catholic editor, himself a religious, contacted the bishop to clarify what he said or intended to say in his statement. “I am not a spokesperson for the RSS or its defender. In truth, I asked for a dialogue between the Church and the RSS that the Indian Bishops had proposed,” Bishop Dabré said.

Local Marathi-language newspapers published more elaborate articles. The bishop reportedly said, “The Sangh believes in nationalism, the church also believes in nationalism.”

The RSS is neither a religious organization nor a political party. It is a multi-headed and aggressive organization whose political face has ruled India since 2014 with Narendra Modi as Prime Minister.

And although Modi intends to lead the party in the 2024 general election for a third term, the much younger Bisht is seen as his most likely successor at some point.

Whether or not that succession happens depends on the RSS, which over the decades has controlled the fortunes of the BJP and its leaders.

Pune, where the bishop’s diocese is located, is known for its religious fundamentalists and its sentiments against religious minorities and Dalits.

Bishop Dabre has known this for all the years after being transferred from Vasai near Mumbai in 2009. “Only dialogue will stop the violence and lies of religious fanaticism,” he argued.

Many years ago, as prelate of Vasai, Bishop Dabre said “this was also the message of Mother Teresa”.

The nun, who became a saint, indeed spoke with everyone, including dictators and billionaires. But there is no record of him holding an organized dialogue with the RSS, which was never strong anyway in the Calcutta of his time.

The RSS, which has always opposed all papal visits to India, violently attacked her in the 1990s when she supported the cause of Dalits in general, and Dalit Christians in particular, accusing her of being source of conversions in India.

Surely the Catholic Church knows that the one thing the founding fathers of the RSS supported even more vehemently than their supremacist Hindutva was their visceral hatred of followers of Christianity and Islam.

The RSS documents clearly indicate that these two peoples have no place in Bharat, that is, in India. They should accept second class status if they want to live in this Bharat.

It’s a kind of combination of apartheid and racism – a marriage of the worst in the history of Saudi Arabia, Israel, the United States, colonial Britain and South Africa .

Fortunately, Mahatma Gandhi, the legendary Subhash Chandra Bose and Jawaharlal Nehru during the freedom struggle assured that this would never happen. Dr. BR Ambedkar has woven these aspirations into a strong declaration of religious freedom and equality in the Indian constitution.

The Indian media, now fully in the fold of the BJP-RSS, played it, especially in the Marathi-language press. They understand that later explanations will not affect the first impact they will have – gladdening the majority heart and further confusing the Christian community.

As a diocesan leader, Archbishop Dabré essentially speaks as an individual, or at best for his clergy and laity. It does not represent the entire Christian community with over 100 or more different denominations. The Catholic Church itself is rich in three liturgical divisions.

But the damage has been done. Civil society is furious. The Muslim community, which understands that the Church of Kerala is not in love with it, is also taken aback. He expected a different and warmer response from the church outside Kerala where its common devotees are just as victims of Sangh terror in rural and tribal India.

It’s not just that the Christian community in India, including the Catholics, lacks time. We are, of course, always days and weeks too late. Data and analysis don’t even exist on our own persecution by individuals and the state.

And most, including individual bishops and people like me, don’t have the credibility in the community to be empowered to speak on its behalf. The media may or may not know it, but the government, which is in constant contact with vulnerable bishops and ambitious individuals, knows the flaws and vulnerabilities.

Above all, unfortunately, we lack empathy.

*The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official editorial position of UCA News.

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It takes a protest village: “Gota Go Gama” brings together various Sri Lankans https://hellven.org/it-takes-a-protest-village-gota-go-gama-brings-together-various-sri-lankans/ Thu, 16 Jun 2022 13:46:19 +0000 https://hellven.org/it-takes-a-protest-village-gota-go-gama-brings-together-various-sri-lankans/ As the island nation of Sri Lanka reels in its worst economic crisis in recent history, hundreds of people from diverse backgrounds have hunkered down since April in sustained protest against a makeshift ‘Gota Go Gama’ village (GGG ) in front of the president’s office in the capital. Colombo city. In a country that has […]]]>

As the island nation of Sri Lanka reels in its worst economic crisis in recent history, hundreds of people from diverse backgrounds have hunkered down since April in sustained protest against a makeshift ‘Gota Go Gama’ village (GGG ) in front of the president’s office in the capital. Colombo city.

In a country that has long struggled with ethnic and religious strife, GGG is not only a center of protest, but also a rare glimpse of what a unified Sri Lanka could look like. In the sprawling Tented City, generations of mistrust between groups such as Sinhalese Buddhists, Hindu Tamils ​​and Muslims seem to be giving way to brotherhood, tolerance and learning. Here, Sri Lankans come together with one goal: to send their elected president home.

Shamara Wettimuny, a history scholar at Oxford University, notes that it takes courage for minority groups to engage in the ongoing protest, given years of persecution by the state and the Buddhist community majority. She says: “[Gota Go Gama] received support from all over the island, in a creative and unique way. The effect of such experiences may not translate into solidarity overnight, but I am optimistic that in the long run we will be in a better place than we are now.

Why we wrote this

In a nation torn by ethno-religious differences, a makeshift protest village is a platform for sustained protest against political mismanagement, generating a sense of unity among diverse Sri Lankans.

Colombia, Sri Lanka

For two months, Mohammed Shermila camped outside the president’s office in the capital Colombo, withstanding the scorching sun and occasional torrential downpours to demand the resignation of powerful Sri Lankan leader Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

“We won’t go until he leaves,” she said from her blue tent filled with Sri Lankan flags. A Muslim street vendor here, Ms Shermila is among hundreds of Sri Lankans who have taken refuge in the makeshift ‘Gota Go Gama’ (GGG) village since April, as the island nation reels in the worst economic crisis in recent history . Years of mismanagement have led to severe shortages of essentials like fuel and cooking gas, as well as daily power cuts and soaring prices.

In a country that has long struggled with ethnic and religious strife, GGG is not just a center of protest, but a rare glimpse of what a unified Sri Lanka could look like. In the sprawling Tented City, generations of mistrust between groups such as Sinhalese Buddhists, Hindu Tamils ​​and Muslims seem to be giving way to brotherhood, tolerance and learning. Here, Sri Lankans come together with one goal: to send their elected president home.

Why we wrote this

In a nation torn by ethno-religious differences, a makeshift protest village is a platform for sustained protest against political mismanagement, generating a sense of unity among diverse Sri Lankans.

Shamara Wettimuny, a history scholar at Oxford University, says it takes courage for minority groups to engage in protest, given years of persecution by the state and the majority Buddhist community. Nonetheless, she describes GGG as “the most united protest we have seen in recent times” and says that while this does not guarantee lasting peace, this period of cooperation could pave the way for stronger democracy after the crisis.

“[Gota Go Gama] received support from all over the island, in a creative and unique way,” she says. “The effect of such experiences may not translate into solidarity overnight, but I am optimistic that in the long run we will be in a better place than we are now.”

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What an abortion clinic in Mississippi looks like right now https://hellven.org/what-an-abortion-clinic-in-mississippi-looks-like-right-now/ Tue, 14 Jun 2022 14:10:18 +0000 https://hellven.org/what-an-abortion-clinic-in-mississippi-looks-like-right-now/ Mississippi’s latest abortion clinic is almost certainly running on borrowed time. In early May, a leaked draft Supreme Court opinion suggested that the Conservative majority bench would strike down the constitutional right to abortion as established in Roe vs. Wade. Such a move would pave the way for significant rollbacks at the state level. An […]]]>

Mississippi’s latest abortion clinic is almost certainly running on borrowed time. In early May, a leaked draft Supreme Court opinion suggested that the Conservative majority bench would strike down the constitutional right to abortion as established in Roe vs. Wade. Such a move would pave the way for significant rollbacks at the state level. An official decision is expected in the coming weeks.

But for now, the Jackson Women’s Health Organization — the clinic at the center of the high-profile court case — remains open.

Cheryl Hamlin is a Massachusetts doctor who travels monthly to Jackson to perform abortions at “the pink house,” as the clinic is known for its bubblegum-colored exterior. Once there, she usually works three days before returning home to Cambridge. Hamlin told me May’s flight didn’t change much of her daily life in Mississippi, but things had changed before that: In the fall of 2021, a Texas law severely restricting abortion sparked a wave of patients to Mississippi from State.

I spoke with Hamlin twice recently to discuss the clinic’s plans for a post-deer world – and what it’s like to operate while simultaneously bracing for impact.

Our conversations have been condensed and edited for clarity.


Caroline Mimbs Nyce: Let’s go back to the night of Policy leak. It was a Monday. You were in Jackson. Did you just get there?

Cheryl Hamlin: Yeah. I had flown that day. That night, the emails started coming in. I’m on many mailing lists, like Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and the Center for Reproductive Rights. They just all poured in.

Nyce: So you wake up on Tuesday and you go to the clinic. How was it? Had the tenor changed?

Hamlin: Only initially upon arrival. A few of us hugged and got back to work. We’ve all talked about it. I don’t think there was much else to say. We’re still going up to 16 weeks until they tell us we can’t.

A woman said to me: “Are you going to be unemployed?” And I said, “No, no, no, it’s going to be fine. I’m worried about you guys. And she said, “No, I’m taking these pills and I’m never coming back.” I’m doing well. And I’m like, “Okay, we’re both fine.” But there are many people who will not.

Maybe I was a little angry, I guess. We do this group counseling before seeing them individually. And as part of the group council, I always tell people to vote. I try to be politically diplomatic: I don’t tell them who to vote for or anything like that. But that day, I explained it more bluntly than usual, like: It will overthrow Roe v. Wade, which means that this clinic will close, just like all other clinics in the South and Midwest. And so it’s up to the states. And I mentioned [Governor] Greg Abbott by name: He is a candidate for re-election. So those of you from Texas, you have to vote for it. I’m normally not very assertive about politics.

Once we got back to work it was the same as the past few months when we just got slammed with people from out of state.

We get so many people from Texas or Louisiana, because Louisianans can’t get appointments, because of people from Texas. There is a domino effect. But from April to May, there was not much change.

Nyce: So the biggest change came earlier, in terms of increased demand for dates?

Hamlin: Right. Usually people could call and come the day after we opened. But now it’s like a two-week wait, and there’s a limited number of surgical slots. Rarely, there have been a few occasions where we were unable to care for someone because there were simply no surgical windows until they were 16 weeks old. It never happened.

Nyce: When did this start happening?

Hamlin: I really noticed it maybe in March. But it’s been going on for a bit since the Texas law came into effect, which is in September. It really hit me in March, like, Oh my God, we don’t have room for all these people.

Nyce: We have been in this period of calm between the Policy flight and the truly advance decision. What does it do?

Hamlin: We plan to open a clinic in New Mexico, and I’m working on getting a New Mexico license. We talked about what we can do with the Mississippi clinic: depending on what the law allows us to do, can it be a referral site? Can people come in for their ultrasound and find a way to get them to New Mexico? What about fundraising? And the pills?

I’m sure it will be illegal to return or send pills to Mississippi – it already is now. They still have to pick it up in person; I don’t see it getting any easier. But what kind of loopholes will we be able to jump through, that we won’t endanger ourselves or women?

Nyce: Is he busy trying to prepare for what could potentially happen in the next few weeks?

Hamlin: Yeah. Especially since we do not know exactly what the decision will be. Is this really going to happen, or will it just be the 15 week ban? There would certainly be repercussions to that, but it’s a lot better.

What things are going to be illegal? How difficult are they going to make it for us, for example, to do ultrasounds on people so that we can refer them? Are we going to be able to do this?

It’s hard to plan anything right now. Many non-medical people have asked me, “What can I do?” Can I get down there and drive vans? I’m sure there will be room for van drivers, but I don’t know yet.

I feel like there are too many people saying, “We’re just going to make sure everyone gets pills. It’s a good last resort. But they don’t always work. And patients might need care afterwards. While many women know exactly where they stand, some are wrong and may take pills inappropriately.

The point I want to keep hammering home is that even though people have the luxury of leaving the state for their procedure or getting pills in the mail, they still need follow-up care. Will you go to the emergency room if you suddenly start bleeding? You are not. I think this will lead, as it did before-deerto a lot of illness and death, potentially.

Nyce: Where do you think the pro-choice movement has failed to get its message across?

Hamlin: I thought about it maybe more in the last month than in the rest of my life. Maybe it’s just that we played defense. In a way, the right controls the narrative. How did they become patriots and true religious?

They always talk about late abortions, which is such a tiny part of what we do, and most of them are for really devastating reasons. In fact, I received two postcards at home. And one of them was this horrible picture of this dismembered fetus, probably around 20 weeks old. That’s not really what we do in Jackson. The other was an old photo—I don’t think it’s recent history—of a girl who died after an abortion. And I think, Oh my God, every day we hear about mass shootings. Obviously, it’s tragic, but compared to everything that’s going on, I mean, my God.

I think it needs to be made clear that this is a human rights issue. And if you’re really concerned about abortion, you should legislate policies that make it less likely. We should have universal health care, better sex education and better access to birth control. Let’s do these things first, then maybe we’ll come back and talk.

Nyce: Have you ever had qualms about abortion? Are there any instances where you think this shouldn’t be an option?

Hamlin: Yes of course. You get that once in a while, like, What am I doing? But then you look at the woman’s face and her story.

We’ve had conversations about people choosing to have abortions because of their gender, and it sounds awful. A person recently came from somewhere in Asia. She had a daughter and found out this pregnancy was a girl and just felt like if she brought another girl home she would be ostracized. It was something really horrible for her. And even though it’s awful for me to think that having a daughter would be awful, it was for her. Guess I just have to say, who am I to judge?

I’ve definitely heard people say, “Oh, I’m just not ready this year. I think I will have a baby next year. And part of me wants to say, “Well, that’s kinda stupid.”

But these are the exceptions. And who knows what’s going on this year isn’t right? I try to take a ‘don’t judge’ position because I can’t understand what’s going on in their lives.

Nyce: Obviously, a lot of Americans think what’s going on at the clinic amounts to murder. Do you often think about these people and their perspectives?

Hamlin: Yeah. I guess I understand why someone might think that. Out of context, if you’re just talking about ending the life of a fetus, that sounds really awful. But there’s all this big context involved: what if you don’t? What will happen to the woman? What will happen to his other children?

I think there are people who can really call themselves pro-life in the sense that they are against capital punishment and would be in favor of universal health care. And they would recognize that a dying baby in Africa is as important as a dying baby in the United States. I think they are actually exceptions. Most people who yell at me that I’m a mass murderer really don’t think about those other things. And they’re not really “pro-life” in the sense that I would call pro-life, in the sense that it’s okay for some people to die; it is simply not acceptable for fetuses to die.

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AIMIM MP’s remarks do not represent party position, says Owaisi https://hellven.org/aimim-mps-remarks-do-not-represent-party-position-says-owaisi/ Sun, 12 Jun 2022 04:44:18 +0000 https://hellven.org/aimim-mps-remarks-do-not-represent-party-position-says-owaisi/ Distancing himself from controversial remarks by MP and AIMIM leader, Imtiaz Jaleel, where he was heard demanding the hanging of now-suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma for her remarks against the Prophet, the leader of the party, Asaduddin Owaisi, said Sharma should be “punished according to law”. Speaking to news channels, Jaleel said, “Islam is a […]]]>

Distancing himself from controversial remarks by MP and AIMIM leader, Imtiaz Jaleel, where he was heard demanding the hanging of now-suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma for her remarks against the Prophet, the leader of the party, Asaduddin Owaisi, said Sharma should be “punished according to law”.

Speaking to news channels, Jaleel said, “Islam is a religion of peace. It’s true, people are angry, we too demand that Nupur Sharma be sentenced to death. If she easily lets herself go, then it (hurting religious feelings) will be endless. We mean that if a person makes such comments against any caste, religion, religious leader or our Prophet, then there should be a law that guarantees strict and immediate action. Just removing her from the party isn’t enough action. In videos that went viral, Jaleel could be heard insinuating that Sharma should be hanged in “this very place” in Aurangabad.

However, distinguishing the party’s belief from what Jaleel said, party leader Owaisi later said that the party believed suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma should be arrested in accordance with the law of our country. country and that she should be punished according to the law of our country.

“We demand the arrest of Nupur Sharma and his timely trial and sentencing in accordance with the law of the land,” AIMIM tweeted from its official handle.

When asked if he regretted his remarks, Jaleel replied: “We are not a banana republic. As a legislator, I know it is wrong to hang people in the street. My intention was to declare that there should be strict measures against her. On the one hand, we have a woman who will now spend more than a month in jail because of her alleged statement against NCP leader Sharad Pawar. On the other hand, we have someone who disrespected the Prophet who is followed by billions of Muslims…I was just espousing that there should be a law against those who hurt religious feelings.

The Prophet Muhammad Controversy So Far

The whole controversy stems from disparaging comments about the Prophet Muhammad made by former BJP spokesman Nupur Sharma during a TV talk show. The remarks sparked a huge row and since then there have been several cases filed against her for hurting religious feelings.

In a bid to limit the damage after an intense backlash from more than 15 countries, the ruling BJP suspended Sharma while issuing a statement saying it respects all religions and strongly opposes insulting any religious figure. . After that, Sharma withdrew her statement unconditionally.

Following the suspension of BJP spokespersons Nupur Sharma and Naveen Kumar Jindal, massive protests erupted in several places across the country.

Uttar Pradesh police have already apprehended 255 people under the strict National Security Act (NSA) for violence during Friday’s protest.

In Delhi, 31 people were arrested under sections 153 (gratuitous provocation with intent to cause a riot), 295 (injuring or desecrating a place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class) and 505 (statements leading to public mischief) of the Indian Penal Code.

After two days of stone-throwing and arson attacks in Howrah district, West Bengal, police arrested 60 people and detained them in IPC sections dealing with rioting, attempted murder and damage to public property, among other things, said a senior police officer.

Protests that erupted in Howrah on Friday over former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Nupur Sharma’s comments on the Prophet Muhammad turned violent as hundreds of protesters blocked roads in different parts of Howrah and clashed with police when they tried to break the blockade on National Highway-6, a police officer said.

In the meantime, an FIR has been registered for unlawful assembly against anonymous organizers of the demonstration. Aurangabad Police said the protest was non-violent.

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Gender-challenging Moroccan artists take the stage https://hellven.org/gender-challenging-moroccan-artists-take-the-stage/ Fri, 10 Jun 2022 04:04:26 +0000 https://hellven.org/gender-challenging-moroccan-artists-take-the-stage/ Published on: 06/10/2022 – 06:04Amended: 06/10/2022 – 06:02 Rabat (AFP)- Men in makeup and wigs twirl on stage in colorful dresses to applause in Morocco, resurrecting the musical artistry of “Aita” and challenging gender stereotypes in the conservative Muslim-majority kingdom. Members of the all-male ‘Kabareh Cheikhats’ troupe, comprising singers, actors and dancers, hope their unique […]]]>

Published on: Amended:

Rabat (AFP)- Men in makeup and wigs twirl on stage in colorful dresses to applause in Morocco, resurrecting the musical artistry of “Aita” and challenging gender stereotypes in the conservative Muslim-majority kingdom.

Members of the all-male ‘Kabareh Cheikhats’ troupe, comprising singers, actors and dancers, hope their unique performances of an art once dominated by women can revive the tradition.

“This art, based on oral histories, has its roots in the 12th century and draws its poetic strength from everyday life,” said writer and poet Hassan Najmi.

The group travels across the North African nation mapping the many varieties of Aita, a genre that has long been popular in the countryside.

Recently returned from a tour of the United States, they put on a frenzied performance that had the audience of a packed theater in Rabat on their feet, with men and women dancing in the aisles.

The music chronicles traditional life and depicts the spectacular nature of Morocco, while speaking candidly about love and sex.

When Morocco was under French rule from 1912 to 1956, aïta became a form of anti-colonial resistance, expressed in dialects that the authorities had no chance of understanding.

The songs had gained royal recognition by the end of the 19th century, under Sultan Hassan I.

“At that time, the authorities paid special attention to this music because they could use it as a vehicle for propaganda,” Najmi said.

‘Strong woman’

Until the 1990s, famous “sheikhate” singers were invited to national festivals and ceremonies.

But social and cultural changes in Morocco – including the shift of some to more conservative religious values ​​– have knocked them off their pedestal.

“They became symbols of debauchery,” Najmi said. “This contempt is the fruit of the hypocrisy and double talk of a part of society.”

The troupe hopes their unique performances of “Aita”, an art once dominated by women, can revive the tradition FADEL SENÉ AFP

Amine Naouni, one of the actors in the troupe, said Kabareh Cheikhats shamelessly pays tribute to “strong women” of the past.

“In the show, we didn’t invent anything,” Naouni said. “All we do is revisit things that already existed in the company.”

The group’s founder, Ghassan El Hakim, said the aim was to promote appreciation of the “precious” heritage.

“That’s what drives our work,” said the 37-year-old. “Six years after the birth of the troupe, we are still learning, we are constantly researching.”

The show begins with an “Aita jabalia” from the mountainous north of the country, followed by one from the ancient capital Fez, then another from the Doukkala-Abda plains which are the heart of the music.

‘Live together’

The idea of ​​men dressing up or pretending to be women in the theater is not new in Morocco.

Naouni, 28, said he was initially worried about being “judged”. “Over time, that feeling went away,” he said.

Najmi said men used to dress up as sheikhates at weddings.

“We used to see men wearing makeup, wearing kaftans and dancing sensually at parties, and it wasn’t seen as a problem,” Najmi said. “It was considered normal, as the public space was closed to women.”

The group travels across the North African nation, mapping the many varieties of Aita
The group travels across the North African nation, mapping the many varieties of Aita FADEL SENÉ AFP

But Kabareh is a new take on old traditions.

Hakim said his group members were keen to challenge fixed categories.

“At each performance, I see the communion of the spectators,” he said.

“Everyone enjoys the moment, despite our differences, so I think it’s possible to live together, not just for a show.”

But the shows have drawn condemnation from some on social media.

Naouni believes, however, that these reactions “are limited” to the Internet.

“It’s easy to pour out your hate behind a screen, but in real life it’s different,” he said.

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On World Environment Day, pledges offer hope for the future https://hellven.org/on-world-environment-day-pledges-offer-hope-for-the-future/ Tue, 07 Jun 2022 13:50:32 +0000 https://hellven.org/on-world-environment-day-pledges-offer-hope-for-the-future/ Meanwhile, faith leaders have come together to sign a historic call on climate-responsible finance. The World Council of Churches, Council of Muslim Elders and Council of Rabbis of New York have pledged to only engage with financial institutions aligned with the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C. One of Australia’s biggest retailers, […]]]>

Meanwhile, faith leaders have come together to sign a historic call on climate-responsible finance. The World Council of Churches, Council of Muslim Elders and Council of Rabbis of New York have pledged to only engage with financial institutions aligned with the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C.

One of Australia’s biggest retailers, Woolworths, has announced it will stop selling 15-cent reusable plastic bags nationwide as part of a phase-out over the next year.

India’s largest online supermarket, bigbasket, has announced that it will eliminate plastic packaging from its fruit and vegetable delivery services.

Chile has ratified the Escazú Agreement, which guarantees public access to environmental information and justice.

In the Nigerian capital, Abuja, the city’s Environmental Protection Board announced that it would reduce waste by 30%.

Cyclathon in Mumbai on the occasion of World Environment Day. Photo: Ashish Vaishnav/Sopa images via Reuters

Other events ranged from an electric vehicle rally in Cairo to a beach cleanup in Peru, to a massive cyclathon in Mumbai and an e-waste collection in Bucharest.

Tens of millions of people demanded urgent action on social media to restore and conserve the environment, trending #WorldEnvironmentDay on Twitter. Everyone from the UN Messenger of Peace Leonardo DiCaprio to Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at Pope Francis tweeted in favor of environmental action.

Whatever the medium or the event, the message was the same: time is running out and a lot of action is still needed to avoid catastrophe. “The triple planetary crisis is accelerating, and why? Because we consume 1.7 planets a year,” Andersen said in Stockholm. “We only have one Earth. We have to accept that we are not doing enough to protect it.

About World Environment Day

world environment day June 5 is the biggest international day of the environment. Led by UNEP and held annually since 1973, the event has become the world’s largest platform for environmental awareness, with millions of people around the world pledging to protect the planet.

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2023: Politics of money, imposition of worrying candidates https://hellven.org/2023-politics-of-money-imposition-of-worrying-candidates/ Sun, 05 Jun 2022 13:48:56 +0000 https://hellven.org/2023-politics-of-money-imposition-of-worrying-candidates/ By Noé Ebije, Kaduna Bishop of Kaduna Diocese, Anglican Communion, Timothy Yahaya has expressed concern over monetary policy and the imposition of candidates on Nigerians by political parties ahead of the 2023 general election, saying it goes against principles of democracy. To this end, Bishop Yahaya called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to […]]]>

By Noé Ebije, Kaduna

Bishop of Kaduna Diocese, Anglican Communion, Timothy Yahaya has expressed concern over monetary policy and the imposition of candidates on Nigerians by political parties ahead of the 2023 general election, saying it goes against principles of democracy.

To this end, Bishop Yahaya called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure free, fair and credible elections.

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The cleric also called on other key players in the electoral process not to impose candidates on the people because the votes won belong to the majority.

In a message to the nation at the 2nd Session of the 22nd Synod of the Anglican Communion held at St Paul’s Anglican Church on Sunday, Bishop Yahaya however expressed hope that the socio-economic woes besetting nation will be completed in 2023.

“Today we are seeing rains of naira and dollars because the election is coming. Is democracy for sale? People’s money taken from the people, used to buy positions in our country. You mean can’t all the smart agencies in this country trace where these funds came from, and who was arrested and brought to justice?.are we just going to sit back and let it go this way?.

“There is only one seat in Aso Rock, there are not ten seats in Aso Rock. We call on INEC to follow every word of the electoral law, to be seen as independent, to be free and fair to conduct a credible election where everyone will be happy.

“I call on political parties to stop taxing candidates. In a democracy, the majority holds the votes. But from our own position, some cabals decide who becomes our leaders. They collect naira, they collect dollars to name people who can’t get anywhere. Nigerians are getting wiser and I call on Nigerians to get their PVC but don’t vote religion, don’t vote tribe. Don’t vote for mediocrity. Whoever you go to vote, ask yourself what he has done for Nigeria. And find out about his background before voting for him.

“If someone says they’re going to give you clothes, look at the one they’re wearing. We pray that by 2023 our stories of woes as a nation will be over.

“We must not lose hope because God is still on the throne. Because we are human, we tend to think that everything has given way. We encourage Nigerians to say that God is still on the throne.

“Our message to our leaders is that, first, they must fear God. Why do we say they should fear God? we say they must fear God because there is a day of judgment. Everything we do, there’s a day of judgment, a day of judgment.

“Another message to the nation is that if Dangote can build refineries with a capacity of 160,000 barrels, and our own refineries have 450,000 barrels a day, I think we should stop as a nation. The industry oil company all over the world is independent. We can’t run the oil industry like political offices. Politicians don’t interfere in the oil industry. But since we decided to withdraw the refineries account from commercial bank to the central bank, our refineries are now moribund.The bureaucratic system should not be seen in the oil sector.

“And again the government is saying loud and clear that we have no money. Some of us get confused, when billions of naira and billions of dollars are taken away. The people who are supposed to protect this country are failing the country.

“For God’s sake, in Nigeria we are religious, but we are godless. If we have God in our hearts, we won’t do what we do. We read holy books, we go to places of worship, but we have no conscience.

“Our religious leaders must be careful. They contribute to the problems of this country. I call on religious leaders to fear God and let them be agents of peace. Let them be agents of change. If they see badly, let them call it badly, it doesn’t matter whose gored the ox is”.

Speaking on the passengers abducted from the train bound for Abuja-Kaduna in March, Bishop Yahaya said, “I want to implore the Federal Government to secure the freedom of those abducted from the train bound for Abuja-Kaduna two months after their abduction. I have never heard a memory from the halls of power of what happens to our children in captivity. Does this mean that life no longer matters in Nigeria? Today the most popular thing is abduction, abduction and abduction. No wonder some people say Nigeria is a failed state.

“We are shocked, we are appalled by the law that is going to be enacted in the National Assembly that when the government has failed to secure the kidnapped citizens, and the citizens are helpless and their relatives pay a ransom, they should go to jail. Any well-meaning Nigerian will not accept this proposal of the National Assembly.

“Security agencies need to sit down. Every time there’s a kidnapping, there’s a jurisdiction where a DPO is in charge, where all the security agencies are in charge. If the kidnapping takes place more than three times under the direction of a police commissioner, that police commissioner must be reprimanded. They collect money to secure people, but the more money they collect, the more insecure we have”.

Anglican clergy also spoke of the rift between ASUU and the federal government, saying, “Today the future generation who are meant to be the hope and architect of this country are at home because of the strike. of the ASUU. Any country that knows the value of its future will not gamble with the education of its youth. So we call on the federal government and ASUU to sit up and watch other climates how they handle their college education.

“The political appointment of the vice-chancellor in this country is rubbish. It sucks because I studied how vice-chancellors are appointed in other countries. You’re going to interview, bring your business plan on how you run a university. If you have the best business plan that revolves around the university, you are appointed vice-chancellor. But here in Nigeria, we have the Vice Chancellor pushing, get a date for the love of the date.

“We have professors in our country without industries, we have research papers that others will come and steal from this country to make money, export to this country and earn millions of naira. The brain drain that is happening in this country is shameful.

“All the brains that have left this country, when they go to another country, they make this country great. The greatest asset of any nation is human capital. If the WHO says there is going to be a deficit of health workers, the federal government should train more doctors and health workers without delay.

“The rate at which Nigerians are killing Nigerians is like we have to visit a mental hospital. I challenge our security agencies to go on the internet to see the level of hate speech there. People are talking about killing Only in a country where there is no leadership will the people who incited to kill be allowed to free the Scots.

“We want to implore the leaders, citizens and statesmen of this country that all hands must be joined together to make Nigeria great again. And to our politicians, the election is around the corner, let them take it easy.”

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Europe’s long peace was built on ethnic cleansing https://hellven.org/europes-long-peace-was-built-on-ethnic-cleansing/ Fri, 03 Jun 2022 03:00:00 +0000 https://hellven.org/europes-long-peace-was-built-on-ethnic-cleansing/ In the mid-2000s, the small Baltic nation of Latvia had a Janus quality. Riga’s picturesque downtown featured shopping malls, restored medieval architecture, and Western hotels. Snippets of English conversation could be heard by British backpackers and bachelor parties keen to explore a newly accessible (and relatively cheap) European capital. The accession in 2004 of Latvia, […]]]>

In the mid-2000s, the small Baltic nation of Latvia had a Janus quality. Riga’s picturesque downtown featured shopping malls, restored medieval architecture, and Western hotels. Snippets of English conversation could be heard by British backpackers and bachelor parties keen to explore a newly accessible (and relatively cheap) European capital. The accession in 2004 of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia to the European Union seemed to herald a new era of openness and economic development for the Baltic States.

The outskirts of town, where I volunteered in a foster home to escape a reckless driving charge in Virginia, was quite different. There were no baroque apartments or medieval guildhalls in the suburbs, only drab apartment blocks. The second most common language was Russian, not because it had been widely adopted by Latvians, but because many native speakers had settled in the Baltic countries during the Soviet era. Since independence, significant Russian minorities in Estonia and Latvia have campaigned for political autonomy and the teaching of the Russian language in schools. It is no coincidence that the Baltic countries are the target of Russian cyberattacks, aggressive air patrols and other provocations.

Europeans often make complacent references to the continent’s long peace after 1945. In truth, this settlement was built on the continent’s violent reorganization into ethnically cohesive nation states. Even today, the countries and regions on the periphery of Europe are plagued by the same internal conflicts that ravaged the whole continent in the first half of the 20th century.

In the European core, the communities that once inflamed great power rivalries – the Germans of the Sudetenland, the Italians of Dalmatia, the French of Alsace-Lorraine – have disappeared or been reabsorbed by their mother country. It is only on the European periphery, from the Baltic States to the Balkans, that ethnic divisions persist. These regions are still places of political tension, great power maneuvers and, in the case of the former Yugoslavia and now Ukraine, open conflict.

In the Western press, the war in Ukraine is often portrayed as a battle between a brave democratic underdog and the authoritarian bully next door. The ethnic and linguistic divisions that gave rise to the conflict also deserve consideration. The Ukrainian government’s contentious relationship with its large Russian-speaking minority served as a pretext for Vladimir Putin’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and support for the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Luhansk. As Russian forces withdrew from Kyiv and moved east, the strategic rationale for war seemed to shift from the rapid overthrow of the Ukrainian government to the consolidation of territorial gains in areas dominated by ethnic Russians and Russian speakers.

It is not an endorsement of this war objective to say that by pursuing this strategic objective, Putin could place Ukraine in the position of many Western European countries three-quarters of a century ago. A Ukraine turned to its western provinces and cut off from a troublesome Russian minority could emerge as a politically more stable and nationally cohesive state. In 1996, political scientist Samuel Huntington described Ukraine as a “divided country”, wedged between its Catholic western provinces and the Orthodox and Russian-speaking East. Putin’s invasion brutally flattened the divide, leaving the country smaller but more cohesive. Ukraine, often perceived as backward or retrograde by its western neighbors, is undergoing the same national consolidation that most of Europe experienced in the mid-20th century.

When a European conflict last shocked the conscience of the West, ethnic and religious divisions were also to blame. Josip Tito’s Yugoslavia was the latest in a long line of imperial powers to suppress varieties of South Slavic nationalism. After his death and the collapse of communism, dormant ethnic and religious grievances resurfaced with a vengeance.

Media coverage of the war in Ukraine is reminiscent of the West’s dismayed reaction to the breakup of Yugoslavia, another conflict that shattered the myth that Europe has avoided violence for good. The Balkan Wars, however, did not result in the complete reorganization of the region into ethnically cohesive nation states. Bosnia still encompasses a Bosnian Muslim majority, a large Catholic Croat community and the breakaway Republic of Srpska, a Serbian Orthodox enclave to the east. The 1995 Dayton Accords, intended as a stopgap measure until a more lasting peace settlement can be agreed, remain in place because these ethnic and religious divisions have proven so intractable. As long as these fault lines persist, the Balkans will remain a powder keg.

If the Balkan wars had spilled over into a wider European conflict, ethnic tensions would have been the accelerator. According to American historian Larry Watts, the Hungarian army mobilized along the Romanian border in 1989 to protect the Hungarian minority in Transylvania, with tacit assurances from French President François Mitterrand that he would not object if Hungary recovered its lost province. In 2000, Corneliu Vadim Tudor came second in the Romanian presidential election. During his campaign, he called himself “Vlad the Impaler” and said of the Hungarians of Romania: “We are going to hang them directly by their Hungarian language!”

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban is a controversial figure in Western Europe, in part because he still speaks the language of national grievances. An ethnic conflict between Romania and Hungary is extremely unlikely, mainly because the Hungarian enclave in Transylvania is proportionally much smaller than that of the Russian-speaking Latvians or the Bosnian Serbs. But Orban’s rhetorical support for Hungarian communities abroad recalls an earlier era of nationalistic passions. Echoes of that era linger even in liberal Budapest. As I write this in a downtown cafe, a woman has just walked in with a map of Greater Hungary, which includes large chunks of Serbia, Romania, Croatia, Slovakia and of modern Ukraine, tattooed on his left calf.

In Western and Central Europe, the grievances that sparked national passions are largely forgotten, mainly because the minorities that inspired those grievances have been wiped off the map. Before World War I, French generals dreamed of revenge and reconquest of the lost provinces of Alsace-Lorraine from Wilhelmine Germany. Today, the only reminder that Strasbourg was once disputed territory is the city’s charming Germanic architecture. In the aftermath of World War II, Europe was reorganized through a series of astonishing and mostly forgotten population transfers. Bulgaria sent 160,000 Turks to Turkey, Czechoslovakia exchanged 120,000 ethnic Hungarians with Hungary for the equivalent number of Czechs and Slovaks, and some 600,000 Italians and Germans fled or were forcibly expelled from the Balkans.

The expulsion of Germans from Eastern and Central Europe, rarely discussed due to the war and the Third Reich’s own campaign of ethnic cleansing, is the most dramatic example of Europe’s reorganization into cohesive national blocs. After World War II, almost 3 million Germans left or were expelled from Czechoslovakia alone. In total, some 13 million ethnic Germans resettled in West Germany. “The scale of this resettlement and the conditions under which it is taking place,” wrote New York Times correspondent Anne O’Hare McCormick, “are unprecedented in history”.

Further east, around 1 million Poles fled or were forcibly expelled from western Ukraine to accommodate Stalin’s expansion of Soviet borders. Here it should be mentioned that the terms “genocide” and “crimes against humanity” were coined by two jurists trained in Lviv. The city in western Ukraine, once a meeting point of cultures, languages ​​and nationalities, witnessed one of the most brutal ethnic cleansings of the time.

Europeans often attribute the decades of peace they have enjoyed to enlightened attitudes or the gradual enlargement of the EU. The reality is much less comforting. Follow the lines of conflict along the periphery of Europe and you’re likely to find the same grievances that once inflamed an entire continent. Sarajevo, with its mix of Islamic and Habsburg influences, is one of the most interesting cities in Europe. It was also the scene of terrible fighting in the 1990s.

“The incredible, almost comical melting pot of peoples and nationalities that sizzled dangerously at the very heart of Europe,” in the words of Polish writer Tadeusz Borowski, no longer exists. The Europe that followed its dissolution is more bland and less culturally fertile. It’s also very peaceful, an inconvenient truth that reflects the stabilizing effects of national homogeneity. As the war in Ukraine drags on, Europeans would do well to remember the brutal history behind the peace they have long enjoyed.

Will Collins is a high school teacher in Budapest, Hungary.

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