Religion:  Voice of the Oppressed or Vehicle for Oppression?

Religion:  Voice of the Oppressed or Vehicle for Oppression?

An Interview with OMNIA President Shanta Premawardhana by John Kenyon, Founder & Director of the Institute for Global Church Studies

On July 6 OMNIA’s President Dr. Shanta Premawardhana sat down with John Kenyon, founder and director of The Institute for Global Church Studies (IGCS), an online forum started in 2007 for better understanding the impact of globalization on worldwide Christianity.  They focused on the dynamic tension that exists when religion is used both as a liberating force and “righteous governance.” 

Misusing Scripture: Collusion, Context, and using the Bible to justify oppression

Misusing Scripture: Collusion, Context, and using the Bible to justify oppression

There is nothing new in the way Attorney General Jeff Sessions used the Bible this week to justify the Trump administration’s outrageous policy of separating children from their families at the border. In fact, for centuries empires have used sacred texts to justify their violence. And through the centuries church leaders have colluded with empires. Sometimes by not challenging it, and at other times more proactively using sleight-of-hand theological trickery, changing a word here and there in theological positions to affirm the empire’s brutal policies. And then we, people of faith have often allowed ourselves to be fooled, believing the nonsense that the empire feeds us. So, let me offer a quick word about context, collusion, and the Bible.

Blessed by God: 
America's Deception

Blessed by God: 
America's Deception

Most Republicans and evangelical Christians agree: Refugees Go Home! What is in our national DNA that allows for such a discrepancy between the Christian mandate to “Love Your Neighbor” and the punishing practices of a government boasting to be a Christian nation? Can it be that the religion of American Exceptionalism is overtaking biblical religion?

When Justice Fails: Lessons from a Killing at the Border

When Justice Fails: Lessons from a Killing at the Border

U.S. Border Patrol agent was acquitted of murder charges in the 2012 shooting of 16-year-old Elena Rodriguez, raising deep questions of the impartiality of the U.S. justice system. Has it ever been impartial? Is the immigration crisis shining a light on the flaws in our nation’s justice system when an unarmed teen can be shot 12 times, twice in the head, and ten times in the back, and the agent be found innocent?

Muslims in Sri Lanka: A New Strategy for Engagement

Muslims in Sri Lanka: A New Strategy for Engagement

In Scores of Muslim mosques, homes and businesses were destroyed as mobs ran amok for three days in Kandy. Thousands of Muslims are disillusioned and uncertain about their safety and security for the future. Well-meaning majority Buddhists have made fresh pledges and called on the government to investigate the violence. As this is being investigated and persons of interest apprehended, fresh revelations emerge every day. This article is not about what went wrong but about what needs to be done.