President Trump’s recent provocative tweet to Iran's President Rouhani caught many, including the U.S. State Department and the military, off guard. His threat, “NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE…” was not only one head of state threatening another; it was an emboldened self-avowed Christian confronting the leader of a Shi’ite Muslim theocratic state. The problem created for religious freedom worldwide is enormous.
On July 30th a team from OMNIA arrived in the city of Gombe, Nigeria to begin a week-long series of leadership workshops. This was our second time training in Gombe. Our first had brought together more than 400 people and included four tribal rulers (chiefs), a representative of the governor of Gombe State, two members of the State Parliament, and numerous senior Muslim and Christian leaders. They gathered to learn ways in which Muslims and Christians can work together in a context in which religious tensions have given way to some of the deadliest extremist violence in the world.