1. Victor Jack: I am an Uighur who faced China’s concentration camps. This is my story.
2. Human Trafficking Is World’s Fastest-Growing Crime, Activist Says
3. The Syrian Armenians Who Fled One War Zone For Another
Such newfound peace for Syrian emigres to Armenia was short-lived. At around 7 a.m. on Sept. 27, 2020, an artillery barrage fired from Azerbaijan woke Asmarian and his family in Yerevan. “I am sad to say that my children already know those sounds very well,” he said. “I tried to tell my youngest, who is 11, that it was a thunderstorm.” His son didn’t believe him.
4. The cost of speaking up against China
Among the few who have fled Xinjiang and spoken publicly, many have received a call like the one to Sedik that morning – from a police officer or government official at their family home, or from a relative summoned to a police station. Sometimes the calls contain vague advice to consider the welfare of their family in Xinjiang, sometimes direct threats to detain and punish relatives.
Others have been publicly smeared in press conferences or state media videos; or been subjected to barrages of messages or hacking attempts directed at their phones. (Last week, Facebook said that it had discovered “an extremely targeted operation” emanating from China to hack Uyghur activists abroad.)
5. Daily Mail: Shocking photos capture the horror of the ISIS Mozambique massacre that left one Brit dead
The aerial footage shows corpses of those brutally murdered by the insurgents after being pulled from their lorries, some beheaded, by the killers in the African nation.
Smoke is shown rising from the town’s buildings after the ISIS militants rampaged through its streets, killing people that crossed their path.
People can be seen running towards rescue helicopters as they desperately flee the key industrial town, that was overrun by an estimated 100 fighters.
One picture, taken from the air, shows people hoping to be rescued having spelled out ‘Help’ and ‘SOS’ with stones and white bed sheets.
A modern martyr, #Kizito Mihigo, died in a Rwandan prison. A Catholic gospel singer he was arrested for his song, “The Meaning of Death.” He posthumously won the Vaclev Havel Prize. https://t.co/ByiPL4Hs1i
Listen to the song: https://t.co/usuBhcxqz7
— Greg Erlandson (@GregErlandson) September 28, 2020
7. Fred Hiatt: Do companies really want to sponsor the Genocide Olympics?
As Western businesses prepare to salute China at the Beijing Winter Olympics next February, the chairman of the China-Britain Business Council offered an all-purpose explanation of why it’s okay to do business with the Communists who are committing genocide 1,600 miles west of the ski slopes and skating rinks.
If companies are going to trade beyond Scandinavia and a few other countries — “possibly New Zealand and Australia and Canada,” Sherard Cowper-Coles jocularly told the Wall Street Journal last week — then they will have to operate where human rights conditions are “less than ideal.”
. . .
If P&G believes in equality of religion, can its executives really cheer the Opening Ceremonies as mosques and Muslim cemeteries are razed; imams are imprisoned and tortured; children are removed from Muslim homes? As more than 1 million Muslims are sent to reeducation camps, and ethnic Han Chinese men are sent into many of the homes they are taken from?
“There were media reports that male officials would sleep in the same bed as the wives of men who were detained in internment camps, as part of the ‘Pair Up and Become Family’ program,” the State Department report notes, “and also bring alcohol and pork for consumption during the home stay.”
8. Adam Liptak: An Extraordinary Winning Streak for Religion at the Supreme Court
“Plainly, the Roberts court has ruled in favor of religious organizations, including mainstream Christian organizations, more frequently than its predecessors,” wrote the study’s authors, Lee Epstein of Washington University in St. Louis and Eric A. Posner of the University of Chicago. “With the replacement of Ruth Bader Ginsburg with Amy Coney Barrett, this trend will not end soon and may accelerate.”
. . .
The kinds of cases the court is hearing have changed, too. In the Warren court, all of the rulings in favor of religion benefited minority or dissenting practitioners. In the Roberts court, most of the religious claims were brought by mainstream Christians.
Chemical abortion not only ends the life of an innocent child in the womb, but it puts women at serious medical risk and leaves mothers with deep psychological wounds.@jeannemfl and @GChristiemd discuss the harmful impact of #ChemicalAbortion. https://t.co/x3PeG1yYwL
— March for Life (@March_for_Life) April 5, 2021
10. Bruce Bawer: “A Certain Madness Amok”
Instead of recognizing that Hoogland was acting out of concern for his child, Marzari painted him as a selfish bigot. His conduct, she wrote, was causing A.B. “a significant risk of harm.” He was “publicly rejecting his [A.B.’s] identity, perpetuating stories that reject his identity, and exposing him to degrading and violent commentary in social media.” Marzari adduced no evidence to support any of these assertions. That said, Hoogland, added Marzari, “has been irresponsible in the manner of expressing his disagreement [with A.B.’s decision] and the degree of publicity which he has fostered with respect to this disagreement with his child.” Marzari also seconded Bowden’s description of Hoogland’s “rejection of A.B.’s gender identity” as “family violence.”
11. Ross Douthat: What Has the Pro-Life Movement Won?
. . . there is the strong possibility that the 6-to-3 conservative court does not have a majority of justices who particularly want to apply their principles to something as fraught as abortion, as opposed to the comforting blandness of administrative law. Between the popularity of Roe in polling and the fear of liberal backlash and potential court-packing, some combination of John Roberts, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh may decide to follow the rule of institutional self-protection rather than their principles, or find ways to make only the smallest-possible edits to the court’s existing abortion jurisprudence.
— Ryan T. Anderson (@RyanTAnd) April 5, 2021
13. Dale Ahlquist: “I don’t know and I don’t care”: On the devotion of the Nones
I would suggest that the growth of the Nones arises from three things: 1) the strange and unmerited respect for agnosticism among scholars and intellectuals, 2) the even stranger and unmerited association between science and agnosticism, and 3) ignorance.
14. Catholic schools undercut teachers’ unions with successful in-person reopenings
Few have missed the contrast. Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker pointed last year to the reopening success of the Boston Catholic schools in arguing for a return to in-person learning in the Boston Public Schools.
“The Catholic Church is the one following science, and the public schools, who worship at the altar of science — they are basically the flat earth people,” Thomas W. Carroll, superintendent of the Boston Catholic schools, told the journal Education Next.
15. This Teacher Says Left Has Turned Public Schools Into ‘Indoctrination Centers
As a black woman who currently teaches at a predominantly white high school, Foster says she never would tell colleagues she is conservative for fear she would lose her job.
“I would even say that [my colleagues] would try to school me in my own oppression,” Foster said. “They would probably see me as though I was ignorant, like ‘Why are you, a black person, not part of our team?’”
Assuming her to be in agreement with progressive views, leadership at Foster’s school asked her if she would consider leading a class to teach high school students about white privilege. She declined the offer.
16. Shemaiah Gonzalez: The weight of attending Mass for those who cannot
My family had been watching the streamed services from home until our 80-year-old priest invited my husband, me and our two sons to read the Scriptures and prayers for the streaming Mass. At home on Sundays, it had been consoling to see the faces of other families we knew read on camera, but I’d felt a bit of envy. I wished I was there in our second home, our parish. I wished to be there for the Eucharist. But when we arrived and stood there in that space, just seven of us in a cathedral that seats over 1,000 people, I felt a spiritual heaviness. We were holding a space for those who could not be there.
17. Crux: Pope on Good Friday hears children tell of pandemic losses
One child wrote plaintively of loneliness in the COVID-19 pandemic, from not being able to visit her grandparents to keep them safe from contagion and from missing volleyball teammates, school chums and teachers since schools in Italy have been closed for long stretches due to lockdown.
“The sadness of loneliness at times becomes unbearable,” the girl wrote.
After that child’s account was read, Francis rose and prayed that the Lord would “enlighten us in this dark night, so we don’t lose our way in this difficult period.”
Resurrection skeptics be like…
“Women are unreliable narrators.”
— Charlie Camosy (@CCamosy) April 4, 2021
19. Robert Barron: Recovering the Strangeness of Easter
Unlike any of the other great religious founders, Jesus consistently spoke and acted in the very person of God. Declaring a man’s sins forgiven, referring to himself as greater than the Temple, claiming lordship over the Sabbath and authority over the Torah, insisting that his followers love him more than their mothers and fathers, more than their very lives, Jesus assumed a divine prerogative. And it was precisely this apparently blasphemous pretension that led so many of his contemporaries to oppose him. After his awful death on an instrument of torture, even his closest followers became convinced that he must have been delusional and misguided.
But when his band of Apostles saw him alive again after his death, they came to believe that he is who he said he was. They found his outrageous claim ratified in the most surprising and convincing way possible. Their conviction is beautifully expressed in the confession of Thomas the erstwhile doubter who, upon seeing the risen Lord, fell to his knees and said simply, “My Lord and My God.”
Before sending that tweet…remember that the moment you insult someone, you have given up on persuasion.
— Arthur Brooks (@arthurbrooks) April 5, 2021
21. Media Criticizes Governor DeSantis For Vaccinating Republican Seniors Instead Of Killing Them