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Aaron Torop

Pointed roofs of a church and a synagogue with a cross atop one and a Star of David atop the other

Seven months after being acquitted of blasphemy charges by the Supreme Court of Pakistan, Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian, finally joined her family in Canada on May 7, 2019. Bibi was initially convicted and sentenced to death nearly a decade ago, and her case sparked worldwide outrage over blasphemy laws, which criminalize “the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for God.”

While Bibi’s release by the Pakistani government in 2018 was a positive step, it was marred by nationwide protests. Pakistan’s blasphemy law is prone to false accusations because accusers...

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Cover of the USCIRF report

Seven months after being acquitted of blasphemy charges by the Supreme Court of Pakistan, Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian, finally joined her family in Canada on May 7, 2019. Bibi was initially convicted and sentenced to death nearly a decade ago, and her case sparked worldwide outrage over blasphemy laws, which criminalize “the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for God.”

While Bibi’s release by the Pakistani government in 2018 was a positive step, it was marred by nationwide protests. Pakistan’s blasphemy law is prone to false accusations because accusers...

Read More

Pair of hands painted to resemble the Earth forming a heart

In biblical Judaism, every seventh year was considered a shmita year. During this year, crops would not be planted, debts were forgiven, slaves were freed, and every 49th year land ownership was relinquished. In modern times, we understand shmita as a release, an opportunity to rededicate ourselves to being good stewards of God’s creations and to correct the inequalities we perpetuate.

While the next shmita year is not until Rosh HaShanah 5782 (or September 2021), 5779 has already been a year of reckoning around our responsibility to give the Earth a rest from the constant...

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Photo by Josh Barwick on Unsplash

In biblical Judaism, every seventh year was considered a shmita year. During this year, crops would not be planted, debts were forgiven, slaves were freed, and every 49th year land ownership was relinquished. In modern times, we understand shmita as a release, an opportunity to rededicate ourselves to being good stewards of God’s creations and to correct the inequalities we perpetuate.

While the next shmita year is not until Rosh Hashanah 5782 (or September 2021), 5779 has already been a year of reckoning around our responsibility to give the Earth a rest from the constant...

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Explosion

On February 1, 2019, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo formally announced a six-month notice of a complete withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. This follows President Trump's October 2018 announcement of his intention to withdraw and failed meetings between the U.S. and Russia to salvage the treaty. The European Union, Russia, and members of Congress from both parties criticized this announcement

Why does the INF Treaty Matter?

President Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev signed the INF in 1987 as the Cold War neared its end. (General Secretary...

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