‘Lively encounter with Islam’

Recently returned from Europe, David Shenk, a member of Eastern Mennonite Mission’s Christian Relations Team, reports discussions everywhere about what the response should be to the refugee crisis in the midst of the enormous chaos happening now. He taught graduate classes at seminaries in Switzerland, Germany, and the Netherlands. All the classes had some aspect of learning about Muslims while two of the classes had lively encounters with Islam.  “The courses were so timely and so relevant to what is happening with hundreds of thousands refugees coming into Europe,” Shenk said. “The interest among the students, many of whom were leaders, pastors, or studying to become pastors, was phenomenal. While I was there German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that Germany will welcome a million refugees this year,” Shenk said. “Europe is simply overwhelmed. The UN has run out of money for food and they are cutting rations while more people are coming. Jordan is coping with 5 million refugees; Lebanon is not far behind that number. Everywhere I went the conversation centred around ‘What do we do?’ ‘How do we respond?’” —Eastern Mennonite Missions 

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