The actions of ISIS (also known as the Islamic State, or ISIL) have begun to shape America’s popular conception of Islam by grabbing headlines in the last year. ISIS most recently claimed responsibility for the coordinated attacks including suicide bombings and a mass shooting in Paris, France, where well over 100 lives were lost and nearly 300 wounded in one of Europe’s largest terrorist attacks.
Because of the global nature of our community, young people see both videos of ISIS and the reactions of our politicians and news broadcasters. What is the youth minister’s role in this conversation? How can we embody Jesus’ love for the world while we yearn for justice and struggle to how that justice could be enacted? How should Christians and Muslims interact?
As youth workers, this conversation can seem way above our pay grade. Yet it is a necessary conversation to have with our young people, in order to understand both Islam and Christianity better. In this issue of Engage, we struggle to make sense of these questions.