Sexual Abuse in Islamic Schools, Movie Shines at Box Office, Yemen Crisis Deepens, and Remembering Ed “Too Tall” Freeman

Signs and Wonders

The Other Sexual Abuse Problem. While sex scandals rock Hollywood and Washington, little attention is being given to the widespread sexual abuse of children in Islamic schools in Pakistan. According to a new Associated Press report, “Sexual abuse is a pervasive and longstanding problem at madrassas in Pakistan.”  The report goes on to say, “In a culture where clerics are powerful and sexual abuse is a taboo subject, it is seldom discussed or even acknowledged in public.” I commend this AP report to you both because it shines a light on a terrible problem, but also for its examination of a culture and a worldview that Christians know little about.

“Light” Shines. A funny thing has been happening at the Cineplex these past few weeks. The little indie movie “Let There Be Light” surpassed the major studio release of “Same Kind of Different As Me” at the box office. The two faith-based movies released within a week of each other, but “Same Kind” languished at the box office, especially considering its budget, its stars (including Oscar-winners Renee Zellweger and Djimon Hounsou), and the built-in audience of the best-selling book on which it was based. “Let There Be Light” not only passed “Same Kind” but hit the $7-million mark this week. To listen to my interview with its stars, Kevin and Sam Sorbo, click here.

Yemen Crisis Deepens. As I reported back in June, a cholera crisis is having a devastating impact on the country of Yemen. Now, five months later, a bad situation in Yemen has deteriorated even further. According to Mindy Belz’s “Globe Trot, “The country’s famine is now ranked the worst in the world—with 7 million facing real risk of starvation. In the city of Taiz, all services have collapsed and at least 270 patients with chronic kidney disease may die. An estimated 130 children are dying every day.” As “60 Minutes” reported Sunday night, that’s one death every 11 minutes. Even more horrible, the United States is contributing to the problem by providing Yemen’s oppressor, Saudi Arabia, with military assistance. In a highly unusual move, the U.S. House recently passed a resolution calling out the Pentagon for aiding the Saudi’s bomb attacks on Yemen. If you want to pray: Pray4Yemen (@7600Feet) is a Twitter account with regular updates. The account is managed by Americans who have worked in Yemen.

Remembering Ed “Too Tall” Freeman. Yesterday would have been the 90th birthday of Ed “Too Tall” Freeman. Freeman, who stood six feet four inches, was too tall for flight training until the military raised the height limit. He then went to flight school and while a helicopter pilot in Vietnam, repeatedly risked his life at the Battle of Ia Drang, the first major engagement between U. S. and North Vietnamese forces during the Vietnam War. He received the Medal of Honor for ferrying in supplies to embattled American troops, as well as carrying out the wounded. His role in the battle figured prominently in the film “We Were Soldiers.” Ed Freeman died in 2008 of Parkinson’s Disease.

 

Image: iStock and SAKhanPhotography

 

Warren Cole Smith is an investigative journalist and author as well as the Colson Center vice- president for mission advancement.


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