By all accounts, the Providence Christianity and National Security conference was a great success. Providence chief and conference organizer Mark Tooley assembled a fantastic line up of Christian thinkers addressing a range of important topics from the divine vocation of government, the goads and limits to the use of force, spycraft, American exceptionalism, religious liberty, and more. Video of each of the conference sessions will be available at providencemag.com shortly, along with transcripts. A select number of essays will feature in future print editions of Providence. Subscribe now so you don’t miss them!
For those of you in the Washington DC area, I’d like to alert you to a special event next week at the IRD-Providence office. On Thursday, October 12th, Shadi Khalloul, a fellow at the Philos Project — co-publishers of Providence–and Founder and Chairman of ICAA–the Israeli Christian Aramaic Association–will be leading a lunchtime discussion. The discussion will focus on his work educating local and foreign Christian visitors of all nationalities about their Eastern Aramaic Christian roots, identity, and language, and in calling Christians worldwide to solidarity with Israel in supporting the rights of religious minorities throughout the Middle East.
Shadi has an absolutely fascinating story. Born in Gush Halav, a Christian Maronite Village in the Northern Galilee region in Israel, near the border with Lebanon, Shadi served as a paratrooper in the Israeli Defense Forces, continuing to do so as a reservist. He has worked tirelessly to achieve recognition for Arameans in Israeli and succeeded, in 2014, in gaining approval for their appeal to have their legal status changed from Arab to Aramean. More than a simple registration change, this signaled Israeli recognition of their status as an indigenous group with their own identity, language, and cultural heritage. Israeli recognition corrected an over 1400-year-old error reaching back to Arab colonization of the region. Khalloul’s achievement helped prove and deepen Israel’s commitment to genuine unity-in-diversity and the rights of religious minorities. Shadi’s son has the honorable distinction of becoming the first person in modern Israel’s history to be so recognized.
Prior to Thursday, Shadi will be speaking at the Catholic Information Center in Washington, DC. He will be joined by Providence contributor Andrew Doran. They will be discussing efforts to restore and safeguard Christianity in the Middle East. If interested, register here.
That’s two helpings of Shadi in one week! That makes for a good week. If you want to join us for lunch, please let us know you’re coming by registering here. If you’re not able to make it, you can livestream the event here.
I hope to see you there. In any case, have a great weekend.