What Courage Looks Like In 2021

    Courage is the ability to do the right thing under great pressure, external and internal. Yesterday the civil leaders of Iraq showed us what this looks like.


    Erbil is a city in Iraq that is pro American and pro Israel. Shocking, yes, since they are surrounded by the opposite sentiment which violently overwhelms the Middle East. But despite this, these civil leaders voted for Iraq to join the Abraham Accords


    The Abraham Accords was a peace agreement Trump began in the Middle East in August 2020. It doesn't get a lot of attention, but it was groundbreaking. Vivianne Tesone Milhem marked the first anniversary of the Accords by saying

    A year ago, with the signing of the Abraham Accords, a giant leap forward was taken. Israel's dialogue with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain marked a new stage in diplomatic relations between Middle Eastern countries and has led to the normalization of relations with Morocco and Sudan.

                              WJC Jewish Diplomatic Corps Member Vivianne Tesone Milhem  


    Here is a quote from the Abraham Accords:

    We seek tolerance and respect for every person in order to make this world a place where all can enjoy a life of dignity and hope, no matter their race, faith or ethnicity. We support science, art, medicine, and commerce to inspire humankind, maximize human potential and bring nations closer together. We seek to end radicalization and conflict to provide all children a better future. We pursue a vision of peace, security, and prosperity in the Middle East and around the world.


    This supposedly is the purpose of BLM, right? 


    We affirm the lives of Black queer and trans folks, disabled folks, undocumented folks, folks with records, women, and all Black lives along the gender spectrum. Our network centers those who have been marginalized within Black liberation movements.

    We are working for a world where Black lives are no longer systematically targeted for demise.

    We affirm our humanity, our contributions to this society, and our resilience in the face of deadly oppression.



     Okay, kind of. But why wouldn't BLM supporters in the US support the Abraham Accords? For the same reason the militant minded in the Middle East don't support it. They don't want peace; they want control.


    But surrounded by enemies, these brave men–all Muslim–publicly declared their intent to join the Abraham Accords. This is amazing to watch in our time and dangerous for these men. Remember the signers of the Declaration of Independence? They too exchanged a price on their head for their signature.


    It is not surprising that the Kurds are among these men because Erbil is the capital of their territory in Iraq. In our book From Abram To Abraham, we talk about the link between Abraham's Ur in the land of the Kaldee and the Kurds. The Chaldeans were of Kurdish origins. Today, they are brave allies of the United States and used to fighting against great odds.


    There are others fighting similar battles who, perhaps, are not known as well. Men like  Pastor Artur Pawlowski who are willing to do the right thing and speak truth amid a sea of opposition. Outnumbered, maybe, but these people are an inspiration against tyranny in all forms and a great lesson to us that when we have done all, stand. Christians have a greater word from our Lord because we stand in His authority armed with His might. Praise Jesus!


    For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; Eph 6:12-18


    If you would like to watch a video with Erick Stakelbeck and Dalton Thomas talking about the Kurds, you can view it here.

    Image by Michael Dziedzic courtesy of Unsplash


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