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Megan Sweas

Writer, Editor, Student of Life

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International issues

Is the Pope’s Concern for Immigration Just a “Numbers Game”?

Published by Religion Dispatches, Center for Religion and Civic Culture, September 24, 2015

Pope Francis may differ greatly in tone from Pope Benedict, but on many social issues Francis can expect the same pushback his predecessor received in the United States.

When Pope Benedict brought up immigration on his 2008 trip to the United States, for example, conservative voices argued that his support of immigrants was self-serving. Continue reading “Is the Pope’s Concern for Immigration Just a “Numbers Game”?”

Could Pope Francis Change Hearts and Minds on Immigration on a Global Scale?

Published by The Washington Post, Center for Religion and Civic Culture, June 11, 2015

A few months into his papacy, Pope Francis took his first trip out of Rome to Lampedusa, the Italian island through which many migrants enter Europe after a treacherous journey across the Mediterranean.

Noting that shipwrecks of migrant boats happened “all too frequently,” Francis blamed “the globalization of indifference.”

“We have become used to the suffering of others. It doesn’t affect me; it doesn’t concern me; it’s none of my business!” he said.

Continue reading “Could Pope Francis Change Hearts and Minds on Immigration on a Global Scale?”

UC-Irvine’s Muslim Student Union Battles Injustice

Published by Aslan Media, Inc. in three parts from September 21 to October 2, 2012

Aminah Galal counted 100 audience members at the presentation on Shariah law. It was a good turnout, and most, she noted, weren’t members of University of California – Irvine’s Muslim Student Union (MSU), which hosted the event.

But as Galal, vice president of the MSU, finished counting, the Q&A turned confrontational. Five of the six who asked questions were from a Christian ministry called Truth Defenders, and to them, true Muslims wouldn’t accept the speaker’s flexible interpretation of Shariah. Continue reading “UC-Irvine’s Muslim Student Union Battles Injustice”

Muslims respond to Islamophobia

After listening to a speaker defend Shariah, or Islamic law, as just and merciful last spring, a young Muslim found himself walking out of the auditorium with a member of a Christian group called Truth Defenders.

“Why do you follow the Prophet? He was a womanizer, terrorist,” the man said to Mohannad Abu Alrub, a member of the Muslim Student Union at University of California – Irvine. “That didn’t fly with me,” Alrub told me later. Continue reading “Muslims respond to Islamophobia”

Tibetan refugees fear India’s crackdown on activism

Originally published on GlobalPost.com RIGHTS blog, March 31, 2012

NEW DELHI — India has hosted the Dalai Lama and his Tibetan followers for 53 years, but new strains between the Tibetan refugees and their hosts became evident this week with the arrest of more than 250 activists ahead of Chinese President Hu Jintao’s visit to New Delhi.

Indian police also placed the entire Tibetan community in Delhi on house arrest, closing down the refugee camp Majnu Ka Tilla following the self-immolation of a 27-year-old Tibetan exile. Continue reading “Tibetan refugees fear India’s crackdown on activism”

Kenya rising

Photo story published in U.S. Catholic, March 2009

The growing Kenyan church responds to the challenges of a young democracy.

“Our mother, Kenya, we love you so much; we need you again,” sing the students at St. Joseph Freinademetz Primary School in Ruai, outside of Nairobi, the capital of Kenya.

In early 2008 Kenya abandoned her children. Continue reading “Kenya rising”

The whole world in our hands: An interview with Lesley-Anne Knight

Edited interview published in U.S. Catholic, August 2008

Lesley-Anne KnightPoverty is a global problem, and the entire human family will have to contribute to the solution, says Lesley-Anne Knight, the first female secretary general of Caritas Internationalis.

Read more on USCatholic.org

PDF of “The whole world is in our hands”

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