- T S. Eliot’s Murder in the Cathedral dramatizes the martyrdom of Thomas Becket, archbishop of Canterbury, in 1170. The story builds to the final moments when Becket is pulled inside the cathedral by three priests trying to save him from the king’s forces. They bar the door for safety, but Thomas, with a boldness befitting Stephen himself demands: Unbar the doors! throw open the doors! I will not have the house of prayer, the church of Christ, The sanctuary, turned into a fortress.. The church shall be open, even to our enemies. We are not here to triumph by fighting, by stratagem, or by resistance, Not to fight with beasts as men. We have fought the beast And have conquered. We have only to conquer Now, by suffering. This is the easier victory. Now is the triumph of the Cross, now Open the door! I command it. OPEN THE DOOR! Like Stephen and like Jesus, Thomas went to his death opposing the forces of evil not with power but with faithfulness.
- ("A young woman was making her debut at Orchestra Hall. She concluded her concert with a brilliant rendition of Beethoven's Appassionata Sonata. The crowd went wild. They thundered their approval...")
- ("a group of shipwrecked people is adrift in a long, narrow lifeboat. The boat is so long that people in the front think of themselves as the 'front' people, and those in the back think of themselves as the 'back' people. One day the front of the boat develops an uncontrollable leak...")
- •Georgia was formerly one of the republics in the Soviet Union. When Communism collapsed, Georgia pulled away from Russia and tried to re-establish itself as an independent country. One of the ways it chose to do that was to reclaim its history and reassert the authority of the Christian Orthodox church. To do that, they sometimes turned a blind eye to persecution of Protestant churches. One extremist Orthodox priest was named Father Basil — I’ll ignore his last name for fear that I would mangle it — called his followers to put down Protestants by burning their churches and beating their pastors and priests. He even encouraged them to burn down a warehouse owned by the Bible Society. For his actions, Father Basil was defrocked, but that didn’t stop him. On January 24, 2003 he led a group of his followers in a violent attack on a multi-denominational worship service at the Central Baptist Church held in celebration of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. More than a year later, Father Basil was finally arrested for his violent acts. During his trial, the Baptist Bishop Malkhaz was called to testify. For three hours he spoke about the values of Christianity, the ecumenical movement and religious liberty. The judge and prosecutor asked him a number of questions. Finally, judge asked Malkhaz, “What do you want to happen to these defendants?” Malkhaz replied, “I demand that these people are pardoned and released from the prison.”...