Globe Trot: Brussels churches hold services despite terror threat

by Mindy Belz
Posted 11/23/15, 03:20 pm

BELGIUM: European counterterrorism efforts over the weekend centered on Brussels, where the city remains on lockdown for a third day after an extended manhunt for missing Islamic State operative Salah Abdeslam. The effort comes as Western officials learn more from electronic intercepts about communications between Islamic State leaders in Syria and Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the man suspected of masterminding the Paris assault.

  • In Brussels, some churches canceled worship services but others continued, some meeting in homes. “Interesting that yesterday, on a Sunday in Brussels, in all the warnings to avoid public places no one mentioned churches,” said Carlton Deal, pastor and founder of Serve the City in Brussels.
  • As Belgians stay home from soccer matches, restaurants, shopping, and schools, one visitor told Belgian tour guide (and Globe Trot loyalist) Lionel Roosemont, “It’s too late for Europe.” Roosemont remarked in an email, “I think he is probably right, humanly speaking. At the same time, we should never forget there is a much more important truth, that it is never too late for Jesus: He knows much better. When the Hebrews were desperate, having lost their pastors (vs7), the writer wrote: ‘Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and for ever’ (vs8). (Hebrews 13:7-8)

FRANCE: One hot topic among the counterterrorism experts in the wake of the Paris attacks: With growing access to more and more kinds of digital intel, is law enforcement missing the trees for the forest, discerning the serious threats from the imposters buried in so much data? Better ways to use technology are needed, and one includes alternatives to the 911 system in the United States, which could itself be overwhelmed in a Paris-style attack.

SYRIA: Over at Breakpoint, I participated along with a number of thoughtful commentators in a symposium on the Syrian refugee crisis. There I discussed ISIS with Breakpoint radio host (and Colson Center president) John Stonestreet.

LIBERIA: Health officials have 153 people under surveillance, seeking to control a new outbreak of Ebola.

BURMA:Government attacks on rebel bases in Kachin state in the past week displaced hundreds of ethnic Kachin, a predominantly Christian people. WORLD’s Sophia Lee is currently in the area, reporting on what life is like for the displaced and the non-Buddhist.

THE DESOLATE WILDERNESS: In the wider Belz family, the feasting doesn’t begin Thanksgiving Day without first reading aloud Nathaniel Morton’s “chronicle of those memorable circumstances of the year 1620,” published each year for decades by The Wall Street Journal:

Besides, what could they see but a hideous and desolate wilderness, full of wilde beasts and wilde men? and what multitudes of them there were, they then knew not: for which way soever they turned their eyes (save upward to Heaven) they could have but little solace or content in respect of any outward object; for summer being ended, all things stand in appearance with a weatherbeaten face, and the whole country, full of woods and thickets, represented a wild and savage hew.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING: Globe Trot will return Monday, Nov. 30.

Mindy Belz

Mindy is senior editor of WORLD Magazine and the author of They Say We Are Infidels. Follow Mindy on Twitter @mcbelz.

Read more from this writer