Meanwhile on ... Scotland's Isle of Lewis and Harris, Christians are extending a welcoming hand to a new mosque

And in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, the government has allowed more than 200 indigenous Bronze Age artifacts to leave the country for the first time. 

Cheyne/Reuters/File
Isle of Lewis and Harris Russell

Scotland's Isle of Lewis and Harris, Christians are extending a welcoming hand to a new mosque. This remote outpost of the Scottish Hebrides is known for its conservative Christian attitudes, but when reporters sought out controversy over a mosque opening there this month, there was little to be found. When one minister of a breakaway Christian sect spoke of the dangers of Islam, two ministers from the island’s larger churches responded by praising Muslim residents’ contributions to the community and defending their right to worship as they see fit. One resident brought a £500 ($680) check to the mosque. “This goes a long way to show the love and support we have been receiving,” the mosque team tweeted.

Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, the government has allowed more than 200 indigenous Bronze Age artifacts to leave the country for the first time. The artifacts – highly decorated carriages, jewelry, weapons, and other items from the Silk Road kingdom of Margiana – will be on display in three German cities, beginning in Berlin. Margiana existed alongside Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt but is relatively unknown in the West, in part because of the Turkmenian government’s reluctance to allows its treasures to leave the country.

Santa cruz, Aruba, animal welfare advocates are working to nurture what remains of the island’s historic population of wild donkeys. Although for centuries donkeys were the main mode of transportation on the island, they went out of style when cars became popular. Many residents then freed their donkeys, creating a population of thousands of wild donkeys. Their numbers dwindled and are reported to have reached a low of 20-some donkeys in the 1970s. Donkey Sanctuary Aruba says there are about 200 donkeys on the island today. 

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.