Posted in Reblogged Posts

Gay Chechens flee threats, beatings and exorcism

This is such a sad story that is definitely not unique to Chechnya.

The Muslim Times

Source: BBC News

Family pressure has fuelled a sense of persecution felt by gay people in Chechnya, a mainly Muslim region in southern Russia.

Dozens have fled and some have been granted asylum abroad, amid reports of kidnap and torture by Chechen security forces targeting gay or allegedly gay people. Chechen officials deny the reported abuses.

Olga Prosvirova of BBC Russian interviewed two of those who fled in fear. They requested anonymity, so their names have been changed.

Presentational grey line

Marko, a Chechen in her early 20s, will never forget the day her family found out she was gay.

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Posted in Reblogged Posts

With Millennials less likely to believe in God, churches work hard to buck trends

Interesting to see more statistics on this. Many years ago in school while I was studying world religions I came across a study that said that the fastest growing religion was in fact no religion at all, but it didn’t include the figures presented here.

The Muslim Times

Source: ASHEVILLE CITIZEN-TIMES

BY John Boyle, jboyle@citizen-times.com

The statistics are daunting, particularly when it comes to the “nones.”

Fewer younger people, particularly Millennials, attend church or believe in God, and they’re less likely to go to church. Just 50 percent of younger Millennials say they believe in God with certainty, compared to 64 percent for Gen X and 69 percent for Baby Boomers, according to the Pew Research Center.

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“I think the first thing to point out, stepping back a moment, is there are big and important changes in the American religious landscape overall,” said Greg Smith, associate director for research at Pew, the Washington, D.C.-based organization that  periodically publishes the Religious Landscape Study. “The share of Americans that have no particular religious affiliation — the atheists, the agnostics, the ‘nothing in particular’ — that group is growing very rapidly. They are called the ‘nones,’ and the nones are growing very rapidly.”

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Posted in Books & Stories

New Project Announcement: Don’t Let Me Go

I’m happy to announce to you all that the first draft of my second book has officially been completed about two weeks ago and I’m working hard to get it published by August 1st. I’ve been slowed down without home internet and with my personal computer packed because I’ve been planning to move for the last four months and now it’s finally happening but it’s been a messy process with many hurdles, including the passing of my beloved grandmother whom I’ve lived with for many years.

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On top of battling the normal teenage angst that everyone goes through, Joanie is also reeling from her parents’ bitter divorce and having to cope with her mother’s new boyfriend and father’s new family. Alone in a new town and without friends, she turns to passing the time by indulging in her longtime hobby of making toy models of soldiers and is both amazed and shocked when one of them comes to life.

Despite her millions of unanswered questions and having to make sense of new mysteries every day Joanie comes to find a loyal and trustworthy companion in Adler, a lieutenant in the Wehrmacht and a member of the German Resistance during World War II who must also find a way to handle living in modern times on top of being invisible to most of the population.

The two of them will have to fight several battles on many fronts in both the physical world and unseen realms as they both try to comprehend Adler’s new existence and piece Joanie’s broken life back together.

Don’t Let Me Go is approximately 75000 words and 300 pages thus far but I expect that to change as I take it through several rounds of editing over the next couple of weeks and months. Stay tuned for more updates or visit my website http://www.jamilamikhail.com to stay up to date since I update that more than this when it comes to my writing.

Lastly, I also wish to thank all of those who have supported me with my first book, I’ve been selling more copies than I believed I would considering that poetry almost always gets the short end of the stick when it comes to books. I hope that you all will enjoy this upcoming book and don’t forget to stop by and snatch a couple of free books on my website! There will be more uploaded soon once I’m all settled in and I get my internet back. 🙂