This is the first entry for Article18 –RLTV’s first weekly blog specifically dedicated to religious liberty issues in other countries around the world. Each week, we will be focusing on a different nation, and the struggles facing its different religious communities, be they Muslim, Christian, Hindu, or Jewish. Of course, those aren’t the only religions that will be profiled on this blog; time-permitting I plan to dedicate entries to other persecuted religious groups around the world. Sadly, I doubt I will ever run out of material for this blog. If I do, it really will be a marvelous thing.
Firstly a little about myself. My name is Martin Surridge. I’m one of the associate editors for Religious Liberty TV. My family left North London for California when I was 13 years old. Now, a few years later, I am a high school English teacher and freelance writer living and working near Atlanta, Georgia. Most of my writing stints have dried up since I moved away from the Pacific Northwest, and also since I started teaching full-time. So, excuse me if I’m a little rusty. It was during my short time in the Northwest that I graduated with a M.A. in Teaching from Walla Walla University, only about 6 months ago. Two years previously, in the fall of 2008, I received my B.S. in Social Studies from Pacific Union College in Northern California. During my college and university years, I covered world cup soccer for a small weekly newspaper in the Napa Valley, traveled to China, Turkey, Israel, Palestine, and Kenya, and interviewed high-ranking ambassadors and presidential candidates. I also nearly broke my shin trying to jump off an elliptical machine, and dropped out of a screenwriting class during the last week of a semester. As Michael Steele recently said, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”
My goals for Article18 are to raise awareness and point to some of the problems and solutions facing the international community right now with regards to religion and issues of religious liberty. I invite discussion and welcome all comments and I’m looking forward to sharing this new project with you.
Article18‘s next entry and first major profile will look at the secession movement in Southern Sudan–if that is indeed what they end up naming their new nation should it break away this week–and how a divided Sudan might be good news for nation’s millions of Christians and Muslims.