Ahmadinejad: What would Jesus do?
The leaders of Iran and the United States have had no official communication since 1979. This week, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad broke the silence and wrote a letter to President Bush, largely criticizing his actions in the Middle East as being inconsistent with Christian faith.

"Can one be a follower of Jesus Christ, the great Messenger of God," Ahmadinejad wrote, "But at the same time, have countries attacked: the lives, reputations and possessions of people destroyed?" (That's a cleaned up version from what appears to be a somewhat poor translation.)

Ahmadinejad criticized the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, the treatment of prisoners, support for Israel, U.S. actions in Latin America and Africa, and several other items.

"My students ask me how can these actions be reconciled with … duty to the tradition of Jesus Christ, the Messenger of peace and forgiveness," he said. "If prophet Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Ishmael, Joseph, or Jesus Christ were with us today, how would they have judged such behavior? Will we be given a role to play in the promised world, where justice will become universal and Jesus Christ will be present?"

The letter (which also alleges that the September 11 attacks were carried out with "coordination with [U.S.] intelligence and security services—or their extensive infiltration") doesn't say anything directly about the conflict over Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons. It does, however, claim that scientific research is "one of the basic rights of nations." Ahmadinejad asks, "Why is it that any technological and scientific achievement reached in the Middle East regions is translated into and portrayed as a threat to the Zionist regime?"

Secretary of State Condoleezza ...

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Ted Olsen is Christianity Today's managing editor for news and online journalism. He wrote the magazine's Weblog—a collection of news and opinion articles from mainstream news sources around the world—from 1999 to 2006. In 2004, the magazine launched Weblog in Print, which looks for unexpected connections and trends in articles appearing in the mainstream press. The column was later renamed "Tidings" and ran until 2007.
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