Most Recent Archive

Sanctions worsen risk of COVID-19 outbreak in North Korea

April 10, 2020 recent Wider View

COVID-19 has spread across the world. With China and South Korea having experienced large numbers of cases, the threat of an outbreak is looming over the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). The U.S. should lift sanctions against the DPRK that prevent the country from importing medical and testing equipment and help the country respond to an outbreak that would result in the loss of many lives. Decades of sanctions on the DPRK have prevented much-needed medical resources from entering the country. Without resources such as ventilators, protective gear or sanitizers, the healthcare system is vulnerable to a COVID-19 outbreak. […]

A year of silence

March 20, 2020 John-Michael Cotignola-Pickens Wider View

Even as news of the coronavirus is rightfully on everyone’s mind, advocacy on long-standing concerns such as gun violence continues. February 27, 2020 marked the one-year anniversary of the passage of H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act. It continues to sit untouched in the Senate, even as 39,740 people were killed by firearms in 2018. Passing H.R. 8 into law would make it more difficult for individuals such as the shooter in the West Texas shooting to acquire a gun. A survey conducted by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health showed that universal background checks received strong support […]

We should offer hospitality, not rejection

March 6, 2020 John-Michael Cotignola-Pickens Wider View

Estefania Martinez, international fellow, Mennonite Central Committee U.S. Washington Office Imagine you are very sick. You go to your city’s hospital and the doctor examines you and discovers that you have a disease which your hospital does not have the medicine or equipment to treat. Your life depends on receiving the treatment, so you feel broken and hopeless upon hearing this news. Then the doctor tells you there is a hospital in a big city far away that could save your life. You leave your home and start the long journey in search of relief. However, once you arrive at […]

Gaza: Life in unlivable conditions

February 21, 2020 Rachelle Lyndaker Schlabach Wider View

In 2012 the United Nations predicted that Gaza would be unlivable by the year 2020. Many of Gaza’s two million residents say the conditions have already been unlivable for years. Gaza, a small sliver of land along the Mediterranean coast, has been under a suffocating siege imposed by the Israeli government in 2007. That year the Israeli government tightened already-existing restrictions in response to the Palestinian party, Hamas, becoming the governing power in Gaza. Hamas is classified as a terrorist organization by the U.S. and Israel. Egypt also restricts the regular movement of people and goods at the border crossing […]

Wilderness laid waste

February 7, 2020 Tammy Alexander Wider View

Take up weeping and wailing for the mountains,    and a lamentation for the pastures of the wilderness, because they are laid waste so that no one passes through,    and the lowing of cattle is not heard; both the birds of the air and the animals    have fled and are gone. (Jeremiah 9:10)   Along the San Pedro River, the last free-flowing river in Arizona, trees are being cut down in preparation for border wall construction across the river. A 30-ft bollard wall structure might effectively dam the river and cause flooding during the summer monsoon. In Organ […]

A public health approach to gun violence

January 17, 2020 John-Michael Cotignola-Pickens Wider View

  More people in the United States die from gun violence than HIV, Parkinson’s disease, malnutrition, hypertension and other medical conditions, but gun violence receives less funding for research. Medical professionals have been advocating for funding that would empower the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Institutes of Health to research gun violence as a public health crisis. Treating gun violence like a public health crisis would involve a multi-pronged approach that advocates for policy changes, such as background checks for all gun sales. It would also focus on working with gun owners on how to make gun […]

A look at military, national and public service

January 3, 2020 Rachelle Lyndaker Schlabach Wider View

In 2016 members of the House and Senate could not agree whether women should be required to register with Selective Service, the apparatus to mobilize a military draft. Though the military opened combat roles to women in 2013, only men are required to register when they turn 18. Congress formed the National Commission on Military, National and Public Service to study the issue, as well as ways to increase participation in service overall. The commission’s work is of keen interest to Anabaptist groups, who strongly value voluntary service and who oppose serving in the military. In January 2019 the commission […]

The next chapter in the Christmas story

December 20, 2019 Tammy Alexander Wider View

During this time of Advent, as millions of refugees face an uncertain future and thousands of asylum seekers wait to enter the United States, some communities are reaffirming their commitment to helping newcomers find safe homes. On December 9, a Burleigh County Council hearing in North Dakota was standing room only as hundreds voiced their support for welcoming refugees. The council, which had been expected to vote against resettling any refugees next year, ultimately voted 3-2 in favor. The county of 95,000 people welcomed 24 refugees last year. A new Trump administration policy is requiring states and localities to opt-in […]