Jul 4

Bishops marchingOn Thursday, July 24, more than 600 Anglican bishops, their spouses and other faith leaders from around the United Kingdom will march through central London on a Walk of Witness — a symbolic moment of solidarity and coming together for the fulfilment of the
Millennium Development Goals to reflect to the world
God’s desire for justice and concern for the poor.

There are many ways to be involved in promoting the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs), and the ‘Episcopaleans for Global Reconciliation’ website offers many resources and ideas to get you started.

Another useful resource is the ‘Make Poverty History’ website.

Jun 28

Stephen Brown and David Wanless
Geneva/Cape Town (ENI). A leader of the Student Christian Movement of Zimbabwe has urged the international community to intervene in the southern African nation, following the decision of opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai to withdraw from the presidential runoff, citing escalating violence against his supporters. 

“We need peace monitors that make sure we have a stable environment to stop this violence and madness that [President Robert] Mugabe is orchestrating,” Prosper Munatsi, general secretary of the SCMZ, said in a 23 June interview in Geneva. 

Munatsi was speaking before reports emerged from the Zimbabewan capital that Tsvangirai had sought refuge in the Dutch embassy in Harare, citing fears about his safety. 

“The people of Zimbabwe have tried everything in their power democratically and peaceably in a non-violent way, and they have exhausted all the channels,” said Munatsi, who was in Geneva to brief the World Student Christian Federation, of which the SCMZ is a part. 

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Jun 14

A new report released on Sunday, exactly two months ahead of the Beijing Olympic Games, details the current Chinese Government’s crackdown on unregistered Christians, including the funding of a campaign to eradicate house churches throughout China.

The report, entitled “China: Persecution of Protestant Christians in the Approach to the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games”, by Christian Solidarity Worldwide and China Aid Association, provides information on different tactics used by the government to restrict the religious freedom of Christians.

CAA said that in May, two independent sources reported that the Chinese Central Government was providing funding to the Ministry of Public Security to escalate its campaign to eradicate house churches in China.

China Aid also said it received reports of “planned intensified persecution”, with greater control and prevention of large Christian gatherings ahead of the Games.

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Mar 3

93% of Muslims describe themselves as moderate Most Muslims ‘desire democracy’.

The largest survey to date of Muslims worldwide suggests the vast majority want Western democracy and freedoms, but do not want them to be imposed.

The poll by Gallup of more than 50,000 Muslims in 35 nations found most wanted the West to instead focus on changing its negative view of Muslims and Islam.

The huge survey began following the 11 September 2001 attacks in the US.

The overwhelming majority of those asked condemned them and subsequent attacks, citing religious reasons.

The poll, which claims to represent the views of 90% the world’s 1.3 billion Muslims, is to be published next month as part of a book entitled Who Speaks For Islam? What A Billion Muslims Really Think.


Feb 28

The United Nations observes that half of all countries that emerge from violent conflict relapse within five years. Violent conflict doesn’t arise without a history. In countries where conflict has engaged the average citizen along religious or ethnic lines, it is a history of prejudice that has been ignited. While long-term peace strategies must involve a range of government and non-government players, the role of civil society in overcoming prejudice cannot be ignored.

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Feb 12

Sorry the first stepYesterday candles on the lawn of Parliament house in Canberra spelled out the message Sorry the first step as the Rudd government prepares its final wording of the long awaited apology to indigenous people over the Stolen Generation, where children were forcibly removed from Aboriginal parents as part of government policy.

The formal apology is a watershed moment in Australian history. The Uniting Church expressed its deep regret at damage done by the policy and gave a formal apology around ten years ago.

Reverend Shayne Blackman, National Administrator of the Aboriginal arm of the Uniting Church, the Uniting Aborigianl and Islander Christian Congress (UAICC), said the Church and the UAICC have had a longstanding view about the need for the Australian Government to say sorry.

“The proposed formal apology from the Government is greatly welcomed by UAICC members,” Rev. Blackman said.

“However, we believe that true repentance involves both an apology and a change of attitude and we hope the Government takes further action to clearly demonstrate its commitment to the apology, such as tailored Indigenous programs and opportunities for socio-economic equality.

The apology will be telecast on ABC TV live tomorrow morning at 8:55 am Easter Summer Time. 

Jan 11

In a recent gathering of the Society of Christian Ethics in Atlanta, Georgia, Father Frank Brennan reflected on politics in Australia, and how it came to be that former Prime Minsiter, John Howard, ended up with his religious allies speaking out against his policy.

The paper explores the idea that while individuals make decisions based on a personal morality, there remains principals by which the churches take their stance on issues such as industrial relations and the war in Iraq.

The edited article appeared in The Australian newspaper.

Dec 12

West Bank mapPrimate Phillip Aspinall, leader of the Anglican church in Australia, has spoken out against Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories after touring the West Bank.

He described Israel’s separation barrier as inhumane.


Dec 11

Sydney man, Jeremy Jones, has been awarded a human rights medal for his work in promoting interfaith dialogue, in particular between Jews and Muslims. The Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Council issues the award for outstanding work in the area of human rights.

Mr Jones said, “If you relate to other human beings by thinking of them first and foremost as being people who deserve to be treated with dignity, you see unfairness.”

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Dec 8

A priest says plainclothed police kicked their way into a Roman Catholic church in eastern Cuba then beat and used pepper spray on a group of dissidents.

The incident took place on Tuesday (local time) at the parish of Santa Teresita in Santiago as Father Jose Conrado Rodriguez was dressing before saying evening mass.

“I thought the church was on fire when I heard all the shouting,” he said.

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