Member Church News: Peace initiatives and Advocacy

Hope drives reconciliation and unity. South Sudanese members of the Uniting Church in Australia gathered in Melbourne to share hope for their country South Sudan. I pray and believe that this conference has given hope for South Sudanese communities who despite of all their differences and painful memories, can reconcile and unite in a new land Australia” said the Anglican Bishop Lindsay Urwin, who led the conference.

Peacebuilding Conference in Nigeria; “We know the value of peace, and we know the danger of conflict. No one will build peace for us. We must own this process for ourselves, our children, and our grandchildren.” These were welcoming remarks from Rev. Caleb Ahima, chair of the Peace, Justice, and Reconciliation Committee of the Reformed Churches in Nigeria. A conference took place in the Wukari area with the participants — both Christian and Muslim. 54 religious leaders, traditional chiefs, politicians, and local government officials gathered in Makurdi, Benue State, Nigeria.

Through advocacy the justice-based ministry of the Christian Reformed Church in North America has teamed up with a similar ministry in the Reformed Church in America (RCA) to fight human trafficking.

“Organized crime has been devastating in our community, but I have found a lot of help from the Presbyterian Church in El Paso, the church’s support has made a huge difference in my community.” Explains Lydia Codero Cabrera who is a general director for a crisis center in Mexico that collaborates with Presbyterian Peacemaking Program. Codero Cabrera hopes the congregations and organizations she speaks with, will have a better understanding of the struggles that women and children face in Mexico.

On October 3, The Conference of the European Churches have issued an Ecumenical Statement on refugees and Asylum seekers. “We express our support for policies of stabilisation and economic support to countries that today are unable to guarantee the survival and growth of many of their citizens. We wish to call on our churches to reach out to governments and authorities to implement more humane and open policies for the refugees, to build bridges as instruments of solidarity and signs of hope”. Read the ‘Lampedusa Ecumenical Statement’.

“Climate Change, the Extractive Industry and Human Dignity: Ethical Perspectives.” The World Council of Churches (WCC), Franciscans International, and Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University (BKWSU) organised a side event to the 36th session of the Human Rights Council.

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