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Looking back to colonization, and forward to a Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace Looking back to colonization, and forward to a Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace
Looking back to the Mennonite World Conference in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, I am glad that the opening ceremony started with indigenous music, a reconciliation song. A recount of the taking of the lands by European colonists, called pioneers.
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Bethlehem shepherds, water shortage and trees of hope Bethlehem shepherds, water shortage and trees of hope
This Christmas Season I will have concrete places in my mind when I listen to the story of the shepherds in the fields of Bethlehem. I will think of the Bedouin community in Suyica, near Yatta, a Palestinian city in the West Bank. They live in tents and in caves because they are not allowed to build houses. Together with about 20 Methodists from around the globe representing the World Methodist Council, we visited them in October.
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Religious groups working for peace and love Religious groups working for peace and love
Teenagers pose lots of challenges for any parent. Emotional, rebellious, and subject to inevitable pressures, it is undoubtedly difficult to raise children who are transitioning from becoming children to adults. I am in this situation—I have three. As I reflect on their growing into individualized people, I can only hope that, once they embark on their respective paths, they live in a society that is peaceful and accepting.
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Vatican conference and ecumenical echoes on nuclear arms and human development Vatican conference and ecumenical echoes on nuclear arms and human development
A ground-breaking pontifical critique of nuclear weapons affirms the new treaty to ban nuclear weapons. By linking possession and use, Pope Francis is offering a new standard for Catholic debate over nuclear weapons. By offering it now, the pope is making a moral affirmation of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons adopted at the United Nations in July. The new treaty--which bans the possession, use and threat of use of nuclear weapons--is cited in this year’s Nobel Peace Prize award to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). The World Council of Churches is a member of ICAN and shares the same moral and spiritual critique of nuclear armaments.
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A harmful text on love? A harmful text on love?
“Yes, he abuses me, but you know, the Bible says I must bear all things” - “There are many signs that he is cheating and exposing me to HIV, but he says that he is faithful and I should believe all thing in love.” - And even: “My father/pastor/teacher rapes me, but my family says that I should just endure it and not bring disgrace on our family/church/school.” - This can never be the message that Paul wanted to send to the Corinthians or to those of us who read this today!
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Water and the human right to food Water and the human right to food
Water is a key resource both to provide drinking water and to generate food and energy for a growing world population. A fifth of the global population lives in regions affected by water stress - in regions where more water is used than can naturally be recharged.
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South Sudan: the wounds South Sudan: the wounds
As the World Council of Churches pilgrim visit of justice and peace to South Sudan draws to a close, I’m struck by how several issues intersect and interact: the position of women, poverty, sexual exploitation, the prevalence of weapons, and the lack of safety.
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For birth or death: the destiny of Bethlehem For birth or death: the destiny of Bethlehem
I sometimes ask people if they know which is the first point in the Bible that Bethlehem gets a mention. And that normally offers them quite a challenge. People certainly move back from the New Testament into the Old – and come up with responses like, ‘the story of David’, or ‘the Book of Ruth’. Good thinking. But actually the first mention of Bethlehem in our Bibles (as they are now set out) occurs much earlier still.
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A dream across the barbed-wire fence A dream across the barbed-wire fence
A little girl, barely four years old, crawls underneath a barbed-wire fence at the Serbian-Hungarian border. Her face is straight as she glances ahead, irradiated by sunbeams; her fingers are cramped into the muddy soil. Hundreds of thousands refugees are on the move as I write these lines. A reality, which for so many in Europe these past years had remained remote, suddenly becomes close and subject of fierce controversies.
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Faith in action: for access equity rights now Faith in action: for access equity rights now
Why should people of faith get engaged in AIDS2016? - The first time I took part in the International AIDS Conference was in Mexico in 2008. I was overwhelmed and fascinated. I was impressed by the large number of people HIV could mobilize, and yet I knew many people around the world had no idea of the difference between HIV and AIDS, and even worse, many did not want to know about it.
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