Category Archives: Peace

WCC general secretary joins UN dialogue on interreligious peace

World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit joined other speakers at a side event of the 34th session of the UN Human Rights Council on 7 March. The speakers, which also included Metropolitan Hilarion, chairman of the Department of External Church Relations for the Russian Orthodox Church, addressed the topic of “Mutual Respect and Peaceful Coexistence as a Condition of Interreligious Peace and Stability: Supporting Christians and Other Communities.”

Tveit noted that, in respecting one another’s identities and faith, people are also called to respect each others’s basic needs. In many parts of the world, where Christians and others are suffering from persecution and violence, this is not the case.

“This is a reality that we all have to deal with in a responsible manner,” he said, and meeting together to share ideas and mutual respect is one important approach. At the event, speakers represented many faith groups from across the world.

In some countries, we have seen grave conflict but now we have a new opportunity to address issues of injustice in a comprehensive and collaborative way, Tveit said. It will take international support and collaboration to bring a sense of security to different faith groups in countries such as Iraq and Syria.

“I don’t want to call them minorities,” Tveit said. “They belong in these countries. It is their home.”

The right to believe in God the way you want, and practice a faith the way you believe is a basic human right, Tveit noted. “It’s connected to the need for protection, for social security, for water, for food, for everything that is basic to our human lives.”

Citizenship – an equal citizenship – is a necessary, sustainable solution for peacebuilding, he continued. “We cannot categorize one another and give some rights to others and other rights to others.”

He shared the WCC’s vision for a pilgrimage of justice and peace, and urged continued work together in the future. “We cannot secure human rights and the justice we need without real peace,” he said.

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CND: Stop Trumps Nuclear Arms Race

The last few weeks have seen international tensions grow as US President-elect Donald Trump has made an alarming series of statements, the consequences of which could spell nuclear annihilation.

Breaking with decades of US presidential policy, Trump has spoken in favour of nuclear proliferation – suggesting that more countries should develop their own nuclear weapons. Referring to Japan and South Korea countering North Korea, he said he’s fine about a nuclear arms race in East Asia. There can be few more dangerous developments.

But dangerous statements and actions abound. Before Christmas he said “the United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability”, and at the end of the year he was reported as saying “let it be an arms race” in a telephone call to the MSNBC presenter Mika Brzezinski.

He has already stated that he wishes to end the nuclear deal with Iran. His decision to end decades of agreement with China by phoning the Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen raises the spectre of a conflict too terrible to contemplate.

Our movement must confront this situation as a matter of urgency: the real world effects of this provocative approach to international relations by Britain’s main ally – the most powerful military force in the world – can already be felt.

 

Join us to say Stop Trump’s Nuclear Arms Race on the day of the US President-elect’s inauguration. We’ll be outside the US Embassy in London on 20 January from 5pm.

 

Up-to-date info about the protest can be found on the CND web site

Open Democracy UK

‘As debate in the UK is pre-occupied with renewal of Trident there is an apparent lack of awareness that the world of non-proliferation and disarmament is changing around us’

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Pax Christi UK reflects on Peacemaking and Europe

In its latest newsletter Pax Christi UK offers three articles on the peacemaking role of Europe. One of its Vice Presidents, Bruce Kent, reflects on the peace history of the EU. Partners from Pax Christi Germany and Pax Netherlands offer reasons as to why the UK should stay in Europe.

Bruce Kent writes: “We today, especially in Pax Christi, can be under no illusions. There is a lot of peacemaking educational work still to do. Ignorance about both the European Union and the United Nations is widespread. Yet both were founded primarily as building blocks of peace.”

Erik Laan from PAX Netherlands says: “We need the UK in, to keep this European peace project alive. We need the UK in, to maintain its relevance as an important peace actor in the world.
We need the UK in, to ensure it has enough leverage to make a difference.”

Pax Christi UK hopes that this resource will help to inform reflection and discussion on the EU Referendum

The Catholic Church in the European Union are due to issue a report on the Peace and Europe’s Vocation later this month.

The newsletter is here