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Economic and fiscal challenges from COVID-19

The aftermath of the pandemic will present enormous long-term political, social and economic challenges. After the pandemic has subsided, there will be an enormous financial cost to be calculated – especially in terms of increased government debt for almost every country. In particular, there is a very real risk that the UN Sustainable Development Goals will not be met. As Christians, we cannot use COVID-19 as an excuse for inaction and the preferential option for the poor must be recognised.

Bedouins of Pope’s Hill fight eviction

East of Jerusalem, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, a Bedouin community has lived on Pope’s Hill since the creation of Israel in 1948, when they were evicted from their lands in the Negev and arrived there as refugees.

Will children ever have safe access to education in Khan Al-Ahmar?

Khan Al-Ahmar is a Bedouin community of around 200 people whose main livelihood has been traditional farming of sheep and goats for consumption in the village, and for selling the milk, yogurt and meat. The closest village, Bethany, is 14 km away and, until recently, the women would take the dairy products to sell in the Jerusalem market, 19 km away. The children had an important role in the economy, herding the flocks, but they also went to school.

East Jerusalem: Denied citizenship and the vote

The status of Jerusalem is disputed in international law and the main issue is around the largely Palestinian area of East Jerusalem. Israel announced, in 1975, that “unified Jerusalem” was the capital of the State of Israel, ignoring the rights and claims of Palestine. International humanitarian law recognizes East Jerusalem as militarily occupied by Israel. To understand some of the issues for residents in East Jerusalem, we spoke to Nivin Sandouka, who is part of the EAPPI international reference group and lives in At Tur, a Palestinian village on the Mount of Olives in East Jerusalem.

Symposium to examine role of religion and the UN in working for gender equality in 2021

Senior UN staff, representatives from faith groups and members of civil society will be presenting at the 7th Annual Symposium on the Role of Religion and Faith-based Organizations in International Affairs on January 26, 2021. This year’s event will focus on “2021: A defining year for accelerating gender equality, equity and justice,” with a series of presentations and discussions on issues including multi-stakeholder collaboration to accelerate gender equality, equity and justice, the urgency for achieving it, women advancing peace and security, and multilateralism and the intersection of religion and human rights.

Rev. Shin Seung-min: “We want to create hope, not despair”

Rev. Shin Seung-min, programme executive of the National Council of Churches in Korea, firmly believes that Christians live by the power of prayer. As he looks back at one of the largest global prayer campaigns in which he’s ever been involved, he sees that the year 2020 brought forth the power of prayer in unprecedented ways, even amid a year that brought grave suffering to the world.

Uncomfortable conversations? Create a safe space

Almost three years ago I was inspired by my then best friend—and now husband—to join the Thursdays in Black campaign. Hearing about how the movement was working towards a world without rape and violence, I quickly jumped on board as I had witnessed violence so close to home and sometimes in my home growing up.

The rights and dignity of the other

In the words of Prof. Rev. Dr John Langan SJ, a human right "is a right that a human person has simply by virtue of being (human), irrespective of his or her social status, cultural accomplishments, moral merits, religious beliefs, class memberships or cultural relationships.” 

As olive harvest draws to a close, who is helping the farmers?

Olive farming should be a peaceful activity, but for many Palestinian farmers the harvest season is a time of tension, violent attacks, and destruction of precious olive trees. Farmers in the West Bank of the occupied Palestinian territories face a barrage of such threats from nearby Israeli settlers.