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Returning to where everything started

As people of faith concerned about the climate crisis, there are two origin stories that may guide and concern us as we ponder how we ought to live in the world today. One is the Genesis story, which establishes our faith in the God of Creation, and our particular role in nature. Another, is the story that started years ago on the same soil and the same river where COP26 is taking place today.

Stolen dreams, stolen generations

Human trafficking continues to remain one of the most grievous assaults on the fundamental rights and inherent dignity of people. The crime, also known as modern-day slavery, is dehumanising in the sense that it corrupts one’s identity as being made in the image of God, instead reducing one to a mere commodity or object.

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.

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.

Tax justice in a time of COVID-19 crisis

When the UK prime minister, Boris Johnson, was recently admitted to hospital with COVID-19, spending a few days in intensive care, a number of British politicians and journalists talked about how the virus was the great leveller. Everyone from street cleaners to world leaders could get the disease; no-one was immune, therefore, we must all follow the same social distancing guidelines. But as Iñigo Aymar of Oxfam has pointed out, COVID-19 is not so much the great leveller, but the great revealer.

COVID-19 reveals and deepens inequalities; where is the Economy of Life?

Television, FaceBook and WhatsApp chats bring news from Manila, much of it disheartening. In the early stages of the pandemic with nearly 1,500 cases as of this writing, the Philippines has already lost 12 frontliners to COVID-19 (comprising one-fifth of total fatalities), one of them a young Methodist doctor. This is disastrous for a country that has only 1.3 doctors per 1,000 people (in part due to the exodus of medical professionals to “greener pastures” abroad).

Promoting Peace Through Arts and Social Media

Creating art or poems is a way to reimagine the future, to build bridges and foster understanding, to develop empathy, to make friends, to express feelings, to build self-confidence, to learn how to be flexible and open-minded, to be exposed to different ideas and learn to listen to the views of others, to work collaboratively. These are all attributes that can help to promote peace.

Racism, sexism and the pyramid of discrimination

On 24th December 2018 I was on a long queue to the pay point in a supermarket in Malawi. It was a hot day. The lights went off. Everything was now processed manually. Being a day before Christmas holiday, the shop was full of people. I had been on the queue for 20 minutes. In front of me was a black Malawian man. The teller was also a black Malawian man. After the person in front of me was served, I put my items on the counter for payment. In a flash a young Indian girl cut the line in front of me and the teller served her.

Care enough to stop

About three weeks ago on my way to work two teen boys were walking ahead of me to school. But they stopped and made a detour. One pulled out a pack of cigarettes. They both lit up and began smoking. I kept walking and passed them by. As I sat at my desk, I felt convicted that I had behaved like the Priest and Levite in the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10: 25 ff).

Why celebrate International Women’s Day?

Many may ask ‘Why set aside a day for women? Isn’t that what Mothers’ Day is about?’ Or ‘Why not Men’s Day? Don’t men also deserve some recognition?’ To those questions I respond, we are a long way away from God’s desire for all humanity.

Love heals: it never hurts

Let us talk about Abuse and Love. Growing up as a child, I saw my mother being physically, emotionally, mentally abused by my father. She was beaten, violated, abused – but not once did she ever mention this to anyone. One day, I asked my mother why she had to take all the pain, the violence and abuse she was going through in the hands of my father all to herself. Guess what… She said, my daughter listen, “your father hits me, he beats me, he hurts me because he loves me.”

Taking a visible stand against gender-based violence in Uganda

Before I was born and as I grew up, there were many gender stereotypes that negatively affected women and girls. These included beating wives and not appreciating baby girls. In my culture, girls were deprived of education, because taking them to school was considered a waste of resources. Parents and the general communities looked at girls as sources of dowry (bride price) and so they were married off at an age of 14 -18 years.

Phenomenal woman

Without peace, there is no justice. Too often, we pursue justice at the expense of peace, and peace at the expense of justice. To conceive peace apart from justice is to compromise the hope that “justice and peace shall embrace” (Ps 85:10). When justice and peace are lacking, or set in opposition, we need to reform our ways. Let us rise, therefore, and work together for peace and justice.