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Tuesday, February 21, 2017
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Operation Noah calls churches to 'think global, act local' on divestment

Operation Noah is calling on local churches to commit to divesting from fossil fuels during a week-long Global Divestment Mobilisation in May. The Christian climate change charity is a faith partner in the initiative which is spearheaded by 350.org, the global divestment movement founded by American environmentalist and campaigner Bill McKibben. This year's Global Divestment Mobilisation takes place from 5-13 May and will focus on the impacts of climate change.

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Pax Christi calls EU to suspend economic relations until Israel respects international law + PETITION
Pax Christi calls EU to suspend economic relations until Israel respects international law + PETITION

In the wake of Israel's approval of the settlement expansion bill which legalises 4000 homes in illegal settlements, the EU Foreign Affairs Council stated that these settlements are contrary to international law and an obstacle to a negotiated peace agreement between Israel and Palestine. Furthermore the proposed meeting of the EU-Israel Association Council has been postponed. Pax Christi International calls upon the EU to take a much stronger stance towards the Israeli government in condemning policies incompatible with the human rights clause of the EU-Israel Association Agreement

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Campaigners pledge to continue fighting 'toxic' CETA trade deal
Campaigners pledge to continue fighting 'toxic' CETA trade deal

Church, civil society groups and environmentalists in Europe and Canada pledged to continue to protest, after the European Parliament approved a landmark free trade deal with Canada on Wednesday. EU lawmakers backed the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) by 408-254 votes. Critics argue that CETA will erode labour laws and environmental standards and allow multinational companies to dictate public policy. The Columbans said in a statement: "The Columbans have supported the campaigns to tackle CETA and the TTIP, on the basis that both agreements

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Franciscans condemn Trump's Order advancing oil pipelines through indigenous land
Franciscans condemn Trump's Order advancing oil pipelines through indigenous land

The US-based Franciscan Action Network has pledged to "stand in solidarity with Indigenous Brothers and Sisters and the Earth" following President Trump's order to allow the digging of oil pipelines through the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota and the Keystone pipeline from Alberta, Canada to Steele City Nebraska. The network has issued the following statement:

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JRS comments on report exposing UK's  'toxic' Right to Rent rules
JRS comments on report exposing UK's 'toxic' Right to Rent rules

The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) have today issued a report into the Governments 'Right to Rent' scheme. The scheme requires private landlords and their agents to ensure prospective tenants have the right to rent in the UK, effectively asking them to be border guards, or face a fine, and since 1st December 2016, risk imprisonment. The report found that the most vulnerable individuals, including asylum seekers, stateless persons, and victims of modern day slavery, who require landlords to do an online check with the Home Office to confirm they have been granted

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Calais: Catholic charity struggles to help stranded child refugees
Calais: Catholic charity struggles to help stranded child refugees

While recent news has focussed on the UK government's decision to renege on their promise to take 3,000 lone refugee children - volunteers in France are struggling to cope with hundreds of children - who've no longer even had the shelter of the 'Jungle' through this cold winter. At the very end of January, the Calais Council registered a complaint against some exiled minors who had been found sheltering from the rain beneath one of the building modules of the Secours Catholique Day Centre, while waiting for it to open. The charge is: 'installation on the property of others'.

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Glasgow: Christians protest at Pakistani Embassy for release of Asia Bibi
Glasgow: Christians protest at Pakistani Embassy for release of Asia Bibi

Dozens of protesters converged outside the Pakistani Consulate in Glasgow to call for Freedom of Asia Bibi, Pakistan's most famous blasphemy law victim. They believe the Christian mother of five who has been jailed in Multan for over seven years should be set free. During a meeting with the First Minister at the Pakistani High Commission in London, Chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA) Wilson Chowdhry was informed that a date for Asia Bibi's Supreme court appeal trial would be fixed by the end of March. An earlier appeal trial was postponed after a Judge on the

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Quakers call for ban on fracking
Quakers call for ban on fracking

Quakers are calling for a ban on new and intensive forms of fossil fuel extraction, including fracking for shale gas and oil, and underground coal gasification. Meeting in London this week, Quakers said: "The UK needs to be investing in efficient and renewable energy, and reducing demand, not in additional fossil fuels. Fracked gas is not the low-carbon solution some suggest that it is and is incompatible with tackling the climate crisis. It is destructive of the environment, land and communities." ..On Saturday, 6 May, many will climb Pendle Hill in Lancashire to protest against

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Walthamstow parish achieves livesimply parish award
Walthamstow parish achieves livesimply parish award

The Walthamstow parish of Our Lady of the Rosary and St Patrick has become the second parish in Brentwood Diocese and the 24th parish in England and Wales to be awarded the livesimply parish award for its commitment to live more simply and sustainably and to stand in solidarity with the world's poor. The award is a national prize for Catholic parishes putting their faith into action. Ellen Teague, of the Columban JPIC team, was an assessor for the award, along with Brenda Underwood, who played a leadership role in her parish of Brentwood Cathedral achieving the award in

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Campaigners urge Theresa May not to abandon lone child refugees  + PETITION
Campaigners urge Theresa May not to abandon lone child refugees + PETITION

Charities and groups working with unaccompanied child refugees have expressed grave concern after the government announced yesterday that it cancelled plans to bring 3,000 children to the UK. Phil Kerton, from Seeking Sanctuary, which works with Secours Catholique in Calais offering food, clothing and basic medical help to refugees, appealed for "individuals and faith groups to speak out, preferably by writing to their MPs and asking them to make the Home Secretary aware of their concerns."

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London: Green Christian Way of Life Day
London: Green Christian Way of Life Day

The second Green Christian Way of Life Day was held in St Aloysius Church, Euston, London on 28 January. In the gathering of 41 people, there was a mix of Companions and those seeking to find out more. By the end of the day several visitors had registered as Companions; we now number 29 Companions and two Explorers (who, as the name suggests, are exploring the Way of Life). After welcomes, the Day began with an inspiring talk from Martin Poulsom, entitled Finding our Path and Walking Gently Together. Head of Theology at Heythrop College, Martin is a member of the Salesians of Don Bosco, a

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Caritas appeals for convention against trafficking to be ratified
Caritas appeals for convention against trafficking to be ratified

On the occasion of the International Day of Prayer and Awareness against Human Trafficking, 8 February, Caritas Europa casts the spotlight on the global tragedy of trafficking in human beings. This scourge affects millions people in the world and generates billions of euros for criminal groups. "I was 12 when a friend of the family visited my parents. She said that she knew people in Paris who were about to be parents and they were looking for a teenager who could take care of the baby. They promised that I will be paid and receive an education. I felt I was dreaming.

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 'What does creation-care look like in the Age of Trump?'
'What does creation-care look like in the Age of Trump?'

The Spring 2017 issue of Vocation for Justice, the Columban newsletter focusing on Justice, Peace and Ecology, asks 'What does creation-care look like in the Age of Trump?' The editorial suggests that a strategy for Christian activists in the United States will include engaging in legislative and legal decision-making, mobilising churches, using media and social media for moral purposes, standing up to hateful words and acts, and public protest. There will be a particular focus on trying to maintain funds to address climate change.

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Caritas agency launches in Diocese of Shrewsbury
Caritas agency launches in Diocese of Shrewsbury

Saturday 4th February saw the launch of Caritas Shrewsbury, the official Caritas agency to co-ordinate Catholic social action in the Diocese. Mike Kane, MP for Sale and Wythenshawe, spoke to some 140 participants of the difficulties which emerge in his constituency, and how he looks to the faith communities to support initiatives which will alleviate suffering and isolation.

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Booking now: NJPN Conference - 'The Challenge of Pope Francis'
Booking now: NJPN Conference - 'The Challenge of Pope Francis'

The next National Justice and Peace Network of England and Wales annual conference will be held on 21-23 July and take the theme: A Sabbath for the Earth and the Poor: The challenge of Pope Francis. The venue will be: The Hayes Conference Centre, Swanwick, Derbyshire. It is being organised by NJPN in partnership with Church Action on Poverty, CAFOD, Caritas Social Action Network, Vincentians in Partnership, Operation Noah, and Columban JPIC. The theme of the conference this year is: 'Sunday, like the Jewish Sabbath, is meant to be a day which heals our relationships with

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Hampshire church turns green!
Hampshire church turns green!

On Sunday, 5th February, St John's, Hartley Wintney, Hampshire, launched its participation in Eco Church. Both services that day celebrated the beauty of the world and committed the church to care for the earth using the Eco Church scheme. The 5th February was also the date the environmental charity, A Rocha UK's hugely popular Eco Church award scheme celebrated its first birthday. St John's was one of many churches across England and Wales holding a 'Green Communion' as part of their worship services on that day, using a green cloth over the altar, and a specially commissioned order of service, written by the

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Cardinal Nichols encourages support for refugees amid Trump travel ban
Cardinal Nichols encourages support for refugees amid Trump travel ban

On Sunday, 5 February, Cardinal Vincent spoke on the BBC Radio 4 Westminster Hour about the executive order issued by President Trump which suspends the refugee acceptance programme for 120 days, prioritises refugee claims of religious-based persecution and imposes a travel ban on nations from a countries of 'particular concern' (seven, predominantly Muslim, countries have been named). In the interview, the Cardinal explained that safety "is not secured by fear, it is secured by improving relationships...by opening up things not shutting them down."

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London talk:  After the Jungle what next
London talk: After the Jungle what next

Caritas Westminster and Capital Mass are hosting an event for those interested in finding out more about the situation for refugees and migrants on the coast of northern France and elsewhere after the destruction of the Calais 'Jungle' refugee camp. Come along to hear about the work of Brother Johannes Maertens at the Maria Skobtsova House in Calais, see two short films made by refugees living in the camp, and discuss the next steps for helping refugees.

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Ask your MP to attend debate on settlements in occupied Palestine
Ask your MP to attend debate on settlements in occupied Palestine

Church campaigners are asking ICN readers to encourage their MPs to attend an important debate about the illegal settlements in the Holy Land which will take place next Thursday. The World Council of Churches Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme have also sent us a petition.. The construction of settlements in occupied Palestine - including areas well known to pilgrims - near the Shepherds Fields and Bethlehem - quadrupled in 2016, according to the Israeli monitoring organisation Peace Now. The UN has reported that the eviction of Palestinian families and demolition of their homes

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US Jesuits to host online discussion on Trump's immigration/refugee executive orders
US Jesuits to host online discussion on Trump's immigration/refugee executive orders

On Thursday, 2 February at 1pm Eastern time, (6pm in London) the Ignatian Solidarity Network (ISN) will host a conversation with policy experts from the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States and Jesuit Refugee Service USA, to study President Trump's executive orders on immigration and refugees. The ISN say: "The executive orders on immigration and refugee acceptance policies announced by the Trump administration last week are an affront to the Gospel-values of compassion and dignity that are at the core of the Ignatian Solidarity Network's

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Eradicating poverty requires far more than aid
Eradicating poverty requires far more than aid

Commenting on the Department for International Development's new strategy for economic development, Christian Aid welcomed its focus on beyond-aid issues such as tax and transparency and its attention to the whole economy, and called on the rest of the government to work together to support genuinely sustainable development. "Economic development is vital for ending poverty but outdated economic models have driven the world to greater inequality and risky climate change and left many people behind," said Toby Quantrill, the charity's Head of Economic Development.

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Jesuit groups in Whitehall rally against Trump Muslim ban
Jesuit groups in Whitehall rally against Trump Muslim ban

A large group of volunteers and supporters of Jesuit Refugee Service UK together with members of the Mount Street Community and the Hurtado Jesuit Centre, (including eight priests and ten nuns) joined the demonstration in front of Downing Street on Monday evening, to protest against against President Donald Trump's decision to bar refugees from entering the USA and to close the country's borders to people from seven Muslim-majority nations. Speaking before the vigil, Sarah Teather, Director of JRS UK said: "We can't pretend that what is happening in the US is not our concern,"

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Trump would do well to read his Bible before enacting discriminatory policies, says Christian Aid
Trump would do well to read his Bible before enacting discriminatory policies, says Christian Aid

A rejection of refugees, whatever their faith, is a rejection of Christian values, UK-based charity Christian Aid has warned today. Responding to President Trump's comments over the weekend, in which he asserted his intention to prioritise Syrian Christian refugees, Christian Aid has spoken out against favouring specific religious minorities, saying that to do so ignores the central message of the Gospel. Tom Viita, Head of Advocacy at Christian Aid, commented: "At the heart of the Christian faith is a clear command to 'love the stranger' and to stand with the vulnerable, whoever they may be.

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 Peace campaigners released on bail after attempt to disarm fighter jets bound for Saudi Arabia
Peace campaigners released on bail after attempt to disarm fighter jets bound for Saudi Arabia

Rev Daniel Woodhouse, a Methodist minister from Leeds, and Quaker activist Sam Walton were released on bail today, pending charges after breaking into BAE's Warton site. The pair were arrested at BAE Systems' airbase in Warton, Lancashire, after entering BAE Systems' Warton site in order to disarm war planes bound for Saudi Arabia. The aircraft are part of a multi-billion pound deal between BAE Systems and the Saudi regime, and were due to be shipped to Saudi Arabia within weeks. Their action came as a panel of UN experts warned that the devastating Saudi-led

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'No faith in Trident' protesters found guilty
'No faith in Trident' protesters found guilty

Five members of Christian activist group Put Down The Sword: Nina Carter-Brown, Nick Cooper, Angela Ditchfield, Joanna Frew and Alison Parker, were found guilty by District Judge Khan at Reading Magistrates Court on Friday. The MoD said work on that day had been disrupted due to the blockade by the protesters. Earlier in the week Prime Minister Theresa May spoke about having "faith in Trident" in spite of safety concerns, after it was revealed that an unarmed Trident missile had been accidentally fired in the wrong direction during tests last June.

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Displaying Articles 1 - 25 of 1704
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