Human Rights

What is the basis of human equality, if not the fact that all were equally created by God?


More…

  • Beckly Lecture 2017 – video, audio and transcript

    Religious Freedom: A God-given right, not a privilege His Grace Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom gave the 2017 Beckly Lecture on 27 June 2017. The chair was Revd Rachel Parkinson, Chair of the Wolverhampton & Shrewsbury District. If you missed the lecture you can access it below in a variety of media: VIDEO Interview ...

  • Attacks on Coptic Christians in Egypt

    On 9 April bombs at St. Mark’s Cathedral in Alexandria and in St George’s Church, Tanta during Palm Sunday services killed at least 45 people and injured over 120. These attacks on the Coptic Christian community have been claimed by Islamic State.  At a time when attacks are increasing, Palm Sunday was the worst day of violence ...

  • Action on arms sales to Saudi Arabia

    The conflict in Yemen has killed over 10,000 civilians to date. It has caused nearly three million people to flee their homes and the country is now in the grip of a cholera epidemic. Human right groups have submitted substantial documentary evidence of atrocities against civilians and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has referred ...

  • Prayer Update: Asia Bibi case postponed

    Asia Bibi has been on death row in Pakistan since 2010 for allegedly breaking the country’s strict blasphemy laws. Bibi denies the allegations. Pakistan’s blasphemy laws are heavily criticised for their use to persecute minority faiths. Although the majority of convictions have been against members of the Sunni Muslim majority, there have been disproportionately large numbers ...

  • What does the future hold for Iraq’s religious minorities?

    In August 2014, ISIS (Da’esh) brutally displaced 400,000 Yazidis from the Sinjar region of northern Iraq, enslaving women and girls and driving out families from their houses. Turkmen and Christian minorities were also forced out of their communities in Tal Afar and the Nineveh Plains respectively. In Mosul, Da’esh imposed a vicious rule that resulted ...

  • Are you #WithRefugees? Sign the petition today

    Today the World Council of Churches have issued an appeal for everyone to sign the #WithRefugees petition, which will be handed in to the United Nations Headquarters before the UN General Assembly meets on 19 September.  Sign the petition, to stand #WithRefugees JPIT have produced resources on this theme for Peacemaking Sunday, which this year falls ...

  • Beckly Lecture 2016 audio, video and words

    Last night Shami Chakrabarti gave the 2016 Beckly Lecture entitled On Liberty: Conscience and Belief to a packed crowd during Methodist Conference. Below are two audio links. One for the lecture and one for the question and answer session that followed. Click the links to relive what was an inspiring evening. On Liberty: Conscience and Belief Questions and answers The link below will ...

  • Made for goodness: A faithful response to the refugee crisis – Download

    Click on the link to download the resource: Made for goodness – A faithful response to the refugee crisis This new briefing, “Made for goodness: A faithful response to the refugee crisis” provides context and information on the refugee crisis, biblical reflection and suggestions for an effective response. 65 million people are now either a refugee, internally displaced or ...

  • Beckly Lecture 2016

    THIS EVENT IS NOW FULLY BOOKED This year’s Beckly Lecture is entitled “On Liberty: Conscience and Belief”. The speaker is Shami Chakrabarti, Former Director of LIberty The Beckly Lecture is one of the lectures that takes place annually at the Methodist Conference. The lecture will take place on Tuesday 5th July, in The Robert Perks Room, Methodist Central Hall, Storey’s Gate, London SW1H 9NH Light refreshments ...

  • ‘Our plea is to respect the equal dignity of every human being’ – Joint letter to the Home Secretary

    Leaders of the Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Methodist Church, the Church of Scotland and the United Reformed Church have written a letter to the Home Secretary asking her to offer sanctuary to more people in need. This week the United Nations High Commission for Refugees pledging conference for pathways of admission for Syrian refugees takes ...

  • EAPPI: Israeli military continue to harass school children

    The Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme for Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) reports that Israeli military continue to harass school children.  They have fired teargas into a Palestinian School and live rounds into a crowd.  Read this post from Katherine, a Methodist Ecumenical Accompanier.  There are actions suggested for us to consider. He knows neither the time nor the place

  • Glasgow allegations of asylum seeker mistreatment: degrading, disrespectful and dehumanising

    In the last couple of weeks some serious allegations have been raised against the private company which is managing the accommodation for asylum seekers in Glasgow.  Orchard and Shipman, a sub-contractor of Serco which provides the service for the Home Office, has been the subject of a former employee whistle-blowing on some of the practices ...

  • TAKE ACTION: Pakistan Blasphemy Law

    Last year we blogged about Pakistan’s Blasphemy Law and the suffering being endured as a result of it. We asked you to send letters to Pakistan’s Prime minister asking for a repeal of the law. Over a thousand people, including Muslims as well as people of other faiths, have died as a result of the blasphemy law since ...

  • When will it end?

    From mothers who don’t speak English to teachers who wear the veil, politicians have recently been singling out Muslim women for criticism.  Julian Bond, member of the Methodist Church/URC Interfaith Relations Reference Group, offers some personal reflections.  When will it end? Muslims have been in the news a lot lately. We have heard the Prime Minister bemoaning ...

  • Download the Public Issues Calendar for 2016

    The Public Issues Calendar dates are available for download. Click the link below to access the important dates to put in your diary for this year. Calendar dates 2016

  • Responding to the Out of School Education Service Call for Evidence

    Some reflections: – In October, as a part of his proposals to crack down on extremism, David Cameron announced the intention to require supplementary schools such as  madrassas, Sunday schools or Jewish yeshivas that provide more than 6-8 hours of study per week to be open to inspection.  The publication on the 26th November of the ...

  • The refugees’ story – a reflection

    For two days now we had hardly slept or eaten. We just kept on walking, following the refugee trail, seeking to put as much distance as we could between ourselves and those who wished us certain harm. Even now I fear every noise and every stranger; the images of heartless slaughter still etched into my ...

  • Call to action: Saudi Arabia and the death penalty

    More than 150 people have been put to death in Saudi Arabia so far this year. It is the highest number of executions since 1995. On death row since 2012 are Abdullah Hasan al-Zaher, Ali Mohammed al-Nimr and Dawoud Hussain al-Marhoon. A 15 year old and two 17 year olds arrested and sentenced for their involvement in ...

  • Solidarity with victims of terrorism

    Around the world we have witnessed a deep sense of distress and solidarity with the people of Paris, and our hearts go out to the families of those killed and to those injured in this atrocity.  The terrible trauma in Paris closely follows the suicide bombings in Beirut and confirmation of the bomb on the ...

  • Conflicts and Reconciliation – European Church meeting explores human rights and public issues

    Rachel Lampard and I met with representatives from 25 other church organisations from across Europe in Strasbourg on 16-18 November.  This long-planned meeting had been organised by the Conference of European Churches and the title of the gathering, Conflicts and Reconciliation was sadly prescient for a meeting in France just three days after the Paris ...

  • “Don’t scrap the Human Rights Act” – A message from the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

    The UN at 70   #UN70Guildhall On Friday I joined a packed crowd of 700 people to hear a panel debate in the Guildhall London, marking 70 years since the founding of the UN.   The first UN General Assembly meeting took place in Methodist Central Hall Westminster which is currently hosting a special photographic exhibition over ...

  • A call to action: Repeal Pakistan’s blasphemy law

    Every day, people in Pakistan are suffering from religious persecution as a result of the Blasphemy Law. The legislation means that anyone perceived to make derogatory remarks towards Islam can be accused of breaking the law and punished with lifelong imprisonment or the death penalty. One high profile case is that of a Christian woman, Asia Bibi. ...

  • A Prayer for the Situation in Calais

    The Rev Phil Jump, Regional Minister for the North Western Baptist Association and JPIT Team Member from the Baptist Union of Great Britain, has prepared this prayer to coincide with the publication today of a joint statement by our church leaders on the situation in Calais.   God of all humanity When your people were enslaved and displaced, You ...

  • Will the generational struggle for religious tolerance be solved by the Government’s new five-year plan to tackle extremism?

    On Monday 20 July, the Prime Minister gave a speech outlining the UK Government’s plan to tackle religious extremism over the next five years.  Here the Rev Sally Foster-Fulton, Convener of the Church of Scotland’s Church and Society Council, reflects on the ideas in the speech and seeks a reframing of the debate about integration.  She calls ...

  • UK faith leaders’ statement on nuclear weapons

    Nuclear disarmament – a humanitarian movement for everyone Today 26 senior figures from various faith groups published a letter in The Times calling on the UK government to join with others “to develop a robust plan of action that will lead us to a world free of nuclear weapons”.   In common cause together they state that ...

  • Something special this Christmas

    On 24 December the international Arms Trade Treaty will enter into force. Our churches and their members have been part of a global movement calling for a treaty to restrict the flow of arms to governments and militias that abuse human rights.  We called on the UK government to ensure that the final draft of the treaty ...

  • Week for Peace in Palestine Israel

    While a fragile peace hangs over Gaza, Israel announced it was to appropriate 1000 acres of land in the West Bank, but another shadow which hangs over the Palestinians is that of administrative detention. This refers to the detention of individuals without trial and in some cases without the detainee being informed of the allegations against ...

  • Freedom Sunday – New Resource

    Freedom Sunday – God’s people working together to end human trafficking Baptists Together, the Methodist Church, the United Reformed Church and Methodist Women in Britain, working alongside many other churches and organisations have been involved in creating a new resource to raise the issues of human trafficking. Freedom Sunday is a day of worship, prayer and action ...

  • Memories from The Street Child World Cup

    Last month I attended the Street Child World Cup in Rio, Brazil. The only tournament of its kind, it brought together 9 girls teams and 15 boys teams of street children from around the world to participate in a football tournament, arts event and conference to campaign for these children’s rights. To attempt to sum up ...

  • Five Christians on trial today

    The United Reformed Church (URC) has issued a statement on the Arms Trade as five Christians go on trial today for blocking the London Arms Fair in September 2013.  The DSEI fair describes itself as “the world leading defence and security event” and entertains arms buyers from around the globe, including countries known for human ...

  • Nelson Mandela – Leadership born out of courage

    We mark today the passing of a great leader and celebrate his life.  His leadership role came about through remarkable courage.  It is a courage that he showed during the hard years in prison during which he turned down offers to compromise with the apartheid regime which would have secured an early release.He was brought ...

  • Human rights, grace and balance

    The European Court of Human Rights recently ruled in the case of four British Christians who claimed that they had experienced discrimination. They ruled in favour of one – an employee of British Airways – but rejected the claims of the others. How might Christians reflect on these decisions? The judgements are a sign of the ...

  • Colombia – peace, human rights and ecumenical accompaniment

    A new round of peace talks begin this week in Oslo between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc) and the government of President Juan Manuel Santos. Officially peace has already come and under law the government treats armed activity as criminality. In practice many areas remain on a military footing and groups on both ...

  • Just in time for Christmas! ‘The end of child detention’, Thursday 16th December 2010.

    Just as the Joint Public Issues Team was thinking of sending a Santa suit to the Immigration Minister Damian Green, or of marching on the Home Office dressed up as Santa’s Elves, the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg made his historical announcement about the ending of detention of asylum seeking children! What an important ...

  • Prayer and fasting for Fiji

    On Tuesday this week we had a visit from Aquila Yabaki, Chief Executive of the Fijian Citizens Constitutional Forum. I last met Aquila in Fiji on a visit there in 2006 and was impressed with the work of the Citizens Constitutional Forum. It advocates for good governance and human rights. It promotes the principle of equal ...