An overview: where are we now on the Lobbying Bill?
Even with the changes agreed as result of the Report Stage in the House of Lords this week, the UK government's Lobbying Bill remains a huge restriction on civil society campaigning compared to the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000.
As the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill comes up for the final votes at Westminster this week, an advert is appearing in The Times newspaper – supported by Ekklesia and 100 other civil society organisations – drawing parliamentarians' attention to the huge concern about this bill across the voluntary sector, and highlighting the 164,000+ members of the public who have signed it in just a few days.
Ten steps towards improving human rights in Pakistan
In Ekklesia's news briefing service, we reported this week on renewed calls for an end to serious violations of human rights against religious minorities in Pakistan occasioned by the country's notorious blasphemy law (http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/19653).
On World AIDS Day (1 December 2013), it is worth reminding ourselves of the World Council of Churches' Healthand Healing project, which supports the churches' work in this field, with particular emphasis on HIV/AIDS, mental health, and the promotion of reconciliation and the "healing of memories".
Baroness Warsi on MENA Christians: right problem, wrong diagnosis
"Christians 'face extinction' in their ancient homelands because of a rising tide of sectarian attacks." That was the way the Daily Telegraph signalled the content of a talk by Baroness Sayeeda Warsi last week.
Church schools and the reality of religiously-based selection
In addition to challenging the misuse of statistics in recent claims about Church of England Schools, the The Fair Admissions Campaign, of which Ekklesia is part, has recently highlighted a number of Church schools that are highly selective in their admissions.