Civilian protection requires simple, straightforward dialogue and negotiation with the people who can control whether other people are safe or not. It also works, say Tim Wallis of Nonviolent Peaceforce. As soon as we bring guns, tanks and air support into the picture, we are talking about something which more often than not does not work, and often makes things worse.
The Catholic Bishop of Brentwood, in his address for the Mass for Migrants on 2 May 2011 highlights the Christian contribution to campaigns for migration justice and a Living Wage, urging all people of good will to stand in solidarity with them.
In a culture seemingly dominated by royalist propaganda, particularly around the wedding of William and Kate, here are plenty of reasons to be republican, says Phil Wood; not all of them honourable. Some may be in danger of reinforcing what they oppose. But for Christians, the case for disestablishing the kingdom and the church derives from a higher level of subversion, and a vision of equity before monarchy which people from many backgrounds are seeking.
How should one respond to decades of subjugation, oppression, marginalisation, imprisonment, brutalisation, torture, rendition, murder and unenlightenment? Harry Hagopian examines the case of Syria, and finds complexity and long-term struggle, as well as immediate rebellion and repression, in the picture.
People in the Middle East and North Africa are struggling to change the lexicon of their erstwhile realities with a series of trial and error policies, says Harry Hagopian. But whether the uprisings go the bumpy way of the 1848 European revolutions, emulate the South African path of truth and reconciliation, follow the East European fast lane of 1989, or entrench the violence we have been witnessing lately, surely freedom cannot be snuffed out forever?
With Easter Sunday this year coinciding for the first time with the memorial day for the 1915 Armenian Genocide, Harry Hagopian explores a painful history and asks how, in the present and future, those who inherit the mantle of the victims can move forward to discover new life.
A new song was playing on Iraqi Kurdistan radio just before Easter, which included the lines, "Don't kill this generation" and "don't kill the future." Michele Naar-Obed from Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) recounts part of the untold story of nonviolent action and brutal state violence in Suleimaniya and Kawler, the state capital.
If you're not convinced that Anzac Day in New Zealand bears the hallmarks of fundamentalist religious belief, try questioning anything about the state's most holy day and feel the vitriolic reaction, says Sande Ramage, exploring the myths around Easter and Anzac, which coincide in 2011.
Jim Hodgson is a journalist with extensive experience in Latin America and the Caribbean. Since 2000, he has worked with the United Church of Canada’s Caribbean and Latin America desk. Over the past 25 years he has written for a variety of church-based media and worked for extended periods in the Dominican Republic and in Mexico. He recently spoke at a seminar on Theology and Ecology held in Buenos Aires, Argentina at the end of March 2011.
Two of the worst atrocities of the 20th century started in the month of April, reports Mike O'Sullivan.The killing of 1.5 million Armenians in Ottoman Empire Turkey in 1915 and 1916, and the slaughter of 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus in Rwanda in 1994.
The Catholic Ordinaries in the Holy Land and the Justice and Peace Committee issued a statement about the persecution of Christians in the Middle East. It is a highly significant document in the light of recent media attention to these issues, and repeated statements from Baroness Warsi and others. There are serious issues at stake here, but it is important that they are understood properly and in context so that the appropriate solidarity for all oppressed groups can be expressed.
The barbarity of the response to protest by the Syrian regime - bullets, shabihas and tanks that soon graduated to chemical weapons and TNT barrels - also weaponised an equally radical bunch of people who carry with them the cloak of religiosity although they do not care a jot about the future governance of Syria, says regional analyst Dr Harry Hagopian. So where do we go from here?