From the smallest village to the biggest town in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) people are yearning for peace, says Fredrick Nzwili. Church leaders are encouraging the rebel fighters to disarm.
Some hardline pressure groups within the church are sucking marriage into a narrow religious ghetto, associating it with suburban 1950s curtain-twitching, thus making it even less popular than it is now, says Giles Fraser.
Dispelling the myth of "a little peaceful country", an international ecumenical Living Letters team visited Uruguay and discovered how violence manifests itself at the levels of family life, the state and youth, and how the churches in this South American country seek to overcome it, says Juan Michel.
Destructive division and disunity among Christians, not least evangelicals, is not merely a 'church matter', says David Coffey. It is a counter-witness which contributes to terrible division and sometimes violence in the world.
According to the Catholic bishops of England and Wales, in evidence to parliament on the Equality Bill 2008-9 "unjust discrimination is fundamentally wrong," notes Simon Sarmiento. But what does the prcatice of the churches tell us about its rhetoric?
Amy Hailwood, who recently returned from a visit to Palestine and Israel with Christian Peacemaker Teams, reflects on her experiences and the difficult choice that many Palestinians make to reject violence - not a passive acceptance of injustice but to work for peace in the face of a relentless attempt to corrode it.
Palestine has been wiped off the map, its land colonized, and its people ethnically cleansed, says Ben White. Expecting those on the receiving end to be satisfied with the crumbs from the table is both unjust – and wishful thinking.
No other democratic nation today imprisons people on such a scale or for as long as the US, Martin E. Marty is reminded. Visiting prisoners is a central test of devotion to the Jesus of the gospels. We are also called to a vision of restoration and release.
Talmudic study opens the door to an understanding of obedience that does not crush the enquiring mind, says Giles Fraser. The text of Scripture, rightly understood, both questions us and affirms our questioning.
Today (13 March 2015) 26 senior figures from various faith groups published a letter in The Times newspaper 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”. Steve Hucklesby, Policy Adviser for the Joint Public Issues Team of the Free Churches, provides the background to this initiative.
The managing editor of Foreign Affairs magazine recently went to Damascus, where he interviewed President Bashar al-Assad. Ekklesia associate and regional expert Dr Harry Hagopian assesses where the president stands in the tragic and bloody mess that exists in Syria at the moment, where ordinary people are caught between competing barbarisms.