Putting peace at the heart of Christian unity
Simon Barrow, co-director the the religion and society thinktank Ekklesia commented on the 2009 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (18-25 January): "This annual time of prayer and reflection is an opportunity for Christian people to be reminded of three things: first, that reconciliation begins at home; second, that the Gospel calls its followers to be peacemakers; and third that religion can be used as an excuse for appalling division and wrongdoing - something which people of faith should be at the forefront of challenging."
During this year's Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, Ekklesia is backing a British and Irish speaking tour (http://ekklesia.co.uk/node/8278) by US activist Gene Stoltzfus, the founder and emeritus director of Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT), which is involved in first-hand attempts to 'get in the way' of violence and build peaceful alternatives in many of the world's hotspots, including the Middle East.
"The churches have attracted huge publicity for negative, vituperative arguments about human sexuality," comments Barrow. "Common investment in peacemaking and reconciliation creates a different, positive dynamic and establishes a new set of priorities in an unjust and violent world."
See also: Simon Barrow, Fear or Freedom? Why a warring church must change is published by Shoving Leopard / Ekklesia, 2008.
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