The Student Christian Movement has announced the Rev Raj Bharath Patta as keynote speaker for their upcoming conference ‘Seeds of Liberation’.
The annual conference aims to inspire a new generation of Christian students to work for justice and peace. This year will mark the 40th anniversary of the original ‘Seeds of Liberation’ conference, which took place in 1973 and is known among the movement as the event which saw the most members commit to campaigning for social justice.
Mr Patta is a Dalit Pastor and the General Secretary of SCM India. He will be speaking on Christian mission and standing in solidarity with the oppressed and marginalised.
He commented: “It is such an honour to be asked to deliver a talk on my experiences for Dalit liberation and speak on behalf of SCM India, which has been deeply committed to this important and relevant cause [liberation].”
The conference will include workshops on various aspects of the theme of liberation, and also a panel discussion.
Sam Gibson, a PhD Theology student at the University of Birmingham, said of last year’s conference: "The panel was my favourite part of the weekend; it was great having people from so many theological and social backgrounds. The panellists were excellent and their comments were insightful and affirming."
Also speaking is Bruce Kent, a former Catholic Priest and Chaplain who has spent years campaigning for Human Rights, peace and nuclear disarmament, working with both the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and War on Want. He will be sharing his experiences in order to inspire the next generation of Christian activists.
The final day of the conference will be a day of student-led activism on the streets of Manchester.
The 1973 conference, ‘Seeds of Liberation: spiritual dimensions to political struggle’ saw students gather to explore and face the issues of their time. This was a turning point in the lives of many of the 350 participants, leading them to follow Christ’s call to work for justice and liberation, in many different ways.
* The 2013 ‘Seeds of Liberation’ will be held in Manchester on 1 – 4 March. For more information and to book your place visit: http://www.movement.org.uk/seedsofliberation