Bishop Azad Marshall elected as Moderator of the Church of Pakistan

Bishop Azad Marshall of the Diocese of Raiwind has been unanimously elected Moderator of the Church of Pakistan (The Anglican Church of Pakistan became the United Church when it merged with three other denominations in 1970). This position has a three year term. He succeeds Bishop Humphrey Peters. Bishop Azad is also a valued member of the Peacemaker International Board of Reference.

In December 2016, Bishop Azad was honoured by the government of Pakistan for his work on human rights. He was one of 40 recipients of awards last weekend to mark International Human Rights Day. Bishop Azad received the Presidential Award for Human Rights from the President of Pakistan, Muhammad Mamnoon Hussain, during an award ceremony at the President’s House.

Bishop Azad is the President of National Council of Churches in Pakistan. “He has no doubt a long and continuous record of contributing to educational development and human rights in Pakistan,” a statement from the Diocese of Raiwind said. “We congratulate him and pray for his continuous ministry in Pakistan and beyond.”

The diocese thanked the Pakistan government “for recognising and nominating distinguished citizens committed to upholding the poor and the marginalized [and] for upholding their human rights.”

President Muhammad Mamnoon Hussain presents the human rights award to Bishop Azad Marshall

Immediate reversal of the unjust deportation of Wendy Hough

Dear Prime Minister and Ministers of the Turkish Cypriot Cabinet,

We, the undersigned, are appealing to you to immediately reverse the deportation of the British citizen Reverend Wendy Hough from the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).

On the 11th of December, two immigration officers arrived at Wendy’s home. She was taken from everything she owns, thrown in a rancid cell during a global pandemic and separated from her family. For five months she has been stranded at the border in the Republic of Cyprus (ROC). She bought her only home, investing all that she has into it. She has no other home to go to, has only survived financially with support from a global group of friends and is experiencing emotional distress.

TRNC Immigration claims she overstayed a three-day visa, about which she knew nothing, two weeks prior to the start of lockdown in February 2020 whilst at the time she was applying for residency. 

Wendy is a respected member of the community in the TRNC. She was appointed, in 2014, to be the priest of the English Church in Kyrenia, and stepped back from her position in 2018, to better serve the Turkish Cypriot Community. 

We ask that she is able to return home without further delay.

Please sign the petition here

Please leave a comment and also add your position or title and country as this will help give international weight to the petition.

Contribute toward Wendy’s appeal costs here

Revd Bassi Mirzania Recognised in the 2021 Lambeth Awards

We are delighted that the Revd Bassi Mirzania has received the Alphege Award for Evangelism and Witness from the Archbishop of Canterbury in the 2021 Lambeth Awards. The citation reads, “For her nearly 20 years’ tireless and exceptional service as founding Chaplain to the Persian/Iranian community in Great Britain.”

After more than 20 years’ service in the social responsibility departments of the Dioceses of London and Guildford, Bassi sensed a call to leave paid employment to focus on ministering to Iranians in the UK. Large numbers of Christians in the Persian community were turning to her for help with worship and training, discipling new converts and practical matters such as asylum applications.

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Ancestral Journeys and Western Missions by Anita Damiani-Shanley

Like other Western colonial-settler experiments, for over 70 years, Zionists have been systematically erasing the culture and history of indigenous Palestinians to justify their forced removal and the theft of their land. Ilan Pappe, in his book The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, calls this ‘memorocide’ and in The Palestine Nakba, Nur Masalha elaborates, 

“The founding myths of Israel have dictated the conceptual removal of Palestinians before, during and after their physical removal in 1948… The de-Arabisation of Palestine, the erasure of Palestinian history and the elimination of the Palestinian’s collective memory by the Israeli state are no less violent than the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians in 1948 and the destruction of historic Palestine.”

This is why books such as Ancestral Journeys and Western Missions are so vital in recording the memories and eyewitness accounts of Arabs and Palestinians who experienced the arrival of Western colonialists to the Middle East, were co-opted into their wars, witnessed the rise of Zionism and then became refugees in the Palestinian Nakba.  Anita Damiani-Shanley’s book will most certainly help perpetuate their heritage and rightful historic claim to Palestine.

Ancestral Journeys is however much more than the story of two families, one Arab and the other Scottish joined in marriage. It traces the influence of missionaries, archaeologists, traders and colonialists competing with each other for a share of the Near East as the Ottoman Empire met its demise. Richly illuminated with family photos, the three main chapters trace the ancestral journeys of Damiani-Shanley’s extended family from Scotland and Lebanon to Iraq and then to Palestine. A fourth chapter traces the role of the Anglican Church in Palestine.  

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THIS IS THE HOLY LAND (Exodus 3:5). IT NEEDS JUSTICE AND ONLY JUSTICE

A Statement by three former Heads of Churches in Jerusalem on the Israeli Annexation plans

“Grace and peace from our Lord Jesus Christ. Greetings from the Land of the Holy One, Israel and Palestine.

The Holy Land is in fire, in a situation of war, and needs to be restored to its holiness. It is full of human sufferings, because justice is absent. The land of God calls on all churches, governments, and people of good will, to act and put an end to this tragedy. All believers are responsible. 

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Feeding the Poorest in Cyangugu

Cyangugu is a small strategic frontier town in the south west of Rwanda on the border with The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) at the southern tip of Lake Kivu, contiguous with the Congolese town of Bukavu which is accessed by two bridges across the Ruzizi river.

Rik Mager is the director of the school. His wife, Caroline, coordinates the feeding programs in the Diocese because of malnutrition in this part of Rwanda. I asked Rik for an update on the program in the light of Covid-19.

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Richard Bewes – with a Bible in his pocket and Jesus in his heart

We thank God for Richard, for his biblical teaching, his inspirational books and his pastoral heart. We were honoured to have Richard and Pam as members of Christ Church, Virginia Water since 2013. It was a privilege to have Richard join our preaching team and mentor several of our staff team. Richard also helped launch Peacemaker Trust in May 2017. He was a valued and respected member of our international Board of Reference.

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