Peacemaking tends to be more fruitful and lasting when undertaken discretely. Therefore, details of some ongoing Peacemaker projects and partnerships may on occasions be limited, especially in countries where minorities are experiencing persecution. Recent projects and partnerships include:
Our Religious FreedoM
Religious freedoms in the UK have taken centuries to build, but intolerance, complacency and uniformity are slowly eroding them away. It’s easy to sit back and ignore the damage because, like erosion, it’s not always immediately visible on the surface. But look a little closer and you can begin to see the cracks.
When nurses are being sacked for wearing crosses or praying, and students are being kicked off their course for their beliefs, you have to ask yourself how safe these freedoms are. At what point do you act? We are not looking for a quick fix. Erosion needs prevention and that prevention is a new law: a new law, once and for all, to safeguard, all aspects of freedom of religion or belief before we lose them, along with freedom of speech.
Read more about Our Religious Freedom
Peacemakers is pleased to endorse this initiaitive.
The pursuit of peace knows no barriers, no borders, no exclusions, no exceptions. Therefore, one of Peacemaker’s mission priorities is mediation. The Good Friday Agreement brought an end to the decades of violence and bloodshed in Northern Ireland. However, Brexit and the British withdrawal from European Human Rights legislation threatens the peace agreement. There are real fears of a return to violence and extremism. The influx of refugees and asylum seekers has further tested the harmony and coexistence in the community.
Stephen has helped facilitate a series of meetings at An Cuan, the YWAM Centre in Rostrevor, bringing together Republicans and Unionists, Roman Catholics and Protestants as well as representatives of other faith minorities, to address their seemingly irreconcilable hopes and expectations constructively. The outcome was the publication of the Rostrevor Declaration last month, which Stephen helped to draft, which it is hoped will strengthen the Good Friday Agreement and maintain peace in Ireland. See latest January 2018 update. See also photos.
In November 2017, Stephen assisted Canon Naim Ateek and Omar Haramy with the Sabeel Witness Visit to Palestine. The theme of the tour was ‘Christian Zionism and Colonialism – A Response from Palestinian Christians’. Stephen gave three presentations during the week on the historical roots, the theological basis and the political consequences of Christian Zionism. He also gave a biblical refutation called Seven Biblical Answers. Read more here
Justice Conference Asia
The Balfour Project
Over five years ago, Stephen helped to found the Balfour Project to highlight Britain’s record in Palestine before and during its Mandate. In 2012, Stephen delivered a paper at the Church of Scotland/Balfour Project conference held in Edinburgh entitled, Broken Promises: The Road to Balfour. He also contributed a paper to the Balfour Project website, A Theology of the Land.
The Suffering Church in Exile
Kairos Sabeel Nederlands held a day conference on 23rd September at St John’s Church, Amersfoort, to launch the Dutch translation of Walter Brueggemann’s book, Chosen? Reading the Bible amid the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. Stephen was asked to give a summary and critique of Dr Brueggemman’s book and also lead a seminar on The Bible, Israel and the Church. Read more here.
For 25 years, Stephen has been a trustee of Biblica Europe: International Bible Society. Biblica was founded in 1809 and provide the Bible in accurate, contemporary translations and formats so that more people around the world will have the opportunity to be transformed by Jesus Christ. Biblica is the translation sponsor of the New International Version Bible. With over 600 million copies in print and countless digital versions, it is the most trusted modern Bible translation in the world. Read more here.
Christianity Explored EAST AFRICA
The Right Revd Nathan Amooti, the Anglican Bishop of Cyangugu, Rwanda, invited Jim McAnlis, Shadrach Lukwago and Stephen to help equip clergy from Rwanda, Burundi and Congo to use the Christianity Explored course last week. Thirty clergy participated in the intensive three day training conference, held at the beautiful Anglican Guest House in Cyangugu on the shores of Lake Kivu near the Congolese border crossing between Bukavu and Risuzu. The Right Revd Seth Ndayirukiye, the new Bishop of Matana Diocese, Burundi contribute as well. Read more here.
In Uganda, through Christianity Explored, we have been equipping and training church leaders from Uganda, Rwanda, DRC, South Sudan and Kenya to work together for the sake of the gospel. Read more here
Christianity Explored Middle East
The Arabic editions of Christianity Explored (adult and youth) were recently launched in Cairo and Beirut. Around 300 Egyptian, Lebanese, Sudanese, Druze and Bedouin Christian leaders were introduced to the course. In Beirut the event was hosted by the Arab Baptist Theological Seminary. Contact Stephen for more information about receiving training or a copies of the course. Read more here.
Promoting Religious Harmony in Morocco
In May, Stephen spoke at a conference at the University of Oujda as well as preached in the Anglican churches in Casablanca and Rabat. Read more here.
New Initiatives in 2018
Invitations have been received from mission partners and NGOs to assist with peacemaking projects and conferences from the DRC, Tanzania, Singapore and Australia.
By God’s grace and with your support, Peacemaker Mediators will continue to further the cause of justice, peace and reconciliation where invited and most needed.