Justice and Peace

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January 7, 2019

During this past Advent, we put ourselves in the shoes of God’s people in biblical times as they wait for God to act. But the difference is that for us, we know what we’re waiting for (or we think we know), whereas for God’s people at the time, I don’t think they were quite sure what God had in mind or knew how long they were going to have to wait.

The Korean people can identify with this. They have been waiting for decades. When World War II ended, they thought the long years of Japanese occupation were over and the Korean people had finally found their independence. But it...

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December 18, 2018

This blog post marks International Migrants Day, December 18, 2018.

This October, with the support of The United Church of Canada, I had the wonderful opportunity to participate in a delegation from the World Student Christian Federation-North America (WSCF-NA) to the Ecumenical Gathering on Migratory Theology, a conference organized by the Fraternidad Teológica Latinoamericana in Mexico City.  As so often happens, the journey began before I left home. The Sunday before I left for Mexico, I worshiped at a United Church in...

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December 10, 2018

Ahmed (name is changed to protect his identity) is a 29-year-old university accounting graduate. He is married and works on his family's organic farm inside the Seam Zone in Tulkarm. Recently, to make ends meet, he found a part-time job in roofing. He told me that he cried some tears when he realized he could not support his family and had to find extra work.

The Seam Zone is an agricultural area in the West Bank located east of the Greenline and west of The Wall. One Israeli soldier explained that Israel is on the west side of “The Wall” and no-man's land (Seam Zone)

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December 5, 2018

They say a picture is worth more than 1,000 words, and I agree.

To try to understand the Rohingya crisis, I had read much about who the Rohingya Muslims are and why they are being persecuted. It has been pretty much an exercise of thinking—a head exercise. That changed when I saw the picture (above) taken by ACT Alliance photographer Paul Jeffrey. I looked into the eyes of this girl, her eyes filled with hope as she holds up her card from the UNHCR (the United Nations’ refugee agency) in Kutupalong Refugee Camp in Bangladesh.

Behind her eyes you can see that she has been...

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November 27, 2018

When I acquired HIV in 1987, it was “a death sentence”. One of the first comments made by my GP in 1990 in Regina, when he gave me the HIV+ test result, was that I would need more tests to find out “when the clock started ticking.” Not very comforting words. My work in the community-based AIDS movement in the 1990s was one great grieving process as we buried clients one after another. As a person of faith, Christian practice and teachings, like forgiveness and hope, have been essential parts of my journey with HIV.

All of this was in the back of my mind as I went to Amsterdam in...

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November 14, 2018

In 2009, at the age of 19, my mother passed away from breast cancer.

I think, when we’re faced with profound injustice that we can’t comprehend fully, we are often brought back to experiences of our own where the piercing sensation of unfairness has touched us. That’s what I was thinking as I stood in Imjingak, Paju, Korea looking at the remembrance wall where South Korean families bring messages for their loved ones on the other side of the DMZ, the Korean Demilitarized Zone.

The boundary that separates my mom from me is not some manufactured liminal space. It is concrete...

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November 12, 2018

As a child living in my First Nation community, I used to walk to the freshwater stream with my great grandmother to bring water home because we did not have running water. In the wintertime, it was harder to get water because the stream and the community water pipe were frozen. Instead, we would get buckets of snow to melt in our homes.

Now that I live in the city, I can easily access water and I never have to worry about boil water advisories. Boil water advisories are warnings to the whole community not to drink or cook with the water unless boiled over a minute to kill harmful...

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November 7, 2018

At the ACT Alliance General Assembly, the possibilities created by including youth in decision making are too great to pass up.

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November 7, 2018

At the ACT Alliance General Assembly, the church continues to twist itself in knots about sex and sexuality.

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October 31, 2018

Amina Mohammed of the U.N. recognized the work of ACT Alliance and other faith-based organizations, placing them firmly in the centre of the public square as essential and effective players in civil society and as prophetic agents of change.