200 million Christians at risk of persecution
The Church in Chains Global Guide was publicly launched in late September by Revd Trevor Sargent, during an event held at the Royal Marine Hotel in Dún Laoghaire.
Addressing a gathering of journalists, church leaders, supporters and a representative from the Department of Foreign Affairs, Revd Sargent warmly commended the work of Church in Chains and, in particular, the new third edition of the Global Guide, which he said provided an essential toolbox to begin addressing the often harrowing situation of persecuted Christians.
Revd Trevor referred twice to the New Testament letter of James, which exhorts Christians to “not merely listen to the Word … do what it says” and notes that “the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”
HOME FOR ALL?
There have been plenty of stories recently under the headline ‘10 years on from the economic downturn’. It has been quite a decade for people in Ireland as we have endured one of the toughest economic periods any of us can remember. The cost in terms of loss of income, unemployment, emigration, negative equity and the sheer human toll are difficult to contemplate.
Given the impact of the crash, it is remarkable that the news stories also included how a recovery has begun to emerge. Surviving the crash – and even being able to use words such as ‘recovery’ – do not cover the emotional or financial cost that many bore. However, that we are even able to think of recovery is remarkable.
Reflecting on the Irish experience, The Irish Times observed that “We exited the bailout at the end of 2013, with the economy then growing faster than most had anticipated. It has not stopped since. A decade after the crash there is no doubt that the Irish economy bounced off the floor more quickly than anyone expected. The 10 years since 2008 can be divided in half: five years of bust followed by five of recovery.” (https://www.irishtimes.com/business/ economy/the-crash-10-years-on-scars-remain- amid-the-recovery-1.3338508)
Emerging from a financial crash poses a question – what sort of society do we wish to create for the future? One of the issues that has been in the consciousness of Irish people is that of housing. RTÉ noted that “The scale and complexity of Ireland’s housing crisis might suggest a social challenge of insurmountable proportions.” (https:// www.rte.ie/eile/brainstorm/2018/1002/999385-how- to-solve-irelands-housing-crisis/)
They continued: “Many young adults wishing to purchase a house face a triple-whammy of rent and house price inflation coupled with job insecurity, often forcing them to live with their parents for extended periods. Tenants in the private rented sector, including those in receipt of housing benefit … are facing steep rent increases, even for sub-standard and insecure accommodation.”
Painting the picture even more vividly, RTÉ said: “The number of our citizens in some form of emergency accommodation has more than doubled in three years, from around 4,350 persons in May 2015 to 9,900 in June 2018. Of particular concern is that this homeless population includes children, whose number has more than tripled from 1,211 to 3,824. The traditional policy response in the form of local authority housing has a backlog of almost 72,000 households on the June 2018 social housing waiting list, which actually means close to a quarter of a million people.”
The Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference recently issued a pastoral message, ‘A room at the inn?’ (see page 9). It addresses the root causes of the housing crisis in Ireland, as well as offering solidarity with anyone experiencing homelessness. It is a serious contribution to the debate around the issue of homelessness. One of the most important things it says is that “there needs to be an open debate about how public policy can serve to reclaim housing from global markets so that its primary and essential purpose is realised.”
It is part of asking what sort of society we want to create for the future.
- Church leaders and political leaders discuss the impact of the absence of devolved government in NI
- Being wise to scams
- Connor institution
- Dublin and Glendalough ordination
- Tribute – Tribute to Revd Dr Arthur H. Kerr
- Archdeacon of Glendalough retires
- Ordination anniversary service at Belfast cathedral
- Bishop McDowell urges Clogher diocese to inspire men and women to consider ordained ministry
- ‘The times they are a changing’ – the place of Church amidst changes in Irish society?
In perspective – Moira Thom – Tell the truth!
Insight – Living beyond Acquired Brain Injury
- Moderator leads – WWI VC commemoration service
- Call for prayer following Indonesian quake and tsunami
- MU worldwide president prays for ferry disaster victims during Tanzania visit
- Community of St Anselm’s – latest international intake commissioned at Lambeth Palace
- Archbishop Sentamu to retire in 2020
- A room at the inn?
JOURNEYING IN FAITH – A walk with Christ Author: Cecil Hyland
Publisher: Church of Ireland Publishing
Archive of the month – The Leinster tragedy: human interest stories brought to life