Religion

Opinion: Religion and the SDGs – The ‘New Normal’ and Calls for Action

In 2007, an op-ed in the International Herald Tribune argued that you “gotta have faith in the U.N”.

U.N. Remains Divided Over Domestic and State Terrorism

When nine African-American worshippers were gunned down by a white supremacist inside a historic church in Charleston, South Carolina last month, there was a sharp division of opinion in the United States whether that murderous act of killing innocent civilians constituted a “hate crime” or an “act of terrorism.”

Rome March Celebrates Pope’s Call for Urgent Climate Action

People of faith, civil society groups, and communities affected by climate change marched together in Rome Sunday Jun. 28 to express gratitude to Pope Francis for the release of his Laudato Si encyclical on the environment, and call for bolder climate action by world leaders.

Opinion: Pope Francis’ Timely Call to Action on Climate Change

On June 18, Pope Francis issued Laudato Si, the first ever encyclical about ecology, which promises to be a highly influential document for years to come. The encyclical, which is the most authoritative teaching document a Pope can issue, delivered a strong message addressing the moral dimension of the severe ecological crisis we have caused with our “throwaway culture” and general disregard for our common home, the Earth.

Pope Could Upstage World Leaders at U.N. Summit in September

Judging by his recent public pronouncements - including on reproductive health, biodiversity, the creation of a Palestinian state, the political legitimacy of Cuba and now climate change – Pope Francis may upstage more than 150 world leaders when he addresses the United Nations, come September.

Opinion: We Have a Moral Imperative to Act on Climate Change

My country, the Philippines, is one of the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Even though we are among those countries that hardly contributed emissions and benefited least from burning fossil fuels, we find ourselves at the frontline of the climate crisis.

Opinion: Why Are Threats to Civil Society Growing Around the World?

Whistle-blowers like Edward Snowden and Julian Assange are hounded – not by autocratic but by democratic governments – for revealing the truth about grave human rights violations. Nobel peace prize winner, writer and political activist Liu Xiaobo  is currently languishing in a Chinese prison while the killing of Egyptian protestor, poet and mother Shaimaa al-Sabbagh, apparently by a masked policeman, in January this year continues to haunt us. 

Minorities Threatened More by Governments than Terrorist Groups, Says Study

In the conflict-ridden Middle East, minority groups continue to be threatened, attacked and expelled from their home countries by terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Opinion: Bangladesh’s Persecuted Indigenous People

The August 2014 killing of Timir Baran Chakma, an indigenous Jumma activist, allegedly in Bangladeshi military custody, was protested by his supporters. His death, and the failure of justice, like the plight of his people across the Chittagong Hills region, received little international notice.

Reviving Dignity: The Remarkable Perseverance of Myanmar’s Displaced

In Myanmar’s Western Rakhine State, over a hundred thousand people displaced by inter communal violence that broke out nearly three years ago remain interned in camps on torrid plains and coastal marshes, struggling to survive.

Opinion: The West and Its Self-Assumed Right to Intervene

The ‘West’ is a concept that flourished during the Cold War. Then it was West against East in the form of the Soviet empire. The East was evil against which all democratic countries – read West – were called on to fight.

In India, a Broken System Leaves a ‘Broken’ People Powerless

As India paid glowing tributes to Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, the architect of its constitution and a champion of the downtrodden, on his 124nd birth anniversary last month, public attention also swivelled to the glaring social and economic discrimination that plagues the lives of lower-caste or ‘casteless’ communities – who comprise over 16 percent of the country's 1.2 billion people.

Opinion: Arab Youth Have No Trust in Democracy

The results of a survey of what 3,500 young people between the ages of 18 and 24 – in all Arab countries except Syria – feel about the current situation in the Middle East and North Africa have just been released.

Opinion: Burundi – Fragile Peace at Risk Ahead of Elections

Pierre Claver Mbonimpa is not permitted to get close to an airport, train station or port without authorisation from a judge.  He cannot travel outside of the capital of his native Burundi, Bujumbura. Whenever called upon, he must present himself before judicial authorities.

Foreign Fighter Recruits: Why the U.S. Fares Better than Others

More than 25,000 fighters seeking to wage “jihad” or an Islamic holy war have left home to join terrorist networks abroad.

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