Displaying items by tag: petition
Christian MP Fiona Bruce has handed a petition to home secretary Priti Patel, to raise continued concerns about a Pakistani Christian girl, Maira Shahbaz. At just 14 she was kidnapped, forced into marriage and converted; she escaped, only to be forced into hiding after her abductor accused her of apostasy. More than 12,000 people signed an Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) petition calling on Boris Johnson to grant asylum to Maira. ACN’s press officer John Pontifex said, ‘We are extremely delighted that Fiona Bruce has once again taken the trouble to reach out to Priti Patel and make this fresh appeal on behalf of Maira. I have been in touch with Maira almost every day, sometimes talking about her situation. She says to me: “I feel like I am in a prison, I can’t go out, I’m stuck, I don’t have enough to eat. What can you do to help me?”’
A petition has been raised by Voice for Justice UK (VfJUK) regarding the appointment of BBC’s religion editor. Aleem Maqbool, a Muslim journalist of some note, will focus ‘on telling stories associated with faith and ethics’. He replaces Martin Bashir, who stepped down in questionable circumstances. Bashir replaced Aaqil Ahmed, another Muslim who was removed for having a clear bias to the detriment of Christianity. Our society and culture are founded on Christian values. We are a Christian country. Though there has been a decline in religious adherence in recent years, it seems the BBC would promote minorities over the majority of society. VfJUK asks on what grounds can the BBC justify appointing a British Asian as religion editor on the last three occasions. Were there no suitably qualified Christian candidates for the job?
As the Taliban quickly took over Afghanistan during the late summer of 2021, the world witnessed chaos, panic, and extreme violence. The Afghan Church was in the middle of the storm, facing ever-increasing danger as brutal tyrants took over their country. Persecution.org has raised its voice to urge the United States to safeguard Afghan Christians, who are predominantly composed of Muslim converts. This puts them at risk of death as the Taliban’s interpretation of Sharia law considers converts to be traitors to Islam. It is very possible that the Taliban will return to the violence and brutality that marked their earlier reign over Afghanistan. Already it seems that this could include punishments such as cutting off limbs and severe oppression of women’s rights, access to education and religious freedom. Persecution.org is inviting people to sign a petition to Joe Biden asking Congress to create ways for these at-risk people to emigrate to America.
Catholic bishops and organisations voiced their opposition to the arms trade, as the UK hosted one of the world’s largest arms fairs on 14-17 September for global governments and military delegations, with over 1,500 companies selling guns, bombs, and other weaponry. A statement from the bishops and other concerned organisations emphasised how conflicts fed by the trade harm the world’s poorest communities, forcing people to become refugees. In 2015 Pope Francis said, ‘Why are deadly weapons being sold to those who plan to inflict untold suffering on individuals and society? Sadly, the answer is simply for money - money that is drenched in blood, often innocent blood. In the face of this shameful and culpable silence, it is our duty to confront the problem and to stop the arms trade.’ Pray for all the voices of those peacefully campaigning against the arms trade to be heard so that leaders commit to ending it in pursuit of peace.
A group of black leaders from across the country, representing many denominations or none and pulled together by the Baptist Union president, have looked at ways of showing solidarity against the real injustices experienced by people of colour in our communities. Petitioning the government is one of those ways. They are encouraging people to sign a parliamentary petition calling for the government to implement recommendations previously raised to tackle the issue. They aim to attract 100,000 signatures so that the petition can be debated in parliament.
A petition launched by evangelist David Hathaway calls on the Prime Minister to hold a national day of prayer in response to the pandemic. For details, see David said, ‘Historically, only prayer has delivered this nation in a time of crisis, as seen both in WW1 in 1918 and even more so in WW2. When we have no human answer to the coronavirus which has devastated both health and our economy, we must seek God’s answer.’ The petition’s opening statement asks for churches to be open for prayer and worship without restriction for the day: ‘We ask you to remember and recognise the strong Christian heritage of this nation and the power of prayer, which is greater than any other power on earth.’ A separate petition, launched by Susan Hawkes in March and also calling for a national day of prayer, has received over 65,600 signatures.
A comedy depicting Jesus as a gay man has prompted almost two million Brazilians to sign an online petition calling on Netflix to remove it. Netflix has not yet responded or commented. ‘The First Temptation of Christ’, created by the group Porta dos Fundos, portrays Jesus bringing home his boyfriend Orlando to meet the Holy Family. The petition calls for the 46-minute holiday special to be removed, as it had offended Christians. Porta dos Fundos won an international Emmy for its holiday special last year. Brazil is a deeply religious country, where the Catholic Church and the evangelical Christian movement frequently criticise LGBT+ rights.
Many believe religious freedom is being eroded in the UK, and want the Government to protect it in law. Affinity, a fellowship of evangelical churches, has joined forces with Barnabas Fund to call for a new law to protect freedoms that have taken centuries to establish in the UK. Religious freedom is being replaced with secular freedom. People are invited to sign a petition at OurReligiousFreedom.org; it asks the Government to clarify religious rights in law so that potential persecution is prevented in the future. Currently believers have many legal rights that are being tested in the courts. Clarifying the current law would end spurious cases to prosecute Christians for things like preaching in public and end the need for social workers, teachers and healthcare workers to take their employers to court after being sacked for rejecting a politically correct version of the Bible, for example sexual ethics.
See also and the previous article.
The 'Hope for the Middle East' petition, signed by over 800,0000 people, was presented at the United Nations on 12 December, urging the protection of Christians and other persecuted minorities in Iraq and Syria post-IS. It calls on the UN to work with religious leaders to maintain peace and rebuild Iraq and Syria.
Open Doors write, ‘We have some breaking news to share with you! We’ve just heard that the Prime Minister Theresa May has agreed to meet us and some of our partners from Iraq on 13 December, and receive the Hope for the Middle East petition! Her influence could make a real difference to the lives of our persecuted brothers and sisters in Iraq and Syria.’ Open Doors are inviting people to join those who have already signed the Hope for the Middle East petition before it is presented to the United Nations on 11 December and to the Prime Minister two days later. The petition presents the voice of Christians in Iraq and Syria asking for the right to equal citizenship, dignified living conditions, and a prominent role in reconciling and rebuilding society. The impact of this campaign is already being felt, as people from Iraq have been moving back to their towns and villages.