Religious news from around the world.

Religious news from around the world.

Moscow conference highlights rising religious extremism

Moscow, Russia—The Third International Forum on Religion and Peace, held October 29, 2015, was jointly organized by Russia’s Presidential Council for Cooperation with Religious Organizations and Moscow’s department of National Policy, Inter-Regional Relations, and Tourism. The Seventh-day Adventist Church was represented by Ganoune Diop, director of the Public Affairs and Religious Liberty (PARL) depart­ment for the General Conference, and Oleg Goncharov, PARL director for the Adventist Church’s Euro-Asia Division.

In his address to the assembly, Diop focused on the foundational place of religious freedom within the pantheon of human rights. He emphasized that this is a God-given right, not one subject to political agendas, and he urged all those present to work together to pre­serve and extend this “first freedom.” On the day before the forum, Diop and Goncharov visited the State Duma, or legislature, to meet with various public officials responsible for church-state relations in Russia. They also met with Alexander Kudryavtsev, who heads one of Russia’s most active public organiza­tions focused on religious liberty, the Russian Association for the Protection of Religious Freedoms (RARF).

At the conclusion of the forum, the par­ticipants adopted a resolution expressing deep concern about ris­ing religious extremism. 

They also urged greater action on the part of the international community in stemming the continued destruc­tion of Christian communities in the Middle East and Africa, and expressed solidarity with all those suffering persecution for their faith. [ESD PARL/Bettina Krause]

Adventists join vigil for justice in Australia

Canberra, New South Wales, Australia—Nearly 200 Christians from around Australia came together to worship, pray, and lobby their local federal politicians to increase Australia’s foreign aid to help end global poverty. Among the participants, 12 representatives from the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) Australia attended Voices for Justice, a four-day advocacy event held in Canberra October 10–13, 2015.

Attendees of Voices for Justice received training through workshops and political forums on how to speak out for a world of justice and compas­sion. The annual event was organized by Micah Australia, a coalition of church and Christian organizations—including ADRA Australia—whose mission is to inspire and empower Australian Christians to raise a powerful voice for global justice.

For the first time, five Avondale College of Higher Education students attended Voices for Justice. They were accompanied by international development studies senior lecturer Brad Watson, who described Voices as a “fantastic way to engage with Australia’s elected leaders. It was a humbling experience to meet with Christians from around Australia, to worship together, and meet with members of the upper and lower houses to humbly and prayerfully ask the Australian government to reverse the cuts to the aid budget.”

Voices for Justice culminated in a candlelight vigil on the lawns of the Parliament House with church leaders from various denominations praying for the nation’s leaders. Micah’s national coordinator, Ben Thurley, said prayer was a central focus of the event. “If we define advocacy as speaking to the powerful on behalf of the powerless, then prayer itself is a form of advocacy as we cry out from the depths of our hearts to the God of grace and justice.” Thurley said prayer “sends a powerful message to politicians—we hold them to their highest calling, which is to work for the common good and to protect the rights of the poor and needy both within our borders and beyond them.” [Josh Dye, Record Magazine/ ANN Staff].

Ministry reserves the right to approve, disapprove, and delete comments at our discretion and will not be able to respond to inquiries about these comments. Please ensure that your words are respectful, courteous, and relevant.

comments powered by Disqus

January 2016

Download PDF
Ministry Cover

More Articles In This Issue

The Pastor's PTSD: When you cannot bounce back after the conflict is over

The author suggests seven steps for pastors after church-related traumas.

Where the People Are

From our continuing revival and reformation series.

Homosexuality: One pastor’s reflection

The author suggests some ways that pastors and churches can give pastoral care to gay people and their families.

How does spiritual life grow?—Part 1

What does the spiritual growth process look like?

Old Testament principles relevant to consensual homoerotic activity —Part 3 of 3

This article identifies principles in the Old Testament relevant to the relationship between God’s community of faith and individuals who engage in some forms of sexual activity outside heterosexual marriage.

Breaking down the different walls of partition: Our urgent twenty-first-century challenge

A church leader shares five ways to bring about unity in the church today.

Should I move? Nine factors to consider before making the change

A number of considerations come into play when pastors ponder relocating. And the choice is not always easy.

The Love of God: A Canonical Model

Reviewing an important work on the central attribute of God.

Is your church physically literate?

In a world becoming increasingly sedentary, our churches should begin to focus attention on the importance of physical fitness at all ages.

View All Issue Contents

Digital delivery

If you're a print subscriber, we'll complement your print copy of Ministry with an electronic version.

Sign up
Advertisement - Southern Adv Univ 180x150 - Animated

Recent issues

See All
Advertisement - Healthy and Happy Family - Skyscraper 160x600