I just found out that my dear friend Dewi Arwel Hughes went to bee with the Lord. May he rest in peace with the saints!
I met Dewi for the first time in February 2007, at Limuru, in Kenya, in the context of the Lausanne Movement, as we were both called to serve in the Lausanne Theology Working Group, under the leadership of Dr. Christ Wright.
Ruth Padilla, Dewi Hughes, Chris Wright, John Baxter-Brown, Members of the Lausanne Theology Working Group
Dewi presented there a paper on ecclesiology and ethnicity, which, as I was going to find out, was one of his lifelong passions. My friend was not a nationalist. Far from it. Nevertheless, he was fully dedicated to the preservation and flourishing of the Welsh language. In 2010, when we met for the last time on this side of eternity, he had with him a young Welsh woman that he was mentoring in this area. I remember how impressed I was by the quality of her presentation during the congress, and how proud was Dewi of her. His interest in the theological implications resulted also in his book Castrating Culture: A Christian Perspective on Ethnic Identity from the Margins, published by Paternoster, in 2001. Continue reading “Dewi Hughes – A Tribute to a Great Man of God”
For World Vision the church is an indispensable partner in the work with the poor. Pope Francis, a leader of 1.2 billion Catholic Christians, made poverty an essential part of his ministry. From the very beginning of his election, he identified himself with the poor and has had a vision of the poor church for the poor.
“Poverty calls us to sow hope… Poverty is the flesh of the poor Jesus, in that child who is hungry, in the one who is sick, in those unjust social structures.” (Pope Francis, Meeting with Students, Rome, 2013)
Pope Francis has emphasised in a consistent way in his ministry a face of merciful and compassionate God. He has provoked questions for those who work with the poor.
The question of what should be done about prostitution is as old as the profession itself, but the issue is now front and center again, as a leading human rights group proposes decriminalization, while some countries push toward harsher penalties for those who pay for sex.
In France, England and Ireland, lawmakers are considering new measures — and in the cases of Northern Ireland and Canada, are enforcing new laws — that impose penalties on clients, using a model adopted in Sweden in 1999.
I believe the Exodus story–with Moses and the Jewish people–is the root of all liberation theology, which Jesus clearly exemplifies in the synoptic Gospels (see Luke 4:18-19). Liberation theology focuses on freeing people from religious, political, social, and economic oppression (i.e., what Pope John Paul II called “structural sin” and “institutional evil”). It goes beyond just trying to free individuals from their own particular “naughty behaviors,” which is what sin has seemed to mean to most Christian people in our individualistic culture.
Liberation theology, instead of legitimating the status quo, tries to read reality, history, and the Bible not from the side of the powerful, but from the side of the pain. Its beginning point is not sin management, but “Where is the suffering?” This makes all the difference in how we read the Bible.
God sees all the many kinds of suffering in the world. The world tends to define poverty and riches simply in terms of economics. But poverty has many faces–weakness, dependence, or humiliation. Essentially, poverty is a lack of means to accomplish what one desires, be it lack of money, relationships, influence, power, intellectual ability, physical strength, freedom, or dignity. Scriptures promise that God will take care of such people, because they know they have to rely on God.
Fifty years ago, President Lyndon B. Johnson made a move that was unprecedented at the time and remains unmatched by succeeding administrations. He announced a War on Poverty, saying that its “chief weapons” would be “better schools, and better health, and better homes, and better training, and better job opportunities.”
Johnson seemed to have established the principle that it is the responsibility of government to intervene on behalf of the disadvantaged and deprived. But there was never enough money for the fight against poverty, and Johnson found himself increasingly distracted by another and deadlier war—the one in Vietnam. Although underfunded, the War on Poverty still managed to provoke an intense backlash from conservative intellectuals and politicians.
“The Arab el Harouq tribe continues to live in ambiguity, wondering why they cannot belong to Lebanese society and establish lives while accessing the benefits the government offers its citizens. They are constantly navigating between the perceptions that the Lebanese have of them and their own reality. […] Marginalization stemming from the lack of citizenship has increased poverty in the tribe. Increasing poverty has in turn deepened negative stereotypes of the Bedouins and increased their marginalization. It is this cycle that perpetuates the poverty of the Arab el Harouq tribe, and it is this cycle that must be broken if poverty is to be addressed in a serious way.” Profiles of Poverty – The human face of poverty in Lebanon, p 222.
Saracia extrema lezeaza demnitatea umana – Analize si solutii globale si locale
De Ziua Internationala impotriva Saraciei te invitam la dialog cu reprezentanti ai organizatiilor internationale si locale de profil, pe teme ce abordeaza aceasta problematica din perspectiva globala si locala. Interventiile invitatilor te vor informa cu privire la situatia actuala: ce inseamna, cum se masoara si cum se combate saracia, care este legatura intre razboi, dezvoltare si pace. Vei afla cat e de simplu sa iti aduci aportul la eradicarea acestui flagel, ca simplu cetatean, in campanii cu impact. Vei cunoaste lideri ai organizatiilor neguvernamentale care au misiunea de a sprijini dezvoltarea locala cu adevarat durabila si la care toti cetatenii trebuie sa aiba acces. Continue reading “17 octombrie – Ziua internationala impotriva saraciei”
The WCC has just issued a strong indictment of the solutions formulated by various governments to the presents world economic crisis. These solutions put the salvation of financial institutions on the forefront, which may be understandable, given the catastrophic implications of their possible collapse, but then suspectly forget the fate of the poor and the implications for them of the solutions formulated by the mighty of this world.
This is a prophetic indictment, as it is expected in such times from a religious organisation of this caliber.
Such a message is also needed in our country, following the last austerity measures of the government. Yet, Romanian religious are strangely silent about all this.