August 2010 News Brief
News: Sudanese Bishops Statement on 2011 Referendum
News: Congolese Bishops Praise U.S. Law on Conflict Minerals
News: African Council of Religious Leaders to Assist African Union
News/ Resource: U.S. Bishops Support Nuclear Disarmament Legislation and Issue Study Guide
News: Kenya – Churches say it’s “time for amendments to the new Constitution"
Video: Peacebuilding in Kenya by CRS
News: U.S. Bishops Deplore Violence Against Christian Minority in Bangladesh
Event: Faith in Action Conference, Washington Theological Union, September 16-18
Booklet: Development and Peacebuilding
Book: Driven from Home by David Hollenbach
Sudanese Bishops Statement on 2011 Referendum
At their plenary session, held July 15-22, the Sudan Catholic’s Bishops’ Conference issued a major statement on implementation of the 2005 peace agreement and the referendum on independence for southern Sudan, which is scheduled for January 2011. For the full statement, see http://www.maryknollogc.org/regional/africa/SCBC_July2010_statement.html.
Congolese Bishops Praise U.S. Law on “Conflict Minerals”
A provision (Sec. 1502) in the financial reform legislation (HR 4173) passed by the U.S. Congress in July should make it harder for rebel groups to export minerals from the Democratic Republic of Congo to the United States. The provision requires companies to disclose whether they use minerals from the DRC and to adopt due diligence mechanisms for tracing the origins of minerals they import. The bill was supported by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, Catholic Relief Services, and the Congolese Bishops’ Conference. For a summary of Sec. 1502, see: http://capwiz.com/catholicbishops/issues/bills/?bill=14787396
African Council of Religious Leaders to Assist African Union
The African Union (AU) requested the African Council of Religious Leaders of Religions for Peace to coordinate a newly formed Permanent Steering Committee of the AU designed to advance cooperation between the AU and religious communities on the continent. Archbishop Dr. John Onaiyekan, the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja and a Co-President of the Religions for Peace World Council, and Al Hajj Saad Abubakar, the Sultan of Sokoto and a leader of the Religions for Peace African Council of Religious Leaders, urged religious leaders in Africa to work together for peace and reconciliation. For more information on the Interfaith Dialogue Forum go to: http://www.acrl-rfp.org/acrl-dialogue.php.
U.S. Bishops Support Nuclear Disarmament Legislation and Issue Study Guide
As part of its ongoing efforts on nuclear disarmament, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is urging the U.S. Congress to pass The Global Security Priorities Resolution (H.Res. 278), which links long-term savings derived from reducing the U.S. nuclear arsenal to increased support for nuclear nonproliferation efforts and child survival programs. See USCCB letter to Congress at: http://www.usccb.org/sdwp/international/2010-07-01-ltr-hubbard-house-hr278.pdf. The USCCB has also prepared a study guide for use with the film “Nuclear Tipping Point.” The study guide helps groups explore nuclear weapons issues in light of their Catholic faith. The guide is available at http://www.usccb.org/sdwp/international/warandpeaceind.shtml.
Kenya – Churches say it’s “time for amendments to the new Constitution"
According to the Catholic News Agency and Fides News Service, the Catholic Church and other Christian denominations have declared that “Now is the time for making amendments to the new Constitution.” This statement is in reference to the new constitution which the Bishops deemed “flawed” on moral issues. At the same time, the Bishops asked that all Kenyans “make even greater efforts now to uphold the need for peace, love and unity in our relations as brothers and sisters to all other Kenyans.” For the full story, go to http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/after-referendum-kenyan-bishops-urge-reform-for-flawed-aspects-of-new-constitution/ The statement made by the Episcopal Conference of Kenya can be found at http://www.kec.or.ke/news.asp?ID=192
Film on Peacebuilding in Kenya by Catholic Relief Services
Following the post-election violence in Kenya in 2007-2008, Catholic Relief Services worked closely with Caritas Australia and three dioceses to support Church leaders in pursuit of a multifaceted peacebuilding program. The film “Peacebuilding” is focused mainly on the Rift Valley. To view this video, go to http://www.crsprogramquality.org/peacebuilding/.
U.S. Bishops Deplore Violence Against Christian Minority in Bangladesh
The U.S. Bishops have raised concerns with the U.S. State Department about violence against Christians in Bangladesh and emphasizing the importance of protecting religious minorities, The article can be found at: http://www.usccb.org/sdwp/international/2010-05-12-ltr-hubbard-to-amb-blake-attacks-on-christians.pdf
Faith in Action Conference, Washington Theological Union, September 16-18
This conference will provide an opportunity to learn about the latest in social justice, liturgy, and other ways in which God continues to work anew in the Church and world today. The event is sponsored by the Washington Theological Union alumni but open to all. To register, go to http://www.wtu.edu/about/eventscalendar.htm.an opportunity to draw upon the wealth Learn about the latest
Development and Peacebuilding Booklets Available
The Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies at University of San Diego has developed its 2009-2010 Distinguished Lecture booklets featuring Paul Farmer, co-founder of Partners In Health and U.N. Deputy Special Envoy to Haiti; William Ury, co-founder and senior fellow of the Harvard Negotiation Project; and Raymond Offenheiser, president of Oxfam America. They are available at: http://www.sandiego.edu/peacestudies/ipj/programs/distinguished_lecture_series/read_dls_booklets.php
Driven from Home by David Hollenbach
Driven from Home: Protecting the Rights of Forced Migrants, by David Hollenbach, proposes a human rights framework to guide political and policy responses to forced migration. Georgetown University Press offers a 30% discount on this book or any other GU Press book to members of the Catholic Peacebuilding Network. Please use the code M67 when placing an order on the Georgetown University Press website (www.press.georgetown.edu) or when phoning their customer service center at 800-537-5487.