Category Archives: Human Rights

TAKE ACTION: Faith leaders’ letter supporting the End Modern Slavery Initiative Act

from the International Justice Mission

Ed. Note: Pax Christi USA has signed onto this letter.

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With the introduction of the End Modern Slavery Initiative Act in Congress, the United States is poised to launch a massive, unprecedented global initiative to end slavery.

To bring this bold, bipartisan vision to successful passage and execution in 2015 and beyond, our elected officials need to know the movement of support behind this landmark legislation.

People of faith have historically been at the forefront of abolition movements, and that is certainly true in the 21st century.

We are inviting any and all faith leaders who want to see modern-day slavery come to an end to join their names together. 

Click here to read more and sign onto the letter.

TAKE ACTION: Faith leaders’ open letter against family detention

from the Interfaith Immigration Coalition

Pax Christi USA has signed onto this letter and we encourage faith leaders within our network to add their signatures.

A “Faith Leaders’ Letter Against Family Detention” has been developed by partners affiliated with Detention Watch Network’s “Faith Based Family Detention Strategy” working group.  This team includes clergy/faith leaders within Texas, as well as additional denominational partners in other locations, and some of us who are members of the IIC, too.  The letter is directed towards President Obama, and is cc’d to Secretary Jeh Johnson of the Dept. of Homeland Security.

The letter will be delivered in a meeting with the Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships on Monday, May 4th.

Click here to sign the letter.

HUMAN TRAFFICKING: PCUSA signs onto letter in support of The End Modern Slavery Initiative Act

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Pax Christi USA has signed onto a letter in support of The End Modern Slavery Initiative Act, which was introduced in the Senate this past week.

This groundbreaking legislation would authorize $250 million in U.S. funds to leverage a $1.5 billion dollar global fund to combat human trafficking around the world. This would be the most dramatic increase in funding for anti-human trafficking efforts we have ever seen, through leveraging U.S. leadership and foreign aid to attract investments from the private sector and foreign governments.

Click here to read the letter.

NEWS: Pax Christi International Peace Award recognizes Colombia’s Women, Peace and Security Collective for Reflection and Action

from Pax Christi International

Women, Peace and Security Collective for Reflection and Action (Colombia)

Women, Peace and Security Collective for Reflection and Action (Colombia)

The 2015 Pax Christi International Peace Award has been granted to the Women, Peace and Security Collective for Reflection and Action (Colectivo de Pensamiento y Acción Mujeres, Paz y Seguridad) in Colombia for making visible and encouraging the essential contribution of women to peacebuilding in their country and for their work to promote an ethical transformation of Colombian society as the path towards sustainable peace. Established in 1988, the Award is funded by the Cardinal Bernardus Alfrink Peace Fund and honours contemporary individuals and organisations who make a stand for peace, justice and non-violence in different parts of the world.

Founded in October 2011, the Collective is a women’s network that currently brings together women from different social and professional backgrounds (religious, ex-combatants, indigenous, afro-descendants, journalists, academics, human rights defenders, union leaders, etc.), as well as organisations committed to a revolution in ethics as the basis for sustainable and lasting peace in Colombia. With a mission to foster conditions for a permanent and re-humanising dialogue among various sectors – including those traditionally opposed to each other – in different regions of the country, the Collective is in itself an example of how diversity can be embraced and used for positive change in a highly polarized society…

Click here to read the entire press release.

LENT 2015: Opportunities for prayer, study and action on immigrant rights during Lent

from Justice for Immigrants

jfiPax Christi USA is a partner in Justice for Immigrants, a project of the USCCB.

This Lent, Justice for Immigrants is offering a toolkit to be used during the season. The toolkit is available online at http://www.justiceforimmigrants.org/documents/JFI-Lenten-Toolkit-2015.pdf

A Spanish-language version of the toolkit is also available on the site.

Also, Justice for Immigrants is hosting national call-in days to Members of Congress’ district offices on Ash Wednesday through the end of the week. We are asking that you use this toll-free number to call Congress, 1-855-589-5698, and leave this message:

“Please oppose including language in a DHS funding bill which reverses the President’s executive actions on immigration and please pass comprehensive immigration reform.”

NEWS: Activist nun, 84, imprisoned in jail hellhole for breaking into nuclear facility

by Linda Stasi, NY Daily News

Beige is the new black for imprisoned Sister Megan Rice, an 84-year old Catholic nun and anti-nuclear activist.

The nun, who spent 40 years teaching in the poorest parts of Africa and returned to the U.S. due to malaria, is now living in deplorable prison conditions, wearing a beige uniform and stuffed in with 111 other women into a single room at a federal prison right here in New York City.

nun18n-17-webHer criminal odyssey began in 2012, when she and two other activists from the Plowshares anti-nuclear organization — Michael Walli, 63, and Gregory Boertje-Obed, 57 — were dropped off in the middle of the night outside the Y-12 Oak Ridge nuclear facility outside Knoxville, Tenn.

It’s one of the largest nuclear facilities in the United States, and she was there to bring to the attention of all Americans the dangers of unimpeded nuclear proliferation.

Armed with spray paint, bolt cutters and a few other supplies, they first hung large banners on the facility’s chain-link fence, then cut 14-inch inverted L-shape openings in the three fences that “protect” the facility.

They crawled through the openings they had cut, then stood up and walked to the building — easily avoiding any electronic motion sensors and video cameras — without encountering a single guard…

Click here to read more of the story.

ISRAEL-PALESTINE: Bishops call human dignity basis for peace in the Holy Land

from the USCCB

WASHINGTON—The path to peace in the Holy Land requires respect for the human rights and dignity of both Israelis and Palestinians, said bishops from Europe, South Africa and North America, gathered in the Holy Land to pray for peace, January 15. The Co-Ordination of Episcopal Conference in Support of the Church of the Holy Land has met every January since 1998 to pray and act in solidarity with the Christian community in the Holy Land.

11oped_span“After the failed negotiations and ensuing violence of 2014, we urge public officials to be creative, to take new approaches, to build bridges, not walls,” the bishops wrote in a statement signed by the 16 gathered representatives. “We must humanize the conflict by fostering more interaction between Israelis and Palestinians. Peace will only come when all parties respect the fact that the Holy Land is sacred to three faiths and home to two peoples.”

Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, New Mexico, chairman of U.S. bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace, represented the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops at the gathering, which toured areas including Gaza and the Cremisan Valley.

“Many tens of thousands of families in Gaza lack adequate shelter. In the latest freezing weather, at least two infants died of exposure,” the bishops wrote. “The continuing blockade dramatically impedes rebuilding and contributes to desperation that undermines Israelis’ legitimate hope for security. It also creates intolerable levels of unemployment and pushes ordinary people into deeper poverty.”…

Click here to read the rest of the release.