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Tuesday, December 6, 2016
UK churches issue study/worship materials to combat racism
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¬†The Christian Churches in Britain and Ireland are encouraging people to overcome their 'fear of those who are different' with a new study and worship pack published this week by the Churches' Commission for Racial Justice (CCRJ). One Race, the Human Race, reminds people of their common humanity, whatever their ethnicity or faith. The pack is designed for use on Racial Justice Sunday, 8 September, an annual focus for education coordinated by CCRJ, a Commission of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland. But its information sheets, Biblical reflection and youth work materials are suitable for use at any time. "The need for churches to take time to study this material seems more vital than ever," said Dr David Goodbourn, General Secretary of Churches Together. "We believe that fear of those who are different lies beneath so much current conflict. It seems that racism is hardly ever out of the news," he said. The pack is published during a month when: *The British Government has introduced its Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Bill, tightening restrictions on asylum seekers for the fourth time in ten years. * The British National Party is capitalising on the fear and suspicion between Muslim and non-Muslim communities in economically depressed areas of northern England - having already done much to encourage poor white residents to blame Asian residents for their poverty - and attempting to make historic gains in the 2 May local elections. * In Ireland, openly racist fringe candidates preparing to fight the next election are calling for an end to Ireland's commitment to the United Nations' Refugee Convention. * A wave of anti-immigration, anti-refugee sentiment across Europe has led to enormous gains in support for racist parties in Belgium, France, Germany and Holland, while in Austria, Denmark, Italy and Portugal such parties are in government. * War in the Middle East and Afghanistan has been accompanied in Europe by a rise in attacks against both Muslims and Jews. The pack also contains brightly coloured, attractive posters and prayer leaflets together with suggestions for worship for Racial Justice Sunday. It costs £3 from CCRJ and can be ordered by email: from ccrj@ctbi.org.uk or by phone 020 7523 2128 from CCRJ Inter Church House, 35-41 Lower Marsh, London SE1 7SA. Catholic churches (in England and Wales only) can obtain free copies of the pack, with additional liturgical material, from Catholic Association for Racial Justice, 9 Henry Road, Manor House, London N4 2LH; phone: 020 8802 8080. Packs are also available from the Methodist Church, 25 Marylebone Road, London NW15JR phone 020 7467 5277 and from the United Reformed Church at 86 Tavistock Place, London WC1H 9RT phone 020 7916 8655.
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