March 4, 2014
The Research and Advocacy program of JUSTAPAZ [the Christian Center for Justice, Peace, and Nonviolent Action] and CEDECOL [the Peace Commission of the Evangelical Council of Colombia] have just released the eighth edition of A Prophetic Call, an annual report that documents human rights violations against Protestant and evangelical church members, leaders and pastors in Colombia. This report brings to life and provides a record and analysis of the abuses that Colombians within the church face due to the ongoing armed conflict in the country.
This year’s report summarizing violations for 2012 includes 42 cases mostly involving displacements and threats, being conducted by neo-paramilitary and by FARC [Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia] the largest guerrilla group in the country. These stories are collected by trained regional teams, and then categorized and entered into a central database, where they can be subjected to statistical analysis. The research and advocacy program that documents these stories also runs peacebuilding training for churches, spiritual accompaniment for victims, legal aid, and political advocacy.
A Prophetic Call provides a national contextual analysis of Colombia, the cases documented, as well as a quantitative analysis of the demographics of victims, their locations, the identity of the perpetrators, and the most frequent types of violations. The report shares formal statements, experiences, and peacebuilding proposals from Protestant and evangelical churches.
Finally, the report recommends a number of action points. This year’s recommendations include:
- That the Colombian government give priority to social programs and reduce military spending
- That the United States government continue to redirect military aid towards socio-economic aid and peace initiatives
- That new anti-narcotics policies be adopted that reduce coercive strategies in favor of a renewed focus on addiction, demand for drugs, and arms trafficking
- That new methods be developed for comprehensive protection that include nonviolent strategies
It is important to share these stories that are being recorded and shed light on our brothers and sisters sufferings. As the report explains, “Historical memory has been a key element in helping Christians to better understand their faith and social responsibilities as bearers of hope.”
Read the Full Report Here.
Take action for peace in Colombia and participate in the Days of Prayer and Action.
March 7, 2013
Over 100 people gathered this past weekend in Wichita, Kansas, for a two-day workshop on immigration issues titled “Citizens of God’s Kingdom.” Hope Mennonite Church hosted the event on March 1-2, 2013, with planning and logistical support from the MC USA Western District Conference Reference Council.
Staff from MCC U.S. and MC USA led discussions around various topics, including: the theology of immigration, our own immigration stories, root causes, immigration history and law, problems and profits of immigration enforcement, and Christian advocacy. Those in attendance also heard stories from recent migrants in the Newton-Wichita community, helping them to think about what it means to truly be Citizens of God’s Kingdom.
For more information about this workshop or how to bring a similar workshop to your region, contact Tammy Alexander, TammyAlexander@mcc.org.
MCC Washington Office immigration page
Workshop presentations and resources:
PPTs: Quilting our stories | Root causes | Law & enforcement | Advocacy
Action: 5 action steps | My family migrated from…
Immigration reform proposals: U.S. Senate | White House
Law: Flow chart | Scenarios
Other resources: Scripture reflections | 4 facts about border enforcement | Fall immigration update
November 12, 2012
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September 28, 2012
Looking for resources on the upcoming election?
Check out the list of recommended resources compiled by the MCC Washington Office, available online.
May 29, 2012
The Spring/Summer Washington Memo focuses on the upcoming U.S. farm bill. Every five years Congress renews the farm bill, comprehensive legislation that sets most U.S. food and agricultural policies including SNAP (formerly food stamps). The farm bill is also the primary legislation that determines the country’s international policies on agriculture and food, including trade, farm subsidies and international food aid.
This edition of the Memo includes articles on food and farm policy, stories from farmers, worship materials, principles for a faithful farm bill and facts about the role of U.S. policy in combating hunger both domestically and around the world.
Mennonite Central Committee seeks to bring the voices of our partners around the world into food policy discussions and speaks from the conviction that God has called us to be stewards of the earth (Genesis 1:26) and a blessing to our neighbors (Jeremiah 29:5-7).
The Washington Memo can be found on the tab at the top of this page, or can be viewed as a full pdf here.
Sign up here to receive print copies of the Washington Memo.
December 19, 2011
Monica Scheifele of MCC’s Ottawa Office reflects on joy in this Christmas season, mixed with longing:
The waiting of advent is finally over and at last we can let our joy break forth as we celebrate the gift of God coming among us. We’ve kept awake in anticipation of the unexpected. We’ve felt God drawing near to us as we trusted in the new thing being done, and now we’re ready to celebrate.
We can lift our voices with the sentinels in Isaiah 52:8 who sing for joy as they see the return of the LORD to Zion. With the Psalmist we can sing a new song and make a joyful noise to the LORD for the marvelous things He has done. It feels good to let loose and celebrate after feeling as if the waiting would never end.
However, for many the waiting doesn’t end as they continue searching for a job, hoping for a home, suffering through an illness, enduring a violent conflict, or longing for freedom…
Read the entire reflection.
December 5, 2011
Earl Zimmerman reflects on John the Baptist and recommends a “wonderful Advent exercise”:
I recently accompanied Rachelle Lyndaker Schlabach, from the MCC U.S. Washington Office, to the office of a Kansas senator. We were delivering a big stack of postcards from Mennonite congregations in Kansas asking the senator to support a just federal budget…
Read the entire reflection.