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Swords into Plowshares is the blog of the Peacemaking Program and the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations of the Presbyterian Mission Agency of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

Seeking peace. Striving for justice. Together.

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Posts with tag: religious freedom

June 24, 2014

A call for the release of Meriam Ibrahim, her family, and others detained for their religious beliefs

In response to the word that Meriam Ibrahim and her family have been arrested, and in partnership with Presbyterian World Mission's area coordinator on Africa, we sent the following letter to the Permanent Mission of the Republic of the Sudan to the United Nations:

Your Excellency:

On behalf of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), I urge you to release Meriam Ibrahim, her family, and any other persons being held in detention based on their religious beliefs.  Presbyterians joined voices from around the world in advocating for Ms. Ibrahim’s release and were disheartened to learn she and her ...

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January 16, 2014

Religious Freedom Day

Elon University at the Isaiah WallToday, students from Elon University joined us at the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations to look at the post-2015 development agenda, the United Nations Millennium Development Goals and intersections between social action and poverty. 

As part of their seminar, the group had the chance to visit the Permanent Mission of the United States to the United Nations.  The event, "Rising Tide of Restrictions on Religion: Religions Respond" was co-sponsored by the NGO Committee on Religious Freedom. 

Below is a press statement by Ambassador Power on the International Day of Religious Freedom.

Statement by Ambassador Samantha Power, U.S. Permanent ...

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October 29, 2013

Religious Freedom

Yesterday, I joined ecumenical colleagues from the Lutheran World Federation and the World Council of Churches at a special event hosted by the government of Canada looking at ways the United Nations can encourage and protect religious freedom around the world. Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, Dr. Heiner Bielefeldt spoke of the importance of looking at the human right of freedom of religion or belief in concert with all other human rights.

Dr. Bielefeldt’s latest report examines religious freedom in 25 states.  The Special Rapportuer for freedom of religion or belief issues a report to the ...

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August 29, 2013

Prayer, not politics, is Egypt solution, says religious leader

The Presbyterian News Service posted the following story reporting on a webinar on Egypt held by Presbyterian World Mission.

American Presbyterians who want to help Christians in Egypt must first be informed, said a PC(USA) partner in a webinar hosted by Presbyterian World Mission today.

Ramez Atallah, general director of the Bible Society of Egypt, said that Western media and governments are not providing accurate information about the situation in Egypt. The Bible Society is considered the Bible publisher for all the churches (Orthodox, Protestant, and Catholic) in Egypt. The Aug. 14 destruction of two of the society’s ...

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May 30, 2013

Indigenous Peoples and Freedom of Religion

by Marissa Costello

Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues logoOn May 22, 2013 I attended a side event of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues entitled “Indigenous Peoples and Freedom of Religion.” Speakers included individuals who are members of various tribes such as the Apaches and Sand Hill Indians but individuals from NGOs also participated. People from all walks of life came to educate themselves on the issues that indigenous peoples face and what are the possible solutions to address these issues.

Three key speakers served on the indigenous peoples’ panel:  Roberto Mukaro Borrero, Chief Ronald Yonaguska Holloway, and Steven Gonzales. Mr. Borrero is a consultant ...

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September 20, 2011

United Nations General Assembly is underway

The United Nations General Assembly continued today.  United States Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom Suzan Johnson Cook met with religious leaders to dialouge about her work within the Obama administration.  I had the pleasure to meet with Ambassador Johnson Cook today.  The Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations looks forward to working closely with Ambassador Johnson Cook's office to support religious freedom around the world.

President Obama made two statements today, one on partnerships and the other on the situation in Libya.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton made a statement on the role of women in ...

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August 15, 2011

Interim Report of the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief

Today, the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, Heiner Bielefeldt issued his interim report to the United Nations General Assembly.  

The report includes the activities of the Special Rapporteur, the role of the State in promoting interreligious communication and conclusions and recommendations from the Special Rapporteur.

The Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations has been engaged in protecting religious freedoms within the United Nations community.

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June 16, 2011

Stated Clerk calls for prayer for Nepali Christians

From the Presbyterian News Service:

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) General Assembly Stated Clerk Gradye Parsons has issued a call to prayer for Christians in Nepal, where proposed new laws could severely curtail religious freedom and expression in that country.

The PC(USA) partners ecumenically in Nepal through the United Mission to Nepal (UMN), which appealed to its partners to issue the call to prayer.

The interim constitution in Nepal, adopted in 2007, declares the country a secular state, gives every citizen freedom of opinion and expression and the right to “profess, practice and preserve his/her own religion as ...

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June 6, 2011

UN and religious freedom

The United Nations Human Rights Council and the General Assembly have encouraged the continuing efforts in all parts of the world of the Special Rapporteur [for religious freedom and belief] to examine incidents and governmental actions that are incompatible with the provisions of the Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief and to recommend remedial measures as appropriate (Human Rights Council resolution 6/37 and General Assembly resolution 61/161).

To expedite his work, the Special Rapporteur for religious freedom and belief has developed a model questionnaire that can be ...

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May 15, 2011

Protecting religious freedom

Ask your representative to co-sponsor H.R.440. This bill would provide for the establishment of the Special Envoy to Promote Religious Freedom of Religious Minorities in the Near East and South Central Asia. It has been introduced in the House and...

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May 15, 2011

Religious freedom in Pakistan

Ask your representative to co-sponsor H. Res 164. This resolution addresses questions of religious freedom in Pakistan. It is currently in the House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, and Human Rights. This sense of the House resolution expresses the condolences...

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December 22, 2009

International Religious Freedom Reports

Each year the State Department of the United States issues a report on International Religious Freedom. This annual report is submitted to Congress in compliance with Section 102(b) of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998. It provides information with...

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