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Swords into plowshares

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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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January 31, 2014

The Super Bowl and Human Trafficking

There is a lot of talk about the Super Bowl and human trafficking. In our community, here in New York City, voices are being raised, actions are happening!  The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Human Trafficking Roundtable and partners have been careful not to conflate human trafficking with prostitution: while some prostitution is trafficking, not all is.

Our partners in at the Freedom Network USA have responded with a press release that addresses the question of sex trafficking and the Super Bowl and other large sporting events.

We commend the increase in talk about human trafficking, but remind people to ...

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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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January 8, 2014

Human Trafficking Awareness Day

January is human trafficking awareness month and January 11 is human trafficking awareness day. The year 2014 marks the 151th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. President Abraham Lincoln, upon signing the Emancipation Proclamation said, “I never, in my life, felt more certain that I was doing right than I do in signing this paper.” Because of the groundbreaking work of our ancestors, slavery was outlawed in the United States.  However the legacies of chattel slavery continue to haunt our society even as we turn to face a new form of slavery: human trafficking.

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A ...

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November 8, 2013

Visiting partners in South Sudan

I’ve had the  privilege of visiting Presbyterian partners in South Sudan over the past week.  Presbyterians have been engaged with South Sudan for a long time and the strength of our partnerships was certainly evident this week. 

Photo of Ryan in South SudanFrom meeting with ACROSS and learning about the work they do with Ethiopian refugees in South Sudan and their role as a primary health service provider for UNHCR in South Sudan to the Presbyterian schools across the country, it is clear that Presbyterians are hard at work in South Sudan.

I had the opportunity to meet with leaders of the Presbyterian Church ...

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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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