Religion news 4 September

Image credit: MHA

Methodist Homes for the Aged remember staff and residents who died of coronavirus

Today (Friday 4 September) Methodist Homes for the Aged will hold a ‘Memorial Day’ to remember those who died during the coronavirus pandemic. More than 18,500 older people are cared for by 7,500 employees, making it the largest charity care provider in the UK. To date, 398 residents and three staff have died from the virus, and 930 people have recovered. The MHA has recently produced stats showing that more than half of those testing positive had no symptoms. The service at 1100 will be broadcast on the MHA YouTube channel .

Two day hearing in London on the plight of the Uyghurs

The World Uyghur Congress is organising a two-day hearing in London next year, on the plight of the Uyghurs in north west China. It is to be convened by the human rights lawyer Sir Geoffrey Nice QC and will hear testimony and reports of well documented abuses including enforced sterilisation, detention and even genocide. ITN reported that Sir Geoffrey said this was the only way of bringing  the Chinese authorities to judgment. China has consistently denied the stories.

Faith leaders support Biden to ‘restore the nation’s values’

Joe Biden’s campaign to be president of the United States is mobilising people of all faiths to ‘restore the nation’s values’.  The campaign’s faith director, Josh Dickson, told the Religion News Service that his own evangelical background and faith persuades him to ‘love thy neighbour’ and work for the marginalised in society. 500 faith leaders have endorsed the campaign in the group ‘Faith 2020’. Biden has produced a manifesto pledging to safeguard faith communities and the message is attracting prominent evangelicals who in the past have supported Republicans.   

Prayer vigil for Kenosha victim, Jacob Blake

Lutherans in Kenosha, Wisconsin, held an open air prayer meeting to lament the police shooting of Jacob Blake, who was left paralysed after an officer opened fire. The vigil  was organized by the seven Lutheran churches in the city.  Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton said the incident was an existential threat and an existential reality for black and brown people in America. There have been daily protests in the city during the days since the shooting.

World Vision US offers free racial justice training

The Religion News Service reports that the aid agency World Vision US is starting a year-long free racial justice and awareness programme for clergy and staff. Asian, black and Latina experts, who have taught and written on cross-cultural and multi-ethnic relations, will lead the sessions. The idea came after the death of George Floyd and was approved within 24 hours. An executive at the charity told RNS: “I believe this is a once in a generation kind of moment and we need people to step into it”.

William Barr honoured at Catholic prayer breakfast

The 2020 National Catholic Prayer Breakfast in America will honour the Attorney General William Barr. It has attracted top White House politicians and officials in its 16-year history in Washington DC. Last year 1400 people attended. This year it will be a virtual event.