Human Rights Abuses Still Happening: Anglicans Encouraged to Take a Stand as Peacemakers

Article excerpt



In a report both horrifying and compelling, the part of Section 1 which focused on human rights challenged the Anglican Communion to continue its heritage as a church of peacemakers and prophets.

In their seven-page report, the 46 bishops in the sub-section tell chilling tales of abuses around the world - women raped, children sold into slavery, mass killings in churches, whole communities driven off their land. They include graphic descriptions of inhumanity, such as the story one bishop told of young people who traveled to Sudan from Uganda for his consecration.

"On their return they were arrested and their left ears cut off because they were not `listening to the words of the Koran,' " he said. "Before they were released they were forced to eat their own ears."

In the 50th anniversary year of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights, the bishops expressed shock about how war and violence, racism and abuse of economic and political power continue to severely victimize women and children. From Sudan, Uganda, South East Asia, Sri Lanka "and across the countries of the `South' [came] accounts of the sexual torture and genital mutilation of women, and the inability or unwillingness of people to fight for its elimination ... These abuses of basic rights and dignity of people loved by God and created in God's image, bring shame on the whole human community," the report said.

The report mentions the widening gap between rich and poor, indigenous people and their need for advocacy, the downside of the global economy, the devastating effect of war-arms trade, landmines, displaced and uprooted peoples. It also asserts the "urgent need" to preserve the rights of all people to freedom of belief and conscience. …


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