July 2011

Doctrine Divides, Action Unites



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 Barce Rumkabu: ‘Before I Just Thought That People in Papua Live in Poverty’
Bruce Van Voorhis
An HIV/AIDS activist from the province of Papua in Indonesia shares about his work prior to attending the School of Peace (SOP) in Bangalore, India, and what he hopes to accomplish when he returns home. [Read more]

 Bonded Child Laborers Still Not Free among the Freed Kamaiya
Shree Ram Chaudhari
The author explains that in spite of legislation 12 years ago to free Kamaiyas from the bonded labor system in Nepal that their children, as well as the adults themselves, still face exploitative labor practices in the country. [Read more]

 A Mother’s Dream Becomes a Nightmare in Indonesia
Maspa Hasra
The promise of a new job in another province seemed to offer a path for a better life for a young mother struggling to support her family and overcome poverty. Instead, she became a victim of trafficking. Unfortunately, she is not the only Indonesian woman to have this tragic experience. [Read more]

  Music without Borders in Indonesia
Mark Wilson
Not familiar with the music of Debu? The author hopes to change this lack of recognition and introduce readers to this 15-member band whose music and message is rooted in the Sufi tradition of Islam. [Read more]

 Statement on the Killing of Willem Geertman in the Philippines
National Council of Churches in the Philippines
Willem Geertman, a Dutch missionary who had lived in the Philippines since arriving there as a university student in the early 1970s and who had stayed in the country to work for the rights of its farmers and had assisted those affected by the numerous natural disasters that affect the country, was another victim of the wave of extrajudicial killings in the Philippines. In response to his murder on July 3, 2012, a national ecumenical body of Protestant churches in the country expressed their compassion for his family and friends and noted the impunity in the Philippines that permits such extrajudicial killings and other human rights violations to continue to take place. [Read more]

  Burma’s Military and Economic Elites Continue to Steal the Livelihoods of Rural People
Burma Partnership
With Burma seemingly now “open for business” with more and more members of the international community ending or diluting their previous economic sanctions aimed at the country’s government, this article describes a problem that has faced the people of Burma for a long time—the confiscation of their land by members of the government, the military and those who are well connected to them. With the arrival of more foreign investment, this age-old problem is most likely to get worse. [Read more]

 Dance of Death in the ‘Largest Democracy’ Shames None in India!
Asian Human Rights Commission
The thousands of farmers annually committing suicide over the years in India has only resulted in apathy among the country’s government officials and even its citizens. As a nation of more than one billion people that touts its democratic political system, the author wants to know the answer to a simple question: Why? [Read more]

 The Misery of Migrants in Detention in Malaysia
Bruce Van Voorhis
The Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants (APMM), a regional organization based in Hong Kong, hosted the Interfaith Solidarity Conference on the Conditions of Migrants in Jail for two days in Hong Kong beginning on July 28, 2012. During a panel presentation, Glorene Dass from the group Tenaganita in Malaysia shared about the lives of migrant workers in her country—the largest receiving country of migrant workers in Asia, she said, with 2.6 million migrant workers coming forward to register as of December 2011. This short article encapsulates a brief description of their lives. [Read more]

 Can Common Humanity Make It through a Checkpoint?
Michael Felsen
This review of a short story that takes place at an Israeli checkpoint in the West Bank examines the dehumanizing conditions of the context and the relationships between those who encounter each other there but also the humanity that the participants in this tragedy share. [Read more]

 ‘Embracing and Embodying God’s Hospitality Today’:
A Message from the Seventh Congress of Asian Theologians

Seventy Protestant and Catholic theologians from throughout Asia, after gathering in Seoul, Korea, between July 1 to 5, 2012, for the seventh Congress of Asian Theologians, issued a statement at the conclusion of their meeting that affirmed the beliefs of their faith and summarized their views on the witness of Asia’s Christians on a variety of important issues related to, among others, migration, interfaith relationships, peacemaking, the environment, gender and sexuality. [Read more]