Sunday 6 July 2008

Member Care and Human Rights--9

Human Rights and Religious Liberty
Proverbs 1:3 and Proverbs 24:11,12

We were really awed by the courage and commitment of several people whom we recently met in Central Asia. These were people whose religous liberties--protected supposedly by both their national constitutions and international laws--had been seriously violated. We listened carefully to each others' stories both formally through debriefing and informally through group discussions. We explored Christian Scripture in light of human rights issues and international law--especially the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Two foundational verses for the discussions were from the book of Proverbs.
The purpose of the book of Proverbs:
1:3--To receive instruction in wise behaviour, righteousness, justice, and equity
The responsibility to help vulnerable people:
24:11--Deliver those who are being taken away to death, and those who are staggering to death, O hold them back.
24:12--If you say, "See, we did not know this," Does He not consider it who weighs the hearts? And does He not know it who keeps your soul? And will He not render to man according to his work?
1: 3--усвоить правила благоразумия, правосудия, суда и правоты;
24: 11--Спасай взятых на смерть, и неужели откажешься от обреченных на убиение?
24:12--Скажешь ли: `вот, мы не знали этого'? А Испытующий сердца разве не знает? Наблюдающий над душею твоею знает это, и воздаст человеку по делам его.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (United Nations, 1948) is a crucial guide for our lives and work. It is a foundational document for international laws/agreements for human rights. It unequivocally recognises the dignity and equal rights of all humans and the devastating consequences to people and societies when human rights are abused. We especially noted Articles 18,19, 20. See: and

18. Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

19. Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

20. (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
(2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.
Статья 18
Каждый человек имеет право на свободу мысли, совести и религии; это право включает свободу менять свою религию или убеждения и свободу исповедовать свою религию или убеждения как единолично, так и сообща с другими, публичным или частным порядком в учении, богослужении и выполнении религиозных и ритуальных обрядов.

Статья 19
Каждый человек имеет право на свободу убеждений и на свободное выражение их; это право включает свободу беспрепятственно придерживаться своих убеждений и свободу искать, получать и распространять информацию и идеи любыми средствами и независимо от государственных границ.

Статья 20
1. Каждый человек имеет право на свободу мирных собраний и ассоциаций.
2. Никто не может быть принуждаем вступать в какую-либо ассоциацию.

Reflection and Disucssion
Read the UDHR document two times in the next week.
Focus especially on the Preamble and Articles 18-20.
What are some ofthe key values, rights, and terms that you find?

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