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 Ekklesia

Ekklesia

is a not-for-profit thinktank which promotes radical theological ideas in public life through a radical approach.

An initiative of the Anvil Trust, Ekklesia provides a daily news briefing service, regular public comment, conferences, consultancy and workshops in a range of areas combining both practical and theoretical knowledge to encourage the expression of a radical theological perspective. It also produces publications and papers in a range of public policy areas and has a network of associates who speak on social and ethical issues.

As part of its mission, Ekklesia also produces a news syndication service which brings a theological perspective on the daily news agenda. Hundreds of churches now carry Ekklesia's news headlines on their web sites. The news syndicated via the google and yahoo news services.

Ekklesia has no salaried staff. It works on a co-operative basis, and so all money given to Ekklesia is maximised to its fullest potential. It does not seek large funders, but encourages people to become partners in its work. Ekklesia has a developing web presence and is one of the highest ranked religious web sites in the UK. For an idea of how Ekklesia measures up click here.

Ekklesia emerged in 2002 from "Workshop", a radical theological training programme that has been running in the UK for almost 25 years. To find out more about Workshop, visit The Workshop web site This gives more detail about the vision, values and people behind Ekklesia.

Why "Ekklesia"?

The democratic system of government present in Athens, Greece, intermittently in the 500 years before the death of Christ, has been hailed by many as the forerunner to modern democracy. In order to commune and make decisions, the city-state of Athens met in the "Ekklesia", or people's assembly, to which any citizen over the age of 20 had a right to attend, speak, and vote.

When the early church had to choose a word to describe themselves one of the main words that they chose was also "Ekklesia" - this secular, political term. Although the Christian faith has been frequently separated from politics, when you consider that the central message of Jesus ministry was of a new kingdom, and that his death was politically motivated, the choice is perhaps not surprising.

Values

Ekklesia is in the process of developing its values base but is working in several areas with the following theologically derived ideas:

(i) Non-violence and Peacemaking

Finding positive alternatives to violence whether that be the smacking of children, or the use of military force. This also includes proposals for encouraging the commercial arms trade to wind down, with resources going into constructive alternatives,minimising negative economic impact.

(ii) Equality between nations

The free movement of people across national borders and between continents. Ekklesia promotes ideas that work towards the long-term goal of opening up borders. It is recognised that inequalities of wealth between countries need to be addressed, and that constructive alternatives to the dominant value of the national interest promoted.

(iii) Social justice

Work to overcome discrimination and injustice, whether it be on the grounds of race, gender, age, disability, religion, class or sexual orientation.

(iv) Valuing Life

Ekklesia recognises the value of human life and so is committed to promoting positive alternatives to abortion. There is frequently a polarisation of debate on bio-ethical issues where fathers, mothers and children get hurt. This therefore needs to be addressed. Ekklesia is also committed to exploring ways of defending persecuted minorities around the world and discouraging the use of the death penalty.

(v) Reconciliation in the criminal justice system

Promoting reconciliatory justice to replace adversarial systems where possible. This includes exploring Victim-Offender Reconciliation programmes, and minimising the use of prisons.

(vi) Economic Justice

As opposed to the economics of self-interest, we are working with ideas for corporate and financial accountability, mutual responsibility and a fair distribution of wealth. This includes looking at cutting wasteful consumerism and addressing overwork and unemployment.

(vii) Devolution of power

With specific reference to constitutional issues, looking at the possibilities of devolving power to the lowest possible levels.

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Click for more information on how to advertise with Ekklesia. The government has taken some welcome small steps against corruption but it has much more to do to get the UK's own house in order, Christian Aid said yesterday (25 October 2106) as MPs ...
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported yesterday (25 October 2016) that it is assisting French authorities as they begin to close the refugee camp in Calais known as 'the Jungle': an "environment not fit for ...

Amnesty International has called on the Iranian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release writer and human rights activist Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee following her jailing yesterday (24 October 2016).
(http://www.Ekklesia.co.uk/node/23491). The number of looked after children in England and Wales is at its highest point for more than 30 years.
Earlier this year Toby Young, the Conservative columnist who set up a Free school, very gracefully conceded that he had been wrong to think it would be easy to run a school, and said he regretted criticising teachers.
(http://www.Ekklesia.co.UK/node/22888). By developing a pioneering new model of interfaith engagement the initiative aims to move from dialogue to action by creating a fairer, more socially responsible financial system.

Cradle2Grave hopes to fund a poster campaign throughout the UK calling for a halt to the demolition of the welfare state (http://www.
The answer is, the spiritual battle we face as God's ambassadors in his Ekklesia, his assembly, is one where we must address people in communities, with ways of thinking and living that are often shaped by the influences of an evil world system that is ...
The Joint Public Issues Team of the Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Church in Wales, the Church of Scotland, the Methodist Church and the United Reformed Church.
Pax Christi International, together with the World Council of Churches and the International Campaign to Abolish nuclear weapons, are working with one voice in their attempts to ensure global support in the UN General Assembly later this month, for the ...
Ekklesia Blount meets at 10:30 a.m. on Sundays in Fayerweather Hall on the Maryville College campus, 502 E. Lamar Alexander Parwkay, Maryville.
The Church and peace network is warning against extending a financial and political instrument at the disposal of the European Union (EU) that could strengthen the military capacity of non-EU countries, a move the network sees as a major shift.
(http://www.Ekklesia.co.UK/node/23457). Margaret McGuckin and Jon McCourt will be among the representatives of the Panel of Experts on Redress, an independent initiative made up of survivor groups, individual survivors, academics, lawyers, human rights ...
The news that the Troubled Families scheme failed to have any significant impact will not come as a surprise to critics of the government's approach towards our poorest and most disadvantaged neighbours.
(http://www.Ekklesia.co.UK/node/23486) Hundreds of protestors have been shot in recent weeks, while there are reports of mass arrests, a communications blackout, and plans to restrict the movement of foreign diplomats around the country.
Marking World Food Day 2016, the United Nations has highlighted the close links between climate change, sustainable agriculture, and food and nutrition security, with the message: "The climate is changing.
Britain's secretive work at a death-row jail in Bahrain is being challenged by the international human rights group Reprieve. The UK Foreign Office paid almost a million pounds last year to NI-CO Ltd, a company owned by the Northern Irish government, ...

Arrests of children have fallen by 59 per cent in the last five years after a concerted effort by police across the country and a successful campaign by the Howard League for Penal Reform to keep as many boys and girls as possible out of the criminal ...
On World Food Day today (16 October 2016), 11 of the UK's leading charities working with people affected by hunger have combined forces for the first time, to launch a campaign that aims to end hunger in the UK.
Marking World Food Day 2016, the United Nations has highlighted the close links between climate change, sustainable agriculture, and food and nutrition security, with the message: "The climate is changing.
governments should capitalise on years of growing concern and negotiate a ban on nuclear weapons next year, the World Council of Churches (WCC) said in an inter-religious call at the United Nations on 12 October.
Arrests of children have fallen by 59 per cent in the last five years after a concerted effort by police across the country and a successful campaign by the Howard League for Penal Reform to keep as many boys and girls as possible out of the criminal ...
With the imminent clearance of the Calais camp and wet winter weather fast approaching, the United Nations children's Fund (UNICEF) Special Coordinator for the refugee and Migrant Crisis in Europe, says that the commitment by the United Kingdom and ...
Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) has condemned the bombing of a funeral in Yemen, believed to be by the Saudi-led coalition, which took place on 8 October 2016, and has called for an end to all arms exports to Saudi Arabia and the revoking of all ...
Ghana is in a debt crisis. Having had significant amounts of debt cancelled a decade ago, the country is losing around 30 per cent of government revenue in external debt payments each year according to a new report from Jubilee Debt Campaign (JDC).
(http://www.Ekklesia.co.UK/node/23396). The human rights organisation Reprieve, which is assisting Mr Tsege's family, believes that in light of his illegal death sentence and kidnap, the government should call for him to be returned to his family in ...
Cholera could kill more people in Haiti than hurricane Matthew, without urgent action to control the disease and ensure families have safe drinking water, Christian Aid has warned.. "I am worried that if it is not controlled as soon as possible ...
The British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC) and UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) have teamed up with the refugee Council to support this year's World Mental Health Day.
Stress is the top health and safety concern in UK workplaces according to a Trades Union Congress (TUC) study published today (10 October 2016) on World Mental Health Day.
(http://www.Ekklesia.co.UK/node/23308). Several prisoners who were convicted as children were among 47 people killed in a mass execution on 2 January this year.
Is anyone in the UK more equipped to deal with the benefits system than Tanni Grey-Thompson? As a very active Crossbench Peer in the House of Lords, and the winner of eleven Paralympic gold medals, Lady Grey-Thompson is confident, capable, and ...
The Church of Scotland has called for Council tax bands to be re-evaluated to make it a fairer system that reflects current house prices.
The closure of eight independent news and current affairs-focused TV channels effectively ends critical television news reporting in Turkey, says Human Rights Watch.
The Aesopica is a collection of fables credited to Aesop, a slave and storyteller, who is believed to have lived in ancient Greece.
Christian Aid and its partners have expressed deep disappointment at the rejection of a landmark peace deal between FARC rebels and the Colombian government in a shock referendum result which saw 50.24 per cent voting against the terms of the deal.
God seeks to bless nations and lands so the Ekklesia is to teach and disciple the nations in the word, grace and righteousness of God.
Key church investors have been invited to a conference that challenges the perceived barriers to scaling up investments in clean energy and other climate solutions.
The Campaign For Nuclear Disarmament (CND) has commented on today's judgement (5 October 2016) by the International Court Of Justice (ICJ) on the United Kingdom's nuclear disarmament obligations.
More than a quarter of a million pension savers a year are being left to "fend for themselves" when it comes to retirement decisions, new TUC analysis has revealed today (5 October 2016).
In her Conference speech Theresa may claimed that she is on the side of those who are struggling, the working class people whose wages don't cover their outgoings, and have seen their living standards fall in recent years.
The World Council of Churches (WCC) co-organised a discussion in Geneva on 28 September entitled Rebuilding from below: The role of local civil society in South Sudan.
The United Reformed Church (URC) launched the second phase of its Past Case Review today ( 4 October 2016) when the public are being invited to raise concerns formally about the behaviour, or conduct, of anyone affiliated with the URC since its ...
Evidence is increasing that climate change is taking the largest toll on poor and vulnerable people, and these impacts are largely caused by inequalities that increase the risks from climate hazards, according to a new report launched by the United ...
Theresa may's commitment to have workers on company boards could be law "within a year", according to a new Trades Union Congress (TUC) report published yesterday (3 October 2016).
Dismiss this ad. Click for more information on how to advertise with Ekklesia. All 28 EU environment ministers have agreed unanimously to ratify the Paris climate agreement, paving the way for it to become international law in time for November's UN ...
The Grand Imam of Cairo's prestigious Al-Azhar Mosque and university, Prof. Dr Ahmad al-Tayyeb, is to visit the World Council of Churches (WCC) to give a public lecture and participate in high-level dialogue on interreligious peacemaking.
The Howard League for Penal Reform has responded to Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Probation's thematic inspection report on women's services, published yesterday (30 September 2016).
Victims of child abuse have told a Northern Ireland Assembly committee that The Executive Office has failed to prepare for the establishment of a compensation scheme following the conclusion of the Historic Institutional Abuse Inquiry.
(http://www.Ekklesia.co.UK/node/23434) On September 27 2016, Pakistan's Supreme Court dismissed an appeal by Mr Ali to stop his hanging, which had been scheduled to take place last week.
Click for more information on how to advertise with Ekklesia. The UK's aid watchdog has highlighted how the Department for International Development could more effectively help poor countries to tackle the tax avoidance and evasion that rob them of ...


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