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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.

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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updated Sun. May 6, 2018

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Click for more information on how to advertise with Ekklesia. The Electoral Reform Society (ERS) has published the first extensive analysis of the voter ID trials taking place in five areas next week. “Voters Locked Out: The Dangers of Voter ID in England sets out the details of the trials next week – and the ...
More than one thousand Quakers from across Britain are heading to London next week for Yearly Meeting. They may decide to re-write Quaker faith and practice. This is the book of discipline that has guided their work and worship across the centuries. In the stillness of worship, Quakers often read from this ...

Thousands of indigenous people gathered in Brazil's capital this week, to protest against plans to destroy their lands and lives. The Indians, from tribes across the country, painted the streets with 'blood', marched through the city, demonstrated at government buildings, and called for their rights to be ...
A coalition of human rights organisations from Germany, Italy and Yemen have begun a legal action against a European arms manufacturer and officials in Italy. The legal action is brought by the European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), Yemen-based Mwatana Organisation for ...
More than three quarters of women in the UK aged 25-54 are in paid work, reaching a record high of 78 per cent in 2017. In contrast, fewer than 60 per cent were in paid work in the mid-1970s. New analysis by Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) researchers, funded by the Economic and Social Research ...
In a landmark victory for privacy rights, the High Court has today (27 April 2018) ruled part of the Government's flagship surveillance law, the Investigatory Powers Act, unlawful – following a legal challenge from human rights campaigning organisation Liberty. In this first stage of its comprehensive challenge ...

(http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/25723). Two of the defendants, Sayed Alawi Sayed Hussain and Fadel Radhi, were abducted by security forces and held secretly in detention for months. While they were 'disappeared,' Bahrain's constitution was amended to enable military tribunals to try civilians. At trial ...
As the EU (Withdrawal) Bill continues its parliamentary passage, Children's Rights Alliance for England (CRAE) has been working to ensure that children's rights are not diluted post Brexit. CRAE was delighted that Peers voted to retain the Charter of Fundamental Rights, which includes important rights for ...
The Child Poverty Action Group has welcomed today's announcement from the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions that all children who are adopted will not be taken into account for the purposes of the two-child limit in tax credits and universal credit. But the charity urged the Secretary of State to go ...
Prior to this year, Easter Sunday and April Fool's Day last coincided in 1956 and will next do so in 2029. What this juxtaposition might have to say to us about teasing, falsehood, discernment, truth and myth seems worth a little attention. For me, part of setting off to Meeting for Worship with 'heart and mind ...
Bahrain's interior minister has threatened to crackdown on dissidents and activists who criticise the government online, Human Rights Watch has reported. Sheikh Rashid bin Abdullah Al-Khalifa, the interior minister, said on 25 March 2018, that the government was already tracking accounts that “departed ...
Housing developers must adopt council proposals for a new Fibre to the Premises Kitemark to reassure homebuyers before completion that their new home will have a digital connection fit for the 21st century, the Local Government Association (LGA) has said. Currently, developers only have an obligation ...
Amnesty International has condemned a death threat made against a Northern Ireland journalist, reportedly made by loyalist paramilitary group, the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), and called for the threat to be lifted immediately. The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) has reported the death threat ...
Lord Porter, the Conservative chair of the Local Government Association recently said, “many councils are now beyond the point where council tax income can be expected to plug the growing funding gaps they face.” And yet, radical changes introduced by George Osborne will soon leave councils much ...
The NHS can expect to see performance this summer as poor as that seen in recent winters, as so-called 'winter pressures' extend right through the year, according to new analysis from the British Medical Association. The health service came under unprecedented pressure this winter, with A&E ...
New rights improving support and recognition for unpaid carers have come into force in Scotland. Under the Carers (Scotland) Act, all people who provide unpaid care for friends, family, and neighbours will now have the right to a personalised plan. This will identify their needs and help them access ...
After at least 17 Palestinians were killed and more than 1,400 injured by Israeli fire at the Gaza border as Palestinians observed a national day of mourning on 31 March 2018. Thousands of people were attending the funerals of those who were killed during a 'Land Day' protest symbolically demanding a ...

Although the views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Ekklesia, the article may reflect Ekklesia's values. If you use Ekklesia's news briefings please consider making a donation to sponsor Ekklesia's work here. Email this page · Printer-friendly version · Diaspora* logo Diaspora ...
Following the recent presidential elections in Egypt, Transparency International has denounced the actions taken by the Egyptian government to supress critical election monitoring efforts which serve an essential role in ensuring transparency and accountability. “This signals a significant retreat from critical ...
Several weeks ago I wrote http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/25452 about a remarkable interview with DWP Minister Kit Malthouse, in which he was asked about foodbank use in the North West. He displayed a sort of detached, insouciant curiosity, as he declared foodbanks "an interesting phenomenon.".
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) have urged a federal judge to reject the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) attempt to dismiss an important lawsuit challenging its policy of searching and confiscating, without suspicion or warrant, travellers' ...
The latest homelessness statistics released by the Scottish Government, show a two per cent increase in homeless applications, a total of 14,607 homelessness assessments and a 10 per cent increase in children in temporary accommodation between April and September 2017, compared to the same ...
Human rights and anti-war campaigners have presented an Open Letter to Downing Street, calling upon the Prime Minister to withdraw the invitation she has extended to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The Open Letter highlights the role of the Crown Prince in creating the worst humanitarian ...
Deeply moving events to mark international Holocaust Memorial Day are taking place this week. Quakers across Britain are taking part. The purpose of Holocaust Memorial Day is to learn the lessons of the past, to honour the survivors of genocides and use their experience to inform lives today. It is a time ...
Although the views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Ekklesia, the article may reflect Ekklesia's values. If you use Ekklesia's news briefings please consider making a donation to sponsor Ekklesia's work here. Email this page · Printer-friendly version · Diaspora* logo Diaspora ...
Crisis has described the 15 per cent rise in rough sleeping in England as a 'catastrophe', following continual rises since 2010, when there is evidence to show how the problem can be fixed. The Government's official annual street count found that on a given night in autumn last year 4,751 people were ...
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is concerned about Facebook's announcement that it wants its users to help determine the reliability of the news and information it provides via its News Feed. RSF fears this could be counter-productive and could just fuel the phenomenon of disinformation. A week after ...
A fresh inquest into the death of Private Sean Benton who was found dead at Deepcut barracks in 1995 began at Woking Coroner's Court on 24 January 2018. The inquest is expected to last at least two months and hear from around 150 witnesses. The Coroner ruled at a pre-inquest hearing that the case ...
“It is with profound sadness that we can confirm three Save the Children staff members were killed earlier today in an attack on our office in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. All other staff have been safely rescued from the office. Four were injured in the attack and are receiving medical treatment. Save the Children ...
I am originally from Manchester. I have been an Anglican priest since 1989, having trained for the ministry at St. Stephen's House in Oxford, and I have served in parishes throughout Wales, most recently in the Parish of Llandeilo Tal y Bont, Pontarddulais, in the Diocese of Swansea and Brecon.
Millions of people facing severe hunger and acute malnutrition in one of the worst hit areas of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) risk having life-saving aid cut if donors do not plug a hole in the aid budget, Oxfam has warned. Tens of thousands of people have already had their food rations cut and ...
The Government has quietly announced a major change to the law that will stop Commanding Officers in the Armed Forces investigating soldiers' allegations of sexual assault themselves – but they still won't have to refer complaints to civilian police. The proposed changes to the Armed Forces Act 2006 ...
The Home Office and the police have set out a package of measures which will increase transparency around chief officer employment. The measures will address areas of inconsistency and concern around chief officer employment. Currently, the system for chief officer leave entitlement lacks clarity, there ...
In its annual report on the State of Children's Rights in England, the Children's Rights Alliance for England (CRAE) has rejected the Government's proposal to remove the 50 per cent cap on religious selection at free schools, and called for it to be kept in place. Humanists UK, which is a member of CRAE ...
(http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/24768). “Our candles are a small light in the darkness,” Robra told participants at the Seoul vigil. “The fragile, flickering light of candles give us hope in the middle of the darkness. It stands for the fragile presence of the servant of God who will not give up until there is peace.”.
Today (14 December 2017) the High Court has ruled that rough sleeping does not constitute an abuse of EU free movement rights and that the Home Office policy in this regard is unlawful. A revised policy, which has not yet received ministerial approval, was published shortly before the hearing, on 30 ...
The latest fall in employment suggests that Britain's remarkable jobs boom may finally be coming to an end, the Resolution Foundation said, in response to the latest labour market data. After a remarkable jobs boom dating back to early 2012, employment has plateaued at close to a record high of 75 per ...
Gambia's truth commission bill, to be debated on 13 December 2017, is an important opportunity to shed light on human rights violations committed during the rule of former President Yahya Jammeh, Human Rights Watch says. The National Assembly should amend the Truth, Reconciliation and ...
One in ten workers did paid overtime in Britain in the last year but only a fifth of them got at least a 'time and a half' pay premium for those hours, according to a new report published by the Resolution Foundation. Paid overtime is a key part of the labour market for millions of workers, providing a vital boost to ...
Following the presenation of the Nobel Peace Prize to ICAN, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear weapons, leaders from all faiths across the UK have called on the British Government to affirm the new UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The new treaty states that nuclear weapons, ...
The 2016 Femicide Census report reveals that 113 women were killed by men in England, Wales and Northern Ireland between 1 January 2016 and 31 December 2016. Nine in ten women killed during 2016 were killed by someone they knew, 78 women were killed by their current or former intimate ...
Police forces are committed to sustaining and improving the trust and confidence of the public, but they risk damage to their relationships with local communities by continuing to be unable to demonstrate fair use of stop and search, according to a report released by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of ...
When Jesus was born in a stable, men of high status brought him gifts. The shepherds, being poor, simply brought their company, and their love. I'm afraid that in modern Britain, faced with a child born into disadvantage, the shepherds would have to rally round and do what they could for the baby, whilst ...
"At the heart of every Christmas is a very simple image: a new-born baby lying exposed in the cold of winter. It's a very powerful image of our own vulnerability, our own weakness, in the face of the environment. So that, at Christmas, we naturally think of those of our fellow human beings who live daily with ...
Already stretched councils in England will see the core central government funding they use to pay for vital services like collecting bins, filling potholes, protecting children and caring for elderly and disabled people, cut in half over the next two years. The Local Government Association is calling on the ...
Amnesty International and Liberty are staging a 'Henry VIII eats Parliament' stunt in Westminster on Monday 11 December 2017, to highlight human rights campaigners' concerns with how the Government is treating people's rights in the EU Withdrawal Bill. The stunt will see a fully-costumed Henry VIII ...
Which? is urging the regulator to intervene to ensure that consumers are not left struggling to access cash, as new proposals cast doubt over Britain's free-to-use ATM network. Which? is worried that LINK – the UK's largest cash machine network – proposals to lower its interchange fee by 20 per cent could ...
The world's first ever national inquiry into the responsibility of the fossil fuel industry for the human rights impacts resulting from climate change hits an important milestone in the Philippines on 11 December 2017 – one day after Human Rights Day (10 December). Companies, including ExxonMobil, Shell, ...
In a sermon at the Trinity Church in Oslo, Norway on 9 December 2017 , the World Council of Churches General Secretary, the Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, reflected on peacemakers: those who create trust and foster good relations, those who try to bring out the best in us, those who attempt to solve conflicts.
A new B'Tselem report released on 5 December 2017 reveals that a significant portion of Israel's waste treatment system is located outside its sovereign borders, in the West Bank. Because Israel has set out less stringent environmental regulations for industrial zones in settlements and even offers financial ...


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