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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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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 ...
On 28 November 2017, former Liberal Democrat party leader Tim Farron gave a much commented upon lecture for the think-tank Theos, entitled 'What Kind of Liberal Society Do We Want?' It is available to read here. I applaud the bravery of Farron as he challenges us - Christians and others - to learn ...
The UK Defence Secretary, Gavin Willamson, has been widely criticised after apparently threatening to have citizens who fought for Isil/Daesh killed. This would undermine the rule of law and risk boosting terrorism. (http://www.Ekklesia.co.uk/node/24780). "Quite simply, my view is a dead terrorist can't ...
... Director of Ekklesia with particular involvement in editorial issues. She is a freelance writer who contributes to the Church Times, Catholic Herald, Tribune, Reform and The Friend, among other publications. Jill is an active Quaker. See: http://www.journalistdirectory.com/journalist/TQig/Jill-Segger You can ...

Anti-nuclear activists will gather outside the Ministry of Defence on Saturday 9 December 2017, to celebrate the award of this year's Nobel Peace Prize to ICAN, a global network which campaigned for a United Nations nuclear weapons ban treaty. The Prize will be presented at an awards ceremony in Oslo ...
Quakers in Britain have made this statement responding to the announcement from the president of the United States concerning Jerusalem. Paul Parker, Recording Clerk for Quakers in Britain said: "As Quakers, and guided by our testimonies to peace and equality, we feel compelled to speak out about ...
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 ...
Brexit will almost certainly have a negative economic impact on large parts of Britain's fishing industry and the coastal communities which rely ...
The fifth round of secret negotiations on a new North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has begun in Mexico. farm policy will be a ...
The Sutton Trust is calling on the Chancellor to support a £3.2 billion reform to student funding - means-testing tuition fees and restoring ...
I recently had the privilege and pleasure of being invited to the Cambridge Union to debate the motion: 'This House has lost faith in faith'.
The United Nations relief wing warned of famine-like conditions unfolding in Yemen, as a blockade on aid and other essential goods by a ...
The Electoral Commission has called for changes to the law to further improve transparency and strengthen confidence in the UK's political ...
The poorest in society are being hit the hardest by changes to tax, social security and public spending reforms, and are set to lose 10 per cent ...
The Church of Scotland has welcomed a UK Supreme Court decision that will allow the Scottish government to press on with plans to introduce ...

The 10th annual People & Planet University League table reveals how a decade of student pressure on campus has transformed the ...
An estimated 152 million children around the world work, a practice that the international community at a United Nations co-organised ...
Cancellation of a meeting of five countries with the power to unlock a path to peace in Yemen must not be used as an excuse to delay lifting the ...
The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has today raised serious concerns over a multi-million pound donation to the London Fire Brigade (LFB) by the ...
(http://www.Ekklesia.co.UK/node/24184) In addition, civil society organisations have been subjected to illegal inspections and law suits.
... in July.9http://www.Ekklesia.co.UK/node/243520 The TPNW--which bans the possession, use and threat of use of nuclear weapons--is cited in ...
Arms sales from the UK to Saudi Arabia in the first two years of the bombing of Yemen (April 2015 - April 2017) reached £4.6 billion.
As Sarah Batty writes in an important but grim new study into the impact of welfare reforms on communities in the North East, "People's ...
wealth inequality in the UK has been rising for the last 10 years and is set to continue growing over the next decade, with young people ...
Responding to figures from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), which show a a predicted rise in child poverty, Dr Sam Royston, the Director of ...
The US Department of Interior has announced that the US will withdraw from implementing the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative ...
Survival International is calling for greater recognition from world leaders for tribal peoples' crucial role in protecting the environment, ahead of ...
The Electoral Reform Society are calling on the government to back the Bill to extend the franchise when it comes before the Commons today.
I asked Bernadette Meaden - an associate of Ekklesia think-tank, who writes about Universal Credit, welfare reform, and social and economic ...
The letter, published on the websites of Christian think-tank Ekklesia and prominent blog site Thinking Anglicans, calls upon Archbishop Welby ...
... offering messages of support to the citizens Apology in Scotland were the Iona Community and the beliefs and values think-tank Ekklesia.
This letter is being published by Ekklesia and Thinking Anglicans at Gilo's request. We are pleased and honoured to support his brave, ...
Responding to US President Donald Trump's comment that he would consider sending the man accused of the truck attack in New York City, ...
Three relatives of an outspoken critic of the Bahraini government, Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, who lives in exile in the UK, were each sentenced ...
For the first time in its history, the World Council of Churches (WCC) has initiated a formal dialogue with Confucians. Organised in collaboration ...
The Independent review of deaths and serious incidents in police custody by Dame Elish Angiolini has been published by the Home Office.
More than one thousand business leaders, government officials and academics will converge at a United Nations forum tomorrow (31 October ...
Amnesty International has welcomed a decision by the High Court in Belfast on 27 October 2017 to overturn a decision by the police Service of ...
New research by Which? has found that almost half of people who had arranged care for themselves or a loved one said there were no places ...
French courts have found Teodorin Obiang, the son of the dictator of oil-rich Equatorial Guinea, guilty on charges of laundering the proceeds of ...
MPs will debate scrapping Westminster's First Past the Post voting system on Monday 30 October 2017, after a petition calling for proportional ...
(http://www.Ekklesia.co.UK/node/23832). His family have not spoken him since a brief phone call in December 2014. Despite a promise by Boris ...
The Commission on human rights in The Philippines has called on 47 carbon producers to attend a preliminary meeting in its investigation into ...
The Chatham House Prize is presented annually to the person, persons or organisation deemed by members of the Royal Institute of ...
(http://www.Ekklesia.co.UK/node/23399). Ibrahim was tried as an adult alongside 493 other people, despite having been a juvenile at the time of ...
Following a five day inquest at Doncaster Coroner's Court, a jury found that the failures of Serco and Nottinghamshire healthcare NHS Trust to ...
Amnesty International has launched a new briefing at the UN General Assembly, setting out measures to bring the use and transfer of armed ...
The Chair of the Local government Association's Community Wellbeing Board has responded to the latest childhood obesity figures published ...


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