Saturday, 24 November 2012

Freedom Feast

Why does the UK government continue to delay signing an agreement which it urges on other countries?”
This is the simple question that we were urged to ask our MP by the Rev. Roy Jenkins at this year’s Freedom Feast.

The United Kingdom remains the only state in western Europe, except Switzerland, not to sign and ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.  ‘Disappearance’ is a practice used to silence political dissent and persecute religious and ethnic minorities.

Roy told us stories of how delegations from Christians Against Torture have met with the Minister of State for Justice, Lord McNally and separately with officials of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office who acknowledge that progress has been slow and that the failure of the UK to sign the convention is now an international embarrassment.  Roy was asked by Lord McNally to not give up putting pressure on the government, which is why Christians Against Torture have initiated their campaign to encourage people to write to their MPs asking why the UK have not yet signed the convention.
For more details about this campaign read the newsletter.

The Freedom Feast is an initiative of Christians Against Torture and has been held annually by Christians in Pontypridd for many years.
This year Cerys, Chris, Fiona, Maralyn, Richard, Roy and Tony met at St. Dyfrig’s Roman Catholic Church to enjoy a ‘bring and share’ meal and to listen to the stories of people the world over who are prisoners of conscience or who have been tortured.
We wrote messages of support to Gao Zhisheng and William Shaiboub and also to the campaign group All Pakistan Minorities Alliance, which works for religious believers of all faiths.  If you would like to send cards to these people, the details can be seen on the ChristmasAction 2012 sheet.

Together with campaigning and supporting prisoners of conscience we also pray. This we did in an act of worship that preceded our meal.  It is not easy listening to harrowing stories of torture and 'disappearance', but through simple actions like praying, writing cards of support, writing campaign letters, we lift up our hearts in encouragement that we too can play our part to bring an end to this suffering and bring Freedom to all.