united states – Helviti http://helviti.com/ Fri, 25 Mar 2022 21:09:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://helviti.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/icon-1-1-120x120.png united states – Helviti http://helviti.com/ 32 32 Church and Vic – The Strand https://helviti.com/church-and-vic-the-strand/ Tue, 15 Mar 2022 19:44:50 +0000 https://helviti.com/church-and-vic-the-strand/ When Canadian Methodists sought to establish a “Seminary of Learning” in 1830, they probably did not think their legacy would be a Toronto institution with coeducational residences and a secular education. Victoria University may no longer be a symbol of Methodist strength in Upper Canada, but its relationship with the Church over the past 186 […]]]>

When Canadian Methodists sought to establish a “Seminary of Learning” in 1830, they probably did not think their legacy would be a Toronto institution with coeducational residences and a secular education. Victoria University may no longer be a symbol of Methodist strength in Upper Canada, but its relationship with the Church over the past 186 years has been vibrant, To say the least.

In the British Empire at the start of the 19th century, religion was seen as a necessary companion to school learning. The question for Upper Canadian high schools was not if there would be a Christian teaching, but often which Christian teaching.

Canada’s intertwining with Christianity began with the voyages of Jacques Cartier and the establishment of New France in 1534. Cartier claimed an area of ​​land along the Gulf of St. Lawrence on behalf of the Roman Catholic Church of France, whom he sought to protect from the “wicked Lutherans, [and] apostates” – despite the land belonging to the Haudenosaunee Nation. Although Cartier was successful for a time, the colony finally collapsed in 1763, with the cession of New France to Great Britain.

The Church of England hoped to dominate the new territory. In 1791, the Crown reserved one-seventh of all public lands in Canada for Protestant clergy, but discovered a weakness in political popularity. Established French Catholics challenged English Protestants, as both groups dominated the country.

In the 1790s, a new player entered the game: United Empire Loyalists fleeing the United States came by the thousands to spread their gospel ways to the Canadian population. These Methodists hoped to prove themselves as a formidable group in the years before Confederation, gaining some popularity as the underdog.

A young Christian leader who was kicked out of his home at 18 for converting to Methodism had unwavering views on access to education; Egerton Ryerson criticizes clergy reserves, tuition fees, and Upper Canada’s decentralized education system. When the Methodist Conference was held in 1829 to discuss congregational plans, education was a top priority. The proposal for a Methodist seminary was drafted and tabled, but rejected by the Legislative Assembly and Council in an act of religious prejudice. Lieutenant Governor Colborne ruthlessly declared that “the system of education which has produced the best and ablest men in the United Kingdom will not be abandoned here to adapt to the limited views of the rulers of the societies, who do not may have neither experience nor judgment to appreciate the value or benefits of a liberal education.

Five years later, after an appeal to the British Crown and a trip to London, England by Ryerson, a charter was finally granted – the first charter given to a nonconformist body for an educational institution.

In 1836 Ryerson wrote to the officers of the Crown that “an institution whose chief object, as is plainly expressed, is the education of youth, of poor young men of religious character and promising talents, and young native Indians connected with Methodist congregations, should be placed substantially under the pastoral head of the Church. Ryerson’s obsession with the importance of Christianity in education led him to later play a role in Canada’s disastrous residential school system.

The Royal Charter of the Academy of Upper Canada boasted that “no religious test or qualification shall be required of, or appointed for, any person on admission as a student or scholar into the said Academy”. The newly created council provided for more equal admission of students – so long as they expressed a willingness to embrace Christian values.

It was a bold contrast to the sectarian model of Canadian education, which saw the founding of Bishop’s Anglican University in 1843, Presbyterian Queen’s College in 1841, Roman Catholic Regiopolis College in 1837 and Baptist Acadia College in 1839. Although Upper Canada Academy certainly joined the list as Canada’s Standard Methodist institution, its openness to applicants was unusual.

Although the academy’s willingness to accept native students and students of any Christian denomination was extremely progressive for its time, it was done, unsurprisingly, under the veil of indoctrination. The school was established by the Methodist Church with the aim of combining secular and religious studies, which they believed to be inseparable.

Similarly, female students were widely accepted in the school, with the 74 female student body of 1840 nearly equaling the 96 male. Although this policy was at the forefront of women’s education in Canada, it still existed within the framework of educational inequality and school segregation, food and housing – the latter two having existed in Vic until 1988 and 1995, respectively.

Vic’s transformation of Upper Canada Academy into Victoria College in 1841 saw little change in the religious model of the school until the addition of the Faculty of Theology in 1871. But this period also saw the revocation of the admission of female students, who had previously been welcomed from 1836 to 1841. Many clergymen believed that women should assume a traditional “housewife” role after attending high school, that post-secondary institutions should be for men only. Once Victoria became a degree-granting institution, it followed in the footsteps of other colleges of the day and excluded women from admission. This thirty-year stain was not reversed until the year theology was introduced as a faculty.

In 1903, Margaret Addison’s first year as Dean of Annesley Hall, the “…majority [of the students] were Methodists or Presbyterians, a sprinkle of Anglicans, Baptists and “others” stirred the mix; all professed some sort of religious belief, and for many it was the cornerstone of their lives. A proper religious lifestyle was essential for Addison and the administrators of Victoria College when establishing the first women’s residence hall in Canada; the sectarian views of the Church were reflected in Victoria’s principles and actions. Margaret Proctor Burwash, founding member of the Annesley Hall Building Committee, said: “The higher education of women brings a curse instead of a blessing unless it gives them a higher ideal of nobility and sanctity of their vocation as housewives. Burwash and Addison struggled against the progressive views of students on the one hand and the beliefs of authoritarian Methodist men on the other. During her tenure as dean (until 1931), Addison’s efforts to grant independence and responsibility to girls often met with opposition. Albert Carman, General Superintendent of the Methodist Church, heard from Chancellor Nathanael Burwash about the Dean’s ‘night watch keys’ for girls, students returning to their rooms after ‘after midnight’ entertainment, their ‘attendance to theaters and dances” and replied, “It is not Methodism: I fear it is aloof: it is not the way of sound discipline or sound and sure scholarship …” Margaret Addison’s desire to bend the rules and give more autonomy to the Victoria Women’s Student Union contributed to Mr and Mrs Burwash’s resignations from the school in 1913, as they faced the pressure from Methodist Church leaders like Carman.

It was not until Methodists joined with a group of Presbyterians and Congregationalists to form the United Church of Canada in 1925 that Vic saw drastic changes for his Methodist men. Disputes over the union of the Church and Presbyterian Knox College eventually led to the establishment of Emmanuel College in 1928, which formalized Victoria’s existing religious education into a separate institution. However, it would be naïve to say that this removed the Christian undertones from Victoria’s student life entirely.

Since its inception as a college, Vic has seen Christian values ​​and theological lectures mixed with students’ liberal arts studies, with many Victoria graduates entering the ministry themselves. Each of the early directors and presidents had been affiliated with the Methodist Episcopal Church in some capacity, and most of them had been ordained ministers. Even in the late 19th and 20th centuries, this student-minister-administrator pipeline held true for Samuel Nelles, Nathanael Burwash, Richard P. Bowles, Edward W. Wallace, and Northrop Frye. As recently as 1992 to 1998, Sang Chul Lee served as Chancellor of Victoria College. An advocate for oppressed groups in the Church, Lee served as the thirty-second Moderator of The United Church of Canada. Grace before meals, the celebration of exclusively Christian holidays, and the sentiment of faculty and students maintained institutional Christian ties through much of the 20th century.

Today, the influence of the United Church of Victoria is at its lowest. Emmanuel College now teaches a wide variety of theologies, ranging from Islamic, Buddhist, Hindu, and Indigenous belief systems; fewer administrators than ever have ties to the United Church. In 2008, the United Church Archives were finally separated from the Victoria University Archives, which had been housed together since their origins. However, 13 of the 37 people appointed to the Board of Regents remain members of The United Church of Canada, and an annual grant of $200,000 from the Church has been given to Vic through 2019.

Although we may no longer share the same values ​​or perspectives as Albert Carman or Egerton Ryerson, Victoria’s story of adversity and religious significance offers a more holistic view of the Vic we know today. As Vic and Emmanuel alumnus, United Church minister, Principal and Chancellor Northrop Frye said, “Victoria has a legacy and that legacy is not buried treasure or a handed down secret, but an experience renewed by all who come into contact with him. ”

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Patriarch of Moscow stokes Orthodox tensions with remarks on war | Religion https://helviti.com/patriarch-of-moscow-stokes-orthodox-tensions-with-remarks-on-war-religion/ Sat, 12 Mar 2022 08:00:00 +0000 https://helviti.com/patriarch-of-moscow-stokes-orthodox-tensions-with-remarks-on-war-religion/ Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill, leader of Russia’s dominant religious group, has sent his strongest signal to justify his country’s invasion of Ukraine – describing the conflict as part of a struggle against sin and pressure liberal foreigners to hold “gay parades” as the price of admission into their ranks. Kirill, a longtime ally of Russian […]]]>

Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill, leader of Russia’s dominant religious group, has sent his strongest signal to justify his country’s invasion of Ukraine – describing the conflict as part of a struggle against sin and pressure liberal foreigners to hold “gay parades” as the price of admission into their ranks.

Kirill, a longtime ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, had previously refrained from criticizing the Russian invasion – alienating many members of Ukrainian Orthodox churches who had previously remained loyal to the Moscow Patriarch during a schism in their country. . Several of these former loyalists now snub Kirill in their public prayers, some demanding independence from the Moscow church even as their country’s political independence is in jeopardy.

Kirill, in a sermon delivered on Sunday before the start of Orthodox Lent, echoed Putin’s baseless claims that Ukraine was engaged in the “extermination” of Russian loyalists in Donbass, the breakaway region in eastern Ukraine held since 2014 by two Russian-backed separatist groups. Kirill focused almost all of his speech on the war on Donbass – not to mention Russia’s widespread invasion and bombardment of civilian targets.

Kirill described the war in spiritual terms on Sunday.

“We have entered into a struggle that has not a physical meaning, but a metaphysical one,” he said.

He claimed that some separatists in Donbass suffered from their “fundamental rejection of the so-called values ​​that are proposed today by those who claim world power”.

He claimed this unnamed global power poses a ‘test for the loyalty’ of countries by demanding they hold gay pride parades to join a global club of nations with its own ideas of freedom and ‘consumerism’. .

But many Orthodox Christians in Ukraine were appalled by Kirill’s stance on the war in Ukraine. The Patriarch of Moscow has claimed for centuries the ultimate loyalty of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, even though the latter has retained a large degree of autonomy. And many priests, monks and worshipers had remained loyal to Kirill even with the formation of a more nationalist Kyiv-based Ukrainian Orthodox Church in 2018 and 2019.

The war shatters that loyalty for some, however.

Many bishops of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church have authorized their priests not to commemorate Patriarch Cyril in their prayers during public worship services – a symbolically important statement in the Orthodox tradition, which emphasizes the communion of the faithful with their divinely ordained hierarchy.

Since the start of the war, up to 15 dioceses of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine have allowed the patriarch’s name to be omitted, according to the Union of Orthodox Journalists, a news site providing generally positive information on the Church with a Muscovite tendency.

Rev. Mykola Danilevich, who has served as a spokesperson for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, confirmed on his Telegram account that “many of our priests have stopped commemorating the Patriarch of Moscow for worship services.”

“And the reason is obvious,” Danilech wrote on March 1, before Kirill’s final Sunday sermon. “The open treacherous invasion of Ukraine is a huge mistake by Russia. … People have not heard from the Patriarch a clear assessment of this war and his call to stop this madness.”

The clergy of at least two dioceses – Lviv and Volodymyr-Volynskaare – are calling for the independence of the Moscow church, according to their Facebook pages.

Many Ukrainian Orthodox are shocked that Kirill “condemned evil in the broadest terms but said nothing about the war let alone its initiation by Russia,” said Catherine Wanner, professor of history, d Anthropology and Religious Studies at Pennsylvania State University.

“In the violence, death and terror that overwhelms Ukraine right now, I don’t think anyone cares about specific jurisdictions,” said Wanner, whose studies focus on the region. “But it will be a radical change.”

The Reverend Cyril Hovorun, professor of ecclesiology, international relations and ecumenism at University College Stockholm, said Kirill’s latest comments showed him in a “golden cage”.

He said Kirill helped “provide the ideology” that Putin used to justify Russian hegemony over the region, and in return the church received strong support from the government.

“Even if he (Kirill) understands what is happening in Ukraine with the war, even if he wants to speak and call things by their proper name, he cannot,” said Hovorun, author of several books on the war. Orthodoxy in Ukraine. and beyond. “He’s a completely unfree character who must follow the official narrative faithfully.”

Archbishop Daniel of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the United States said Patriarch Kirill’s latest comments were “incomprehensible.”

“Regardless of our beliefs and whatever our position on social and moral issues, you cannot use this as a propaganda tool to justify the Russian invasion and the slaughter of innocent people,” he said.

Many Orthodox and other religious conservatives, including in Ukraine, share Kirill’s position on sexual ethics, said the Reverend John Burgess, a professor at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and author of ‘Holy Rus’: The Rebirth of Orthodoxy in the New Russia”.

“But Ukrainians and Ukrainian Orthodox are under attack, suffering, fearing for the future of the nation,” Burgess said. “None of that is reflected in the sermon. If rockets fall on Kharkiv and Kiev, and the Patriarch starts talking about gay parades, it seems something is wrong here.

Burgess said the practice of refusing to commemorate a patriarch in prayer has precedents. Some Russian Orthodox priests suffered persecution under the communist regime for refusing to commemorate a patriarch whom they considered too compromising with the Bolshevik government.

Religious people who are currently walking away from Kirill could be “risking their future,” Burgess said.

“If President Putin and the Russians really win in Ukraine, what will happen to these bishops? he said. “They will be removed, or they will have to go into the basement.”

Associated Press religious coverage receives support through the AP’s collaboration with The Conversation US, with funding from Lilly Endowment Inc. The AP is solely responsible for this content.

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“Keep your Catholic faith until the end of your life” https://helviti.com/keep-your-catholic-faith-until-the-end-of-your-life/ Wed, 09 Mar 2022 03:57:00 +0000 https://helviti.com/keep-your-catholic-faith-until-the-end-of-your-life/ Father’s words resonate with Phung Van Hai, who decided to become a Catholic to marry his fiancée at a life-changing time Phung Van Hai was considering marrying a Catholic woman he had met in his delivery job. “I wanted to have faith in the same religion,” he said. So, he first visited Kawaguchi Church in […]]]>

Father’s words resonate with Phung Van Hai, who decided to become a Catholic to marry his fiancée at a life-changing time

Phung Van Hai was considering marrying a Catholic woman he had met in his delivery job.

“I wanted to have faith in the same religion,” he said.

So, he first visited Kawaguchi Church in Saitama Prefecture, Japan in November 2019.

Hai, now 27, came to Japan from Vietnam six years ago as a student, having borrowed money from his home country to cover the cost of studying abroad.

After arriving in Japan, he worked part-time while studying at a Japanese language school for two years, then studied design at a vocational school for three years.

During this time, he slept less than two hours a day. Her monthly income was about 80,000 yen (US$700). In addition to living off this, he sent money to his family in Vietnam to pay off his debt.

“My house was poor, but I had no choice but to work hard,” he said. “During these five years of study, my weight went from 70 to 55 kilograms.”

Vincentian Sister Maria Le Thi Lang helped Phung Van Hai learn catechism (Photo provided)

Religious differences

After his struggle, Hai graduated from vocational school and got a job with a supermarket company, making long-distance deliveries that sometimes involved three days and two nights on the road.

At work, he met D, a Vietnamese technical trainee. Eventually they started to think about marriage, but the biggest problem was the religious differences. Hai, who grew up in a Buddhist household, told his parents online that he wanted to marry D and be baptized a Catholic. His parents respected their son’s feelings and agreed.

Even though his father supported him, he had a warning: “Faith is important in life, so if you are baptized just as a formality for marriage but you don’t have real faith, that’s a problem. Keep your Catholic faith until the end of your life.”

Van Hai was depressed because he did not understand the content and format of the mass at all.

However, the shock when Hai visited Kawaguchi Church for the first time and attended mass was more than expected. He was depressed because he did not understand the content and format of the mass at all. But his fiancée continued to encourage him.

From February 14, 2020, Hai began attending an introductory course led by Sister Maria Le Thi Lang, a Vietnamese Vincentian nun based at Kawaguchi Church.

As the coronavirus pandemic prevented face-to-face classes from April, Hai and Sister Maria began using an online catechesis course and an online marriage course which are each offered in three-month four-month sessions. times a year.


Catechumen Phung Van Hai and his catechist Sister Maria Le Thi Lang near the Marian Grotto of Kawaguchi Church. (Photo provided)

Deep sadness

One day, Hai was moved by a question asked by Sister Maria: “Who are you? For Hai, the question meant, “Who is God?”

As Hai continued to ponder the matter, he and D felt deep sadness when she became pregnant late last year, but immediately miscarried.

“No matter how much I cried or thought, I couldn’t comfort her,” he said. “All I could do was pray for her. I could only pray.”

Praying to be able to accept reality, his grief and pain, Hai felt “the presence of a warm God who is close to us”. It was “the moment I met God”.

“I want to help people who, like me, do not know God to know the presence of God.”

Rather than avoiding their suffering, the couple chose “the way of trusting in Jesus” to recover. After about a month and a half, they found they could resume some kind of normal life.

Hai says he realizes he has changed to “live with trust in God” and as “a self that treats others with compassion and respect.”

He shared his experience with others in the online catechesis course. He says that when he shared, he was greatly encouraged by the existence of a Catholic community that mourned with him and rejoiced with him. It gave him the power to live.

Hai explained his dream, “I want to help people who, like me, don’t know God to know God’s presence.”

He will be baptized during the Easter Vigil on April 16.

Support UCA News…

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Messages of Faith: An Never Forgotten Description of Christ | Religion https://helviti.com/messages-of-faith-an-never-forgotten-description-of-christ-religion/ Sat, 26 Feb 2022 13:15:00 +0000 https://helviti.com/messages-of-faith-an-never-forgotten-description-of-christ-religion/ Many years ago I had the privilege of hearing Dr. SM Lockridge speak at a conference I was attending. He served as pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, a large African-American congregation in San Diego, California, from 1953 to 1993. He was known for his preaching throughout the United States and around the world. Periodically, I […]]]>

Many years ago I had the privilege of hearing Dr. SM Lockridge speak at a conference I was attending. He served as pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, a large African-American congregation in San Diego, California, from 1953 to 1993. He was known for his preaching throughout the United States and around the world.

Periodically, I reread the last words of the sermon I had heard him preach, which I transcribed from a tape. His description of Jesus is something I will never forget. You might also benefit from it.

He is the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End!

He is the Guardian of Creation and the Creator of everything!

He is the architect of the universe and the manager of all time.

It always has been, it always is, and it always will be. . .

Immutable, Unchanged, Undefeated and never Defeated.

He was bruised and brought healing!

He was pierced and pain relieved!

He was persecuted and brought freedom!

He was dead and brought life!

He is risen and brings power!

He reigns and brings peace!

The world can’t understand it,

Armies cannot defeat him,

Schools can’t explain It, and

Leaders cannot ignore Him.

Herod could not kill him,

The Pharisees could not confuse him, and

The People could not hold Him back!

Nero couldn’t crush it,

Hitler could not silence him,

The New Age cannot replace it, and

Talk show hosts can’t explain it!

He is Light, Love, Longevity and Lord.

He is Goodness, Kindness, Gentleness and God.

He is Holy, Just, Mighty, Mighty and Pure.

His will is immutable and

I serve him because his bond is love,

His goal for me is the abundant life.

I am because he is

The Power of the Mighty,

The Overseer of Victors, and

The Sovereign Lord of all that was, is, and is to come.

Yet, His goal is a relationship with me!

Never cancel my appointment in His appointment book!

When I fall, He picks me up!

When I fail, he forgives!

When I’m weak, he’s strong!

When I am lost, He is the way!

When I am afraid, He is my courage!

When I stumble, He stabilizes me!

When I’m hurt, He heals me!

When I’m broken, He fixes me!

When I am blind, He leads me!

When I’m hungry, He feeds me!

When I face trials, He is with me!

When I face persecution, He protects me!

When I face problems, He comforts me!

When I face loss, He provides for me!

When I face death, He brings me Home!

He is everything for everyone, everywhere, at all times and in all ways.

He is God, He is faithful.

I am his and he is mine!

Don Green is the pastor of First Christian Church in Ellensburg.

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Lawyer and religious leader inaugurating the lecture series | News, Sports, Jobs https://helviti.com/lawyer-and-religious-leader-inaugurating-the-lecture-series-news-sports-jobs/ Wed, 23 Feb 2022 05:17:55 +0000 https://helviti.com/lawyer-and-religious-leader-inaugurating-the-lecture-series-news-sports-jobs/ ELKINS — Davis & Elkins College will open its Spring Lecture Series on Thursday, sponsored by the Morrison-Novakovic Center for Faith and Public Policy. Allyson McKinney Timm, founder and executive director of Justice Revival in Washington, DC, will be the guest speaker for the 7 p.m. event at the Myles Center for the […]]]>

ELKINS — Davis & Elkins College will open its Spring Lecture Series on Thursday, sponsored by the Morrison-Novakovic Center for Faith and Public Policy.

Allyson McKinney Timm, founder and executive director of Justice Revival in Washington, DC, will be the guest speaker for the 7 p.m. event at the Myles Center for the Arts.

In his lecture entitled “Reconciling religion and human rights? The experience of a lawyer grappling with lingering tensions over gender equality,” Timm will explore the complex relationship between religion and human rights and, in particular, the ongoing tensions over the issue of gender equality.

“D&E is very fortunate to have a leading human rights lawyer and faith leader joining us as we begin the Center’s spring presentations on democracy and faith,” said Dr. Bryan Wagoner, associate professor of religious studies and philosophy and director of the Morrison-Novakovic Center for Faith and Public Policy. “Allyson is a national thought leader who will help our community reflect on women’s rights as human rights and the complex connections between rights discourse and matters of faith.

A human rights lawyer, scholar, and religious leader, Timm has two decades of experience advocating for the dignity and rights of people on the margins, in the United States and around the world. His work promoting justice and equality has spanned the non-profit, private and academic sectors. After founding Justice Revival in 2017, she was named “one of ten religious leaders to watch” by the Center for American Progress the following year. His writing has appeared in Sojourners, California Lawyer, The Independent, USA Today, Yale Divinity School’s Reflections magazine, and others.

As a Robert M. Cover-Allard K. Lowenstein Fellow in International Human Rights at Yale Law School, Timm taught and supervised students at the Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic, investigating and analyzing issues such as child and forced marriage. , human trafficking, religious freedom. and the human rights to education and housing.

Timm also created and led the Uganda Field Office of the International Justice Mission, an organization that launched a successful program to defend the property and inheritance rights of vulnerable widows and orphans.

Prior to joining IJM, Timm was a litigation associate in the San Francisco office of Latham & Watkins LLP, where she contributed to a team that successfully advocated for the reform of unlawful conditions in California’s juvenile prison system. She worked on a first civil action to combat human trafficking and served as a volunteer in a trial team with the Office of the Prosecutor of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. Over the years, she has worked on several projects dealing with constitutional law, justice and peacebuilding issues in what is now South Sudan.

Timm holds professional degrees in law and business from Georgetown University and a Master of Divinity degree from Yale Divinity School. She is ordained a ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and will be teaching adult education and preaching at Davis Memorial Presbyterian Church on Sunday, February 27.

Timm’s lecture is the first in a series sponsored by the Morrison-Novakovic Center for Faith and Public Policy this spring that focuses on the themes of democracy and faith. All are free and open to the public. Mandatory masks and social distancing.

For more information, email Wagoner at wagonerb@dewv.edu.



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Disinformation for Profit: Scammers Profit from Conspiracy Theories | Social networks https://helviti.com/disinformation-for-profit-scammers-profit-from-conspiracy-theories-social-networks/ Mon, 21 Feb 2022 06:00:00 +0000 https://helviti.com/disinformation-for-profit-scammers-profit-from-conspiracy-theories-social-networks/ Ohen Facebook removed dozens of groups dedicated to Canada’s ‘Freedom Convoy’ anti-government protests earlier this month, it didn’t do so because of extremism or conspiracies rampant within demonstrations. This was because the groups were run by crooks. Networks of spammers and profiteers, some based as far away as Vietnam or Romania, had created groups using […]]]>

Ohen Facebook removed dozens of groups dedicated to Canada’s ‘Freedom Convoy’ anti-government protests earlier this month, it didn’t do so because of extremism or conspiracies rampant within demonstrations. This was because the groups were run by crooks.

Networks of spammers and profiteers, some based as far away as Vietnam or Romania, had created groups using fake or hacked Facebook accounts in a bid to make money from political unrest.

That foreign networks of social media scammers have taken over a controversial political issue could feel a bit like a throwback. Prior to investigations into the operations of Russian troll factories during the US presidential election and culture war disputes over content moderation, one of the biggest challenges facing social media platforms was profiteers spreading fake and spam articles for easy money. Hundreds of websites impersonating US news outlets have been pushing their content on social media, reaping advertising revenue from the traffic they generate.

Platforms like Facebook have cracked down on such “inauthentic activity” since 2016, but the global misinformation industry remains. In recent years, these for-profit disinformation networks have taken advantage of the popularity of conspiracy movements and far-right groups online, creating content aimed at anti-vaccine protesters and QAnon followers.

“It can be a hugely lucrative industry for people in other parts of the world to watch the political climates in the United States and Canada very closely and then capitalize on current trends,” Emerson Brooking, senior research fellow at the Digital Forensic Research Lab at the Atlantic Council, told the Guardian. “If you’re looking for money and you measure success not by sowing discord in a country but by maximizing ad revenue, there’s still a lot of upside to these operations.”

Scammers use fake or compromised accounts to generate ad revenue by spreading anti-vaccine or QAnon content. Photography: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/Rex/Shutterstock

Disinformation for profit

According to the researchers, it is difficult to know the exact scale of the for-profit disinformation industry, as it operates as part of an underground economy and comes in various forms. In addition to content mills and ad revenue schemes, there are also private companies around the world that are hired to create fake engagements or push political propaganda. In 2021 alone, Facebook said it removed 52 coordinated influencer networks in 32 countries that attempted to direct or corrupt public discourse for strategic purposes, according to a company report on inauthentic behavior.

Additionally, small networks can have an outsized impact if they effectively use online groups to organize and fundraise en masse. In the case of the Freedom Convoy accounts, many of the larger Facebook groups involved appeared to be run by fake accounts or content factories originating from numerous countries. Facebook eliminated the groups this month, but not before Convoy supporters raised more than $7 million in crowdfunding and garnered mainstream attention. (GoFundMe later deactivated the campaign).

A Bangladeshi digital marketing firm ran two of Facebook’s largest anti-vaccine trucker groups, according to Grid News, which had more than 170,000 combined members before the platform removed them. A Missouri woman’s hacked Facebook account created a network of several other pro-protest groups, collectively gaining more than 340,000 members within weeks. Other groups promoting American fallout from the Canadian protests came from Facebook accounts and networks based in Vietnam, Romania and other countries, Facebook officials told NBC News.

But recent research has shed light on how some of these for-profit disinformation operations work. A series of case studies from the Institute For Strategic Dialogue, a London-based think tank, detailed what it takes to run a lucrative online scam. One example was a DIY website called The US Military News.

The headlines on The US Military News are much like those you might find on a number of far-right outlets, with headlines like “Trump Wrecks Pence In Awesome Statement” and articles praising the trucker protests Canadians. A shop on the site sells Trump-related merchandise, including free US flags and Trump 2024 “Revenge Tour” commemorative coins. There are repeated appeals for donations all over the front page and attached to every article.

But despite the wall-to-wall American name and branding, the site has no connection to the US military, or the United States for that matter.. His domain is registered in Vietnam, and it’s unclear if he employs any writers or if the products he advertises even exist. The articles themselves consist of stock footage only, with an automated voice reading the plagiarized content.

Mounted police and an armored police vehicle are positioned in front of protesters during demonstrations in Ottawa on Friday.
Mounted police and an armored police vehicle are positioned in front of protesters during demonstrations in Ottawa on Friday. Photo: Justin Tang/AP

A number of articles and headlines published on sites linked to the network veered squarely at the content of the QAnon conspiracy, presenting lies about military tribunals and Biden officials being sentenced to death. One site’s homepage highlights a range of anti-vaccine and pro-Trump conspiracy content, while also promoting an Amazon affiliate link to Trump’s Art Of The Deal book .

The Guardian contacted the email address under which The US Military News is registered, but received no response. According to ISD, The US Military News is just one of many sites that appear to be linked to the same Vietnam-based network.

In another ISD report, researcher Elise Thomas uncovered a network of dozens of Facebook groups and pages — which also appear to be linked to a small group of people in Vietnam — that were sharing plagiarized pro-Trump content aimed at conservative social media users. Taking articles from far-right conspiracy sites like The Gateway Pundit, the network created Facebook groups with names like “Conservative Voices” and amassed a large number of followers – sometimes tens of thousands of users. .

Although for-profit disinformation networks often monetize their audience by running ads on their websites, the network discovered by ISD appeared to grow its Facebook group members in order to potentially resell the groups themselves.

“It was the initial threat that the platforms were worried about,” Brooking said. “It wasn’t misinformation, you would characterize it as some kind of ad fraud or ad farming.”

The original “fake news”

In many cases, including the ISD case studies, there are no large sums of money coming from inauthentic Facebook groups and conspiracy sites. But for many operators based in countries with lower per capita incomes compared to the United States, earning a few hundred dollars a month streaming conspiratorial content is a significant payoff. One of the most lucrative Vietnam-related sites that ISD analyzed brought in about $1,800 a month from advertising alone, about 10 times the monthly per capita income in the country.

These scams have strong echoes of the increase in commercial misinformation online in 2016. Many of the people behind posts containing false claims such as “Pope Francis endorses Donald Trump” also came from out of states. States, often from a single small town in North Macedonia called Veles which was responsible for over 140 copycat news websites.

These quirky “fake news” websites capitalized on salacious headlines and social media algorithms that promoted posts with high engagement regardless of their content, leading creators to choose controversial political issues involving wartime hotspots. race, religion and culture to get the most attention on their sites and social media accounts. While strategies for evading content moderators have evolved, this playbook of monetization and disinformation conspiracies seems to have remained largely the same.

“This is what the threat of misinformation looked like even before we were talking about state actions,” Brooking said. “It’s interesting that this kind of older threat is now back in the spotlight.”

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Americans support religious freedom – as long as it suits everyone https://helviti.com/americans-support-religious-freedom-as-long-as-it-suits-everyone/ Tue, 15 Feb 2022 23:27:10 +0000 https://helviti.com/americans-support-religious-freedom-as-long-as-it-suits-everyone/ (RNS) – Perhaps one of the most important legal terms of the 21st century is “religious freedom.” As my fellow University of Cincinnati political scientist, Andrew Lewis, explains in his most recent book, “The Rights Turn in Conservative Christian Politics”, religious conservatives began to center their legal strategy on the rights of individuals to practice […]]]>

(RNS) – Perhaps one of the most important legal terms of the 21st century is “religious freedom.” As my fellow University of Cincinnati political scientist, Andrew Lewis, explains in his most recent book, “The Rights Turn in Conservative Christian Politics”, religious conservatives began to center their legal strategy on the rights of individuals to practice their faith without fear of government repercussions.

The most notable example of this strategy was Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, in which two men sued a Colorado bakery owner who refused to create a cake for their wedding. The store’s defense rested on the fact that the baker held deep religious beliefs about marriage and that being asked to violate those beliefs by serving two people of the same sex would infringe on the baker’s religious freedom.

But liberal Christians do not hesitate to use the arguments of religious liberty themselves. Just weeks ago, St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church in Brookings, Oregon, filed a lawsuit because the city passed an ordinance limiting the number of free meals each week that area organizations residential facilities could offer homeless people. The law was passed after neighbors complained about disruptions caused by St. Timothy’s Meals Ministry.


RELATED: How religious is your 22-year-old? A new golden age of survey data opens a door


The basis of the church’s lawsuit is that the city ordinance prohibits worshipers from practicing their religious beliefs. Like Masterpiece Cakeshop, the church argues that its actions are protected by the “free exercise” clause of the First Amendment.

It turns out that support for religious freedom is popular with all Americans — as long as it doesn’t limit the other freedoms we all share.

In late 2020, the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty surveyed a thousand Americans, asking a number of nuanced questions about religious liberty. The results seem to indicate that while Americans see the value of religious freedom, they believe it has limits.

Generally speaking, a majority of Americans support religious freedom, whether or not they call themselves a “person of faith.” But while nearly 40% of people of faith believe that religious freedom is too poorly protected in the United States, this opinion is shared by only 18% of people who call themselves non-religious.

At the other end of the spectrum, 20% of Americans who say they are not religious think religious freedom is overprotected. Only 7% of religious people agree with this.

As the pollsters’ questions became more nuanced, it was clear that the average American is more likely to give religious practices more leeway when they have the least impact, but more hesitant to protect beliefs. and behaviors that bother others in the community or workplace.

For example, more than 85% of Americans think it is “somewhat important” or “absolutely essential” that an American has the right to choose the religion of their choice. The same percentage believe that the right to practice one’s religion without fear of persecution is a key element of religious freedom.

But nearly 37% of people say practices that bother others are “definitely not” or “not a very important part” of religious freedom.

Painting by Ryan Burge

This disadvantage seems to include religious views on politics, especially in places of worship. Nearly 35% of respondents said religious freedom should not extend to the right of religious leaders to endorse political candidates.

It should be noted that in these cases, a majority of Americans believe that religious freedom should apply in these circumstances. There is broad support for the idea that religious organizations and individuals should have a large place in society. But those are high percentages of dissent when a religious practice gets in the way of another American.

There were also many contradictions. In a part of the survey in which Americans were asked to respond to a variety of statements about religious freedom, 3 in 5 adults agreed that religion is a fundamental part of some Americans’ identity and should be protected. . However, 42% of this same group agreed that religious beliefs are often used as an excuse for bigotry.


RELATED: Is God Good For America? Depends who you ask.


Painting by Ryan Burge

Elsewhere, 56% of Americans agreed that “cutting down religious freedoms is a first step toward losing broader freedoms,” but 44% agreed that it was appropriate for the government to prevent religious groups from meeting for a period of time. pandemic or other public emergency.

Anyone who studies the opinions of Americans knows that they are often in direct contradiction to each other. They often say they want to reduce taxes and the federal deficit, for example, but also express strong support for expensive government programs and others. But the message from Becket’s poll for preachers and politicians is clear: Talking generally about religious freedom will win admirers. Just avoid telling anyone what to think of specific cases.

(Ryan Burge is assistant professor of political science at Eastern Illinois University, pastor of the American Baptist Church, and author of “The Nones: Where They Came From, Who They Are, and Where They Are Going”. He can be contacted on Twitter at @ryanburge. The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily reflect those of Religion News Service.)

Ahead of the Trend is a collaborative effort between Religion News Service and the Association of Religion Data Archives made possible with support from the John Templeton Foundation. See other Ahead of the Trend articles here.

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Butler Delivers Annual Greeley Lecture for Peace and Social Justice | News https://helviti.com/butler-delivers-annual-greeley-lecture-for-peace-and-social-justice-news/ Mon, 14 Feb 2022 05:42:06 +0000 https://helviti.com/butler-delivers-annual-greeley-lecture-for-peace-and-social-justice-news/ Anthea D. Butler, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, delivered the Harvard Divinity School’s Greeley Lecture for Peace and Social Justice last Thursday. The Greeley Lecture, an annual event hosted by the Divinity School, examined the relationship between race, religion and nationalism around the world over the past five years. Butler, chairman of Penn’s […]]]>

Anthea D. Butler, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, delivered the Harvard Divinity School’s Greeley Lecture for Peace and Social Justice last Thursday.

The Greeley Lecture, an annual event hosted by the Divinity School, examined the relationship between race, religion and nationalism around the world over the past five years.

Butler, chairman of Penn’s Department of Religious Studies, focused on transforming evangelicalism in the United States into a movement associated with politics and nationalism.

The discussion was moderated by Charles M. Stang ’97, director of the Center for the Study of World Religions at the Divinity School.

Butler described C. Peter Wagner, an influential author and religious leader, as a key figure in the evolution of evangelicalism. Wagner founded the New Apostolic Reformation, a movement that began in the 1990s and quickly grew to attract politicians including former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.

“That kind of belief system started to infuse the kind of things that we see in people involved in the white Christian nationalist movement and also in people who were there during the 1/6 insurrection,” Butler said. .

This movement, Butler argued, also gave rise to para-church political groups such as the organization that prayed at Houston’s Reliant Stadium for Rick Perry in 2011. However, members of these groups began to be linked by more than just religion, she said.

“These kinds of meetings bring together a disparate group of people who are not only Christian believers, but also political actors,” Butler said.

In recent years, the share of Americans who identify as evangelical has grown, Butler said — a phenomenon she attributed in part to the growth of “NASCAR Christians,” a term she coined for people who have Christian beliefs but do not attend church regularly.

“My feeling is that these are the people who are identified as evangelical Protestants now, because they see something that embraces both their religious beliefs and their political beliefs, and your nationalist beliefs that Donald Trump identified with,” she said.

With complex factors such as the interweaving of religion and politics, the redefinition of evangelicalism, and the interplay between nationalism and race, Butler said there is a need to re-examine evangelicalism with a sociological definition. and cultural.

“If you talk about evangelism as just a theological movement, you miss the point,” she said. “It’s not that anymore.”

—Writer Kenneth Gu can be reached at kenneth.gu@thecrimson.com. Follow him on Twitter @kennygu8.

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Faith groups take the lead in refugee resettlement talks | News, Sports, Jobs https://helviti.com/faith-groups-take-the-lead-in-refugee-resettlement-talks-news-sports-jobs/ Mon, 07 Feb 2022 07:31:32 +0000 https://helviti.com/faith-groups-take-the-lead-in-refugee-resettlement-talks-news-sports-jobs/ Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist is pictured in December at St Luke’s Episcopal Church. Sundquist said a coalition of faith leaders and community members took the lead on the proposal. Photo PJ by Eric Tichy A proposal to resettle refugees in the town of Jamestown has taken the next steps thanks to […]]]>

Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist is pictured in December at St Luke’s Episcopal Church. Sundquist said a coalition of faith leaders and community members took the lead on the proposal. Photo PJ by Eric Tichy

A proposal to resettle refugees in the town of Jamestown has taken the next steps thanks to a coalition of faith leaders and community members.

Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist said the city started the conversation about refugees coming to the area, but the community and faith groups picked up the idea and started the process.

“The city has entered into a conversation with various organizations regarding the possibility of relocating refugees to the city of Jamestown,” Sundquist said. “As part of this discussion, we had several faith and interfaith groups coming together and saying, ‘Hey, we want to take the lead on this.

Sundquist said city officials are pleased that faith groups are accepting the proposal.

“Immigration, in many cases, has been handled by faith groups in many different places,” he said. “The city continues to be a part of this, along with the school and others, but we are thrilled to see the community come together to take up this torch which we believe will have a huge impact on the city. I am very excited to see the possibility that we bring refugees to resettle in the city.This not only helps to expand the depth of our community and our diversity, but it brings in a new workforce and talent.

Reverend Luke Fodor of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Jamestown is one of the religious leaders who played a leading role in the refugee resettlement process. Fodor said he was involved organizationally, helping to facilitate the creation of a group to move the process forward. Currently, the group works with the refugee resettlement organization Journey’s End.

“They’re right in Buffalo and they can work within 100 miles of their main office,” Fodor said. “It’s a church-based entity, but it’s not about Sunday services, evangelism or proselytizing. It is about how the church network makes its first call to care for the stranger as enshrined both in the words of Jesus but also in the words of the Prophets in the Hebrew Bible. It is this work that has been the main mission of the church – to welcome hospitality and to connect with those on the margins of society.

Fodor said the idea of ​​community members and members of the faith community participating in this effort is to ensure that it continues and is done well. One of the first things the group did when they started meeting in mid-January was to create a list of why they wanted to work on this issue and why refugees might consider residing in the Jamestown area. These reasons include:

the diversity

¯ refugees strengthen and build our community

¯ life-changing relationships and a different perspective

¯ learn and share the experience of resilience

¯ prepare children to live in a globalized world

¯ population decline

¯ new energy, restlessness and motivation

¯ breaking stereotypes to live beyond fear

human rights

¯ revitalization

“We want to make sure we get it right if we want to continue,” he said. “If this was going to continue, it had to be a community effort that was not entirely run by the city. It is outside their prerogative.

Currently, the refugees in question are on military bases inside or outside the country. The refugees were thoroughly vetted and given special status by the United States government. By definition, refugees are people who have been forced to leave their country of origin due to war, persecution or natural disaster.

Currently, Fodor said the group is working with Journey’s End and developing a workable plan to bring refugees to the area. The idea would be to start small and bring a few families into town.

“It’s really important that it’s a community effort because I really think it’s the community that will keep them safe – not the government or the police – we have to do this job,” Fodor said. “It basically comes down to the fact that diversity makes us stronger – not weaker. I think the refugees are here to build – not to take. There may be some kind of initial phase when they start, they need a bit of resources to get started. But overall they are there to build.

Elizabeth Litton, a member of the refugee resettlement group, said the group was working to identify local resources and create a plan to welcome refugee families into the community. She said refugee resettlement is an important issue that Jamestown cannot pass up.

“Refugee resettlement matters” Litton said. “The refugees I have met share many of our values. They love their family, work hard and give back to their community. Even though they were forced to flee their home country due to persecution, they are some of the kindest and most resilient people you will ever meet. They are our neighbors and it is our responsibility to welcome them as we ourselves would like to be welcomed.



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After a year-long hiatus, the North American Division hosts third Religious Freedom Prayer Breakfast https://helviti.com/after-a-year-long-hiatus-the-north-american-division-hosts-third-religious-freedom-prayer-breakfast/ Wed, 02 Feb 2022 12:33:22 +0000 https://helviti.com/after-a-year-long-hiatus-the-north-american-division-hosts-third-religious-freedom-prayer-breakfast/ On January 13, 2022, more than 40 people from various faith traditions gathered for the third Religious Freedom Prayer Breakfast hosted by the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America (NAD). The event recognized January 16 as National Religious Freedom Day in the United States and included a prayer for elected officials, community, nation, global health […]]]>

On January 13, 2022, more than 40 people from various faith traditions gathered for the third Religious Freedom Prayer Breakfast hosted by the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America (NAD). The event recognized January 16 as National Religious Freedom Day in the United States and included a prayer for elected officials, community, nation, global health and healing, peace, religious freedom and unity. of mind. Representatives of several faith groups prayed over these topics, including participants from Adventist, Jewish, Muslim, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Baptist and non-denominational Christian traditions. Several NAD leaders and local church leaders participated with prayer and music.

Eric Baxter, president of the Silver Spring Stake—Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and senior counsel for Becket, a nonprofit, public-benefit legal and educational institute, delivered special remarks for the event, which was scaled back due to the coronavirus pandemic.

During the prayer breakfast welcome, Orlan Johnson, NAD Director of Public Affairs and Religious Liberty, provided a brief summary of the program and shared the significance of the January date for the event. . “We are here to celebrate an important day: National Religious Freedom Day, which commemorates the signing in 1786 of Virginia’s historic Statute of Religious Freedom. It was a law by Thomas Jefferson, which included powerful language that later served as the basis for our First Amendment to the US Constitution – language that means you and I can each worship God in any way we see fit. appropriate.

Johnson further shared, “No matter what religious tradition we represent, we can celebrate together and be grateful to live in this country that respects religious freedom. Sometimes here in America, however, we begin to feel convinced that this is how it is, and this is how the world should be. But the Pew Research Center estimates that 80% of the world’s population lives in areas where religious freedom is severely restricted. The reality is that it’s a bit like looking in your car’s rear view mirror: the objects you see in the rear view mirror can come at you faster than you think! And if religious freedom is restricted in someone else’s garden, we need to be aware that it’s possible it could happen in ours as well.

Orlan Johnson, director of public affairs and religious liberty for the NAD, welcomes attendees to the 2021 Religious Liberty Prayer Breakfast at division headquarters on January 13. [Photo by Pieter Damsteegt]

During his address, Baxter noted that although people represent different traditions and beliefs, we can still work together toward the common goal of promoting and protecting religious freedom for all. “In today’s world, we have so many opportunities to feel division and discord. It is good, on the contrary, to focus on what brings us together,” he said.

Baxter told the story of one of the many religious accommodation cases he fought. Captain Simratpal “Simmer” Singh is a devout Sikh and decorated army captain who was forced to choose between serving his country and wearing the articles of his faith: his uncropped hair, beard and turban.

“He was forced to make the difficult choice between following his religion by serving his God or following his religion by serving his country. It was basically an impossible choice that no one should have to face,” Baxter explained. The case allowed the military to end its 30-year beard ban and issue new regulations stating that Sikh soldiers will not be forced to give up their religious turbans, uncropped hair or beards while throughout their military career.

“We need to stand in solidarity with those who don’t share our faith and even with those who have no faith at all,” Baxter said. “When we get to know each other, we can find ways to work together to protect religious freedom for all…We still have many challenges ahead of us, including a general decline in religiosity and a fairly widespread apathy toward the importance of religious freedom. ”

He acknowledged the difficult issues that have emerged in recent years, including the need to preserve religious freedom while ensuring non-discrimination. “I believe that the well-being of our society, and the world at large, depends heavily on our ability as individuals and religious organizations to support one another as we seek in good faith, with humility and compassion, to meet some of these challenges.”

prayer time

Seven special prayers were offered during the event. The prayer for religious freedom was delivered by Kyoshin Ahn, executive secretary of the NAD. Ahn gave thanks for the gift of religious freedom – the right to love and worship God. “We know that not only is religious freedom central to our relationship with you, but we also recognize that it is the foundation of human rights, justice and the common good,” he said. he declares.

A Prayer for the Community followed from Jennifer Gray, Director of Interfaith Outreach for the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives.

“Our Lord, we pray that our nation, the United States, will remain loving and compassionate. Remove prejudice from our hearts and enable us to love our brothers and sisters of all faiths,” Missionary Umar Nayyar, of Wasaya Baitur Rehman Mosque, said during his prayer for the nation.

As he prayed for the elected, Lt. Col. YS (Lonny) Wortham, State Chaplain for the Maryland National Guard, said, “We pray for these officials, that you root them and root them in love. [for] their Lord, and it would not be by their purpose or their will, but they would hunger and thirst for the things of God. Father, we pray that You’ll save them from their pride; we pray that you save them from their desires for power, so that they may become servants of the people of this country and this nation.

Reverend Jerome Stephens, director of community outreach to Senator Ben Cardin, offered a prayer for global health and healing. He asked God to help overwhelmed healthcare workers during the pandemic. Stephens also said: “It is our prayer that all be encouraged. As we endure this season, it is our faith in God that [we know] a change will come for better health and better healing.

A prayer for peace followed from the Rev. Jennifer Hawks, associate general counsel for the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty. Hawks addressed disturbing trends in society with domestic violence, racism and negative cultures in social media. She prayed: “Critics are ready to replay our mistakes and failures, trapping us in this negative loop, telling us we are never enough. May we find peace through rest so that we can be agents of shalom within our networks.…May the day soon come when we will treat everyone with the worth and dignity that comes from being created in your image.

Ivan Williams, director of the NAD Ministerial Association, closed the event with a prayer for unity of spirit.

“Oh, God, our maker of every race, tongue, language and people. From your providential hand, we have received our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. You called us as your people and you gave us the right and the duty to worship you. Thank you for calling us to live out our faith in the midst of the world, accepting the faith of all,” Williams began.

He continued, “Give us the strength of mind and heart to easily defend our freedoms when they are threatened. And give us the courage to raise our voices – even beyond our own rights – for the rights of others. We pray [for] a clear, compassionate, and united voice for all your sons and daughters gathered together in your creation at this defining hour in our nation’s history, that with every trial withstood and every danger overcome now and with our children and grand- children… that this great earth will always be “one nation, under God, indivisible, with freedom and justice for all”.

This article originally appeared on the North American Division news site

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