Africa’s cell phone church: ringing in the changes

Africa’s mobile phone subscribers total nearly 300 million, according to latest International Telecommunication Union statistics, a figure that is projected to double by 2020. Church leaders use mobile phones to help the church spread word about its activities, Bible studies, meetings, to raise money, and to record sermons that can be sent to congregations in remote areas. Continue reading Africa’s cell phone church: ringing in the changes

The Wrong Kind of Green

The Nation

By Johann Hari
Why did America’s leading environmental groups jet to Copenhagen and lobby for policies that will lead to the faster death of the rainforests–and runaway global warming? Why are their lobbyists on Capitol Hill dismissing the only real solutions to climate change as “unworkable” and “unrealistic,” as though they were just another sooty tentacle of Big Coal? Continue reading The Wrong Kind of Green

Arizona bishops criticize bills increasing immigration enforcement

PHOENIX (CNS) — The Catholic bishops of Arizona have expressed concern that new legislative proposals requiring greater enforcement of immigration laws by local police could harm public safety and separate families. “Arizona would become the first state in the nation to codify its own ‘illegal immigration’ law by requiring persons who are here unlawfully in terms of federal law to be charged with trespassing under Arizona law,” said the three bishops who make up the Arizona Catholic Conference in a March 8 statement. The three are Bishops Thomas J. Olmsted of Phoenix, Gerald F. Kicanas of Tucson and James S. Wall of Gallup, N.M., whose diocese includes parts of Arizona.

The bishops said S.B. 1070 and H.B. 2632 — identical bills currently before the Arizona Legislature — do not “clearly state that undocumented people who become victims of crimes can come forward without fear of deportation.” But they said it is “in all of our best interests” that no one be afraid to report a crime. “Anything that may deter crimes from being reported or prosecuted will only keep dangerous criminals on the streets, making our communities less safe,” the conference statement said. Continue reading Arizona bishops criticize bills increasing immigration enforcement

NATO Goes Anti-Nuclear?

YES Magazine

There is extraordinary momentum behind calls to abolish nuclear weapons, with other NATO members challenging the U.S. to keep up.

In May 1957, NATO observers watch a nuclear explosion at the Nevada Test Site. Photo courtesy of the United States Department of Energy.

President Obama’s call for a nuclear-weapons-free world in Prague last April unleashed a great outpouring of support from international allies and grassroots activists demanding a process to actually eliminate nuclear weapons. One recent and unexpected initiative has come from America’s NATO allies. Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Norway have called on NATO to review its nuclear policy and remove all U.S. nuclear weapons currently on European soil under NATO’s  “nuclear sharing” policy. Despite U.S. insistence on strict adherence to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which prohibits the transfer of nuclear weapons to non-nuclear weapons states, several hundred U.S. nuclear bombs are housed in Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, and Turkey. Continue reading NATO Goes Anti-Nuclear?

Sabbath Economics

By Ched Myers and Sent by Lucyane Diniz, SND – Brazil

Note: Ched Myers, co-author with Elaine Enns of Ambassadors of Reconciliation (Orbis, 2009), works with Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries. This is adapted from a May 2009 talk he gave in Washington, D.C.. The FEE (Faith, Ecology and Economy) seminar was co-sponsored by the Sisters of Notre Dame and attended by Srs. Teresita Weind, Claudine Dumbi, Patricia Shannahan and Maura Browne.

Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear … Consider the ravens: They neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. —Luke 12:22-24 Continue reading Sabbath Economics

Gender equality stressed at conference on eliminating food insecurity

Media Global

By Rebekah Mintzer

Empowering women farmers, such as this one in Tanzania, may be the key to reducing food insecurity in Africa. (Photo credit: Flickr User Dust Mason/Creative Commons)

Food insecurity in Africa is a massive and multifaceted problem that experts have been trying to solve for years. One common theme that has emerged in the dialogue about African hunger is the role empowering women can play in increasing food security. Women in Africa often have trouble gaining access to credit, legal rights to own land, and knowledge about farming techniques and innovations that thereby limit their ability to profit from agriculture. Continue reading Gender equality stressed at conference on eliminating food insecurity

Food, water driving 21st-century African land grab

Mail and Guardian

JOHN VIDAL We turned off the main road to Awassa, talked our way past security guards and drove a mile across empty land before we found what will soon be Ethiopia’s largest greenhouse. Nestling below an escarpment of the Rift Valley, the development is far from finished, but the plastic and steel structure already stretches over 20 hectares — the size of 20 football pitches. Continue reading Food, water driving 21st-century African land grab