Displaying items by tag: Government
Christian Concern write, ‘The Government has announced a consultation to decide whether to extend its temporary decision to allow DIY abortions. Brandished as “women's healthcare”, abortions that take place entirely at home are dangerous, providing no opportunity to safeguard women against coercive partners or go through proper safety checks - ultrasound scans and blood tests. Tragically, we know that many illegal and dangerous abortions have taken place since the government introduced the policy in March 2020. We need to do everything we can to protect women and babies by stopping this policy from becoming permanent. A number of pro-life groups are participating in “Care for Women”, a parliamentary briefing for MPs to advise them on all of the research showing that this policy is dangerous and offers no care for women. Please ask your MP to attend the briefing on Thursday 10 December at 2pm, via Zoom.’ Find your MP:
Most people haven’t heard of Lee Cain but the resignation of the prime minister's top aide raises the question of whether it heralds a changing of the guard and a new Johnson era, now that Brexit is almost done. Mr Cain is part of the Vote Leave team that has dominated the PM’s first 18 months in office. He and Dominic Cummings have shaped his premiership more closely than anyone else, with an iron grip on the operation of No 10. But during that time, relations have soured between Downing Street and many ministers, as well as many Conservative MPs concerned about the leaks, the U-turns and the way things are run. Pray for the Holy Spirit to make a clean sweep through parliament, replacing ‘power struggles’ with harmony and positive influence based on facts. Pray for a new era in which government ministers practise peaceful relationships where there has been tension.
A group of black leaders from across the country, representing many denominations or none and pulled together by the Baptist Union president, have looked at ways of showing solidarity against the real injustices experienced by people of colour in our communities. Petitioning the government is one of those ways. They are encouraging people to sign a parliamentary petition calling for the government to implement recommendations previously raised to tackle the issue. They aim to attract 100,000 signatures so that the petition can be debated in parliament.
The following is based on a prayer by Passion for the Nation. ‘Father, we ask for a fresh alignment of the words and thoughts of our leaders, local and national, with Your will, that in these days, ancient divisions from nation to nation, or region to region, will decrease, and necessary changes will take place. Please release healing into the North / South divide. We ask forgiveness for the words that have been spoken from offence, fear or anger, and we ask for a spirit of reconciliation, that longstanding wounds caused by political decisions or inequalities of lifestyle will not be exacerbated by current issues. Now Lord, we thank You for the life of our Queen, Elizabeth II, and her heart for You and her people and for the wisdom, righteousness and integrity reflected in her life. In this pandemic season we ask for your protection, strength and health for her and Prince Philip and for other members of the royal family.’
On 14 October England’s chief medical officer said a three-tier alert level system would not be enough to get on top of the coronavirus, and local authorities on very high alert would likely have to introduce further restrictions. On 21 September the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) warned that failure to implement tighter coronavirus restrictions would have ‘catastrophic consequences’. SAGE recommended the imposition of a two-week ‘circuit-breaker’ lockdown to curb coronavirus spread, but the Government ignored this advice (see) Meanwhile England’s three-tier restriction system has begun, with most areas currently in the lowest tier. Northern Ireland will extend the half-term holidays for schools, as well as other new measures aimed at curbing the virus spread. Wales is considering a short circuit-breaker lockdown.
The Presbyterian Church in Ireland, the Church of Ireland, the Methodist Church in Ireland, the Irish Council of Churches, and the Roman Catholic Church have insisted it is in everyone’s interests to achieve the clarity and security a Brexit agreement will provide. They have also reaffirmed their commitment to protect the 1998 Good Friday Agreement - which established a new era of non-violence in Northern Ireland following 30 years of brutal sectarian conflict. The group stated, ‘We do not underestimate the challenges faced by the negotiating parties in terms of the complexity and the significance of what is at stake. As church leaders on the island of Ireland, we have welcomed the important commitment of both parties in the negotiations to the protection of the Good Friday/Belfast Agreement in all its parts. We hope that the agreement will serve as a source of inspiration and a foundation to build upon, as we continue to work through the Brexit process.’
A document entitled Levelling Up Our Communities, written by Christian MP Danny Kruger at the request of Boris Johnson, outlines how the UK can build on the goodwill and togetherness established as a result of the pandemic, with thousands of people volunteering to help those in isolation. Among his recommendations are a bank holiday called Neighbour Day and a national database of volunteers for use in future emergencies. He also writes, ‘The Government should invite the country's faith leaders to make an offer of help in exchange for a reciprocal commitment from the state.‘ Faith communities will mobilise their congregations and commit their resources to tackling social problems of debt, children in care, prisoner rehabilitation, rough sleeping, or something else. Boris Johnson said the document was ‘comprehensive and highly ambitious, containing many exciting ideas’. The department for culture and sport would now consider the proposals.
The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of Durham have asked the Government to expand free school meals over school holidays as more families face hardship due to the pandemic. They said free school meals should be available to all children in families on universal credit and that the scheme should cover holidays. They also want funding to help schools that are supporting poorer families through services like breakfast clubs. They said, ‘All schools must have the appropriate resources to be able to address issues of child hunger and poverty and expand their role as places of security for children who are at risk, whilst maintaining safety at school. Outdoor play, exercise and access to nature are vital to healthy learning. Helping schools ensure outside activities continue will aid mental as well as physical health.’
Complacency over the flu jab risks overwhelming the NHS as data reveals the scale of the challenge in expanding the vaccination programme. Last month, the Government announced plans to double the number of people who receive the jab even though the take-up rate among people in vulnerable groups eligible to have it for free has declined. The UK has an ambition to vaccinate 55% of people in vulnerable groups, such as those with multiple sclerosis, diabetes, or chronic asthma. WHO has previously said countries should vaccinate 75% of people in ‘vulnerable’ categories. Getting the flu vaccine is vital now more than ever with the possible co-mingling of Covid and flu.
The Kenyan Senate is calling for submissions on the Reproductive Healthcare Bill currently before them, which legalises abortion up to birth. There has been an outcry among Kenyan Christians over this bill; it seeks to legalise abortion carried out by a doctor, nurse or midwife acting alone, a ‘trained health professional’. The international abortion lobby and their NGO allies will be emailing their opinions in droves. There is money to be made if abortion becomes legal in Kenya. The time is short for objections to be presented as the deadline is Monday 17 August. The published notice does not specify that only Kenyans can respond, so we can pray that many Godly, informed responses will be made against this bill from concerned individuals across the nations.