Displaying items by tag: London
To strengthen international efforts to ensure freedom of religion or belief (FoRB), the government will host an international conference in London on 5 and 6 July. Promoting FoRB is one of the UK’s long-standing human rights priorities. The government remains deeply concerned about the severity and scale of violations and abuses in many parts of the world. Persecuting or discriminating against people for their religion or belief is often linked to other foreign and development policy challenges. The summit will gather politicians and campaigners from over 50 countries to continue to make progress on the issue. This year the organisers are being approached by diplomatic representatives from countries with historically poor records on religious freedom and who aren't part of the alliance, saying they want to come.
On the last day of 2021 two teenagers were murdered in London in the space of an hour, bringing the number of teenage homicides in the capital to 30 - the highest ever recorded. Less than an hour after a teenager was murdered in Croydon, a 16-year-old in Hillingdon died from a puncture wound. Pray for the victims’ next of kin as they begin 2022 without their sons, brothers, nephews. Knife crime offences are rising across the UK, but data shows that London consistently suffers the highest number of knife crime offences per capita of any region. Pray for youth teams, teachers, social workers, churches, charities, police and parents to work together and develop solutions that reduce knife crime. May young people feel secure and protected without the need to carry a knife. See also
Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, is when Jewish people remember the rededication of the second temple in Jerusalem. For eight days Jewish families around the world are lighting a candle-holder called a menorah during Hanukkah. For the first time ever, on 5 December, the final night of the festival, the iconic London Eye will also be lit to symbolise a menorah. The world’s second largest Ferris wheel will be transformed as its 32 observation pods rotate, beaming lights across London. We can pray for the Light of God’s Truth to cut through the darkness in London and stream into our country’s towns and cities, bringing enlightenment and hope.
Activists have begun two weeks of London protests 'targeting the root cause of the climate crisis'. On 24 August protesters lined London streets with placards, waved banners and erected obstacles to disrupt and block roads around Westminster. They blocked off roads, glued themselves to a giant table, and formed a human chain around the area cordoned off by police. Dozens were carried to police vans by officers who used loudspeakers to warn the crowd to leave or risk arrest. At least 10,000 people congregated near the rallies; by 26 August 196 people had been arrested. The group's co-founder gave a speech expressing solidarity with nations disproportionately affected by climate change. Pray for all the police forces to respond appropriately and proportionately to protest activity in the next fortnight, and for a workable policing plan.
There is more flash flooding, partly caused by climate change. Parts of London and the south of England were left under water and roads became impassable this week. Just 30cm of water is enough to move a car. Infrastructure and transport networks were damaged. London hospitals asked patients to stay away after they lost power. Urban areas experience ‘surface water’ flooding because they have a lot of hard surfaces - paved front gardens, car parks, roads and high streets. On 28 July several towns in Scotland were flooded, with more to come. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-57970845 Reading University says urban areas could benefit from permeable pavements and green roofs which can help rainwater to soak away rather than causing floods. Weather and flood forecasting has improved rapidly, and it is now possible to forecast surface water flooding events in advance.
Sadiq Khan has won another four years as London's mayor. He said in an interview that the church ‘does a lot of good for all Londoners’, and he finds the prayers for him when he visits churches ‘inspiring’. He thanks Christians for their prayers for himself and all our leaders, saying, ‘It is just so inspiring and I'm always struck.’ The former MP also praised churches for their role in social justice, saying, ‘Over the last five years, I've understood just how much our Christian communities contribute to London’s success. I've seen churches stepping up to provide support for lonely Londoners, give support for those sleeping rough, help the homeless and give young people constructive things to do.’ He added that churches are not just helping Christians, they are doing so much good for all Londoners, irrespective of faith, race or background.
Paul Golding, the leader of the far-right group Britain First, is setting up a ‘training centre’ in London where recruits will be ‘drilled’ and taught ‘self-defence techniques’. Mr Golding has a string of public order convictions and offences under the Terrorism Act by representing the very far right wing of UK politics, bordering on fascistic tendencies. A lawyer specialising in terrorism cases said it is worrying that somebody with a history of public order issues and causing alarm to a particular community is setting up an organised training facility. Mr Golding said that because of their political opponents and extremist jihadi Islamist movements, they need their security department to be highly trained and professional. ‘Trained to do their job. Just like a firefighter.’
On the night of 24 June, police officers were summoned to Brixton, following residents’ complaints about noise and violence at an illegal street party. A dispersal order had been put in place that day, so the police tried to encourage the crowd to leave. The event continued, more officers arrived, and the group became hostile. Social media showed officers being chased and assaulted by an angry crowd During the clashes, 22 officers were injured, two hospitalised, police vehicles damaged, and four people were arrested. The London mayor said, ‘Large gatherings during Covid-19 are deeply irresponsible and risk others' lives.’ A vast number of residents not taking part in the disorder were disturbed all night by the noise. We can pray that the police are able to identify and arrest all who caused the chaos.
At the time of writing, Boris Johnson is still in hospital, but out of intensive care and 'responding to treatment' after contracting coronavirus and not improving in isolation at home. The Archbishop of Canterbury urged Britain to pray for Boris and thanked the NHS in the country's fight against coronavirus. Boris is being closely monitored by a top lung doctor and his fever has eased while he remains clinically stable. He has been sitting up in bed and engaged positively with the clinical team, although not yet working. He can contact those he needs to as lockdown rules are discussed at this critical time. The NHS medical director warned, ‘Now is not the time to become complacent’. Downing Street hopes that Boris is over the worst of the infection. Pray for health and God’s healing to touch his body. Pray for God to impact his immune system.
It has taken just one week to build Britain’s first coronavirus field hospital, in London’s Dockland. It will treat up to 4,000 previously fit and healthy people struck down by coronavirus. London patients in need of intensive care but with the best chance of survival will be taken to the Nightingale hospital, which has been constructed inside the ExCel arena. For a time-lapse viewing of the conversion progress, click the ‘More’ button. Please pray for God to fill the building with His peace. May every patient referred there know His comfort, as the divine physician and healer of the sick watches over every bed. Pray for every nurse, doctor, paramedic and auxiliary to have the protection and the stamina that comes from heaven, and ask God to give wisdom and discernment to every doctor as they make life and death decisions.