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Saturday, 21 October 2006

Celebrate Human Rights Day

Congregations, faith communities and small groups in the Uniting Church are being encouraged to reflect on and celebrate international Human Rights Day through a suite of internet based resources being made available by UnitingJustice.

International Human Rights Day is celebrated on December 10 each year and commemorates the proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (adopted unanimously on 10 December 1948).

UnitingJustice National Director, Rev. Elenie Poulos said the Universal Declaration envisions a world in which all people enjoy rights and freedoms without discrimination.

“Human Rights Day is a time to celebrate how much has been achieved in bringing this vision to reality, and also to reflect upon how much remains to be done,” Rev. Poulos said.

This year UnitingJustice has produced a suite of internet-based information resources which can be downloaded soon from our website

“The material is suitable for use for individual reflection and group discussion and although issued on the occasion of International Human Rights Day can be used at any time.

“The resources include information about the church and human rights, worship materials, and fact sheets on climate change as a human rights issue, the death penalty and racism and human rights.”

“The Uniting Church has always had a deep commitment to ensuring human rights are upheld and in this tradition, at this year’s National Assembly meeting in Brisbane, the Assembly adopted the statement Dignity in Humanity: A Uniting Church Statement on Human Rights.

“This is the most comprehensive Uniting Church statement made on the subject of human rights, and it affirms the Church's belief that every person is precious before God and entitled to live with dignity.

“The statement commits the Uniting Church to promote and uphold human rights locally, nationally and internationally. It also declares the Church's opposition to capital punishment and calls upon Church members and agencies to work for and model justice, and to stand in solidarity with our partner churches in their struggle for human rights.

“International Human Rights Day is a perfect opportunity for members of the Uniting Church to publicly live out the commitment made by the Church in this statement,” Rev. Poulos said.