St David’s Justice and peace group, with others from St David’s Uniting, Castle Square URC and St Dyfrigs Catholic church gathered in ‘Hope for Freedom’ at Castle Square Church on 1st December.
We learned about the horrific practice of stoning, which is legal practice in Iran (and other countries) in cases of adultery. The Iranian government is currently reviewing whether or not this practice should be included in its penal code. Amnesty International is lobbying the Iranian government to comply with international law, and we addedd our voice to the campaign.
We remembered individuals who are imprisoned in different countries and for different reasons, all of them victims of injustice in some way. We signed cards to individuals and letters of appeal to persons in authority who could make a positive difference in each case.
Sometimes campaigns are successful and prisoners are released. This is but the beginning of a long road to freedom. The organisation Freedom from Torture provides aftercare to victims of torture. Through psychological and physical therapy, counselling and medical treatment they help survivors to slowly rebuild their lives. Often this involves making a claim for asylum in a country such as the UK.
In our closing reflections we prayed for those in captivity and also, this being World Aids Day, those whose lives are touched by HIV and AIDS.
The stories we hear may be gloomy but our hope is rooted in the resurrection of Jesus and the belief that love is ultimately victorious. By our solidarity and our positive actions we help to keep the flame of hope alive.