Malaysia is the destination country of thousands of migrant persons known as Rohingya, an ethnic group long settled but denied citizenship in their birth country of Myanmar. The Rohingya ethnicity implies Muslim religious identification, making them a double minority in Myanmar. This column reflects the experiences of our Good Shepherd Sisters' shelters in Malaysia, giving a small glimpse of the vast perils and occasional small victories of the human spirit told through stories.
In Justice Matters, sisters find their grounding in Catholic Social Teaching.
Dorothy Day frequently quoted Fyodor Dostoevsky's Brothers Karamazov: "Love in action is a harsh and dreadful thing compared to love in dreams." Southside Presbyterian Church in Tucson strives for love in action. Its website says it is a community of faith, hope, love and witness in the borderlands, briefly citing a history of racial integration and a vision of serving all. I visited the church in late April with a Loretto Community delegation to the border.
I was privileged to join a 10-day "root causes pilgrimage" to Honduras last December with a group from California, the Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity. The purpose of the pilgrimage was to identify the real reasons why so many from the "Northern Triangle" — Guatemala, El Salvador, and particularly Honduras — continue to migrate north despite the many obstacles they face. Delegations like this from the United States provide a witness to the poverty, the political system, and other issues which the people face.
After a fire destroyed the Islamic Center Mosque in Victoria, Texas, hundreds of people of diverse faiths came together in a show of compassion and solidarity.
The complex struggles of migrants reached a peak in 2016; at the same time, nations receiving or refusing migrants were involved in bitter debates and social crises. Global stability trembled with protracted regional wars and uneasy economic situations; political pressure toward isolationism was associated with rampant terrorism across borders. Migrants were literally left out in the cold, reviled and dying on borders that were next to what seemed to be rich utopias.
I attended a conference recently that led me to reflect upon the importance of raising awareness of sexual violence against children and protecting them from abuse. Children need better information, parents need to speak up and society needs to actively protect the vulnerable.
My fears about hijra have gone. Instead, something inside me tells me to do something more for them so that they can claim their rightful place in society. The Lord gathers the outcasts, and so must we.
Overcoming their own fears, 86 Nigerian sisters did what they have not done before: express their dissatisfaction in public. At the gates of the National Assembly and to Police Headquarters, they found support for their message of solidarity with suffering Nigerians.
During my eight years as the NGO representative at the United Nations for the Sisters of Charity Federation, I had the opportunity to travel throughout the world and observe poverty first-hand in Asia, Africa and Latin America. But then I discovered the poverty in my own backyard.
In late September, I joined 48 other women and men from across India who had gathered together for a consultation on the impact of religion and culture, namely the impact of religion and culture on the empowerment of women.
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