An Olive Agenda

An Olive Agenda: First thoughts on a metaphorical theology of development

by Steve de Gruchy

This paper proposes a theological engagement with a metaphor that could transcend the duality between the ‘green’  environmental agenda and the ‘brown’ poverty agenda that has disabled development discourse for the past twenty years.

The mix of green and brown suggests an olive agenda; which in turn provides a remarkably rich metaphor – the olive – that holds together that which religious and political discourse rends apart: earth, land, climate, labour, time, family, food, nutrition, health, hunger, poverty, power and violence.

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How am I impacting relationships?

How am I impacting relationships?

by Mandy Marshall


It’s not often we stop and think about what we do, and how we do it, impacts on the relationships with those around us. In our busy lives we justify our words and actions without stopping to think about the consequences to others. This week we will remind ourselves of how precious every single one of us is in our identity in Christ, created equal in the image of God, and flourishing to be all God created us to be. We will look at the devastation caused when the image of God reflected in women is not respected which results in inequality, injustice and, at times, violence and abuse. As Christians our discipleship to Christ yearns us to call out injustice and act to bring about a change. I pray that this week will move and motivate you to listen and hear the heart of God on this injustice and leave you changed.

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Integral Mission in a World of Violence

Integral Mission in a World of Violence

by Peter Kuzmič

International politics has been preoccupied in the last decade with the task of managing conflict, specifically inter-ethnic conflict. We have recently witnessed violence and brutality in Kosovo and East Timor despite the fact that the international community in these places intervened at an earlier stage than in Rwanda and Bosnia. In 1999 there were 29 inter-ethnic conflicts in the world and there are a dozen places in the world where new ethnic violence could break out. According to the UNHCR between 1991 and 1995 the number of refugees in our world increased from 17 to 27 million. When you talk to refugees you discover what human dramas these people bring. How to manage international and inter-ethnic conflicts will continue to remain a major task of the international community. For the last nine years we in the Balkans have lived on a war-driven roller coaster after the communist ideology was replaced by conflicting nationalistic ideologies. As Leon Trotsky said in a different context: ‘If anyone longs for a quiet lifestyle, they have certainly chosen the wrong epoch to live in.’ As Christians we are asking the question: how is the believing community to respond? Read report

Violence Against Women – In Churches Too

Violence Against Women - In Churches Too

by Mandy Marshall, Co-Director, Restored - Micah Global: 6th Global Consultation, Lima, Peru 14 September 2015

 Every year, millions of women and girls worldwide suffer violence. In some countries up to 70% of women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence in their lifetime from an intimate partner. Sadly this is happening in churches too. The Evangelical Alliance has discovered that domestic violence and physical abuse are common in UK churches. Restored has responded by providing research, training and resources for Christians and churches globally, enabling churches to respond appropriately and effectively to domestic abuse. Additionally Restored launched the only global Christian men’s campaign, First Man Standing, to encourage good men to make a stand to end violence against women. We, as a global church, need to rise up and take action. This begins with looking at ourselves and putting our own house in order.

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Art and God’s Mission: Connecting art and local-church worship to poverty and injustice

Art and God's Mission: Connecting art and local-church worship to poverty and injustice

General Objectives:

1. Mission: Exploring God’s mission and how art fits into it.
2. Art: Exploring the nature of art and the role it plays in social issues.
3. Worship: Exploring what worship is and how it connects to poverty, injustice, and violence.

Specific Outcome-based Objectives:

By the end of the seminar participants will have:
1. Compared God’s mission with much of the church’s understanding of it.
2. Explored how ideas travel and the role of the ‘balladeer,’ and identify some examples of both.
3. Explored the power of art and identified its function in addressing social issues.
4. Defined worship and identified how worship in a local church setting can link to issues of poverty, injustice, and violence.


WEA Calls on Nigerian Government

WEA Calls on Nigerian Government to Increase Efforts to End Violence and Impunity

Deerfield, IL - February 4, 2020

Statement by Bp Efraim Tendero, Secretary General / CEO of the World Evangelical Alliance: On behalf of our global family of 600 million evangelicals in over 130 countries, the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) expresses its deep sadness and concern about the ongoing violence and the killing of innocent lives in Nigeria on an almost daily basis. We are appalled at the ruthlessness of the kidnappings and attacks, but are also very concerned about the insufficient response by the Nigerian government in both preventing such crimes and holding the perpetrators to account. Most recently, we received the sad news of the execution of Rev. Lawan Andimi and of 22-year old University student Mr. Ropvil Daciya Dalep by Boko Haram. There was also another attack on a pastor’s house, the church building and the congregation, with more than 30 Christians killed by Muslim Fulani herdsmen in Plateau state. The month of January has proven to be a bloody month as virtually no day passed by without one form of attack or another. This stark reality becomes even more apparent when comparing the country to the rest of the world: in 2019, Nigeria accounted for some 45% of Christians killed for their faith globally – approximately 1,350 out of 3,000 deaths. This led Open Doors to rank Nigeria at number 12 on its 2020 World Watch List of “50 places around the world where it costs the most to be a Christian.” We urge President Buhari and the Nigerian government to put an end to these attacks, to decisively combat the prevailing impunity for killings, and to ensure institutional accountability. We also urge President Buhari to strengthen his efforts to liberate the hostages held by Boko Haram and the Islamic State in Nigeria. The release of Leah Sharibu, a Christian school girl held captive for almost two years, and other hostages has long been overdue. Furthermore, we appeal to the government to ensure that the composition of the leadership of Nigerian security chiefs is more reflective of the ethnic and religious diversity of Nigeria. Such an effort would promote a greater sense of inclusiveness among the population, which in turn contributes to a higher degree of social cohesion. We call on Christians worldwide to join our Nigerian brothers and sisters in prayer and fasting for an end to the violence, for peace and security to prevail, and for wisdom for the Nigerian authorities as they seek to bring about an end to the suffering of their citizens. Related: Read a 2019 Statement on Nigeria released by the Religious Liberty Partnership, of which the WEA's Religious Liberty Commission is a member. ### MEDIA CONTACT: Timothy K. Goropevsek Chief Communications Officer +1 212.233.3046 Over two billion Christians in the world today are represented by three world church bodies. The World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) is one of those, serving more than 600 million evangelicals. Launched in 1846 to unite evangelicals worldwide, the WEA continues to be a dynamic movement with 8 regional and 134 national Evangelical Alliances, and over 150 member organizations. WEA's mission is to establish and strengthen regional and national Evangelical Alliances, who in turn enable their national Church to advance the Good News of Jesus Christ and effect personal and community transformation for the glory of God. For more information, visit