Remembering to do better

This article was broadcast as a Thought for the Day on BBC Radio Ulster on Wednesday 27thJuly 2016 and is adapted and used with permission. On Tuesday in Rouen in France the community gathered to remember an 84-year-old priest murdered earlier that day in an atrocious act of murder carried out it seems because he was a Christian. The Rouen community is one in a long list of communities who have gathered to remember over these last months – Nice, Munich, Orlando, Kabul to name but a few. A couple of weeks ago I was privileged to attend an event remembering what happened in Srebrenica in 1995. It was a sober remembering. During the Balkans War Srebrenica was declared a United Nations Safe Area. In July 1995 General Ratko Mladic and his armed forces disregarded the declaration of safety, invaded the town and systematically killed 8000 men and boys who were then buried in mass graves. Thousands of women, young and old, were forcibly deported and many of them raped. All because they were Muslim. Continue reading

Moving on: to love Ethnic Minorities and Muslim neighbours.

In light of recent events we are producing this PS Extra by Steve Stockman, minister of Fitzroy Presbyterian Church. It is taken from his Soul Surmise Blog ( and is reprinted with permission. There has been a lot of talk in the Northern Ireland media this week about Muslims and racism and what Church and political leaders have said. I have blogged enough in response to all of that. It is time now to move on. I don’t mean leaving it behind. I mean moving on to the next stage. We have responded to the lazy stereotyping of races and religions and the tone that sometimes incites wrong reactions. We have looked at how Jesus name can be easily discredited for the wrong reasons. It is now time to move from the negatives to imagining creative positives. Continue reading