AI UPDATE, VOL. 2, ISSUE 1 (January 19, 2010)

 

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An Advocates International Bi-Monthly E-Publication

Vol. 2, Issue 1                                                                                               January 19, 2010
 
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Advocates Spotlight
 

2010 (15%)
 

Advocates International (AI) is pleased to announce that John Langlois has been elected Chair of AI's Board of Directors. John is the founding member of Carey Langlois (now Carey Olsen), the most respected law firm on Isle of Guernsey from which he retired in 2007.  John also served as a Deputy in Guernsey's Parliament for fourteen years.  Please feel free to contact John with any ideas you might have for advancing AI's mission.

John has been a member of Board of Directors of Advocates International since 1991, previously serving as its chair from 1997-2001.  John also served as the Chair of the Board of Directors of Advocates Europe from 2001 -2004.  In 2005, John was appointed to be an Officer of the Order of the British Empire by Her Majesty the Queen for his life-long community and charitable services. After completing his graduate degrees in theology and law, John commenced his private legal practice in the United Kingdom in 1970.  John is a founding member of the World Evangelical Alliance continues to serve on WEA's Executive Committee and as the Chair of WEA's Religious Liberty Commission.... (more)

 
Prayers & Praises
A global chronicle of our advocates prayers & praises 

Pray for Haiti

The Cross Amid the Rubble of Haiti's CathedralEven as UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon calls the world to sustain its hope, and AI is working to to help a particular orphanage in earthquake ravaged Haiti, we are all called to pray and contribute what we can.  While there are numerous ways to make a financial contribution to the Haitian relief effort, we have contributed and are encouraging others to help Haiti through World Vision here.  For a further reflection on Haiti to encourage your prayers, recently shared with the AI community by its General Counsel, click here

Loving Our Enemies

                                                          "WMLK, Jr.e shall meet your physical force with soul force. Do to us what you will, and we shall continue to love you ....One day we shall win freedom, but not only for ourselves.We shall so appeal to your heart and conscience that we shall win you in the process, and our victory will be a doublevictory.'"        --Martin Luther King, Jr., Loving Your Enemies 

 As the life of Baptist Pastor and civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is celebrated as a national holiday in the USA this week, let us praise God for Dr. King's Christmas 1957 sermon on how and why we are to "love our enemies." (Matt. 5:44)


Advocates Begin 2010 in Prayer Around the World

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According to Dallas Willard, a brilliant Christian philosophy professor at the University of Southern California, "Prayer is talking to God about what we are doing together with him."  Accordingly, Advocates Founder and President, Sam Ericsson, began the year asking advocates all over the world to share three prayer requests: (1) the namesof one

judge or justice; one lawyer or advocate; and one law student that needs our prayers in 2010; 2) the greatest need facing believers in their country in 2010, perhaps a rule of law or religious freedom challenge; and 3) a personal need in your life, your family or your job. E-mail Sam and let him know how we can pray for you.

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Advocates' international prayer & praise correspondent,  Bulgarian human rights attorney Diana Daskalova, has announced her engagement!  Please keep her in your prayers as she prepares for her wedding on April 3, 2010 in Plovdiv,  Bulgari.  You can also e-mail Diana  your Advocates International prayer requests for inclusion on the monthly

AI Prayer Calendar.


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Here's the Advocates Africa January Prayer Calendar.  The entire Advocates Africa team thanks you for your prayers.  Please send any items of prayer or praise to  Alison Diarra at alisondiarra@jemmali.org  Requests received by January 25 will be included in The Advocates Africa February Prayer Calendar. Thank you.

Advocates International Update
The Good and Other News From Advocates Around the World

2010 (15%)
 
AI Begins a New Decade... 

 In the USA, Wall Street has dubbed the just-ended decade as the "Lost Decade."  For the first time several major Wall Street stock indexes finished the decade with a total negative return - including the dividends paid during the ten-year span.  For example, the Standard & Poor's stock index was worth about 10% less in January 2010 than it was in January 2000!  As one chief Wall Street strategist quipped: "I've lost a bet.  I've lost my keys.  But I've never lost a decade - until now."  

 As we read about the "Lost Decade," we reflected on Advocates Internationals' past ten years.  One label that would not fit is "lost."  Without any doubt, the past decade was our most dynamic and productive.  For example, in January 2000 there was only one fledgling regional network - "Advocates Africa" - that had just held its first regional meeting in Jinga, Uganda at the headwaters of the Nile River.  

 But by January 2010 there were six regional networks - Advocates Africa, Advocates Asia, Advocates Europe, Advocates Latin America, Advocates North America and Advocates Oceania - linking thousands of lawyers in 150 nations led by regional boards.  During the decade, these networks held nearly 40 conferences mobilizing and training thousands of advocates.  The number of national groups has also grown from about 20 in 2000 to over 100 today.  AI's current Regional and Global Leadership Roster bears witness of a decade where steady multi-pronged growth has prepared a foundation we can build on in the new decade.

 OUR TOP 40: Our mission remains encouraging, enabling and equipping advocates to strategically do justice with compassion  Our approach is to work relationally, professionally and spiritually.  The enclosed Top 40 Highlights of Advocates in Action in 2009 is a sampling of a global movement bearing witness of Jesus Christ through the legal profession.  With few exceptions, the Top 40 remain works in progress.  Battles were won.  But the struggle for life, religious liberty, rule of law, family and community life, peace and reconciliation and access to justice for the poor continues... We are looking for advocates to join us in this cause.  Join us!  We will keep you updated.... (more)

 
Grace and peace,

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Sam 1 & 2
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Advocates is All for LifeAI Sanctity of Life Logo

In the last month, Advocates International's Task Force on Life  filed its brief appealing on an expedited basis a federal district court's erroneous decision barring on standing grounds its challenge to unlawful  federal funding of destructive human embryo research, joined with the entire pro-life community opposing federal funding of abortion in the proposed health care reform bill pending in Congress and now urges everyone to participate in the Virtual March for Life on January 22, 2008.

S. Korean Doctors Confess Illegal AbortionsAdvocates International applauds the South Korean doctors who earlier this month confronted and confessed their secret of performing illegal abortions  as an "easy way to make money." (More)

Kenya FlagWe also applaud the work of the Kenya Christian Law Fellowship as they work this year with the  Kenya Christian Constitutional Forum (KCCF) and the Kenya Christian Medical Fellowship to assure that Kenya's proposed constitutional revisions remain protective of human life and dignity at all stages of life and cannot be  manipulated to promote state-funded abortion in the false name of "reproductive health", as is being promoted by the Obama Admininistration.

 

Advocates International Opposes Forced Deportation of Chinese Muslim Uighurs & Laotian Hmong Refugees    Force Deportation1 (Thailand)           

Advocates International has joined 23 national human rights organizations and 19 international human rights organizations, organized by Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network (APRRN), in issuing a Joint Statement on the Principle of Non-Refoulement and the Recent Forced Deportations of the Muslim Uighurs from Cambodia and the Lao Hmong from Thailand.

On December 19, 2009, in advance of a visit by Vice President Xi Jinping of China, the government of Cambodia forcibly repatriated 20 ethnic Uighur asylum seekers to China, before their claims for asylum had been fully examined. The forced repatriation occurred despite the protests of the international community, including the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and civil society. Cambodia is a signatory to the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees.

Human rights groups, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, have reported that Uighurs, a Turkic-speaking ethnic minority, predominantly Muslim and living mostly in western China, are facing various forms of mistreatment and persecution which has intensified since the crackdown by the Chinese government that follows the July 2009 riots in Urumqi.

China thanked the Cambodian government for the forced repatriation and two days later signed 14 commercial deals with Cambodia worth approximately 1 billion US Dollars.

Thailand has also been criticized by the United Nations, the United States and others for using its army to move more than 4500 Hmong asylum seekers back to Laos, where they claim they will face persecution. Four countries, including Australia, had already agreed to take some of the asylum seekers. The Thai Government defended its decision to secretly deport the 4500 Hmong asylum seekers saying that if international critics had concerns for the asylum seekers' welfare they should have acted faster.

                                                                                                                                     For a summarForced Deportation 2y of the international legal principle of non-refoulement (no return) violated by both the Cambodian and Thai governments, click here.

 

 

 Advocates International Urges Malaysian Government to Protect Christian Churches against Muslim Mob Violence

Malay Churches Hit

Advocates International Calls for the End of Vigilante Violence and Religious Censorship in Malaysia  

Advocates in Malaysia (including many who have attended Advocates International and/or Advocates Asia conferences) have been at the forefront of religious liberty litigation in the courts of Malaysia. On 31 December 2009, the High Court at Kuala Lumpur ruled that it was illegal and unconstitutional for the Government to ban the word "Allah" (Arabic for "God") for use by Christians in the Malay Bible and their religious media. The judge who decided the case is a member of the First Baptist Church of Kuala Lumpur.  The Government has appealed the decision while publicly belittling the court's decision.

Even though High Court Judge Lau Bee Lan said her Dec. 31 ruling will be suspended until the Appeals Court decides on a petition by the Malaysian Home Ministry, six Christian Churches were fire-bombed by irate Muslim vandals, including Life Chapel, the church where Advocates International Global Council Vice Chairman, Lee Min Choon, worships and many advocates have visited while attending Advocates' conferences in Kuala Lumpur.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak called for calm, with his office issued a statement saying that everyone should await the outcome of the appeal and not "do anything that canMalay Churches Hit 2 jeopardize the interest and well-being of the people."

Advocates International has joined with the Wall Street Journal and others, like religious liberty advocate Paul Marshall,  in the human international human rights community urging the Malaysian government to stop censoring Christian free speech and protect the religious freedom and physical safety of all Malaysians. 

   

 

Advocates International Signs on To The Manhattan Declaration...

Advocates International signs the Manhattan Declaration and urges all advocates to do the same.Manhattan Declaration

On November 20, at a press conference in Washington, D.C., a group of Orthodox, Catholic, and evangelical leaders released the Manhattan Declaration. The press release announcing it, which can be viewed at ManhattanDeclaration.org, proclaims that "The 4,700-word declaration issues a clarion call to Christians to adhere to their convictions and informs civil authorities that the signers will not-under any circumstance-abandon their Christian consciences." Initially signed by over 150 leading Orthodox, evangelicals, and Catholics (including 19 bishops), the Manhattan Declaration has currently garnered over 400,000 signatures in support with announced goal of gathering more than a million signatures.  If you would like to read and sign the Manhattan Declaration, which is available in twelve major languages, click here.

 
Thank You for Your Financial Support


 

        AI is not a recipient of government funding and is solely dependent upon the financial contributions of those who believe in its mission, thereby enabling it to serve "clients" ranging from heads of state seeking to implement constitutional reforms to persecuted and imprisoned believers sentenced to death for their faith. We are most grateful and thank you for whatever financial support or voluntary service you can provide in support of AI's mission. Here's how you can help: (more)