Justice & Peace Scotland

Striving for Social Justice.

The National Commission for Justice and Peace advises the Scottish Bishops' Conference of the Catholic Church in matters relating to social justice, international peace and human rights, and promotes action in these areas.

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The Holy Land: How should we respond to Bishops’ calls for prayer, awareness and action?

Categories: BLOG | Published: 29/03/2019 | Views: 377

This week in our blog, Mike Mineter reflects on the situation in the Holy Land and asks ‘How can we help bring about justice for all in the Holy Land?‘

Each year the English-speaking bishops visit the Holy Land, and on their return issue a communiqué.  In 2017 they began, “For fifty years the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza have languished under occupation, violating the human dignity of both Palestinians and Israelis. ...As Bishops we implore Christians in our home countries to recognise our own responsibility for prayer, awareness and action.” (http://catholicnews.org.uk/hlc-final-communique-2017 )

Exploring how we can respond was one focus of the St Andrews and Edinburgh Archdiocese’ Caritas, Justice and Peace commission, when we met in February. We had just heard how our country has been ill-served by media obstructing awareness, and propagating false values in relation to refugees. With exceptions, Israel and Palestine have also been misrepresented in the media for many years.  In consequence, distinguishing fact and spin is difficult, especially those who have not visited.

This year, the Bishops wrote, “Along with other Palestinian Arab citizens and migrants living in Israel, many Christians find themselves systematically discriminated against and marginalised.  Those we met expressed particular concern about the Nation State Law….the misery of occupation has been deepened by severe cuts to humanitarian funding by the US government.

...we commit ourselves through prayer, pilgrimage and practical solidarity...”


Some Jewish organisations in Israel and other countries are among those who have been calling Israel to a deeper expression of Judaism, with rights for all in the land. You can read the Nation State Law here:


In my visits to the West Bank, I have met Christians whose lives are dominated by settlers and Israeli forces through increasing violence, permits, checkpoints, settlements, roads only for Israelis, demolitions, control of water and imposed unpredictability.  Even in this context, these Palestinians said, “We would not displace the settlers. Many have known nowhere else. We will not do to them what Israel tries to do to us. The occupation and the oppression must cease; there is land enough for us all.” 

Christian Palestinians in 2009 spoke out in the Kairos Palestine document, “A Moment of Truth; A word of faith, hope and love from the heart of Palestinian suffering.”  As decades earlier in South Africa, the term Kairos conveys a faith-based hope of transformation in a desperate time, ripe for change.  The document is a call for the international community and especially the churches, to act to bring about a just future for all in the land. It calls us to recognise and challenge theologies that claim to justify oppression and exclusion.

How can we help bring about justice for all in the Holy Land?

We can form a network by sharing knowledge, resources; planning events of awareness and solidarity in every parish. (contact mike.mineter@gmail.com )

We can challenge the media, when they fail to report adequately continuing protests such as the “March of Return,” when Israeli forces shot Palestinian journalists, medics and children. (e.g. here https://pchrgaza.org/en/?p=11988);

We can write to politicians to call for action – as I was told by a Palestinian, “not to bring Israel to its knees but to its senses.”

We can shop to support Palestinians, see hadeel.org,

We can join Sabeel-Kairoshttp://sabeel-kairos.org.uk

We can visit.

We can keep informed (e.g reading UN reports, https://www.ochaopt.org/reports)

We can read the Bishops’ communiques and do what they ask.

We must pray.





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Day of Reflection

Justice and Peace Scotland invites you to
A Day of Reflection on Pope Francis' encyclical Laudato Si Care for ou Common Home

Saturday 21st September 2019
10:00am to 4:30pm
Blythswood Hall, Renfield St Stephens Centre, Bath St, Glasgow
Coffee and Registration from 10:00am

Cost £10 Lunch provided.

To book your place through Eventbrite click here

For enquiries contact Tel: 0141 333 0238

The Bishops' Committee for Inter-Religious Dialogue and partners 

Invite you to


This colloquium offers an opportunity to reflect on what it means for faith communities to join in civil conversations about the kind of society we wish to create.

When:  Friday 23rd - Saturday 24th August 2019

Where:  Conforti Institute, Calder Avenue, Coatbridge, ML5 4JS

Subsidised by the Xaverian Missionaries - Residential places cost £50.00, non-residential places are £25.00

To Register email frances.gallagher@justiceandpeacescotland.org.uk


Speakers List

Looking for a speaker for your group?  Take a look here at our list of speakers willing to speak on a variety of different topics!

Care for Creation logo

Pope Francis urges Catholics and all people of good will to take urgent action against climate change and the ecological crisis. His encyclical letter Laudato Si’ is a stirring call to care for our common home.

Justice and Peace Scotland is encouraging our friends and supporters to answer this call. Each month we will look at a different environmental issue and provide some sources of information and ideas for action – for us, our family and our community.

This month’s issue is: Climate Migration

Campaign of the Month

Every month, Justice and Peace Scotland highlights a campaign on which you can take action

July 2019 Campaign: Guarantee support for all UK slavery victims

Further campaigns are listed on our Get Involved page. Click here to Get Involved!

Last updated: 19 July 2019

Important Resources

Image: Home Affiairs Committee Immigration Detention Report 2019

Image: Bishop Nolan's letter for the Day of Prayer for Peace

In Scotland the Day of Prayer for Peace takes place on Sunday 6th January 2019, The Feast of the Epiphany. The theme of this year's letter for the Day of Prayer for Peace is “political engagement”.

Image: pope Francis Message for the 52nd World Day of Peace

Pope Francis has published his message for the 52nd World Day of Peace which takes place on 1st January 2019.  The theme of this years message is: Good politics is at the service of peace. /Read the letter here. 

Image: Give Me Five Coalition Letter pre-budget 2018

Give Me Five coalition organisations sign a letter to the Scottish Government ahead of their 2018 budget asking for urgency in roling out 'Income Support' for struggling families.  

Image: Catholic Social Teaching Quotes for 2019

The Catholic Social Teaching qoutes for 2019 are now available!  These quotes are linked to the mass themes or significant social justice dates in the calendar.  Please share them widely, perhaps including them in newsletters, bulletins or prayer group reflections etc.