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Racial Justice Sunday 2007: A World on the Move
1. What is the capital of Wales?
2. What costume is traditionally worn by men in Scotland?
3. Which town in England is most associated with William Shakespeare?
4. Name four cities from which ships took part in the Slave Trade?
Not so simple.
These are some of the questions that children in churches across Britain and Ireland will try to answer on 9th September, Racial Justice Sunday.
Will the youngsters be able to pass their mock citizenship quiz? It will certainly give them an idea of the kind of citizenship test that people applying for UK nationality have to pass.
Every year, Churches Together in Britain and Ireland, through the Churches' Commission for Racial Justice, provides materials to provoke thought, learning and debate on Racial Justice Sunday. For 2007, the theme is "People on the move".
People move around the world for all sorts of reasons. As result, "People from all over the world rub shoulders with each other. This is God's doing!" says the introduction to this year's resource materials for Racial Justice Sunday.
Racial Justice Sunday 2007 looks at past and contemporary mass movements of people from several different angles: the Slave Trade; Christians who have come to these islands from other countries; asylum seekers; refugees; economic migrants.
Resource materials include prayers, Bible readings, ideas for sermons and discussions, activities for young people, challenges to action for all, and stories told by those who are part of the world on the move.
Andy Bruce, the manger of the Churches' Commission for Racial Justice, says that the theme of Racial Justice Sunday this year marks a major change.
"The emphasis is on migration, and in racial justice terms this turns our attention beyond simply skin colour to people who have relocated for all sorts of reasons," says Bruce. "It also changes the geographical location for our concerns. For ages, it has been a struggle to get many churches to acknowledge that racial justice is an issue in their areas. Now, however, the focus is Cornwall and Cumbria as much as Birmingham, Bradford or Bristol."
Bruce is also blunt in his assessment of another area of racial justice. He says, "Much of the work done so far on asylum and refugees issues has come up against concerns about illegality. However, legal migration is by far the majority expression of immigration today but there is still a huge resistance to it. Most in the UK are happy for British people to retire to Spain or be reunited with relatives in Australia, but are deeply unhappy when it comes to Asian people being reunited with their families in the UK."
Andy Bruce is available for interview.
Review copies of the resource pack are available on request. Contact Margaret Pattinson, 0207 7654 7254; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Resource packs for Racial Justice Sunday 2007 can be purchased (£3.50 plus £1.50 p&p) from CTBI Publications, 4, John Wesley Road, Peterborough, PE4 6ZP; 01733 325 5002; www.mph.org.uk.
Note for editors
Churches Together in Britain and Ireland helps the Churches to think, work and pray together. It is the official ecumenical body that brings together Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, Protestant and Pentecostal traditions, and is the direct successor to the British Council of Churches. Its work includes racial justice, inter faith relations, international affairs, global mission, faith, unity and spirituality. Churches Together in Britain and Ireland works closely with the "Churches Together" bodies that focus separately on England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. See www.ctbi.org.uk.