Our Amnesty Group is a recently formed group. It arose because one of our young people feels passionately about human rights. We also felt that there was a ‘gap’ in the ministry we as a church community were undertaking as we realised that there was no overtly ‘political’ element to our ministry. In the Bible there are specific references to bringing comfort and freedom to those who are imprisoned. In his lifetime Jesus spent much time challenging the unjust structures of his own society and exposing issues which make people suffer and do them emotional, physical and spiritual damage.
Many churches have Amnesty Groups. Our Amnesty group has been started by a young person and is co-ordinated by her so it comprises both young people over the age of 10 and adults as well. During the sessions so far we have explored the International Declaration of Human Rights, written Christmas cards to prisons and written letters to those unjustly imprisoned or are suffering from abuses of their human rights around the world. In every session we try to relate particular cases to the person of Jesus and try to think about how our own faith should activate us to try to make a difference to those who are vulnerable and have no power or voice to speak out. In our world where communication is easy and we have up-to-date knowledge of such people there is no excuse for us not to do our bit.