On the Side of the Angels
A new book challenging Christians to put human rights advocacy at the heart of Christian mission was released on 9 October 2007.
The book, ‘On the Side of the Angels: Justice, Human Rights and Kingdom Mission’, co-authored by Benedict Rogers and Joseph D’souza, argues that for too long Christians have failed to fulfill their biblical mandate to speak up for justice and to see human rights campaigning as a part of mission.
Benedict Rogers is a journalist and Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) Advocacy Officer for South Asia. He is author of ‘A Land Without Evil: Stopping the Genocide of Burma’s Karen People’ (Monarch, 2004). Dr D’souza is founder and president of the All India Christian Council (AICC) – one of the largest interdenominational coalitions of Christians dealing with human rights in India.
‘On the Side of the Angels’ examines the biblical basis for activism and includes real-life stories of crimes against humanity, religious persecution, torture, discrimination, and injustice. The book draws on the authors’ first-hand experience of places of persecution and oppression, including Burma, East Timor, and India, along with their work of advocacy in the United States, United Kingdom, European Union, United Nations, and other forums. It also offers practical ideas for ways in which Christians can be involved in advocacy.
“Our Christian mission must have justice at the core. In the book of Proverbs, the bible teaches us to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, and to defend the rights of the poor and needy. We have written this book in the hope that concrete examples of how to stand up for justice and inspiring examples of great Christian human rights activists, past and present, will motivate and challenge readers to be advocates of God’s love and justice” said Benedict Rogers.
Dr Joseph D’souza added: “God is calling His Church worldwide to raise the banner for justice. And He is also pouring His Spirit to move His children to involvement in justice issues as part of their mission on earth be it for the sake of the Burmese people, the people of Sudan, the children of the world or the Dalits.”
The book release was hosted by Lord Alton, with guest speaker Bishop David Pytches. Author and former UK Cabinet Minister, Jonathan Aitken, said the book “deserves to become a classic of human rights literature”, and the Founder of Oasis Global, Steve Chalke, called it “deeply challenging and compelling”.
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