NEWS ............................................................................................................................... .................................................................................. . Sharon Platt-McDonald
Over 300,000 signatures support petition for marriage
A recent petition, to encourage the Government to keep the current definition of marriage as a lifelong union between a man and a woman, has become the most popular campaign this parliament.
The petition, launched by the Coalition For Marriage (C4M), has been signed by more than 300,000 people since its launch in February, overtaking the previous biggest campaign which called on the Government to remove benefits from rioters.
It was launched in response to Government plans - spearheaded by Lynne Featherstone, the Equalities Minister - to consult on how to introduce same-sex marriage.
Faith leaders join forces to support organ donation
Faith leaders from all the major UK religions joined forces recently - for the first time ever - to promote organ donation.
Leaders representing Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism participated in a panel discussion about donation in the UK, at the UK’s first national Organ Donation Congress, held by NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT). They also helped launch NHSBT’s new religious belief leaflets.
Sally Johnson said, “We are grateful to the faith leaders for their time and input into developing the new leaflets, which we hope will help to inform and reassure religious communities that all the major religions agree to organ donation. We hope to see more people sign up to the Organ Donor Register (ODR) as a result, so that more lives can be saved.”
Currently, people from Black and Minority Ethnic communities are under-represented on the ODR, with only 1.4 % of Asian origin and 0.4 % Black, and yet they are three times more likely to need a transplant, because they are more likely to develop conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure, which can lead to kidney failure or heart disease.
Sharon Platt-McDonald, Health Ministries Director and Disability Awareness Coordinator, Seventh Day Adventist Church said, “This was a milestone event that brought all faiths together, and is a wonderful example of how cohesive working raises the profile of an issue, and captures the essence of each religion. It has given us the impetus to achieve more, and has motivated us to remain focused on the goal of achieving higher rates of organ donation amongst Black and Asian communities.”
For more details visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk
The C4M has the backing of religious leaders, politicians, lawyers and academics. Signatories include some of the UK’s foremost Christians, including Lord Carey, a former Archbishop of Canterbury; Steve Clifford, General Director of the Evangelical Alliance; Ade Omooba, co-founder of Christian Concern; Pastor Dipo Oluyomi of KICC, and Pastor Yemi Adedeji of the Redeemed Christian Church of God.
Colin Hart, C4M Campaign Director, welcomed the huge rise in numbers, and said that this was further evidence that Government plans to redefine marriage are wrong, and should be scrapped. He said, “I hope the Government will consider the growing opposition to their proposals, which are being pushed without the British people being given an opportunity to make their views clear.”
Mr Hart continued, “There is no need to redefine marriage, as civil partnerships already give all the legal rights of marriage to same-sex couples.”
“It is time the Government called a halt to its sham consultation, and listen to the 300,000 people who oppose redefining marriage.”
For more information, visit www.c4m.org.uk
Christians in top three of most retweeted twitterers*
Popular Christian speakers, Joyce Meyer and Joel Osteen, are amongst the most popular people on Twitter.
Social media analysts, Track Record, have found that the two ministers were in the top three of the people whose Twitter postings were re- tweeted the most - Joyce at number one and Joel at number three.
Meyer and Osteen have a growing following amongst the international Black community, and beat major media organisations - like CNN and the BBC - and popular sports organisation, the NBA, in the list of most retweeted Twitter postings. Most of Meyer’s and Osteen’s tweets
are Bible verses or inspirational quotes, designed to help people in their Christian walk.
Joyce Meyer has 700,000 Twitter followers; Joel Osteen has 500,000.
The founders of Track Record put the popularity of Meyer and Osteen down to their engaging personalities.
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