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Megan Sweas

Writer, Editor, Student of Life

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Activism

Could Pope Francis Change Hearts and Minds on Immigration on a Global Scale?

Published by The Washington Post, Center for Religion and Civic Culture, June 11, 2015

A few months into his papacy, Pope Francis took his first trip out of Rome to Lampedusa, the Italian island through which many migrants enter Europe after a treacherous journey across the Mediterranean.

Noting that shipwrecks of migrant boats happened “all too frequently,” Francis blamed “the globalization of indifference.”

“We have become used to the suffering of others. It doesn’t affect me; it doesn’t concern me; it’s none of my business!” he said.

Continue reading “Could Pope Francis Change Hearts and Minds on Immigration on a Global Scale?”

Italian convents act as safe houses in trafficking portal

Published in Global Sisters Report, January 12, 2015

The girl was waiting at the sisters’ gate one morning in August.

Before her 18th birthday, Elizabeth had already traveled across the Sahara and the Mediterranean on her way from Nigeria to Europe and spent six months in a brothel in Denmark. She was being prepared to start working on the streets of Italy when she found her way to Casa Rut, a safe house for trafficking victims. Continue reading “Italian convents act as safe houses in trafficking portal”

Fr. John Dear, Dismissed from Jesuits

Published by Religion Dispatches, March 5, 2014

John Dear“This week, with a heavy heart, I am officially leaving the Jesuits after 32 years.” This was how Fr. John Dear announced his dismissal from the Jesuit order in his NCR column in January—a “divorce” (as Joshua McElwee put it that same week) that seemed to many to have been inevitable, if deeply regrettable. Dear, a widely respected peace activist, has been arrested over 75 times for civil disobedience, but it was his “obstinate disobedience” toward the directives of his Jesuit superiors that resulted in his dismissal.

He talks here with RD about his commitment to radical nonviolence, the future of the Church—and closes by offering some strong words to the spiritual-but-not-religious cohort.

MS: You recently published The Nonviolent Life, and you describe it as the culmination of your life’s work. What is a nonviolent life and why is it so important?

JD: Nonviolence is the center of Christianity and all world religions. It is the most needed thing in the world. Mahatma Gandhi insisted it is possible, and Martin Luther King, Jr. said that if we don’t do it, we will destroy ourselves. …

Read more at ReligionDispatches.org.

UC-Irvine’s Muslim Student Union Battles Injustice

Published by Aslan Media, Inc. in three parts from September 21 to October 2, 2012

Aminah Galal counted 100 audience members at the presentation on Shariah law. It was a good turnout, and most, she noted, weren’t members of University of California – Irvine’s Muslim Student Union (MSU), which hosted the event.

But as Galal, vice president of the MSU, finished counting, the Q&A turned confrontational. Five of the six who asked questions were from a Christian ministry called Truth Defenders, and to them, true Muslims wouldn’t accept the speaker’s flexible interpretation of Shariah. Continue reading “UC-Irvine’s Muslim Student Union Battles Injustice”

Tibetan refugees fear India’s crackdown on activism

Originally published on GlobalPost.com RIGHTS blog, March 31, 2012

NEW DELHI — India has hosted the Dalai Lama and his Tibetan followers for 53 years, but new strains between the Tibetan refugees and their hosts became evident this week with the arrest of more than 250 activists ahead of Chinese President Hu Jintao’s visit to New Delhi.

Indian police also placed the entire Tibetan community in Delhi on house arrest, closing down the refugee camp Majnu Ka Tilla following the self-immolation of a 27-year-old Tibetan exile. Continue reading “Tibetan refugees fear India’s crackdown on activism”

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