Toward a More Humane Future

On Human Rights Day, 2011, the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations is pleased to announce the launch of Toward a More Humane Future, an online devotional study on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for use by individuals or groups.

The 210th General Assembly (1998) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) voted to “celebrate the affirmation of the dignity and value of human life affirmed in the ‘Universal Declaration of Human Rights’ and the International Bill of Human Rights, rejoicing in the hope that has been given to multitudes around the world; grateful for the vision that still inspires those who work and hope for a more humane future for all.”

The Bible does not use the phrase “human rights.” However, Jesus stated, “I have come in order that you might have life in all its fullness.” He proclaimed that his calling included release of the captives, sight for the blind, and liberty for the oppressed. With these words, Jesus expressed his concern for what is ours because we are created as God’s children—and that is the realm of human rights. The biblical concepts of justice, freedom, peace, and security further ground our commitment to human rights.

Each Monday, beginning December 12, 2011, a study focused on one article of the Universal Declaration will appear. The study will contain a scripture passage, questions for reflection or discussion, suggestions for action, and a prayer.

We welcome comments, observations, and questions about the study. Tell us how you use the study. Share the study widely. It is intended to help us reflect on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as we serve the One who came to provide life in all its fullness, Jesus Christ.

Thanks to Ellen Clark Clemot, volunteer intern with the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations during the summer of 2011, for working on Toward a More Humane Future.

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