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World Mission Update
8 October 2020
Prayer for flood-affected people in Pibor, South Sudan
Rev Orozu Daky, Deputy General Secretary of the Presbyterian Church of South Sudan and Sudan (PCOSS), has written to ask for our prayers for the people of Pibor. 

Having recently suffered a number of attacks from various youth armies, the area has now been badly flooded. People are not only traumatised by the war but are now trying to salvage the little they have from the floods. Rev Orozu writes: "The whole area is sinking and there is no evacuation plan from either the Government or the humanitarian agencies. Your prayers are needed for this situation."

An update on the extent of the flood can be downloaded from OCHA at the link below. 
Download the update
Evictions resuming for people who have been refused asylum
Thousands of people across the UK are facing street homelessness as the UK Government’s ban on evictions from asylum accommodation for people refused asylum has suddenly come to an end. We need you to take action to tell the Home Secretary that making anyone homeless during a deadly pandemic is reckless and irresponsible.

Having a safe place to stay during the Covid-19 crisis is essential if we are to protect ourselves and others. The Government has been clear; to stop the spread of the virus, we must all follow the public health guidelines. Yet thousands of people with negative asylum decisions are being sent eviction notices in the next few weeks that will force them into street homelessness just as the UK faces a second wave of Covid-19. 

Evictions have not yet started in Scotland but there are plans to start them in the future. This decision would particularly affect Glasgow which hosts the vast majority of asylum seekers in Scotland. In fact, Glasgow has more asylum seekers than any other local authority area in the whole of the UK; at the end of June 2019 more than 4,000 people seeking asylum were living in Glasgow.
Read more and take action
Reset the Debt: A fresh start for families in Britain swept into debt by Covid-19
Six million people have fallen behind on rent, council tax and other household bills because of Covid-19. Almost one in five households borrowed to buy food or other essentials in July. 

#ResetTheDebt, a new campaign from the Baptist Union, the Church of Scotland, Church Action on Poverty, the Methodist Church and the United Reformed Church, highlights the crisis of lockdown debt for poorer families.

Visit www.ResetTheDebt.uk to hear the stories and read the full report.

Take action by asking the Chancellor to establish a Jubilee Fund to cancel unpayable debts.
Learn more
Blasphemy accused freed
In March 2013 Sawan Masih, a Christian street sweeper and father of three from Lahore in Pakistan, was imprisoned. He was accused by a Muslim friend of insulting the Prophet Muhammad. A year later he was sentenced to death for blasphemy.
 
Following the accusation a mob descended on Joseph Colony, the mainly Christian settlement where Sawan lived and set fire to 180 Christian homes, 75 shops and at least two churches were torched, and hundreds of families were displaced.
 
In January 2017, an anti-terrorism court in Lahore acquitted all 115 suspects who had been accused of attacking Joseph Colony, due to lack of evidence. Meanwhile, Sawan Masih remained in detention.
 
Our partners CLAAS (Centre for Legal Aid, Assistance and Settlement) have told us that on 5 October Sawan Masih was acquitted on all charges. They emailed, “We are thankful to each and every one of you for your constant moral and spiritual support. Please continue to pray for our team who is now working on getting Sawan out of prison safely.”
Learn more about CLAAS
Calendar of Events and Opportunities
Coronavirus Diaries: The Life and Work feature, Coronavirus Diaries, focusing on the situation of one of our overseas partners, is published each Wednesday. This week, the Rev Patricia Sheerattan-Bisnauth, Moderator, Guyana Presbyterian Church and CEO of the Caribbean Family Planning Affiliation, reflects on the changes brought about by the pandemic. Read Patricia's Coronavirus Diary. 

Challenge Poverty Week is ongoing. The Church of Scotland is marking this year's Challenge Poverty Week (5-11 October) with a series of short videos looking at the work of Priority Area congregations in their local communities.

International Day of the Girl - My Voice, Our Equal Future, 11 October.

Interfaith Glasgow online dialogue: Racism and religion - Where do we go from here? Thursday 15th October, 6-8.30 pm.

Balfour Project: Beyond the Declaration webinar - Jerusalem: from Past Divisions to a Shared Future? Tuesday 27 October from 10am-6pm.

Read Sabeel's, a Christian liberation theology organisation based in Jerusalem, wave of prayer here.

SRT: Augustinian Questions: In the continuing series celebrating 50 years of the Church of Scotland's SRT project, Very Rev Dr Angus Morrison considers the thoughts and writing of St Augustine on faith and science.

COP26, the UN's climate change summit, which was to take place in the UK in November 2020, has been postponed until further notice. Join this month's prayer chain to pray for climate justice.
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