This article was originally published in Edition (9) of Prayer Magazine,  Jan-Mar 2007.

Increasing discrimination forces Christian not to openly wear cross in public

LONDON, UK (ANS) -- A British Airways (BA) employee has lost her fight to openly wear a cross necklace at work at London's Heathrow Airport.

In a story on the BBC website, it was revealed that Nadia Eweida, 55, of Twickenham, London, has been on unpaid leave since her bosses said she could not visibly wear her tiny white gold cross at the check-in counter.

Nadia, a Coptic Christian who is single and looks after her elderly mother, was born in Egypt to an Egyptian father and English mother.

She found out she had lost her appeal against the decision by BA when she met with the airline bosses on Monday, November 20.

"BA denied it had banned the wearing of crosses and said Ms Eweida had a right to a second appeal," said the BBC story.

"It said its uniform policy stated that such items could be worn if concealed underneath the uniform."

Ms. Eweida said she was effectively "forced" to take unpaid leave after refusing to conceal the Christian symbol.

She said during Monday's meeting, British Airways told her it respected her faith and accepted the cross was not jewelry, but would be standing by its original decision.

Ms. Eweida added: "I am fairly disappointed but I'm looking forward to the next stage because the cross is important and the truth will be revealed.

"It is important to wear it to express my faith so that other people will know that Jesus loves them."

Ms. Eweida said people of other faiths were allowed to wear visible religious symbols such as headscarves and she wanted to be allowed to do the same.

She has been supported by the country's second most senior Church of England cleric.

"Question of practicality"The BBC said that Dr. John Sentamu, the Ugandan-born Archbishop of York, has urged BA to reconsider, calling their decision "nonsense."

BA said in a statement: "British Airways has 34,000 uniformed staff, all of whom know they must abide by our uniform policy.

"The policy does not ban staff from wearing a cross. It lays down that personal items of jewelry, including crosses may be worn - but underneath the uniform. Other airlines have the same policy.

"The policy recognises that it is not practical for some religious symbols - such as turbans and hijabs - to be worn underneath the uniform. This is purely a question of practicality. There is no discrimination between faiths.

"In Nadia Eweida's case, she is not suspended and we want her to come back to work. We have explained to her the need to comply with the uniform policy like all her colleagues whatever their faith."

BA said Ms Eweida had been offered a non-uniformed post were she would be able to openly wear her cross but had refused to take it.

She now has seven days to lodge another appeal against the airline's decision.

Dan Wooding, Assist News (Needs credit)

Student movement seeks bishop's backing

Christian Unions in the UK have appealed to Anglican and Roman Catholic bishops to support them in a growing battle with university authorities and student unions.

Dr Peter May, General Secretary of the University and Colleges Christian Fellowship (UCCF) sent a letter to each of the bishops meeting in Leeds this week. He said, ‘negative and abusive use of equal opportunities policies and anti-discriminatory policies’ were ‘placing great strains on Christian Unions’. UCCF-member student groups in Birmingham, Exeter and Edinburgh universities are all currently facing bans and restrictions of some kind.


Christian TV programmes planned by Iraqi Christians

As the violence towards Christians in Iraq escalates Arab Vision is drawing up plans to produce Iraqi TV programmes by early 2007.

Programmes made by Iraqi Christians in their own Iraqi Arabic dialect will focus on sharing the Gospel of peace with their nation, as well as encouraging their own Christian community to cope with the dangers it is facing on a daily basis. ‘Iraq has had enough of bombs and wars,’ says the International Director of Arab Vision. ‘For many Iraqis, Islam has brought mostly violence and war, and more than ever before, they are turning to Christ. Now is the time to spread the Gospel through TV in that land.’ Arab Vision’s programs are already on a number of satellite stations which can be received in Iraq, and they generate good response from the viewers there. One of them wrote recently: ‘I am a man from Iraq. I was Muslim and I converted. I want to know more about God's love.’


Historic summit to heal divisions

Seventy Anglican and Roman Catholic bishops have debated and worshipped together for the first time in 500 years.

Bishops in England and Wales from both denominations met in Leeds for two days. Leaders of both churches have been galvanised by a resolve to fight back against secularism as much as by concerns to heal the historic rift between them. The summit has come just a week before Archbishop Rowan Williams’ audience with the Pope, organised to mark the first visit by an Anglican Archbishop in 1966. ‘We are now not two Churches competing for a limited market; we are two Churches standing in the middle of a secular and unfriendly environment and also in the middle of a world whose practical needs are enormous,’ Dr Williams told the Catholic Herald.

Source: Bible Society


Rapid growth at New Life

The church led by singer songwriter Jarrod Cooper New Life in Hull is reporting that it has grown by over 50 per cent in the last 18 months prompting it to hold more services.

On Sundays it now has services at 9.30am, 11.30am and 6.30pm at its 400-seater church centre on Charles Street/Bridlington Avenue.

Jarrod Cooper said: "We don't really know why we're growing, but the increase can't be ignored, so now with a full auditorium and car park, we need to make space for more newcomers.

"It's a lot of hard work, but it's all about seeing people saved and changed by God, so it's worth it."

Church of Ireland initiative challenges new thinking on reconciliation

A groundbreaking initiative set up by the Church of Ireland to foster political reconciliation in Northern Ireland is going from strength to strength as it launches a series of public forums designed to provoke thinking that goes beyond the predictable.

That is the hope, at least, of the Church of Ireland’s Hard Gospel Project set up in 2005 to challenge the ‘whatever you say, say nothing’ approach that previously dominated public dialogue in addressing key issues affecting the wellbeing of communities in Northern Ireland. The Beyond the Box series aims to bring discourse ‘beyond the rhetoric; beyond the stale debates; beyond the conventions; beyond the box’. The first seminar in the series will be held on Monday 13 November on the theme of ‘Where there is no vision - leadership in the Protestant/unionist communities’.

Micah Challenge calls on world leaders to account for MDGs progress

Blow the Whistle is a major campaign to be launched in January 2007 by Micah Challenge calling world leaders to account for progress in achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

It will draw attention to the lack of sufficient progress in fulfilling the commitments made by world leaders in 2000 to halve poverty by 2015. The campaign is an international Christian response to the injustice of global poverty which in the UK seeks to build on the momentum created by the Make Poverty History movement. A Blow the Whistle event in London is being planned for May which will precede the 2007 G8 summit in Germany (6 to 8 June), which aims to be a public and powerful demonstration in which tens of thousands are expected to blow the half time whistle to halve poverty. Rev Joel Edwards, General Director of the Evangelical Alliance UK, said: ‘Our government along with 188 others around the world, made a promise, a covenant, to the poor. We want to hold our government accountable to do what they have said.’

Prayers for Rain Answered in West Texas – and How!

There was some snickering in certain parts of the country when city officials in the drought-stricken Texas towns of Lubbock and Rockwall took their case for rain to God in the form of resolutions calling for prayer.

While the votes made national news – sometimes in the "quirky" sections of big-city dailies and news services – the results didn't, until now.

Within seven days of the Lubbock vote, the rains started. And they haven't stopped.

Some three and a half inches of rains fell in the town over the Labor Day Weekend alone, overflowing some reservoirs and spillways.

Jody James from the National Weather Service recalled: "We were dealing with red flag warnings, fire danger, and extremely dry conditions earlier in the year."

Without mentioning the prayer requests, Channel 11 KCBD reported: "Looking outside, you'd never guess a month ago that Lubbock was described as parched, and in serious drought conditions."

James said: "We were very behind on rainfall, several inches below normal as we got into the early mid-part of summer, just in the last 3 days we have got 3.5 inches."

In January, the Lubbock City Council implemented stage one of its drought contingency plan because of the dry conditions. By June the situation had reached the desperation point. Lake Meredith, Lubbock's primary water source was at a record low, and losing water daily.

In July, Lubbock had received only about half its normal rainfall of 10 inches. Between June 1 and the Lubbock vote at the end of July – which represented the growing season for cotton – the area got only .75 inches, far less than the normal 4.43 inches. As September gets underway, the area is on track to reach its annual average for rainfall.

"All areas lakes and reservoirs are doing better, but we still need more rain. We can't just recover from a long term drought in one episode of rainfall, but this is what we needed to get started," said James.

Apparently taken with the results in Lubbock, the Texas town of Aledo is considering a similar resolution for prayer.

It's not the first time prayers for rain in Lubbock have met with good results. In January 2004, after a year of drought, the city and county set aside a Sunday to pray for rain and got the second-wettest year since records have been kept.

Prayer and the Abolitionists

For many of the abolitionists, prayer was a vital element in their campaign. They called on the God and Father of us all for his guidance and help as they struggled to do what they strongly felt was his will; and as they did so they also supported and encouraged one another.

Pauline Bower is searching to collect their prayers on the subject so that they may be available for publication in 2007. William Wilberforce published a collection of his own prayers, and a new edition of them will be available soon. If you know of any such prayers please contact Pauline Bower set all free free, 27 Tavistock Square, London WC1H , 9HH.

March 25th 2007 sees the bi-centennial of the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act.  There are two walks also being organised to commemorate this event.

1st walk starts on 1st March in Hull ends in Westminster on the date the Act became law 25th March.

2nd walk starts on 3rd June London and goes to Bristol and Liverpool before returning to capital on 11th July.

For more information regarding the walks, please contact : The Lifeline Expedition 58 Geoffrey Road, London SE4 1NT  Email

SHOCKWAVE - Three days of non-stop prayer for the Muslim world

Worldwide event, 4 March - 7 March 2007
Across the nations a powerful force will be set loose. Youth throughout the nations will rise in prayer and join thousands across the globe, to pray for some of the 200 million Christians who suffer because of their faith. Thirty-five of the fifty toughest nations in the world for Christians to live in are Muslim dominated, hence this year’s focus.


This three-day youth prayer event is organised by Underground, the youth ministry of Open Doors, and will be the fifth annual SHOCKWAVE.

The beauty of SHOCKWAVE is that it can be done effectively on a small or large scale, by individuals as well as by groups, thanks to the SHOCKWAVE resources available on the new website at This site contains the ‘prayer wall’ message board and chat area that will go live just before the event commences.

SHOCKWAVE will start in New Zealand and sweep across the time zones and through manmade barriers and no-go zones, literally covering the world in prayer.

Prayer is desperately needed for countries such as North Korea, which remains at the top of Open Doors’ World Watch List for the forth year in row, indicating it is currently the worst country for Christian persecution. North Korea is followed by the Islamic Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in second place with Islamic Iran, Somalia and the Maldives listed close behind.


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