Peace and Hope International Open House on April 6, 2010

 Peace and Hope International Open House on April 6, 2010


"This is what the LORD says: Be fair-minded and just. Do what is right! Help those who have been robbed; rescue them from their oppressors. Quit your evil deeds! Do not mistreat foreigners, orphans, and widows. Stop murdering the innocent!" (Jeremiah 22:3)
These inspiring words hung on a 3-fold poster surrounded by other posters highlighting human rights abuses in the Americas. The occasion was an open house to mark the opening of Minneapolis office of Peace and Hope International (Paz Y Esperanza). At the helm of this Minneapolis office is Colleen Beebe, who was appointed the International Co-Director of this organization.

Peace and Hope International is the international headquarters for Paz y Esperanza, which has staff and offices in Minneapolis, U.S.A. and Lima, Peru. Paz Y Esperanza is a Christian human rights organization dedicated to promoting justice for people and communities who suffer all forms of injustice and poverty. It has direct service offices in the U.S.A., Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru.

Along with international co-director, Alfonso Wieland, in Lima, Peru, Colleen Beebe oversees the organization’s international programming in capacity building, education, advocacy, communications and its volunteer program. Beebe comes to Peace and Hope International from The Advocates for Human Rights, where she was the Director of Education from 2004-2010. She is a passionate human rights advocate who draws inspiration for this work from the teachings of Jesus Christ (peace be upon him).

As Colleen introduced the organization during the open house, I could see the passion for justice that forms the main thrust of this organization's success. It was interesting to note how the religious teachings have shaped the fervor for justice of this faith-based human rights group.

As a Muslim, I can relate to this passion of working for justice. Justice is a pre-requisite to peace, and I consider it binding on me to relate with all those who are working for justice. From an interfaith perspective, the following teachings from the Quran resonate with initiatives for a just world.

“God commands justice and fair dealing...” (Quran 16:90)

“O you who believe!  Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to God, even if it be against yourselves, your parents, and your relatives, or whether it is against the rich or the poor...” (Quran 4:135)

“Let not the hatred of a people swerve you away from justice.  Be just, for this is closest to righteousness…” (Quran 5:8)

As a newly established office, Peace and Hope International is beckoning all the lovers of justice to help it in various capacities. For more information please visit their website or call (612) 819-7162.



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