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World

Feature

February 2016

An unsuitable saint

By Donald Grayston

The recent canonization of an 18th-century Spanish colonizer has incensed Indigenous North Americans. What was Pope Francis thinking?

Feature

February 2016

‘You know the story. Syria is hell.’

By Andrew Faiz

A report from the heart of Europe’s refugee crisis

Feature

January 2016

This baby’s life

By Sanjay Khanna

Climate chaos. Economic upheaval. Psychological stress. A futurist looks for hope amid the coming turmoil.

Feature

December 2015

Their first Noel

By Various Writers

Six newcomers share their introductions to Christmas in Canada

Special Feature

December 2015

To the ends of the Earth

By Alanna Mitchell

Travelling to the North and South poles brings moments of redemption amid overwhelming evidence of a planet in peril — April 2011

Feature

November 2015

Art restoration

By Krystina Mierins

Paintings stolen by Nazis still hang in Canadian galleries. Paltry government funding is hampering efforts to identify and return them

Feature

September 2015

Unholy allies

By Donald Grayston

Christian Zionists are among Israel’s most ardent supporters. But their apocalyptic theology comes with dangerous strings attached.

Feature

July 2015

The end of Aramaic

By Tali Folkins

Descended from the tongue spoken by Jesus, an ancient language faces extinction as ISIS advances in Iraq and Syria

Special Feature

June 2015

‘Es complicado’

By Christopher White

Nothing about Cuba is straightforward or simple — including its impending reconciliation with the United States

Feature

April 2015

Why kicking carbon makes dollars and sense

By Alanna Mitchell

Giving up fossil fuels will not only save life on Earth — it will also save us money

Feature

February 2015

Faux trade?

By Pieta Woolley

Buying fair trade coffee doesn’t hurt. But it doesn’t help as much as we might imagine.

Feature

January 2015

Extracting justice

By May Warren

Can Canadian mining companies be held accountable for alleged human rights abuses in Guatemala?

Feature

December 2014

The outer edges of Islam

By Amir Hussain

Groups like ISIS pose a genuine threat to the West. But the bigger war is being waged within Islam itself.

Feature

November 2014

Interview issue: Kathryn Anderson

By Mike Milne

Crusader for human rights in Guatemala

Feature

October 2014

Breaking bread in a hungry world

By Various Writers

Eight stories that will give you food for thought

Feature

October 2014

In pursuit of happiness

By Tim Johnson

The small kingdom of Bhutan promotes itself as the most blissful place on Earth. The writer ventures there to see if the joy is genuine.

Feature

October 2014

Exodus

By Vidya Kauri

Civilians fleeing the war in Syria make up the largest refugee population in the world. As the conflict rages on, aid agencies are stretched to the limit.

Feature

June 2014

The bitter truth about chocolate

By Tamasin Ford

In Ivory Coast, 800,000 children work in the cocoa industry despite efforts to eradicate child labour. Why does the problem persist?

Feature

April 2014

Destination: dilemma

By Tim Johnson

Travelling to countries that flout human rights is ethically precarious. But it doesn't mean we should simply stay home.

Feature

April 2014

The superpope

By Alicia von Stamwitz

He champions the marginalized, enchants the media and tweets to millions. Pope Francis is trying to embrace the 21st century. Is the Catholic establishment ready to follow him?

Feature

February 2014

Christianity’s sleeping giant

By Alex Jürgen Thumm

Churches — both legal and illegal — are booming in China. Some view them as a welcome counterpoint to rampant materialism. Others see ghosts of a colonial past.

Feature

February 2014

Camels and karma

By Peter Johansen

A visit to one of India’s most sacred towns got off on the wrong foot for author Peter Johansen. But maybe there was a reason for his bad luck.

Feature

January 2014

The epoch we have wrought

By Alanna Mitchell

Welcome to the Anthropocene — a new geological era triggered by human industry

Feature

December 2013

Stars of wonder

By Sam Wilson

The night sky above the Atacama Desert in Chile blurs the line between the heavens and earth

Feature

October 2013

The Advocate

By Karen Stiller

Aruna Papp grew up amid honour-based violence in India. Today she’s a world-recognized champion for vulnerable girls and women everywhere.

Feature

October 2013

A faith maligned

By Trisha Elliott

Christian colonizers discredited ‘voodoo’ as a deviant sect filled with pin-pricked dolls, zombies and curses. But these colonial caricatures bear scant resemblance to the Haitian Vodou practised today.

Feature

October 2013

The land of too much history

By Larry Krotz

Following in the footsteps of Jesus doesn’t have to mean closing your eyes to the complexities of the Holy Land

Feature

July 2013

Rwanda’s great turnaround

By Tim Johnson

Though the genocide of two decades ago will never be forgotten, the tiny country has surged ahead, becoming one of the safest and most financially robust nations in Africa

Feature

June 2013

Losing the hooded grebe: Part 2

By Alanna Mitchell

A team of scientists races against time to prevent a small Argentine water bird from vanishing forever

Feature

June 2013

Standing up to big gold

By Roxana Olivera

A fight pitting Indigenous Peruvians against a multinational mining company highlights the real cost of the global boom in precious metals

Environment

Song leader, police and gate blockers in front of the Kinder Morgan gates. Photo by Kimiko Karpoff

A Kinder Morgan protest in photos and song

by Kimiko Karpoff

A faith leader reflects on protesting the pipeline with the Water Protectors from the Tsleil-Waututh nation.

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Editorials

The United Church Observer's editor and publisher, Jocelyn Bell. Photo: Lindsay Palmer

Observations: #MeToo

by Jocelyn Bell

Our hope is that by giving voice to these #MeToo stories, a new conversation about sexual misconduct can begin.

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Video

ObserverDocs: Playing by Heart

by Observer Staff

United Church music director Kara Shaw was born prematurely, became almost totally blind and was later diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Today, the 28-year-old showcases her unique musical ability, performing piano on local and national stages.

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Society

June 2018

Why some women of colour are hesitant to say #MeToo

by Jacky Habib

Three women share their stories in the hope of creating safe spaces they never had.

Environment

May 2018

A Kinder Morgan protest in photos and song

by Kimiko Karpoff

On April 28, 2018, faith leaders from many traditions, including the United Church, stood in solidarity with Water Protectors from the Tsleil-Waututh nation to protest the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion in Burnaby, B.C.. Kimiko Karpoff captured the day in pictures.

Faith

June 2018

After 93 years, this will be the United Church's last General Council meeting

by Mike Milne

When the United Church meets in July, top priorities will be a streamlined governance structure and Indigenous ministries.

Justice

June 2018

#MeToo in the United Church

by Trisha Elliott

9 women share their stories of harassment and sexual assault in the United Church.

Columns

May 2018

On grief and the healing power of gardening

by Paul Fraumeni

A writer reflects on how growing tomatoes is helping him find peace while dealing with the loss of loved ones, including his son.

Editorials

June 2018

Observations: #MeToo

by Jocelyn Bell

Our hope is that by giving voice to these #MeToo stories, a new conversation about sexual misconduct can begin.

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