Helping Hands

Faith Leader Resource Guide 

Addressing Human Rights Violations and Other Congregant Crises

Religion is known for its teachings about humankind’s relationship with the Divine. Perhaps equally as important, however, is what it teaches about how we ought to treat and interact with one another. For millennia, the most diverse faith traditions have taught the important link between caring for and feeding the spiritual needs of believers with caring for the physical needs of those we share this mortal experience with.

This resource guide is meant to help faith leaders bridge the gap between the spiritual needs of congregants with their physical needs, especially when they experience violations of those divine rights that are inherent to all people. We recognize the intersectionality of those violations with myriad other challenges congregants may face and have included many of those crises in this guide. While this cannot cover all human rights violations or crises, we hope that it will provide a foundation of care that will be meaningful in your faith community.

Faith leaders are on the frontlines of intervention on behalf of human suffering. Even in an increasingly secular world, the majority of people associate with religion. As such, the role you play within these communities is one of the most effective ways in administering relief of all kinds to the congregants who share your faith and who likely who have put their faith in your care for them.

In many respects, faith leaders are the first responders in human rights work. At the same time, a faith community’s complicity in abuse or neglect of those who suffer can be some of the most destructive betrayals of our innate human nature to intervene when others are in anguish. Our hope is that this guide will enable you to lead your faith communities to be the very best they can be and to equip you with some of the tools that are necessary to administer care and compassion for those in your congregation.

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