A God who knows the way out of the Grave: a thought for Good Friday and Easter
This picture was given to me in 1985 during an undercover visit to Moscow to highlight the plight of persecuted Christians and Jews.
It represents Stalin’s destruction of many Orthodox monasteries and churches and the destiny of countless believers sent to the Siberian Gulags.
Today, the same ideology, in countries like North Korea, and Islamist ideology, in countries like Syria, Iraq and Egypt, continue the Crucifixion of Christianity.
But, in the face of all this, how right was G.K.Chesterton, when he wrote in The Everlasting Man that ‘Christianity has died many times and risen again; for it had a God who knew the way out of the grave’
I recently met with the New York priest, Fr.George Rutler, author of The Seven Ages of Man: Meditations on the Last Words of Christ. It was Fr.Rutler, ministering to bereaved New Yorkers after 9:11, who said “if you didn’t believe in evil before, you had better believe in it now.” In the following interview, with Kathryn Lopez he reflects on why, on Good Friday, we should focus on the seven last words of Christ spoken from the Cross.
Stonyhurst Easter Retreat Good Friday 2017: A Faith Worth Dying for Might Be Worth Living For
Also see David Alton’s article in The Univeerse on April 14th 2017: Click here – Universe 14-4-17 page 10 for details and walking map of the Tolkien Trail in Lancashire’s Ribble Valley Also see: https://davidalton.net/2017/01/19/tolkien-faith-and-fiction-liverpool-hope-university-lecture-marking-the-fiftieth-anniversary-of-j-r-r-tolkiens-involvement-in-the-translation-of-the-jerusalem-bible-and-the-link-between-his-faith-2/ – the perfect country walk.
University of Oxford, March 3rd 2017: The John Milton Lecture
Some Highlights from 2016
#RedWednesday – 23rd November 2016
The House of Parliament lit red on Red Wednesday in an act of solidarity with those who suffer for their faith or beliefs.
Click here for full details of Red Wednesday:
Westminster Hall – November 24th 2016 Launch of the Religious Freedom in the World Report – following Red Wednesday. Read the report at: http://www.aina.org/news/20161124130319.htm
Red Wednesday was an opportunity to stand up for faith and freedom; to put pressure on the UK government and the international community to protect people of faith, find solutions to the problems that are fuelling extremist violence and to make our world a safer place.
“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil…not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” Dietrich Bonheoffer
The We’re All Equal campaign website was launched. See:
And Kevin (Lord) Shinkwin introduced a Bill challenging discriminatory legislation and negative attitudes against unborn babies with disabilities:
- October (and throughout the year) Plight of Orphaned Refugee Children Raised in Parliament.
The story of Sir Nicholas Winton
- Lord Alton of Liverpool (CB)My Lords, as one of the signatories to the Dubs amendment, I signed it because it captured the spirit of Sir Nicholas Winton who, through the kindertransport, rescued 669 children from the Nazis. the Government should specifically prioritise the youngest and, indeed, orphaned children such as the brother and sister whose case I highlighted in your Lordships’ House a few days ago, who were sleeping on the forecourt of a derelict petrol station? They are aged 13 and 12 and were orphaned in Aleppo.
- Will the Minister also say what progress has been made on galvanising and co-ordinating the international community in assisting the 88,000 displaced young people now in Europe without parents and in establishing the fate of the 10,000 children who Europol has said have gone missing, and who must inevitably be at great risk of trafficking and exploitation?
==========================================================================Throughout 2016 meetings held to promote Article 18 – Freedom of Religion or Belief – One was held in Nelson, Lancashire, on Sunday October 9th .
Also see this new Jubilee Campaign report on the plight of Pakistani Christians:
Foreign and Commonwealth Office Presentation: October 19th 2016
Why Freedom of Religion and Belief Is Particularly Relevant
Remarks and Power Point presentation may be viewed at: https://davidalton.net/media/
October 2016: eye-witness testimonies from Pakistan and Syria
PAKISTAN: ARCHBISHOP SEBASTIAN SHAW of Lahore.
Head of the largest Catholic diocese in Pakistan, he led the
Church’s response to the Easter Day 2016 Lahore Massacre
and other atrocities affecting Christians and other minorities.
See full report:
October 2016 Letter to the Times about Chemical Weapons Attacks in Sudan
October 22nd 2016:
In Reaction to the Indicative Evidence on the Use of Chemical Weapons by the Sudan Government:
The Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement (SPLM-N) has suspended all Political Engagement with the Sudan Government and Demanded that the Humanitarian Crisis and Civilian Protection to be Addressed Separately.
July 2016: David Alton was made a Fellow of Liverpool John Moores University and in September was presented with the Thomas More Religious Freedom Advocacy Award
September 2016 David opened a new Exhibition in Washington D.C. – September 16th 2016 – until March 2017 -Christian Heritage Centre exhibition on St.Thomas More and the Carrolls (the Foremost British-American Catholic Family) at the St.John Paul II Centre
June 2016 – david hosted a meeting to highlight the suffering and persecution of believers and atheists who are denied Article 18 freedoms. At the launch of Human Rights Without Frontiers’ annual report and at a subsequent meeting on human rights violations numerous examples were given of persecution and suffering from Iran to North Korea, Saudi Arabia to Pakistan, China to Bangladesh and many other countries where “Article 18 is honoured only in its breach”: See: http://hrwf.eu/ and
March 2016 Eric Avebury died. Friends of Eric Avebury later gathered at the Royal Institution to celebrate Lord Avebury’s life and work. Eric’s causes included championing the Dalit “untouchables” in India and in promoting the Gypsy Caravan Sites Act. Whether at home or overseas Eric Avebury countered ill-informed prejudices and scapegoating. One of those who paid tribute to him at the Royal Institution was Damian Le Bas who said that Eric Avebury was “one of the greatest friends the Gypsies ever had.” See:
September 2016 Sir Trevor Jones, former leader of Liverpool City Council died
In June David chaired the last of over 140 Roscoe Lectures which he founded in 1997.
Over the past couple of decades thousands of Good Citizenship Awards have been distributed and Roscoe Lectures have been staged by Liverpool John Moores University’s Roscoe Foundation For Citizenship. David Alton chaired 140 of the 141 Roscoe Lectures staged between 1997 and June 2016.
Professor Monica Grady CBE and Professor Nigel Weatherill, Vice Chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University with award winner Sam Walton, a PhD student at LJMU’s Astrophysics Research Institute.
Here, David Alton explains the background:
Good Citizenship Awards
Details of the Roscoe Lectures and the background to the life of William Roscoe and his poetry may be found at
2016 – Several Public Lectures, including:
Liverpool Hope University Lecture: Tolkien Faith and Fiction
You can follow the lecture with the link to the power point presentation slides at:
A Premier Radio Lecture: “The Battle of Beliefs – a matter of life and death” – Liverpool
and the 2016 Gonzaga – Delivered at The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, Glasgow.
View presentation at: Glasgow 2016
Click here for presentation
September 2016: Polish Lectures in Warsaw
Right To Life Sponsored Walk – Ribble Valley – Summer 2016:
Promoting Human Life, Human Rights and Human Dignity-from the womb to the tomb.
2016 – Christian Heritage Centre Events and Exhibitions: the tale of Two Thomas’ s
Thomas Becket’s Fight For Conscience and Religious Freedom Commemorated at Westminster: Becket Week Events – go to https://davidalton.net/latest/
A Symposium on the relevance of Becket’s story, held at Lambeth, was sponsored by Christian Heritage Centre. Click here: Christian Heritage Centre added 7 new photos.
2016 – Burma’s Cardinal Charles Bo Visited Westminster and, at Mr.Speaker’s House, called for the promotion of human rights in Burma for “unity through diversity”: See
2016 Eleanor Rathbone: the Refugees’ M.P. – including a Reception, hosted by LJMU, in december 2016 and the January 2016 Roscoe Lecture to mark her life.
7Oth Anniversary of the death of Eleanor Rathbone.
To Listen to the Roscoe Lecture on January 14th 2016 on the life of Eleanor Rathbone go to:
Exhibition of Eleanor’s life at the House of Commons:
David Alton is Co-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on North Korea
Jieun Baek, (a Belfer Center Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School and an expert on information flows into North Korea) gave a wonderful presentation (Wednesday evening) to the All Party Parliamentary group on North Korea about her new book, ‘North Korea’s Hidden Revolution: How the Information Underground is Transforming a Closed Society’. David Alton said that the best antidote to totalitarianism was the spread of ideas and knowledge of the alternatives which is why breaking North Korea’s information blockade is so important.
Fiona Bruce MP and David Alton, Joint Chairs of the All Party Group on North Korea with Jieun Baek
November 2016 Lord Alton chaired a meeting at which College Student’s Alliance for North Korean Human Rights talked about discrimination and human rights violations in North Korea, how people in Pyongyang receive external information, and how the group engages young people through their work. The meeting was also addressed by Seung Hoon Chae D.Phil (Ph.D) Candidate in Politics M.Phil. Politics and B.A. Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at the University of Oxford. he detailed his findings following interviews with some of the North Korean escapees now living in the United Kingdom.
With Seung Hon Chae after his presentation in the British Parliament on November 8th.
Details of the APG’s work available from James Burt firstname.lastname@example.org
“Most of the things which really matter can be summed up in pithy straight-forward words such as justice, liberty, duty, freedom,mercy, conscience, dignity, family, faith, fairness – life itself. These are the things which make for the common good and give people hope.”
Thank you for taking the time to visit this website. It was originally created by volunteers who wanted to provide easier access to some of the speeches I have made and to some of the articles and books which I have written. Since then the site has been visited by over quarter of a million people from five continents with lots of positive and encouraging feedback.
Links on the site will take you to the contributions I made in the House of Commons between 1979 and 1997 – where I sat as a Liberal – and in the House of Lords – where I sit as an Independent Crossbench Peer – from 1997 until now.
There are also links to countries and issues about which I have taken a particular interest – such as poverty, gendercide, human cloning, and human trafficking. The site also features human rights reports on situations witnessed first-hand in countries like Sudan and Darfur, Congo, North Korea and Burma. There are power point presentations and audio from talks. There are also biographical details and some links to organisations which whom I work or which champion some of the causes featured on this site.
“Doing politics as if people mattered.”