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Christian Peacemakers say Coalition force causes Iraqi violence, Archbishop says war damaged UK

In Iraq, Christian peacemakers have written to a US ambassador, L Paul Bremier III, Presidential envoy to Iraq, suggesting that the coalition’s excessive use of force has contributed to escalating violence.


Christian Peacemaker Teams has maintained an almost continuous presence in Iraq since October 2002, according to Ekklesia.


CPT urged the coalition forces exercise restraint and foster dialogue to overcome instability.   They also suggested talking with community leaders and listening to their recommendations for violence de-escalation.


Meanwhile in England, Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, has suggested the aftermath of the war has resulted in a lack of confidence in the British political system.


The remarks were made during an address to Cambridge’s St Benet’s Church where he spoke of Christian obedience in a commemoration sermon.


He suggested that admitting error might be one way to restore the trust lost by the failure to find weapons of mass destruction.


Religious Broadcasts Television Miracles Banned

In Nigeria, the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission’s threat continues to bring mixed reactions as leaders, both religious and secular, express their opinions.


Here’s Ariel McLeggon with the report.


As the April 30th deadline approaches, Nigerian church leaders are divided on the NBC’s decision to ban the advertisement of miracles on television.


Many Nigerians believe that the NBC is right  to take this decision, as they believe most miracle healings are meant to deceive the gullible.


The Prelate of Nigeria’s Methodist Church, and 2 time president of the Christian association of Nigeria, Dr. Sunday Mbang, said that religious leaders have abandoned the message of salvation, and dwell on miracles due to money and cheap publicity.


However, President of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, Bishop Mike Okonkwo is behind the ban, arguing that the main culprits of miracle healing do not actually belong to any of the blocks in the Christian association of Nigeria. 


Okonkwo said, “I’m not saying they should stop TV evangelism. No, but let them preach the word.”


All Africa reports that local lawyers are advising religious leaders affected by the ban, to challenge it in court.


Experts Say UN Reform should make single sided actions less likely

Participants in a Rome conference determined that the situation in Iraq shows the need for UN reform, however the goal should be to make war less likely, for single states to wage.


Head of the Pontifical council for Justice and Peace, Cardinal Renato Martino, said, ¨No single political state…is able to assure a just peace for the planet and the realization of the common good.


According to the Catholic news service, Martino also said that the UN reform was more urgent today due to disrespect for the weakening international law.  He emphasized that the fight against terrorism can not simply bypass international law which the church considers an irreplaceable element of the universal common good.


Meanwhile, the United Nations Educational fund has stated that girls need education as much as boys do.


This week is the Global Campaign for Education’s Action week, and UNICEF is focusing attention on the disproportionate number of the world’s female children out of school. This comes courtesy of Interworld Radio. 


Bishop Laments lack of Biblical literacy

In England, Bishop of Durham, Tom Wright said “the Church of England Clergy have become so blasé about the Bible that they need remedial lessons in its meaning.”


Wright, the third most senior figure in the Anglican Church, also attacked the commonly held view of the afterlife saying: “The great majority of people think going to heaven when you die is the name of the game.  Yet it ignores the real message of Christianity…commitment to equality, justice, working in the world, in the present….


ADRA Celebrates 20 years of Service

The Adventist Development and Relief Agency International celebrated its 20th anniversary this week.


Since its inception in 1984, ADRA has grown from less than 600 staff worldwide and operations in 75 countries to more than 4,000 staff members and a presence in 120 countries.


Its development and relief assistance has been valued at more than 120 million US dollars, and has benefited more than 22 million people.


ADRA provides assistance without regard to political or religious association, age or ethnicity.



Christian Music Pirates

According to a new study done for the Gospel Music association, teenagers are stealing Christian music primarily through internet downloads and CD burnings.


The Gospel Music Association’s president, John Styll, said last years sales of Christian albums fell by 5%, and the major labels cut their workforce by 10%.


Chrtistian music executives say digital music theft hurts their sales, but the Christian industry doesn’t see piracy as purely a legal issue.


Styll said, “We take it further and say it’s a moral issue. But we’re not going to sue people. It just doesn’t seem right.”


The study comes out in time, as Christian music is in the spotlight this month with the Dove Awards on April 28thThe industry’s equivalent of the Grammys.


Philippine President Inaugurates 3ABN TV.

In the Philippines, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo personally inaugurated the Three Angels Broadcasting Network.


Nixon de Vera reports.


In a televised address, President Arroyo said, “This is the beginning of what will be surely yet another of your valuable and significant contributions to Philippine culture. Through your programmes….you offer Filipinos what we need most—a healthy mind in a healthy body, anchored on faith in God.

The new station will broadcast 3ABN’s signal 24 hours a day to a potential audience of 24 million people.


And finally….


A Lost generation

According to an article in the straits time, dysfunctional Generation “d” youths suffering from depression, deviant behaviour or disconnectedness have become the subject of prayer meetings in local churches.


The Trinity Christian Centre has taken up praying for these youngsters with a propensity for suicide and abusive relationships.


The story has taken on a life of its own in other ways. Apparently a new greeting among the youth is “Are you depressed, disconnected, or just plain deviant?”


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