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In India Seventh day Adventists have welcomed the withdrawal of Anti conversion laws in the region of Tamil Nadu. The Anti Conversion laws were introduced and passed in 2002, making it a crime to convert from one religion to another. The legislative change came about after India’s National elections which saw a change in government. Adventist News Network reports that during the 20 months of anti conversion laws the Adventist Church saw a growth of 10 thousand new members this according to church leader for south India Rathna Raj John. The Adventist Church leader in South Tamil, Jeeva Ponnappa, says activities and outreach programs of the church can now be carried out more fervently, and he thanks the government for this step.
In Liberia The Catholic Archdiocese of Monrovia says the establishment of a war crime tribunal in Liberia would be a necessary step in helping to curtail future human rights violation in the country. The Catholic Church emphasized that the establishment of a war crimes tribunal would set a deterrent for any future recurrence of inhumanity that has visited Liberians for more than 14 years. While the archdiocese does not oppose any setting up of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission or any other transitional justice systems, it believes that the war crimes tribunal is an additional mechanism to correct the wrongs.
North American and European church leaders met last week with United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan. The Church leaders wanted to highlight their support for a stronger role for the UN in Iraq. Reverend Robert Edgar, general secretary of the US National Council of Churches expressed that "The future of Iraq is tied to the UN."
This week the question of Christianity re emerged in the European Unions discussion. Seven mainly Roman Catholic counties led by Italy, urged the union to recognize a "historical truth" and refer explicitly to the "Christian roots of Europe" in its new constitution. France and Belgium said it could not accept references to God and Christianity in a European Union. This issue is not expected to be settled before the Brussels summit on June 17, when the constitution is due to be agreed.
In Sudan the AACC – All Africa Conference of Churches has warned of "genocide in the making." Ecumenical News International reports that the AACC’s warning came after a delegation last week visited the war-torn north-east African nation of Sudan. The continental church grouping said the situation in Sudan resembled that of Rwanda 10 years ago when up to a million people were slaughtered as the world looked on. It accused African governments of indifference to the suffering of the people of Sudan, for failing to respond to their appeals and for having supported the re-election of Sudan to the executive committee of the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Commission.
Praise for Zambian denomination that elects woman as bishop
In Zambia the Council of Churches has praised the United Church of Zambia for electing a woman as a bishop. Silvia Mukuka was elected as bishop of the denomination's North-Western Presbytery church district. The council of churches say it was a step in the right direction to transforming unequal relations between women and men. This According to Ecumenical News International
English Roman Catholic Church presents a softer version of the Vaticans moral stand
In United Kingdom the Roman Catholic Church presented this week the most comprehensive document on moral teachings. The document called “Cherishing Life” restated traditional Roman Catholic views however the document appears to be more tolerant in the language used than previous similar documents from the Vatican. The document outlines the views of the Roman Catholic Church on personal responsibility over a range of issues, but also states unequivocally the morality that governments should follow over issues such as war and the use of force. In the 103 page long document The Roman Catholic Church admits that the Church does not have answers to all the questions of modern living.
Spat over US bishop rocks African Methodists in Zambia
In Zambia A leadership crisis is occurring in Zambia's African Methodist Episcopal Church. Ecumenical News International reports that the dispute over appointing a foreign bishop from the United States as an overseer for the central African region has been intensified by bursting into public domain. The African Methodist Episcopal Church’s leadership has seen two opposing factions jostling for supremacy, one led by the Rev. Edith Mutale and the other by the Rev. Paul Kawimbe. Mutale's group is opposed to what it sees as the imposition of the Rev. Preston Warren Williams II, a bishop from the US.
Anglican Diocese of London celebrates 1400 years
In Great Britain the Anglican Diocese of London celebrated 14 hundred years on the 22 of may. The festiv celebration to mark the anniversary was held at St. Paul’s Cathedral where Right Reverend Richard Chartres gathered the diocesan family together. 3thoussand people attended the celebration and Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Williams preached at the service.
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