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Adventist Church first protestant church to gain recognition in Turkmenistan.
In Turkmenistan the Seventh day Adventist church has become the first protestant church to to be registered by the country's Ministry of Justice. Secretary general of the international liberty association and Director of the seventh day Adventist Church religious liberty Dr. John Graz comments:
<we were registered before, we were recognized during the communist time then after the new government it became more and more difficult, they asked that every church, groups and so on religious groups should be again re-registered. They made so much difficulties that at the end they did not accept our registration. And they did worse when they decided to destroy, it was in 1999, our only church building, and they did that and after that it became almost impossible to have meetings, even in the apartment of our members they were unable to have meetings and to talk about their faith, they were persecuted.>
From being a persecuted church to being recognized by Turkmenistan is not merely a chance. Dr. Graz meantioned that the pressure the international community, and various organizations have put on Turkmenistan have contributed to the Adventist Church gaining official recognizion.
<The result is they decided to accept new registration for churches ofcourse we have to follow that carefully, because we never know, it could be just a first step, but what will happen? It means that for us it’s a very good first step, it’s a very good sign but we want to follow that we want to follow and see if it is really sincere, if its really a sign of more religious freedom or just a trick to improve the relation with the United States of America>
Mark D-Day anniversary in France by promoting peace, say churches
Churches in France, Germany, Canada, the United States and Britain and Ireland, have called on their governments to promote "reconciliation and peace" The call comes in the week up to the 60th anniversary on 6 June of the D-Day landings that helped defeat Nazi Germany, The Churches have paid tribute to the "heroism of those who freed us from the Nazi yoke". In a statement they claim: that "Sixty years after the end of a conflict that saw the peoples of Europe clashing with each other yet again, Europe is now gathered around its values which are liberty, solidarity, and peace." This according to Ecumenical News International.
Archbishop of Montreal elected new Primate of Canada
In Canada the Anglican Church elected their 12th primate. Members of the general synod took six hours and four ballots to decide on Archbishop of Montreal, Most reverend Andrew Hutchison as the new primate. The 65 year old Archbishop is also bishop Ordinary of the Canadian Forces. The new primate represents according to Washington times the more liberal of the four candidates. Hutchison favors same-sex blessings but not homosexual "marriages" in church. At a press conference the new primate gave his assurance that he won’t try to impose his thinking on the church and is actually uncertain how he will vote on the same-sex issue.
Greek church and Patriarchate reported to have resolved dispute
A dispute between the Orthodox Church of Greece and the Istanbul-based Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople appears to have been resolved following mediation efforts by the Greek government. Ecumenical News international reports that the dispute threatened to create a schism. Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomeos I who is often seen as the spiritual leader of Orthodox Christians worldwide, announced in April he was suspending relations with the head of the Greek church, Archbishop Christodoulos. The suspension was over the right to approve bishops in northern Greece. Three new bishops for dioceses at the centre of the dispute have been inaugurated at a ceremony attended by Greek President Kostis Stephanopoulos and Archbishop Christodoulos
Adventist Churches destroyed in Darfur Sudan
While peace talks and agreements are made in Sudan, part of the country still sees conflict. In the Darfur region Adventist churches have been destroyed. One of the Regional leaders for the Adventist Church, Harald Wollan comments:
<The tragic situation in Sudan has been that the country has faced civil war for approximately 21 years. It has over that last couple of years been an intense peace negotiation which we hoped would materialize in Peace, but there are sections in Sudan that has not been covered by this peace treaty One of these areas is the Darfur region in the western Sudan. During the disturbances there, at least two of our churches have been destroyed there and the people have beeen displaced. And it seems unfortunately that there is repeated acts of ethnic cleansing even though people are probably afraid of using that expression, but it seems that is what is taking place in the Darfur area. >
Indian church 'Communion' seen as new landmark in unity
In India Three churches have celebrated their coming together as the Communion of Churches in India at a solemn ceremony in the Indian capital. Ecumenical News International reports that the inauguration of the new communion, grouping the Church of North India, the Church of South India, and the Mar Thoma Church, all of which say they have links to Anglicanism, was marked at a service in New Delhi
Recent flooding in the Dominican Republic has killed hundreds and many people are still missing. Adventist Development and relief agency ADRA ahs been providing clothing, medicine and food supplies to a thousand people affected by the flooding. A mobile health clinic has been set up in one of the hardest hit areas, and up to 15 doctors will be available at the clinic.
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