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community found in China after 50 years
In China the Catholic agency AsiaNews.it reports that a community of 5,000 lay Catholics has been located in a remote part of the northwestern Yunnan province. The group had "kept the faith" without a priest and without contact with the universal Church for 50 years. In the winter when there was no farm work the group had also evangelized. Despite the absence of a priest, the number of churches has grown to 15 from the three established before the communists came to power in 1949. A catholic Priest has since 2002 been in regular contact with the group, but it took two years for the news to reach the media.
King Receives Patriarch of Antioch
This week in Jordan, King Abdulla expressed the country’s keenness on enhancing relations with the Syrian Orthodoxx church and consolidating the Christian-Muslim coexistence.
During th Kings visit, Head of the Antioch Syrian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Ignatius Zakka, voiced his appreciation of the Royal family’s role promoting and upholding tolerance values and brotherly ties for peace between Christians and Muslims.
Australian Anglican Archbishop resigns
In Australia Anglican Archbishop Ian George has resigned over child sex abuse scandals in the Church. The Australian Anglican Church has seen a series of child sex abuse allegations according to BBC. The Archbishop was not personally accused of abuse yet a report issued last month concluded that the Archbishop had repeatedly ignored or undermined victims’ complaints. Archbishop George has already publicly apologized saying the church was shamed by the reports findings.
Latvian Church Agreement referred to committee.
The Adventist Church in Latvia recently signed an agreement with the Latvian Prime minister that ensures them professional recognition Leader of the Lativian Adventist Church Viesturs Rekis explains:
<Actually we are in the legal status and so this will only make us on the same level as the big denominations and will open up dialogue with the church and some aspects like for example taxes will be easier, if it will be signed by the parliament and ratified, then it will let us also be involved in the educational process as well as to be in the social services and hospitals and some other places as chaplains it will open a survey for dialogue >
The agreement signed by the prime minister was presented and debated in the parliament just prior to the parliaments summer holiday closure. The Agreement was according to Rekis receiving a heated debate, and then referred to Committee for further study. Ryekis comments
<In reality we hope that there will be some positive result, but reality is that it has taken on the level of political debate around the position and opposition. Some political parties are using this situation as argument to make their position more strongly and some are looking and seeing that it was made so rapidly that it, as it was connected with the election to the Europe Parliament, so there is hostility from some political party to Christianity and they are saying that why should we have a special agreement. >
The process will continue to be debated when parliament meet again in the fall.
<we will systematic continue to debate with the committees and find some way to make this agreement. >
That was Viesturs Ryekis, leader of the Seventh day Adventist church in Latvia.
Indian Christian groups rally behind harassed Jesuit activist in
In India Christian and human rights groups have joined in condemning Gujarat authorities for harassing Roman Catholic Jesuit priest Cedric Prakash. Ecumenical News International reports that the Priest has spearheaded a justice campaign for victims of inter-religious violence in the state. The All India Christian Council, the Global Council of Indian Christians and the All India Catholic Union rebuked the Gujarat government, which is controlled by the Hindu nationalist BJ Party. Their criticism came after police officials summoned the priest for questioning the previous week and threatened to impound his passport.
Sudan Ecumenical Forum urges final agreement to strengthen peace & German ADRA support in Darfur region
Ecumenical News International reports that delegates of the Sudan Ecumenical Forum from Africa, Europe, and North America have hailed recent peace protocols signed between the Sudan People's Liberation Movement /Army and the government of Sudan, but they would like to see a final agreement clinched. Forum chairperson Bishop Kevin Dowling, a South African Roman Catholic, said: "We are concerned the momentum must be continued," He urged the signing of a final and full peace agreement in addition to the protocols of 26 May, in order to end Africa's longest war.
Meanwhile in the Darfur region of Sudan unrest still prevail with several aid agencies operating to save lives. Doctors Without Borders says the current aid operation in Darfur is failing to stop people dying. At least 200 people are dying every month and the organization fears that tens of thousands more will be lost unless assistance arrives in time. It adds that Arab militias in Darfur are still attacking and raping the population. Adventist Development and Relief Agency in Germany has along with nine other organizations that are members of Aktion Deutchland Hilft airlifted 35 metric tons of relief items to the region. The aid is estimated to benefit approximately 45,000 refugees and internally displaced persons. United Nations estimates that fighting in Darfur has affected more than 2 million people
Churches in Kenya await court decision over Islamic courts
In Kenya Church leaders are waiting for a court decision on their opposition to Islamic courts being introduced through a new constitutional draft.Ecumenical News International reports that leaders from the Methodist, the Presbyterian and the leading Pentecostal churches under the banner, The Kenya Church, signed a sworn declaration demanding the removal of the Islamic courts popularly known as Kadhis. The Anglican Church supports this demand.
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