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Anglican Synod rejects equal pay for clergy

 

The Anglican Church Synod, in England, voted recently to reject equal payment for all Anglican clergy.  Under the proposed system each clergyman, including the Archbishop of Canterbury, would collect the same wage as vicars, around 18, thousand pounds per year.  Under the current structure the Archbishop of Canterbury receives around 62, thousand pounds a year and bishops almost 34 thousand pounds.  The present pay scale is already a drastic reduction from earlier pay packages when bishops often made more than 16 times the amount a vicar received.  The clergymen pushing the plan claimed it would discourage church hierarchy from becoming money-motivated and pointed to the Biblical parable of the workers in the vineyard wherein each labourer received equal pay.  Opponents of the plan argued it would make the church appear “idealistic, romantic and naïve.”

 

 

Catholic cardinal warns that Vietnam is tightening restrictions on religion

 

In Vietnam a newly adopted law on religious freedom is according to Roman Catholic archbishop of Ho Chi Minh City worse than one adopted in the 1950s under Ho Chi Minh, founder of Communist North Vietnam. The new law, set to take effect on 15 November, makes it more difficult than in the past for religious organizations and associations to register with the authorities. Cardinal Jean-Baptiste Pham Minh Man, said in what has been described as an "unofficial statement" that it would be better if the newly approved legislation had been dropped, this according to Ecumenical News International

 

Anglican Bishops Visit AIDS-Stricken Swaziland

 

In Swaziland a group of high-ranking International Anglican bishops led by South African, Archbishop Ndungane, carried out a two-day tour aimed at examining the issues of constitutional reform and the skyrocketing AIDS rate.  The AllAfrica news service reports that the new constitution has been a flashpoint of controversy for the nation. Prior to the trip Archbishop  Ndungane  expressed that “The situation in Swaziland seems to have reached a crisis.”  Swaziland suffers from the highest AIDS rate in the world.  The visiting bishops met with government officials but did not meet with the king Mswati III as he cancelled his meeting with the bishops.  One bishop described the trip as “encouraging” while another said “Having so many bishops come here shows the whole world is concerned.”

 

 

AIDS and HIV conference in Bangkok

 

In Thailand, Bangkok is host to the 15th international Aids conference. Ariel McLeggon reports:

 

At the conference churches and faith organizations are being told by UNAIDS chief Peter  Piot  that "Political systems come and go, politicians, businesses and UN organizations come and go, but the long-term perspective, the memory and the future is with faith-based organizations and religions,"

Coordinator of the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance, Linda Hartke is at the conference and she comments:

<churches have historically been debly involved particular in programs of care and support, I mean in much of Africa hospitals and clinics are largely run by faith communities. But I think anyone within the faith community if asked the question, Do you think the Churches are doing enough would have o answer No. But I think it would be the same answer for any organization the scale of the epidemic is not diminishing.  >

The World Council Of Churches is one of the faith based organizations that is present. 

<This year there is a record of faith related participants in the conference.>

New research and statistics are presented at the conference

<The new statistics that have come out from UNAID for this conference show tat the epidemic is becoming more and more an epidemic that is growing among women and girls and there needs to be a renew emphasis on education with both reaching women and girls with information and ultimately empowering them to make decisions that allow them to be safe from the virus. There are parts of the world where women will say the most risqué thing they can possible  do when it comes to HIV and AIDS is get married.>

How do churches and faith communities move forward from this conference?

<Now the challenge is, and the challenge to the churches is to be part of the effort to scale up the access to treatments in areas that are most heavily impacted, and that is a huge task>

 

 

 

Southern African Presbyterians pledge help to Zambia, Zimbabwe

In Zimbabwe, Ecumenical News international reports that the newly elected moderator of the general assembly of the Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa (UPCSA), the Rev. Graham Duncan, a South African, has pledged to direct his work to the denomination's poor congregations in Zambia and Zimbabwe. Duncan was in Zambia on a 14-day tour and noted a widening gap in the relationship between the richer congregations of the UPCSA in South Africa and poorer congregations, especially those in less privileged rural communities of Zambia

 

 

Adventist Children Activities in Africa and the Middle East

 

In Jordan and the Sudan children are overcoming challenges like desperate poverty and being orphaned, to bring God’s love to others.  According to Adventist News Review, in the past weeks Seventh-day Adventist children were involved in a Fair and Exhibition Day in Khartoum, Sudan that drew over 150 people and included games, drawing, mosaic and a video show.  Also orphans from a Seventh-day Adventist Care Home in Amman, Jordan have organized special performances for the public that include singing, drama and speeches.  Both events were very successful and those attending have requested they be done again.

 

And finaly…

 

 

Sri Lanka church leaders say suicide blast will not end peace process.

 

 

In Sri Lanka, church leaders say that a suicide bombing will not detract from the peace process. Chairperson of the National Christian council of Sri lanka, the Anglican Bishop Kumara Illangas-inghe (Ill ang ass in gee) said, “We are disturbed by what has happened. People are worried whether we are going back to the dark days.”

Nonetheless, according to ENI, the first bombing in three years will not deter the nation’s attempt to resolve 20 years of civil war.

 

 

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