381 News


ADRA Aids Flood Survivors in Myanmar


Thousands of flood victims in the Ayeyarwaddy Division of Myanmar will soon receive food, water disinfectant and other items of aid from the Adventist Development and Relief Agency, or ADRA.  Severe flooding in the region left 80 percent of the population without shelter or crops for food.  The one month project will provide 10 kilograms of rice per person, along with water disinfectant and mosquito netting for over 2,500 people who have yet to be assisted by other agencies.  The project is funded by ADRA and the Myanmar Union of Seventh-day Adventists.



UK Government to Introduce New Laws Against Religious Discrimination


Minority groups across the United Kingdom are welcoming the introduction of new legislation concerning religious freedom.  The new law bans discrimination against a person because of their affiliation with any religious group, where previously only members of the Sikh or Jewish faiths were given such legal protection.  Exemptions to the law include allowing religious schools to give enrollment preference to members of that faith, and permitting religious charities service persons of their religion over other groups.  The Hindustan Times quoted Home Secretary David Blunkett as saying, in regards to the new law, “It is a strength of our society that peoples of many faiths respect each other and are able to flourish and play a valuable role in our communities.  We need to protect that strength against discrimination and intolerance.”



Cretan Cleric Elected Patriarch of Orthodox Church in Africa


The Orthodox Church recently elected a new Patriarch to replace the late Petros VII, who died last month in a tragic helicopter crash.  Ecumenical News International reports that Theodoros Horeftakis, a native of Crete, will be promoted from his position as head of the Orthodox Church in Zimbabwe, to the post of Patriarch of Alexandria, thereby becoming leader of the Orthodox Church in all of Africa.  Horeftakis, who will assume the title Theodoros II, was elected during a meeting in Alexandria in Egypt.



Critical Zambian Clergy Challenged to Join Politics


In Zambia, clergymen critical of the government have been challenged by one official to quit the church and join politics.  According to the allAfrica News Service, Labour and Social Security Minister Lieutenant Colonel Patrick Kafumukache, said recently that some church leaders are “specialists in attacking the government,” and he appealed for such leaders to “come out in the open and join political parties of their choice instead of turning the house of God into a political arena.”  Kafumukache made his appeal during an address to the 39th Annual General Council of the United Church of Zambia Copperbelt Presbytery.



A new drive to teach Islam in UK schools is set to be launched.

In Britain, A campaign's underway to tackle prejudice and negative stereotypes in the classroom. Books for Schools has teamed up with the Muslim Council of Britain to introduce educational resources that'll help with teaching about Islam.  The idea has been backed by the government’s Education Secretary Charles Clarke.  He said it was vital to creating "understanding" between different cultures.

Spokeswoman Shabannah Khan hopes it'll help the country move forward as a true multi-faith and multi-cultural society.


“Developing an understanding of others can only be a force for good as they grow older and move into the world of work and higher education.”

Resource packs prepared for schools include books, videos and CDs which the Muslim Council hopes will help overcome "barriers" to teaching Islam in schools.


Bishop Denounces Treatment of Bosnia’s Catholics


A Roman Catholic cleric from Bosnia-Herzegovina has recently criticized international administrators for what he claims are drastic failures in aiding the nation’s Catholic community.  According to Catholic newspaper The Tablet, Bishop Franjo Komarica heaped criticism on the international administrators in Bosnia-Herzegovina for allegedly failing to bring to justice the perpetrators of ethnic cleansing in the nation during the 1992-1995 war, and for giving little assistance to returning refugees.  Komarica blamed a lack of oversight of local politicians for the alleged failures and said that international organizations had shown an overall “lack of political will.”



Adventist Review Magazine to Create Global Edition


The Adventist Review, the flagship publication of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, will be expanding its distribution next year to include a monthly global edition.  The new edition, ratified this week during the Annual Council of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, will run under the name Adventist World.  William Johnsson is editor of the Adventist Review.


“The annual Council this week voted the concept an international edition of the Adventist Review.  One that would circulate quite widely in English, and would have a print run of more than a million with the estimate of about five more million people would actually access this.  It would also be available online for those who wish to get it through the Internet.  The goals are really to unify, provide nurture, there’d be opportunity for communication from the world church headquarters.  This would be a major means to help keep us together.”


The new edition, expected to cost the church between $2.2 and $2.4 million US Dollars, is projected to begin publication next autumn.


And, Finally…


‘America for Jesus’ Plans Major Pre-Election Prayer Event


Christians from across the United States have been called to gather in nation’s capital, Washington, DC, for prayer and fasting as the November, 2 presidential election draws near.  The event, hosted by the organization America for Jesus, is targeted at encouraging Christians to be morally aware and politically active.  America for Jesus representative John Blanchard says the Bible instructs Christians to be active and pray for their nation, and that “prayer is the most important and most significant thing that we can do as believers.”