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Liberian Muslims and Christians establish Trust Funds

In Liberia as a reaction to recent turmoil, the Inter-religious Council of Liberia, representing both the Muslim and Christian faiths, met this week in the nation’s capitol, Monrovia, to discuss the prevention of future violence.  According to the All Africa news service, the meetings resulted in the creation of trust fund to aid victims of recent violence as well as a call to investigate such violence and bring the perpetrators to justice.  Speaking at the meetings, Acting President of the Liberia Council of Churches, Bishop Wilmot Sampson, stated that after 14 years of war, Liberians are left with no choice but dialogue to resolve their disputes.


Thai government, NGOs, World Vision link to fight sex tourism

In Thailand, the  government, NGO’s and World Vision link to fight sex tourism.  AWR’s Steve Hamstra reports:

< In Thailand, World Vision, an international Christian relief organization, has linked up with Thai government agencies and other non-governmental organizations to assist children targeted for sex abuse by foreigners.  According to Ecumenical news international "World Vision has coordinated efforts with 10 other NGOs to establish the 'Child Sex Tourism Prevention Project' to assist and rescue under-18 youths from sex trafficking," its Thailand coordinator, Jaruwan Siri, announced in Chiang Mai, Thailand's second-largest city>


Adventist Church Joins Coalition Against Worldwide Human Trafficking

Taking a stand against human trafficking, the Seventh-day Adventist Church recently joined a coalition of non-profit organizations aimed at combating the international problem.  Estimates place the number of humans trafficked each year between eight and nine hundred thousand.  By joining the coalition, the Adventist church promises to spread awareness of human trafficking by hosting informational sessions, educating the church’s 13 million worldwide members and encouraging other organizations to join the coalition. 

Indian Christian leader urges Bush to promote religious freedom

In India  A prominent Christian human rights campaigner has according to Ecumenical News International called on US president Bush to promote religious freedom in South Asia. John Dayal, president of the All India Catholic Union and secretary general of the ecumenical All India Christian Council, said in a message to the US president that Countries such as Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Bangladesh, the Maldives, Myanmar and India "all share a common trait of the majority communities, often with state connivance, targeting Christians.”



Anglican African Bishops meet

In Nigeria the first ever meeting between Anglican Bishops concluded last week. The Bishops ended their meeting with a twelve point communiqué outlining the future of the Anglican Church in Africa. According to ChurchTimes the Bishops seek to work for the transformation of the African continent by making the proclamation of the gospel in its fullness and making it relevant to fight poverty, HIV and AIDS, malaria, corruptions, conflicts and Human rights abuse. The bishops also discussed its relationship with the World wide Anglican Communion in particular the US Episcopal Churcb and the opposing views on homosexuality. One of the future plans is to set up African Anglican theological training.



Foreigners Evacuated as Ivory Coast Violence Continues


In Ivory Coast, foreign aid workers and missionaries, including officials from the Seventh-day Adventist Church, were evacuated this week under protection from heavily armed French and United Nations soldiers, as violent anti-French protests continued in the nation.  The demonstrations began after France destroyed the Ivory Coast air force in retaliation for air strikes in the north of the country which killed nine French peacekeepers and one American aid worker.  The violent protests forced French nationals and other foreigners so seek safety in heavily guarded hotels and military bases until they could be evacuated.  Jean Emmanuel Nlo Nlo is the communication director for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the region:


Right now we are contact with the local government, and the military bases and also the various embassies.  They are asking us to be a bit patient.  Things are being organized so that people can easily go to their various places whenever there’s an opening.


Jean Emmanuel Nlo Nlo speaking from his office in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.


Christian and Muslim leaders call for calm in Netherlands

In the Netherlands Christian and Muslim leaders have called for peace and calm following heightening tensions after the funeral for the Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh. Van Gogh was killed by an alleged Islamic extremist. Ecumenical News international reports that after Van Gogh's funeral, attacks on both mosques and churches were reported. Jan-Gerd HetdeRKs, president of the Protestant Church in the Netherlands commented to ENI  that "The violence, the aggression must stop.”  Mohammed Sini, the head of a national Muslim organisation, Citizens and Islam said that  This is a negative spiral that's threatening to turn into attack and counter attack."


And finaly

‘Noah’s Ark’ Tests Negative


A New Zealand man has received a ‘no’ answer to his claim that a small rock he recovered in Turkey is actually petrified wood from Noah’s Ark.  Ross Patterson, a 40 year-old computer programmer, was informed by the research institute Geological and Nuclear Services, that the rock shard he asked them to analyze was not petrified wood, although some sections did resemble the appearance of fossil wood.  Patterson discovered the rock while investigating a possible alternative landing site for the ark, a ridge roughly 19 kilometers from the traditional site, Turkey’s Mt. Ararat.  The setback will not deter Patterson, who said he will not give up inspecting the site and has “only scratched the surface.”


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