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Afghani Women Rally to Stop Violence Against Them


In Afghanistan, hundreds of women marched through the capital Kabul recently to protest rampant violence across the nation toward females.  Women throughout Afghanistan are commonly subjected to domestic violence, forced marriage and rape.  Furthermore, continuing instability in the nation has meant that many Afghani women have seen little or no improvement to their condition over the past year.  As past of the march, female demonstrators delivered a 12-point resolution that included calls for the elimination of violence against women, ending gender-based discrimination and setting up social programs to aid abused women.




World Council of Churches Support Code of Good Practice for HIV/AIDS response.

19 faiht-based organisations are among 160 initial signers of a new Code of Good Practice for Non Government Organisations Responding to HIV/AIDS. By signing this Code they publicly signal their endorsement of its principles and their commitment to implement the programming principles relevant to their own work. The World Council of Churches was part of a steering committee that developed The Code of Good Practice. Program executive for Health, Healing and Wholeness for the World Council of Churches, Dr. Manoj Kurian comments



According to World Council of Churches leader, Dr. Kobia “church workers all over the world have a key responsibility to ensure that they are engaged with civil society in key issues such as HIV and AIDS. According to Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance coordinator Linda Hartke, “Faith communities all across the globe are living with HIV/AIDS and are also on the front line of responding with care, support and education for prevention”. More on this later on in the program.


Swedish soccer club helps Congo church promote peace among youth

In Congo t
he Evangelical Church has founded a soccer football school to promote a culture of peace among young people, many of whom are still suffering from the effects of a series of civil wars in recent years that tore the country apart.
The project cost about 90 000 euros and was financed by the Swedish first division soccer team from Gothenburg, BK Hacken, the Swedish agency for international development, the Mission Covenant Church of Sweden, and the Evangelical Church of the Congo.

BK Hacken will train the local soccer coaches at the soccer school which is aimed at young people 9 to 16 years of age.

Rev. Alphonse Mbama, president of the denomination, said to ecumenical News International, at the inaugural ceremony on 6 November, that
«It is only through this kind of action that we can psychologically heal our children who have been traumatised by all that they saw, experienced and heard during the wars.»



Chile Passes Law to Allow Divorce for the First Time


After more than a decade of legal struggle in the predominantly Roman Catholic nation of Chile, the Chilean government recently passed legislation allowing marital divorce for the first time the nation’s history.  The ruling marks the first change to Chilean family law since 1884.  Large numbers of women in Chile have now filed for divorce in the nation where it is estimated that one in four married women suffer from domestic abuse.  The driving force behind the legislation, however, was the plummeting number of marriages in Chile.  Due to the previously irrevocable status of marriage in the nation, the past decade saw a forty-five percent decline in legal marriages.  The move leaves Malta and the Philippines as the only nations yet to legalize divorce.


Cardinal tells Myanmar Christians faith will help combat problems

A Vatican-based cardinal has urged Roman Catholics in Myanmar that their faith will help them overcome difficulties they face on a daily basis. Myanmar is a country ruled by a military junta that does not allow democratic elections, Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, who has the title of prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, arrived in Myanmar on the 20th of November, as part of a Southeast Asia pastoral visit that has included Laos, Cambodia and Thailand. Both Myanmar and Laos, are countries, described by human rights groups as dictatorships largely closed to the outside world. This according ot Ecumenical News International.


Williams Tells Clergy: Stop Gay Bashing


In the United Kingdom, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rev. Rowan Williams, has issued a letter to the Anglican Communion chastising the hostile language of some in the church towards homosexuals.  In the letter, Williams rebukes those who have spoken out in hate against homosexuals and calls for such persons to repent of their words.  The letter cautions that hateful words can lead to suicides or homophobic attacks.  Williams also appeals to both conservatives and liberals to take the first step in apologizing and healing the church-wide rift over homosexuality.



Churches Split in Urging Peaceful Solution to Ukraine Crisis


Church leaders from across the Ukraine observed a day of fasting and prayer last week as the nation’s recent presidential election continues to be disputed.  Denominations participating in the fast included the Roman Catholic, Pentecostal, Lutheran and Christian Evangelical.  The event was also sponsored by breakaway Orthodox Kiev Patriarch Filaret.  Officially abstaining from the event was the Russian Orthodox Church as a whole, although Russian Orthodox leader Patriarch Alexei II expressed his desire for the turmoil to be “resolved in a peaceful and worthy way.”



Religious leaders in Nairobi back an end to the use of landmines

In Kenya religious leaders from different faiths attending the Nairobi Summit on a Mine-Free World have called for a ban on the use of anti-personnel mines, which kill and maim an estimated 22 000 people each year.Iin a joint statement at interfaith prayers, held in Uhuru Park, the Christian, Hindu, Muslim and Baha'i faiths said according to Ecumenical News International that "We call upon governments to rid the world of landmines and that those who survive the scourge be given the assistance they deserve,"



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