Foreign news in brief

by
10 December 2009

Awash: Beama village, in Oro province, Papua New Guinea, after severe flood­ing, a fortnight ago. Anglican sources in the area reported on Wednesday that the estimated 10-15,000 people affected have not yet received food aid. www.tinyurl.com/Donate-via-CAF

Chinese Christian imprisoned for 15 years

A CHINESE Christian, Alimujiang Yimiti, whose detention a year ago was described as “arbitrary” by a UN working group, was sentenced to 15 years in prison at the end of October, it has been revealed. Mr Yimiti was con­victed for “instigating separatism and revealing state secrets,” says Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW). Its director, Tina Lambert, on Tuesday called for his release, on the grounds that the charges against him were ill-defined. The UN working group on arbitrary detention had concluded that he had been detained “solely for his religious faith and religious activities”. Mr Yimiti, a Uyghur Christian, is an agricultural worker.

Russia forges diplomatic ties with the Vatican

THE Russian President, Dmitry Medvedev, has told the Russian Foreign Ministry to transform its consulate in the Vatican into an embassy, after his first visit to Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday last week. The Vatican communiqué expressed pleasure on both sides “at the cordial relations that currently exist between them”, and stated that “it was agreed to establish full diplomatic relations between the Holy See and the Russian Federation.”

Misionary shot dead in South Africa

A FRENCH Roman Catholic priest from the Society of Missionaries of Africa, Fr Louis Blondel, aged 70, was shot dead on 7 December in his home in Dieplsloot, north of Johannesburg, South Africa by boys who broke into his home next to the church. Fr Blondel is to be buried on Saturday. He was the fourth RC priest killed by criminals in South Africa since March. The Revd Guido Bourgeois, also 70, and a Canadian, was wounded in the attack.

Diocese would leave ACNA over women

THE former Bishop of Fort Worth, the Rt Revd Jack Iker, has said that his congregations would withdraw from the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) if it authorised the ordination of women bishops. “Essentially, the ordination of women as priests and bishops is schismatic,” he said.

Colorado pastor makes come-back

THE Evangelical pastor Ted Haggard, a former leader of the 14,000-strong New Life Church, Colorado, has begun to take services in a barn next to his Colorado Springs home, the Los Angeles Times reported on Monday. Mr Haggard resigned in 2006 after confessing to “sexually immoral conduct” with a male escort (News, 2 March 2007). About 100 people come to the weekly service that he conducts, helped by his wife, Gayle, who has remained with him.

Forthcoming Events

16-18 February 2018
Church Times Festival of Faith & Literature

Our literary festival with a theological slant in Bloxham, Oxfordshire. Speakers include Francis Spufford, Ruth Valerio, Eve Poole, Mark Oakley, James Runcie and many others. Find out more

5-6 May 2018
Church Times Festival of Poetry
With Sarum College, Salisbury. More details coming soon - register your interest here

The Church Times Podcast

The Church Times Podcast, hosted by Tim Wyatt and Ed Thornton, features a mixture of interviews and news analysis. Listen online

Subscribe now to get full access

To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read seven articles each month for free.