Foreign news in brief

08 May 2008

“Brave and visionary”: Dr Williams praises the Ecumenical Patriarch, Bartholomew I (above), in Time magazine’s annual list of the world’s most influential people AP

“Brave and visionary”: Dr Williams praises the Ecumenical Patriarch, Bartholomew I (above), in Time magazine’s annual list of the world’...

CSW calls anti-conversion law ‘intrusive’

THE state of Gujarat, in India, has passed rules that implement its 2003 anti-conversion law. The rules mean that converts could face a year’s imprisonment for failing to explain to a magistrate why they converted and how long they had followed their previous religion. The law was intrusive and at odds with human rights, the advocacy director for Christian Solidarity Worldwide, Alexa Papadouris, said in a statement last Friday.

Professor resigns rather than explain divorce

KENT GRAMM, a professor of English at Wheaton College, an Evangelical college near Chicago, has resigned after refusing to explain why he was seeking a divorce from his wife of 34 years, Lynelle. Staff must agree to uphold biblical standards of behaviour. Divorce, except for adultery or abandonment, was grounds for dismissal. In a press report, Professor Gramm said the college had no religious justification for its demand.

Indonesian convert paroled

AN INDONESIAN clothes trader and former Muslim, Abraham Bentar Rohadi, aged 55, who was sentenced in 2006 to serve four-and-a-half years for blasphemy after speaking about his Christian faith with his customers, has been released from prison on parole. He converted to Christianity after he had had a stroke and was prayed for by a Christian pastor. He saw a vision of Jesus, and became a Christian after recovering. The charity Release International, which supported his family during his imprisonment, said on Tuesday that he had received 10,000 letters of support while in jail.

TV chef swears too much, says Archbishop

THE on-screen swearing by the chef Gordon Ramsay has led the Archbishop of Adelaide, the Most Revd Philip Wilson, to send a submission to a parliamentary inquiry into swearing on television. In one episode, Mr Ramsay used a four-letter expletive 80 times, and called a chef “you French pig”. The diocesan submission, which asked for the programme to be cancelled or moved to a later time, said: “There can be no excuse for vilification of this sort.”

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