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Foreign news in brief

by
05 November 2009

CSI takes legal action against former secretary

THE Church of South India (CSI) started legal proceedings against its former general secretary, Dr Pauline Sathiamurthy, in September, alleging fraudulent use of funds meant for survivors of the 2004 tsunami, the Revd Moses Jeyakumar, general secretary of the CSI, told Ecumenical News International on Monday (News, 30 October). “Although it is embarrassing, we decided to go ahead with appropriate action when we were convinced about the fraud,” he said.

US doctors say faith helps healing

A SURVEY of 1102 physicians in the United States suggests that the respond­ents believe that religion and spirituality can help patients cope with illness. The findings were published in the medical journal Archives of Internal Medicine on 26 October. The study found, however, that at least one third of US hospitals do not have chaplains, and, of those that do, there are not enough chaplains to address all patient-needs.

Criminal group declares itself Christian

PRESBYTERIANS in Kenya are advocating intensive instruction in the Christian faith for Maina Njenga, the leader of Mungiki, a criminal group known for decapitating some of its victims, after he and his followers announced their conversion to Christianity on 25 October. Two days earlier, Mr Njenga had been released from prison after charges that he had killed 29 people in Mathira in April were dropped. “We need to give them some time, so that we can know if they are really converted,” the Rt Revd David Gathanju, Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of East Africa, told ENI.

Church supports farm-settlers in Brazil

A COMMUNITY of farmers who settled in a disused farm in Ariquemes, in the state of Rondonia, 13 years ago, has the support of the Anglican Church in Brazil after a court ordered the 250 settlers to leave. Its general secretary, the Revd Francisco de Assis da Silva, said that the community was part of the Church, and its eviction would create considerable hardship. “We are doing what we can, together with the political authorities, in the hope of reaching a solution.” USPG has opened a petition on its website, www.uspg.org.uk. Settling on disused land in Brazil was common because of the lack of welfare provision, the society says.

RC diocese offers $4.24 million in abuse case

THE Roman Catholic diocese of Savannah, Georgia, in the US, has offered to pay $4.24 million to a 40-year-old man, Allan Ranta Jr, “to avoid the expense and burden of a lengthy trial by all parties”. Mr Ranta says that he was sexually abused by a former priest, the Revd Wayland Y. Brown. The abuse, he alleges, took place from 1978 to 1983. Fr Brown was convicted in 2003 for sexual abuse in 1974, and was released from prison last year.

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