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Overseas news in brief

13 January 2011

Bishop to act as Middle-East monitor

A retired Bishop, the Rt Revd Richard Llewellin, formerly Bishop of Dover, is to spend the next three months in Israel and Palestine as a human-rights observer, part of the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme for Palestine and Israel. He will monitor possible human-rights violations and offer protection to Palestinian civilians at checkpoints during his time in the Middle East.

Short-term missions have ‘significant impact’

A SURVEY of the “Superkids” missions organised by Scripture Union USA has suggested that the initiative has a significant spiritual impact, despite being brief. A total of 85 per cent of children who took part felt more loved by God as a result of the programme, while 80 per cent said that they learned new things about God and Jesus. More than 30,000 children, most from at-risk backgrounds, took part in the summer missions last year.

Muslims on trial after Christian is stabbed

THIRTEEN Islamic militants are standing trial, accused of stabbing a Christian leader and beating another member of the congregation with a wooden plank during an attack on a church in the city of Bekasi, Indonesia. The alleged attack is being blamed on Indonesia’s Islamic Defenders’ Front, and has led to tensions between Christians and Muslims in Bekasi in recent months.

Founder of Wycliffe Bible Translators killed

DR JOHN BENDOR-SAMUEL, who, with his brother David, helped to found Wycliffe Bible Translators in the UK, died after a traffic accident near his home on 6 January. Dr Bendor-Samuel pioneered Bible translation across Africa, particularly in Ghana, Nigeria, Togo, Cameroon, the Ivory Coast, and Ethiopia. He was executive director of Wycliffe UK for seven years during the 1990s. He was 81, and is survived by his wife, Pam, five children, and 15 grandchildren.

Jerusalem Anglicans mourn stabbing victim

THE Anglican congregation of Christ Church, in the Old City of Jerusalem, is mourning the death of one of its American members, Kristine Luken, just before Christmas. Ms Luken, who was 44 and had recently moved to the UK, was stabbed 12 times while out walking in a forest with a friend, Kay Wilson, who was injured in the attack. The Rector of Christ Church, the Revd David Pileggi, described Ms Luken’s death as “an incredible shock”.

Pope calls for return to distinctively Christian names

POPE Benedict has called for parents to give children distinctively Christian names. His words, during a baptism in the Sistine Chapel on Sunday, have been seen as a criticism of celebrity-inspired names. He emphasised that “every baptised child acquires the character of the son of God, beginning with their Christian name, an unmistakable sign that the Holy Spirit causes man to be born anew in the womb of the Church.”

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