Overseas news in brief

29 September 2011

Iranian pastor refuses to recant his faith

YOUSEF NADARKHANI, an Iranian pastor, faces execution if he does not recant his faith, Christian Solidarity Worldwide said this week. The pastor was found guilty of apostasy earlier this month by the court of appeal in Rasht, in Gilan prov­ince, and sentenced to death. He has has already twice refused two opportunites to recant his faith.

Ecumenical hopes dashed during papal visit

THE hope of some ecumenists that Pope Benedict XVI might relax a ban on Protestants and Roman Catholics taking communion together was dashed during his recent visit to Germany. An ecumenical service took place in Erfurt, when the Pope said that talk of an “ecumenical gift” reflected “a political misreading of faith and of ecumenism”: Christian faiths could not negotiate and compromise, like political states. Tabea Doelker, of the Evangelical Church in Germany’s Council, said that many people had had “high expectations which weren’t met” during the Pope’s visit.

Vancouver church leaves the building

ST JOHN’s, Vancouver, one of four parishes to leave the diocese of New Westminster, in Canada, over the question of same-sex blessings, has left its building after a long legal battle. The Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the property belonged to the Anglican Church of Canada, and the congregation will now meet at the nearby Oakridge Adventist Church, which has offered to share its building with St John’s, the largest Anglican congregation in Canada. One of its clergy is the theologian Dr Jim Packer, who lost his right to officiate in the Church of Canada during the dispute (News, 14 March 2008).

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