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Foreign news in brief

11 April 2012

Up-ended: people attending an Easter-morning sunrise service on the lawn of St Barnabas’s United Methodist Church, Arlington, Texas, look at the heavy damage inflicted by a tornado last week AP

Up-ended: people attending an Easter-morning sunrise service on the lawn of St Barnabas’s United Methodist Church, Arlington, Texas, look at the heavy...

Jailed Iranian pastor’s birthday remembered

THE lunchtime eucharist in St Paul’s Cathedral yesterday was due to be celebrated with a special intention for the Iranian pastor Yousef Nadarkhani, who has been sentenced to death in Iran for apostasy (News, 7 October). Yesterday was Pastor Nadarkhani’s 35th birthday. The cathedral’s Treasurer, Canon Mark Oakley, was expected to preside; Stuart Windsor, special ambassador for Christian Solidarity Worldwide, was scheduled to lead special intercessions. Church in Chains is encouraging supporters to send Pastor Nadarkhani a birthday card. Information can be found at www.churchinchains.ie/node/509.

Letter backs demolition of Christchurch Cathedral

A LETTER signed by 70 churches and Christian organisations of various denominations, supporting the decision to demolish Christchurch Cathedral, New Zealand (News, 9 March), was presented to the Bishop, the Rt Revd Victoria Matthews, on Tuesday of last week. A spokesman for the signatories said that they were responding to criticism of Bishop Matthews’s decision to demolish her cathedral. He said: “A church leader’s primary responsibility is the care of people, not the preservation of monuments.”

Traditionalists appeal against court order on property

SEVEN congregations who left the Episcopal Church in the United States to align themselves with the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) appealed last week against a court ruling last month that their property should be returned to the diocese of Virginia by 30 April. Four of the churches — the Apostles Anglican, Fairfax; the Falls Church Anglican, Falls Church; St Paul’s Church Anglican, Haymarket; and Truro Church Anglican, Fairfax — requested that the court order not be enforced until their appeals were decided. The secretary of Virginia diocese, Henry Burt, said: “We respect the CANA congregations’ right to appeal, but believe that it’s time that these priorities were returned to the mission and ministry of the Episcopal Church and that the litigation should end.”

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