Overseas news in brief

18 April 2012

Geometric: an artist’s impression of the transitional card­board cathedral designed by the Japanese architect, Shigeru Ban, to re­place Christchurch Cathedral, New Zealand, which is to be demolished after sustaining heavy earthquake damage, last year ANGLICAN TAONGA

Geometric: an artist’s impression of the transitional card­board cathedral designed by the Japanese architect, Shigeru Ban, to re­place Christchurch C...

Church in Japan helps radiation survivors

A CHURCH in Japan, which is about 60 miles from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, is being used as a centre to provide information and counselling about the risks of radiation. The Episcopal News Service re­ported last week that Terumi Kataoka had set up the project at her United Church of Christ church in Aizuwakamatsu. She said: “We are called to pray and act with our voices of anger to save the lives of the little ones.” The Fukushima Daiichi plant was damaged in the earthquake and tsunami last year, and has been leaking radiation.

Christians criticise mining in Guatemala

THE Christian Ecumenical Council of Guatemala last week criticised mining operations in the Polochic Valley. It said that hundreds of people had been forcibly evicted from 14 villages to make way for mining and oil exploration, and for hydroelectric dams.

Virginia settles with parish after five years

the Episcopal diocese of Virginia has reached a settlement with Truro Anglican Church, Virginia, after five years of litigation. The dispute arose after Truro Anglican and other parishes left the Episcopal Church in 2006 to become part of the Anglican Church of North America (News, 2 February 2007). A court has already ruled that all property held by the parishes at the time they moved belongs to the diocese. The diocese has given Truro Anglican a rent-free lease of some buildings until June 2013, and both sides have agreed to enter into a covenant of mutual charity and respect.

Petitioners line up for and against Dr Tutu

ALUMNI of Gonzaga University, Washington, in the United States, have collected more than 700 signatures for a petition demanding that the uni­versity retract an invitation to Archbishop Desmond Tutu to deliver an address there. The petition acknowledges the Archbishop’s “wonderful work” in South Africa, but says that what it describes as “his positions on pre-born life, sexuality, and his disrespect for the Jewish people, should disqualify him from receiving any honors at any institution worthy of calling itself Catholic.” A counter-petition, organised by an ecumenical group, Faithful America, has attracted 10,819 signatures.

Tsunami aid helped new quake response

CHURCH aid workers in Indonesia report that training that was put in place after the 2004 tsunami helped to bring about an effective response to the two earthquakes that struck the coast of Sumatra on Wednesday of last week. Evacuations went smoothly, according to the YAKKUM Emergency Unit, a member of ACT Alliance, which comprises 125 churches and organisations committed to humanitarian assistance.

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