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World news in brief

20 July 2012


Light: a still from Faust (Arts, 8 June), by the Russian film-maker Alexander Sokurov. Mr Sokurov has received the "Let There be Light" award from the Armenian Apostolic Church, for promoting spiritual values

Light: a still from Faust (Arts, 8 June), by the Russian film-maker Alexander Sokurov. Mr Sokurov has received the "Let There be Light" award from t...

Violence escalates in Nigeria

A BOY, aged ten, has died after a rocket that was fired at a Muslim school in the Nigerian city of Jos missed and hit a neighbouring building, officials report. On Friday, a suicide bomber killed five people at a mosque in the city of Maiduguri, a stronghold of the militant Islamist group Boko Haram. Nigerian security forces warned thousands of members of the Muslim Fulani community to evacuate five villages near Jos before an operation on Monday to flush out insurgents believed to be behind attacks on villages inhabited by Christians, in which 100 people have been killed. The World Council of Churches and the Royal Aal Al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought have issued a report on their joint commitment to the resolution of tensions in Nigeria. www.oikoumene.org

Health fears for Iranian pastor

CONCERN for the health of Pastor Benham Irani (News, 30 December 2011), who is serving a five-year sentence in Iran, has been expressed by Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW). It is reported that Mr Irani lost consciousness on Saturday. Although he has now regained it, he is suffering from worsening health as a result of "harsh treatment" in prison, CSW reports. He was arrested in 2006, and found guilty of "actions against the state" and "actions against the order". Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, who is facing the death sentence for apostasy, has been notified of a new trial on 8 September.

Islamists try to 'buy' cleric's son

SECURITY has been enhanced in Kenyan churches after the bombing of two worship centres in Garissa on 1 July ( News, 6 July), which left 17 people dead. Earlier this month, the Bishop of Katakwa, the Rt Revd Zakayo Epus, told a confirmation class at St James's, Malaba, Epus, that a cleric's son had been offered Sh6 million to join Al-Shabaab, a militant Islamist group.

Kunonga condemned by finance minister

THE Minister of Finance of Zimbabwe, Tendai Biti, has described Nolbert Kunonga, the excommunicated former Bishop of Harare, as the "Devil's angel". Speaking to journalists at a shopping centre in Harare after meeting constituents, Mr Biti said that Kunonga had hounded worshippers out of churches as the feud between him and the Church of the Province of Central Africa continued.

Woman bishop installed in Iceland

ICELAND'S first woman bishop has been welcomed by the Lutheran World Federation. The General Secretary of the Federation, the Revd Martin Junge, called for celebration of the installation of Bishop Agnes M. Siguroardottir, "in the memory of Jesus's commissioning women disciples to become his followers, and partaking in God's mission to the world".

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