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World news in brief

07 December 2012


Substitute: an illuminated tree in Brussels city centre, one of five municipal seasonal light installations. By Wednesday, more than 25,000 people had signed a petition calling for its replacement by a traditional Ardennes tree

Substitute: an illuminated tree in Brussels city centre, one of five municipal seasonal light installations. By Wednesday, more than 25,000 people h...

'Beautiful' liturgy gets first outing

A LITURGY for blessing same-sex relationships will be used for the first time in parishes of the Episcopal Church in the United States this month. The new rite, "The Witnessing and Blessing of a Lifelong Covenant", was authorised for use from the beginning of Advent with diocesan episcopal permission by the General Convention when it met in July (News, 20 July). Louisa Hallas, who will have her civil union with Clare Kemock blessed at the Holy Nativity Episcopal Church in Clarendon Hill, Illinois, on 29 December, said that she was "thrilled" by the "beautiful" liturgy.


Christian boom in China

CHINA will be home to the largest Christian population within the next two decades, a theologian at Harvard has said. Speaking at the launch of a new book, Catholic Engagement with World Religions, at the Gregorian University in Rome on Friday, Harvey Cox, who teaches at the Harvard Divinity School, said that "the countries with the fastest growing number of Christians don't have a Christian culture or traditions."


Bishop backs bus ban

A BAN on preaching on public buses in Jamaica has won the support of the country's Anglican bishop, the Rt Revd Howard Gregory. Writing in The Jamaica Observer on Sunday, Bishop Gregory said that the appeal of the gospel was "voluntary, and must not be presented to people in ways that are boorish and an imposition". Instances of the Church engaging in "coercion and mandatory conversion" were "sad chapters" in the life of the Church.

Prison for perpetrators of Orissa atrocities

A COURT in India sentenced 12 people to six years' imprisonment on Wednesday, after they were convicted of committing violent acts during riots in Orissa in 2008 (News, 4 September 2008). In addition to convictions for arson, rioting, and looting, fines were also levied. Atrocities committed in the violence of 2008, which was triggered by the murder of a Hindu leader by Maoist guerrillas, included the public hacking to death and burning of a diocesan executive of the Church of North India.

Fine for Simpsons 'mockery'

AN EPISODE of The Simpsons has caused problems for a Turkish TV channel after the country's broadcasting regulator ruled that it was insulting to religion, the Turkish newspaper Hurriye reports. The episode, Treehouse of Horrors XXII, shown on CNBC-E, features a character engaging in a killing rampage after being given orders by what he thinks is the voice of God. The fine was levied for "making fun of God, encouraging the young people to exercise violence by showing the murders as God's orders".


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