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World news in brief

18 October 2013

Woman Primate for Sweden 

THE first woman archbishop of the Lutheran Church of Sweden said on Tuesday that her appointment "doesn't come as such a surprise". The Rt Revd Antje Jackelen, currently Bishop of Lund, said: "We've had female priests for 50 years. . . I have confidence, and that is also an asset." The outgoing Archbishop, the Most Revd Anders Wejryd, said that it was "about time" that a woman headed the Church, pointing to female leaders in Norway, the United States, and Germany. 

RC human-rights office closed in El Salvador 

THE closure of the human-rights and legal-aid office of the RC Church in El Salvador "can only bring comfort to the enemies of truth, justice, and reconciliation", the head of CAFOD in Latin America said last week. Christian Aid, whose partner FESPAD is working on fighting human-rights abuse cases, said that the office held "key" evidence and archives. The Archbishop of El Salvador, the Most Revd José Luis Escobar Alas, said that the office "no longer has a raison d'être". 

Arctic 'igloo church' may have to close

THE new St Jude's Cathedral, known as the "igloo church" (pictured above), in Iqaluit, in the diocese of the Arctic, could be forced to close because of financial concerns, the Alaska Dispatch reported last week. The Bishop of the Arctic, the Rt Revd David Parsons, said on Monday of last week that a contractor that had worked on the construction of the cathedral had gone bankrupt, and was demanding payment for outstanding bills. 

Court bans use of word 'Allah' 

NON-MUSLIMS may not use the word "Allah" to refer to God, a Malaysian court ruled this week. The appeals court upheld an appeal from the government after a lower court had ruled in 2009 that a Roman Catholic newspaper, The Herald, could use the word in its Malay-language edition. The chief judge said that the use of the word "Allah" was "not an integral part of the faith of Christianity", and would "cause confusion in the community". 

Refugee seeks sanctuary 

A PAKISTANI woman is taking sanctuary in an Anglican church in Montreal, to avoid being deported. Kurshid Begum Awan, who arrived in Canada two years ago, has already suffered two heart attacks. She claims that her life is at risk from Muslim extremists in Pakistan. The Bishop of Montreal, the Rt Revd Bryan Clarke, told CBC News: "I recognise thatsome would say we're breaking the law, but I would suggest that we are challenging the law based on humanitarian and compassionate grounds."

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