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World news in brief

02 May 2014


Wide appeal: a nun embroiders an image of the Virgin and Child, in St Peter's Square, on Sunday, prior to the ceremony to canonise St John XXIII and St John Paul II 

Wide appeal: a nun embroiders an image of the Virgin and Child, in St Peter's Square, on Sunday, prior to the ceremony to canonise St John XXIII and...

Secularists go to law over police medal for Marian image

THE Spanish government is being taken to court - by Francisco Delgado of Secular Europe, and the Movement Towards A Secular State (Movimiento hacia un Estado Laico) - after the interior minister awarded the gold medal of police merit to (a statue of) the Virgin, in Málaga. Jorge Fernández Díaz gave the award to the Virgin and the local congregation for "maintaining a close collaboration with police, particularly during the acts celebrated in Holy Week, and for sharing police values such as dedication, caring, solidarity and sacrifice", The Guardian reported on Tuesday.

Bulldozers destroy Chinese church

A CHURCH in China guarded by Christians forming a human chain (News, 11 April) has been demolished. Photos on social media on Monday showed bulldozers tearing down Sanjiang Church in Wenzhou. On Tuesday, the state-controlled Zhejiang Daily reported that the government would protect "legal religious venues", but would "aggressively push on with the demolition of illegal buildings in accordance with the law". Officials claim that the church had violated building codes.

Missing Jesuit's family urge searchers to carry on

THE family of Fr Paolo Dall'Oglio, an Italian Jesuit priest who went missing in Syria last year (News, 2 August) are urging the authorities to keep searching for him. All reports suggest that he is still alive, and being held in prison by ISIS, an al-Qaeda-affiliated rebel group. "We ask those who are holding Paolo captive to set him free so that he can return to his loved ones, and we ask all institutions to continue working towards this," the family said on Tuesday.

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