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World news in brief

by
20 February 2015

AP

Ceremony: Prime Minister Modi (right) lights a lamp in new Delhi on Tuesday, with Cardinal George Allencherry (centre) and the Indian finance minister, Arun Jaitley, to mark the Vatican's recent canonisation of two Indians 

Ceremony: Prime Minister Modi (right) lights a lamp in new Delhi on Tuesday, with Cardinal George Allencherry (centre) and the Indian finance ...

Modi vows to tackle religious violence in India

THE Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, has said that his government will tackle violence against religious minorities, after a wave of attacks on churches in Delhi. Since December, five churches have been vandalised or set on fire, but Mr Modi made no comment until Tuesday. He said that everyone had the right to follow the religion of their choice, and condemned violence and the incitement of hatred against minorities. His party has been frequently accused of pandering to Hindu extremists.


Number of child soldiers increases

MORE children are being recruited to join armed insurgent groups, such as Islamic State, even as the numbers of child soldiers in national armies falls. The trend was noted by Charu Lata Hogg, from the Child Soldiers International charity, in an interview with Vatican Radio to mark World Day Against Child Soldiers on Wednesday of last week. The areas of greatest concern are the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic, South Sudan, Iraq, and Syria.


New Zealand bishop demoted

A BISHOP in New Zealand who offended Muslims and Jews at an interfaith meeting has been demoted by the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia. The Bishop of Te Waipounamu, the Rt Revd John Gray, remains in charge of the Maori diocese of Christchurch, but is no longer Vicar General for the Primate of the Maori Church in New Zealand, Archbishop Brown Turei. Bishop Gray told a Jewish group that was visiting Christchurch for an interfaith meeting last month that "the Holocaust should have taught you a lesson." He also questioned Muslims at the meeting about what they were doing to stop Islamist violence in the Middle East, and why they did not believe in the Trinity.


Texan driver sacked for having Jesus as 'co-driver'

A LORRY driver in Texas has allegedly been fired for recording in his logbooks that his co-driver was Jesus. The driver, Ramiro Olivarez, said that his employer had terminated his contract on the grounds that he was submitting incomplete documentation and falsifying legal documents. He had put down Jesus as his co-driver throughout his career, he said, but he would have stopped if the company had asked him.


Kenyan bishop makes provision for famine

THE Anglican Church of Kenya is stocking up on rice in preparation for a famine that it fears is imminent. The Bishop of Kirinyaga, the Rt Revd Joseph Kibucwa, told local media that the Church had spent one million Ugandan shillings buying rice because of insufficient rain last year, which would cause a shortage of food in Kirinyaga. Bishop Kibucwa said that his diocese was identifying families who would be most in need of the rice.

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