Ugandan bishop pleads for LRA commander
A RETIRED Anglican bishop in Uganda, the Rt Revd Nelson
Onono-Onweng, has said that he is ready to defend a top commander
in the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), Dominic Ongwen, who faces
charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity at the
International Criminal Court (ICC). Bishop Onono-Onweng said that
Mr Ongwen, abducted at the age of ten while walking to school, was
"betrayed" by the world: "The state, which had the instruments to
protect him, did not. The international community also took too
long to act [against the] LRA. The world can see how things
conspired against him." A statement by religious leaders from north
Uganda last month urged that Mr Ongwen not be "punished twice" but
be subject to reconciliation rituals. He was arrested in the
Central African Republic last month. His trial will be the first
time that a member of the LRA has been tried in the ICC. It is
estimated that the LRA has killed more than 100,000 people and
kidnapped more than 60,000 children in the past 30 years.
Bishop facing manslaughter charge is asked to
THE Suffragan Bishop of Maryland, the Rt Revd Heather Cook,
currently facing charges of manslaughter and drunk-driving (News,
16 January), has been asked to resign by the diocese's Standing
Committee. The letter, dated 26 January, states that the Committee
agreed unanimously that "you are not able to function effectively
in the position . . . given recent events. Therefore, we
respectfully call for your immediate resignation."
CSW highlights killings of priests in
MORE Roman Catholic priests and lay leaders were killed in
Mexico last year than any other country in the world, suggests a
new report released by Christian Solidarity Worldwide on Monday.
The report warns that violations of religious freedom are "a common
and widespread occurrence in certain regions", and are on the rise.
The most important cause is an "entrenched culture of impunity",
linked to an "extremely strict interpretation of the concept of
separation of church and state". Criminal groups involved in drugs,
arms and human trafficking, and extortion rackets have also had a
"chilling impact" on religious freedom, it states.
Texan vicar found dead at home with wife and young
AN EPISCOPALIAN priest, his wife, and their youngest son, aged
five, have been found dead at their home in Houston, Texas. The
Vicar of Redeemer, Houston, the Revd Israel Ahimbisibwe, his wife,
Dorcus, and Israel Junior were discovered by firefighters on
Monday. A police spokesman has said that a homicide investigation
is under way. "This is a horrific and awful tragedy," the Bishop of
Texas, the Rt Revd C. Andrew Doyle, said. "Please keep the
Ahimbisibwe and Redeemer families in your prayers."
Exodus from German churches as tax reach
HUNDREDS of thousands of German Christians are leaving the
Church in order to escape a change in the tax laws, The Daily
Telegraph reported last week. Up to 200,000 Germans are
believed to have renounced their membership of the Evangelical
Church - the highest number in almost two decades. A similar number
are thought to have left the Roman Catholic Church. The
Government's decision to extend the tax, levied to pay for church
activities, to capital-gains income is thought to be behind the
exodus. The tax is levied on anyone who is baptised.