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World news in brief

19 August 2016


Ablaze: a forest fire rages on the outskirts of Funchal, the capital of Madeira, last week. More than 400 people had to be evacuated as the flames came near their homes. The Anglican chaplain to the island, the Revd John Blair, said that some of his congregation may have lost their homes and only narrowly escaped with their lives. But he praised the resilience of the islanders, saying: “There are many heart-warming stories of neighbours helping each other [and] restaurateurs feeding emergency services”

Ablaze: a forest fire rages on the outskirts of Funchal, the capital of Madeira, last week. More than 400 people had to be evacuated as the flames cam...

Communiqué laments lack of peace in Africa
ANGLICAN church leaders in Africa have expressed concern that the continent is no closer to sustaining peace, in a communiqué of the 12th General Meeting of the Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa (CAPA), which met in Kigali, Rwanda, last week. The Primates decried “the numerous lives lost, and futures and hopes destroyed, in meaningless wars”. The Rwandan government minister Francis Koboneka urged the leaders to help rebuild communities across the “deeply wounded” continent. The communiqué also confirmed the election of the Archbishop of Central Africa, the Most Revd Albert Chama, as chairman of CAPA, and the Archbishop of Uganda, the Most Revd Stanley Ntagali, as vice-chairman.


Another church in Chile destroyed by arson
THE RC San Andres Chapel in Collipulli, Chile, was destroyed last week in what was reckoned to be the 16th arson attack on churches in the region since December last year. Seven Protestant and nine RC churches have been targetted. The Chilean government is conducting an investigation into the unrest. It remains unclear, however, who is behind the arson. Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) reported that leaflets and signs left in the ashes calling for the release of Mapuche “political prisoners” has left residents “perplexed”, given that about 90 per cent of the Mapuche — a group of indigenous inhabitants of south-central Chile — are Christian. The chief executive of CSW, Mervyn Thomas, said that the organisation was “deeply concerned” by the attacks.


Baptist pastor ‘living in fear’ flees Zimbabwe
THE Baptist pastor Evan Mawarire, who was arrested in July after leading a protest movement against the Zimbabwean government (News, 15 July), has gone into hiding, The Times reported this week. Mr Mawarire became a household name in the southern African nation in April, when he began calling on people to join demonstrations known as #ThisFlag online. But he told the paper that he is living in fear and worried that continued reports of corruption, kidnapping, and torture may lead to civil war. Another report suggests that, after a short sojourn in South Africa, Mr Mawarire has fled to the United States to meet fellow Zimbabweans and “to take time to think” what will be his next move.

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