India’s Churches demand equal rights for low-caste Christians
AN ecumenical campaign is insisting that Indian Christians who are in the lowest caste — so-called untouchables, or Dalits — must be given the same state-support as those from other religions. The National Council of Churches in India has urged Christians to join a day of protest, on 10 August, demanding equal treatment. Since 1950, Hindus who are Dalits can receive additional state benefits in recognition of the persecution and discrimination they face, but Christians and Muslims are excluded from the scheme. A spokesman for the Church of South India, the Revd Sunil Raj Philip, said that his Church would mark 10 August with rallies, fasts, candlelit vigils, and prayers in solidarity with suffering Christian Dalits.
Angola needs your prayers, says bishop during UK visit
THE Bishop of Angola, the Rt Revd André Soares, has asked British Christians to pray for his nation as the collapse in the price of oil has hit its economy. During a visit to the UK, Bishop Soares told an event at the Chatham House think tank that basic essentials, including medical supplies, were becoming more scarce. Angola had not fairly shared the wealth during its oil boom, leading to deep inequality and corruption. “We ask that people across the world can continue to pray that the Holy Spirit transforms the mind of all Angolan people, especially our political leaders,” he told the Anglican Communion News Service.
American Church leaders seek meetings with Trump and Clinton
A GROUP of 90 church leaders in the United States, including the Episcopal Church’s Presiding Bishop, the Most Revd Michael Curry, have written to the candidates for president asking for meetings to discuss how they will help the poor. The open letter to both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton was organised by the Circle of Protection, an anti-poverty coalition of church leaders. The letter states that the church leaders have been praying for a president who will share their concern for the hungry and the poor.
Legal battle over breakaway US diocese finally comes to an end
THE diocese of San Joaquin, which left the Episcopal Church in the United States in 2007 after disputes over same-sex relationships and the ordination of women, has lost its attempt to hold on to 28 properties worth $50 million. The California Supreme Court has declined to review a lower court’s decision to order the properties returned to the Episcopal Church, essentially ending the long-running legal saga (News, 23 May 2014). The Bishop of San Joaquin in the Anglican Church of North America (with whom the seceding diocese reaffiliated), the Rt Revd Eric Menees, said in a statement that plans to hand over the properties in a “gracious and orderly” manner would begin immediately.