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World news in brief

08 April 2016


Severe: President Zuma arrives at parliament in Cape Town for the State of the Nation address, in February

Severe: President Zuma arrives at parliament in Cape Town for the State of the Nation address, in February

South African Churches condemn President Zuma

THE Archbishop of Cape Town, the Most Revd Thabo Makgoba, has called for a “tsunami of truth-telling” after the Constitutional Court ruled on 31 March that President Zuma acted unlawfully in avoiding repayment of the £11.2 million ($16 million) in state funds spent on securing his private residence, Nkandla. The South African Council of Churches, which is to meet the African National Congress today, said this week that it was not prepared to accept the apology offered to the nation by President Zuma last Friday.


Primates boycott ACC meeting in Zambia

THE Presiding Bishop in Jerusalem and the Middle East, the Most Revd Anis Mouneer, has joined three other Primates to boycott this week’s Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) meeting in Zambia (News, 1 April). “I would be betraying my conscience, my people, and the Primates who worked hard last January to reach a temporary solution,” he wrote to fellow Primates. It was the news that the Episcopal Church of the United States would be represented on the ACC’s Standing Committee that prompted his decision, he said. He also argued that the Primates Meeting and the ACC, as Instruments of Unity, “need to support each others’ decisions”.


Burma group calls for action on Rohingya crisis

MEMBERS of the European Burma Network (EBN), including Christian Solidarity Worldwide, have called on the new government of Burma to act swiftly to address the Rohingya crisis in the country. Cases of human-rights abuses, repression, discrimination, and violence against the Rohingya have risen dramatically, EBN said in a statement. About 150,000 people are living in inhumane conditions in camps, and 100,000 — more than ten per cent of the population — have fled the country. The EBN called for international support to prevent further repression.


Child earthquake-survivors in Nepal trafficked into UK

RECENT reports that child earthquake-survivors in Nepal are being trafficked into the UK for domestic slavery are “shocking”, the charity CARE has said. The investigation by The Sun this week, which suggested that children have been sold for as much as £5000, is a reminder, it says, that modern slavery is happening “on our doorsteps”. The Home Secretary, Theresa May, has urged police to investigate the claims.


Hiltz calls for prayer for Canada’s Indigenous people

THE Primate of Canada, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, has called on the Church to pray for the indigenous people of Pikangikum, where nine members of one family died in a house fire. “Overwhelming death. . . is part of the cry of hearts broken in Indigenous communities,” he said. The Church should act on its recent commitment to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, he said.

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