Prevent hate speech, Burundi’s government is urged
REPRESENTATIVES of the National Council of Churches in Burundi, with other religious leaders, are “convinced that there is no plan to commit genocide”, but have called on that country’s government to “prevent the dissemination of divisive speech and narratives and incitement to violence”. In a communiqué from a consultation held by the World Council of Churches and the UN Office on Genocide Prevention last week in Tanzania, they call for “free and transparent elections in 2020”. They pledge a peace and reconciliation workshop early next year. After violence triggered by a decision by the President of Burundi, Pierre Nkurunziza, to run for a third term, Anglican sources expressed fear of genocide (News, 18 December 2015). In April, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, warned of a “campaign of terror” (News, 14 July).
Nepalese restrictions on religion become law
A BILL that criminalises religious conversion and the “hurting of religious sentiment” was signed into law last week by the President of Nepal, Bidhya Devi Bhandari. Pastor Tanka Subedi of Religious Liberty Forum Nepal described it as “a regressive step as this law severely restricts our freedom of expression and our freedom of religion or belief”, Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) reports. The charity’s CEO, Mervyn Thomas, drew attention to the case of eight Christians charged with conversion after distributing Christian comic booklets. The Bill was signed on the same day as Nepal was elected on to the UN Human Rights Council.
Recife conference looks to mission field
MORE than 200 Anglican representatives from North, Central, and South America gathered in Recife, Brazil, this month, to discuss mission throughout the region. The Caminemos Juntos conference was organised by the Greenhouse Movement (a church-planting organisation), the diocese of Recife, the Anglican Church in Chile, ACNA, and GAFCON. One question discussed was: “How can the Anglican Church in Latin America shift from being a mission field that simply receives missionaries to being a Church that sends missionaries throughout the world?”
US Episcopalians in communion consultation
FULL communion has been proposed by the Episcopal Church-United Methodist Dialogue Committee in the United States. The draft proposal appears in a report, A Gift to the World: Co-laborers for the healing of brokenness, released for consultation this week. A series of regional conversations between United Methodists and Episcopalians is to be held, before formal resolutions are presented to the two Churches’ legislative bodies. The report lists actions needed for full communion, and hopes to “right the sin of separation from the 1780s”.