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World news in brief

27 April 2018


Installed: the new Primate of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan, the Most Revd Justin Badi Arama, before his inaugural service in All Saints’ Cathedral, Juba, on Sunday

Installed: the new Primate of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan, the Most Revd Justin Badi Arama, before his inaugural service in All Saints’ Cathed...

Priest murdered in his church in Mexico

A ROMAN Catholic priest, Fr Ruben Alcantara Diaz, was stabbed to death in his church, Our Lady of Carmen, in Cuautitlán Izcalli, Mexico, last week, becoming the 22nd priest to be killed in the country in the past six years. He was about to begin the mass, the Catholic Herald reported. The assailant alleged abuse in his shouts and fled the scene, the Mexican newspaper Reforma reported. Two priests were killed in Mexico in February (News, 9 February). A report last year said that the assassination of 31 priests had been registered in the past ten years, including 15 in the past four years, alongside threats, extortion, kidnapping, and torture (News, 7 April 2017).

Canadian same-sex resolution could be amended

THE Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, the Most Revd Fred Hiltz, has said that the resolution to change the marriage canon to allow for same-sex marriages might itself be amended to include protections for those with opposed views. Archbishop Hiltz said last week that it was a “possibility” that the resolution, passed at first reading at the last General Synod in 2016, will be amended at the next Synod in 2019 to that end. Another possibility is that another resolution will be made to change the canon so that it “would enable the Church as a whole, as a General Synod, to say something clearer to conservatives who want to remain in our Church”, Archbishop Hiltz said. Preparations for the second reading were a crucial topic at the meeting of the Canadian House of Bishops this month, he said.

Anglican fabric torn, say GAFCON Primates

GAFCON’s Primates’ Council has warned that the 2017 Primates’ Meeting in Canterbury “has contributed to a deepening of the divide in our beloved Communion”. In a communiqué released this week after a meeting of GAFCON in Uganda, the Primates said that, having received a report from those who attended the Canterbury meeting, they are “grieved that the Communiqué from that meeting did not accurately describe the relationships that have been broken by The Episcopal Church in the United States, the Anglican Church of Canada, and the Scottish Episcopal Church” over same-sex marriage. “These provinces have torn the fabric of the Anglican Communion. They are not walking together with us.”

Kachin Christians released from prison in Myanmar

TWO ethnic Kachin Christians, Dumdaw Nawng Lat and Langjaw Gam Seng, have been released after being jailed in Myanmar in 2017 for assisting journalists reporting on the bombing of a Roman Catholic church by the country’s army. They were among 34 political prisoners released on 18 April, Christian Solidarity Worldwide reported. The charity’s East Asia team leader, Benedict Rogers, welcomed the prisoners’ release, but said that they should never have been arrested. “We urge the government of Burma to release all remaining political prisoners, to reform or repeal repressive laws, and to stop arresting journalists, human-rights defenders, civil-society activists, or ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate humanitarian and human-rights activities.”

Indian Christian injured in faith-related attack

THANGARAJ RAMASAMY, a Christian in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu state, in southern India, was left with severe injuries to his head and shoulders after being attacked last week by a neighbour, CSW reported. It is alleged that he had been accused of “sharing his faith”. Concern has been rising over anti-Christian activity in the southern Indian state. Sixty attacks have been reported there in the past 15 months, the Synod of Pentecostal Churches of Tamil Nadu reported. CSW’s chief executive, Mervyn Thomas, said: “It is very concerning to see that hardline nationalist groups are being allowed to set the religious agenda for Tamil Nadu. Their ideology of intolerance and communal politics polarises communities.”

PAAmerica mourns: The procession at the funeral of Barbara Bush, the former United States First Lady, at St Martin’s Episcopal Church, Houston, last Saturday. Mrs Bush, the wife of former president George Bush and the mother of former president George H.W. Bush, died last week aged 92

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