Boko Haram release schoolgirls, but not Christian
LEAH SHARIBU, the only Christian among the schoolgirls kidnapped from Dapchi in Nigeria last month, was not released with most of the others, but was “held back on religious grounds”, having refused to convert to Islam and wear a hijab. Her captors, the militant group Boko Haram, in a deal with President Buhari, released the girls in exchange for unhindered access to the town, Christian Solidarity Worldwide reports. Of the 110 abductees, 104 were freed on Wednesday of last week. Most have returned to their families after undergoing medical and security screenings, but five younger students were trampled to death on the journey, returning students reported. Christian lawyers are campaigning for Ms Sharibu’s release.
Season of prayer prescribed for Anglican disunity
A SEASON of repentance and prayer from Pentecost until late 2019 is being planned across the Anglican Communion, by the task group established at the Primates’ Meeting in Canterbury Cathedral in January 2016. The group, which has been meeting in London this week, was formed as part of a commitment of the Primates of the 105 Provinces to “walking together” despite “deep differences”, including those over sexual ethics (Leader Comment, 13 October 2017). Its chair, the Bishop of Mauritius, the Rt Revd Ian Ernest, said: “We are aware of difficulties and hurts. The world knows brokenness. The Anglican Communion has had its struggles and its brokenness, too. So this is our response: our belief that prayer will help us to grow and to love in spite of differences. Our belief is that our differences don’t need to lead to hate, but prayer can lead us to heal where relationships have been impaired.”
PAGrief after fire disaster: a woman places a soft toy next to the representative office of Kemerovo in Moscow, Russia, on Monday, to mourn the deaths of more than 60 people when a fire tore through a shopping and leisure centre in the city on Sunday
New Rwandan Primate’s cathedral inaugurated
A NEW cathedral, Holy Trinity Cathedral, Kibagabaga, for the diocese of Gasabo, in Rwanda, was inaugurated by the outgoing Primate, the Most Revd Onesphore Rwaje, on Sunday. Costing approximately £250,000, it can accommodate about 1000 people. The Archbishop-elect, the Bishop of Shyira, the Rt Revd Laurent Mbanda, will be enthroned there as the next Primate, and as Bishop of Gasabo, on 10 June, the Anglican News Service reports.
Israeli settlements threaten two-state hopes, UN told
CONTINUED expansion of illegal Israeli settlements was threatening the viability of a two-state solution and eroding the prospects for peace, the United Nations’ Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov, told the UN Security Council on Monday. He was give the fifth report on the implementation of the 2016 Security Council resolution that called on Israel to cease “immediately and completely . . . all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem”. In support of his finding that “No such steps were taken during the reporting period,” he reported that Israel had advanced plans for about 1200 housing units for one area of the West Bank over the past three months.
PADutch medallists from the Winter Olympics and Paralympics at the Grote Kerk (“Great Church”), in The Hague, last Friday. They won 20 Olympic medals and seven Paralympic medals