Fifteen killed in Central African church attack
AT LEAST 15 people, including a priest, were killed when gunmen armed with grenades stormed Notre-Dame de Fatima Church, Bangui, in the Central African Republic, on Tuesday. The church is near the predominantly Muslim PK5 neighbourhood where 21 people were killed during clashes last month. The same church was attacked in 2014 (News, 6 June 2014). The country has a recent history of violence along ethnic and religious lines.
US bishops argue against Trump travel ban
FIFTY-SEVEN bishops, serving or retired, in the Episcopal Church in the United States have urged the United States Supreme Court to rule that President Donald Trump’s travel ban targeting people from Muslim-majority countries violates the clause of the Constitution directed against the establishment of religion, the Episcopal News Service reports. The court is due to determine whether the President can ban travel and immigration on the sole basis of nationality if that ban contradicts the power given to Congress in Article I. The Bishops say that the ban has “significantly undermined the efforts of religious organizations in the United States, including the Episcopal Church, to render aid to those fleeing war and oppression”.
Nigerian churches organise anti-violence protests
CHURCHES across Nigeria held peaceful demonstrations on Sunday against violence by Fulani herder militia and the continued holding in captivity of 113 schoolgirls from Chibok by Boko Haram. The protests have been called by the Christian Association of Nigeria for two Sundays. They follow the massacre of 17 people, including two priests, at a church in central Nigeria last month, suspected to have been perpretated by a Fulani herder militia (News, 27 April 2018). The schoolgirls were part of a larger goup kidnapped in 2014 (News, 2 May 2014).
Bavarian public buildings to greet visitors with cross
FIERCE debate has followed an order from the Bavarian state cabinet in Germany that a cross (not necessarily a crucifix) be displayed by 1 June in the entrance hall of all public buildings. The Bavarian state premier, Markus Söder, a member of the conservative Christian Social Union (CSU) party and a Lutheran from the Franconia region, declared that “the cross is a fundamental symbol of our Bavarian identity and way of life,” The Guardian reported last week. Debate has focused on whether the move threatens the separation of Church and State, and whether the symbol is being misused. Critics of the decision include the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Munich & Freisen, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, who in 2015 had argued that crosses should be displayed in classes and courtrooms, the Catholic News Agency reports. The CSU faces a challenge from the far-Right in the state elections in October.