Mississippi churches help families affected by raids
THE Episcopal Church in the United States is among those helping families who were affected by immigration raids in Mississippi last week. Almost 700 workers were taken into custody by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement in raids on seven chicken-processing plants. The Bishop of Mississippi, the Rt Revd Brian Seage, asked members of his diocese to contact child services if they knew of any children affected by the raid who were in need of care. In a joint statement, Bishop Seage and Roman Catholic, Methodist, and Lutheran bishops in Mississippi called on the Trump administration to halt raids, as they were spreading fear and causing “unacceptable suffering”. The statement reads: “Of course, we are committed to a just and compassionate reform to our nation’s immigration system, but there is an urgent and critical need at this time to avoid a worsening crisis.”
First Maori king’s flag handed back by the Church
A FLAG belonging to the first Maori king has been handed back to the Kingitanga, its “rightful owners”, after being owned by the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia for 160 years. The Bishop of Auckland, the Rt Revd Ross Bay, signed over the flag to the current monarch, King Tuheitia’s, son, Te Ariki Tamaroa Whatumoana, at a ceremony on Thursday of last week. The taonga is a flag associated with Potatau Te Wherowhero, the first Maori king, who died in 1860. Bishop Bay said that he had “no doubt” that it needed to be returned. He said: “This is about kaitiakitanga — rightful guardianship — things in their right place and right order — contributing to the oranga of the community.”
One in three Zimbabweans face ‘food crisis’
ZIMBABWE is experiencing its “worst ever food crisis”, the World Food Programme has said. More than five million people, about one third of the country’s population, need food aid, it has estimated. A spokesman said that many Zimbabweans were “in crisis emergency mode . . . marching towards starvation”. The country’s President, Emmerson Mnangagwa, declared the drought that Zimbabwe is experiencing a national disaster last week. A CAFOD spokeswoman said that years of economic turmoil and climate change were to blame, together with the lasting impact of Cyclone Idai. It was “crisis point”, she said.
Mexican priest kidnapped for protecting Cuban migrants
A ROMAN Catholic priest in Mexico, Fr Aarón Méndez Ruiz, has been kidnapped by an organised criminal gang, after he attempted to stop it taking Cuban migrants from a shelter in north-east Mexico. He is the director of Casa del Migrante AMAR migrant shelter in Nuevo Laredo, where the kidnapping took place earlier this month.