World news in brief

by
06 December 2019

CYNTHIA BLACK

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See gallery for more picture stories

Dr Louie Crew Clay, champion of LGBT inclusion, dies, aged 82

THE founder of Integrity, an LGBT organisation in the Episcopal Church in the United States, Dr Louie Crew Clay, died last week, aged 82. Dr Crew Clay, pictured (above) with the Revd Gay Clark Jennings at the Integrity eucharist during the Episcopal Church’s 2015 General Convention, created a newsletter, Integrity, that grew rapidly into a national charity. It has had an official presence at every General Convention since 1977. Born Louie Crew, and a teacher and academic by profession, he entered into a civil marriage with Ernest Clay in 2013. He was the author of many articles and several books.

 

Pope calls for disabled people to be guaranteed dignity

PEOPLE should “develop antibodies against a culture that considers some lives first- or second-class”, the Pope said on Tuesday, in a message to mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Pope Francis said that many disabled people felt as if “they exist without belonging and without participating”, Vatican News reported. “All this calls not only for the rights of people with disabilities and their families to be protected. . . It also urges us to make the world more human” by removing prejudice. He invited people to “have the courage to give a voice to those who are discriminated against because of their disability”, and concluded that good laws and infrastructure were not enough, and that people’s mentality about disability needed to change.

 

Record number will need aid in 2020, says UN

MORE than 168 million people “will need humanitarian assistance and protection” next year, the United Nations’ emergency-relief chief, the head of OCHA, Sir Mark Lowcock, said this week. Climate change and weather events, disease outbreaks, and larger and more protracted conflicts had increased the number in need by 22 million in the past year, he said. “That represents about one person in 45 on the planet. It is the highest figure in decades.” Yemen was still going to be the “world’s worst humanitarian crisis”, he said: 80 per cent of the population need humanitarian assistance; and by 2022, there could be 200 million people in need of UN help.

 

Mexican Anglicans participate in forum on child abuse

CLERGY of the Anglican Church of Mexico attended a forum on child abuse last week. ACNS reports that figures show that one in five girls aged 15 to 17 — almost 700,000 young women — experienced family violence in 2015. The Revd Diana Garcia, who heads the Global Network of Religions for Children in Mexico, and works in child protection for the Mexico diocese, said: “In education we have an ethics education programme developed by Arigatou and UNICEF called ‘Learning to Live Together’ and a programme developed by World Vision called ‘Channels of Hope’ for child abuse prevention.” The forum heard that there needed to be culture change, and that civil servants and members of the judiciary required more education about child abuse.

 

Ebola-virus health workers killed in DRC

FOUR health workers were killed by armed groups in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo as they were helping to address the Ebola virus, the World Health Organization (WHO) has reported. The WHO said that five more workers had been injured, and called for the “constant” attacks to be stopped. The outbreak in Ituri and North Kivu is the second worst outbreak of the virus since 2018, and the region has been destabilised by dozens of armed groups. The WHO’s director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, wrote on Twitter: “We are heartbroken that our worst fears have been realized. Our focus is caring for the wounded and ensuring staff at other locations are safe.”

 

Bail for five imprisoned Christians in India

THE RC Archbishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar, the Most Revd John Barwa, has said that he is “overjoyed” that five Christians imprisoned in India for the past 11 years for murdering a Hindu holy man have been released on bail. They were released after two police officers reported that the five had been wrongly accused. The online news service Crux reported that Archbishop Barwa said: “I am overjoyed that finally my people have received bail; on the other hand, I feel saddened that innocent Christians were incarcerated for 11 long years.” The death of Swamy Laxmananda Saraswati in Kandhamal, in 2008, led to anti-Christian rioting that has been described as the worst in the history of India: it left 100 people dead, and 300 churches destroyed. Bhaskar Sunamajhi, Buddhadev Nayak, Durjo Sunamajhi, Sanatan Badamajhi, and Munda Badamajhi were all arrested shortly afterwards, together with Gornath Chalanseth and Bijaya Kumar Sanaseth, who were released earlier this year.

 

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