World news in brief

14 February 2020


Pope Francis (centre) meets in Beirut with Catholic patriarchs of the Middle East, who spoke about the threat to the Christian presence in the region. Catholic News Service reported that they had provided “an overview of the general conditions of their countries and regions - Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, and the Holy Land - particularly wars and crises that have led to the emigration of Christians and the need to follow the faithful pastorally in their adopted Western countries.”

Pope Francis (centre) meets in Beirut with Catholic patriarchs of the Middle East, who spoke about the threat to the Christian presence in the region....


Pontiff praises global exhibitions

GLOBAL exhibitions have been praised by Pope Francis, who said last week that they “contribute to the growth of a culture of encounter, that strengthens bonds of solidarity and fosters mutual enrichment between the members of our human family”, Vatican News reports. The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry was meeting in Rome for its global executive summit. The Pope noted that they had “positive effects on regional economies and labour markets, but also offer significant opportunities for showcasing to the wider world the rich diversity and beauty of local cultures and ecosystems”.


ACNA and TEC agree Quincy settlement terms

THE Episcopal diocese of Chicago and the Episcopal Church in the United States have reached a settlement with the diocese of Quincy in the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) and 15 parishes and missions in that diocese over property, other assets, and church records, the Episcopal News Service reports. The terms of the settlement are confidential. It would “benefit God’s mission in the Peoria Deanery for many years to come”, the Bishop of Chicago, the Rt Revd Jeffrey D. Lee, wrote in a letter to the deanery. Funds recovered would benefit congregations and the endowment of the diocese. A majority of the clergy and members of the former Episcopal Diocese of Quincy voted to leave the Episcopal Church in November 2008 (News, 13 November 2008).


REUTERSCall to action: dramatic penguin decline has been reported by scientists on board Greenpeace’s Esperanza ship in the Antarctic. Some colonies have shrunk by more than 75 per cent in the past 50 years. On Wednesday of last week, activists handed a “Blue Call to Action” to the UN Secretary-General  


CSW welcomes atrocity-crime pledge by Sudan

A PLEDGE by the transitional government of Sudan to hand over people indicted by the International Criminal Court for atrocity crimes has been welcomed by Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW). It was made during peace talks in Juba, South Sudan, between the transitional government and rebel groups in the Darfur region and statement acknowledges that the handing-over is necessary in order for true justice to be delivered for Darfuri victims. The former President of Sudan, Omar al Bashir, is charged with five counts of crimes against humanity, two counts of war crimes, and three counts of genocide pertaining to acts committed between 2003 and 2008 in Darfur. Warrants for his arrest were issued by the ICC on 4 March 2009 and 12 July 2010.


Prayers sought for peace in Korea, 70 years on

A SEVENTY-DAY prayer campaign for peace on the Korean Peninsula was launched by the World Council of Churches last week to commemorate the outbreak of the Korean War 70 years ago. The campaign will last from 1 March to 15 August. A peace treaty is yet to be signed. “The ongoing 1945 division and the unfinished 1950 Korean War have become a socio-geopolitical ‘original sin’ against Korean people’s life security,” the general secretary of the National Council of Churches in Korea, the Revd Dr Hong-Jung Lee, said. “We believe that the prayer campaign will be a key of peace to open the gate of God’s grace.”

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