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World news in brief

by
19 June 2020

REUTERS

The RC Archbishop of Lima, the Most Revd Carlos Castillo, censes photos of more than 5000 coronavirus victims in Peru in his cathedral at mass on Sunday, when he preached against basing healthcare provision on business rather than mercy

The RC Archbishop of Lima, the Most Revd Carlos Castillo, censes photos of more than 5000 coronavirus victims in Peru in his cathedral at mass on Sund...

 

Burundi Church supports flood victims

THE Anglican Church of Burundi is supporting hundreds of families who have been forced to leave their homes in western Bujumbura, the capital of Burundi, owing to heavy rains and flooding. One priest sheltered 70 people. The Church reported on its Facebook page last week: “Victims, especially children and other vulnerable people, also face the threat of disease caused by poor sanitation and pollution. For those people who have been affected, emergency help is needed urgently not only to prevent an epidemic breaking out but also to provide appropriate shelter, food, and clothing. Much damage has been caused mainly affecting houses and crops. . . Some schools and churches have had to close until the water recedes and buildings dry out.”

 

Bishop Curry welcomes safeguard for LGBTQ workers

THE Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States, the Most Revd Michael Curry, has praised a ruling of the US Supreme Court on Monday which applies the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to protect LGBTQ people in the country from workplace discrimination. Bishop Curry said in a statement on Tuesday: “The Supreme Court has spoken again for the equality of all God’s children.” Last July, he and the President of the House of Deputies, the Revd Gay Clark Jennings, signed a friend-of-the-court brief supporting the plaintiffs in the case. More than 720 faith leaders signed the brief, which declared that their religious beliefs compelled them to support equal protection under the law for LGBTQ people. Ms Jennings said in a Facebook post on Tuesday: “As Christians, we bear a particular responsibility to speak out, because attempts to deny LGBTQ people their dignity and humanity as children of God are too often made in the name of God.”

 

Chinese raid on Xingguang Church condemned

THE authorities in Xiamen city, China, have destroyed property and parts of a building belonging to Xingguang Church in the second raid on the church in just over a month, Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) reports. Authorities had reportedly shut down a service on 3 May, injuring several churchpeople and damaging property. The chief executive of CSW, Mervyn Thomas, said that the raid was “yet another example of China’s relentless crackdown on religious groups. . . This is by no means an isolated incident, and we call on the Chinese authorities to cease all harassment of Xingguang and other churches.”

 

African leaders call for action over ‘systemic racism’

A GROUP of more than 20 senior leaders in the United Nations, who report directly to the Secretary-General António Guterres, and who are African or of African descent, have expressed outrage at pervasive and systemic racism. A statement published last Friday called on member states to “go beyond and do more” than offering condemnation. They state: “The shocking killing of George Floyd is rooted in a wider and intractable set of issues that will not disappear if we ignore them. It is time for the United Nations to step up and act decisively to help end systemic racism against people of African descent and other minority groups ‘in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all, without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion’ as stipulated as in Article 1 of the UN Charter. Indeed, the foundation of the United Nations is the conviction that all human beings are equal and entitled to live without fear of persecution.”

 

UN reports discovery of mass graves in Libya

THE United Nations has expressed horror at the discovery of eight mass graves in Libya and called for an investigation. Most of the graves are in Tahouna. A spokesperson for the Secretary-General of the UN, António Guterres, said: “The Secretary-General calls for a thorough and transparent investigation, and for the perpetrators to be brought to justice. In particular, he calls on the authorities to secure the mass graves, identify the victims, establish causes of death, and return the bodies to next of kin. The UN has offered support in this regard.” He reminded the parties in the Libyan conflict of their obligations to international human-rights law. It began in 2011 after the fall of the dictator Muammar Gaddafi. Since then, successive administrations have failed to control the many militias in the country.

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