Four dioceses in new Province of Alexandria
THE new Province of Alexandria, whose creation out of the diocese in Egypt was approved by the Primates’ Meeting (News, 17 January), will be the 41st Province of the Anglican Communion, and comprise four dioceses: in Egypt, North Africa, the Horn of Africa, and Gambella. In a report to the standing committee of the Anglican Consultative Council, the exploration group said: “We have a strong sense that this is the appropriate time for the provincial independence of the diocese of Egypt, as it is poised for future development, which would be difficult to achieve whilst maintaining balance within the current Province [Jerusalem and the Middle East]. We are convinced that the rationale for the proposal is sound, and that the diocese of Egypt has the potential to become a vibrant independent Church.”
South Sudanese declaration comes into force
A TRUCE brokered by the Rome-based lay Community of Sant’Egidio came into effect in South Sudan on Wednesday of last week. Leaders of the government and opposition movements wrote in a Rome Declaration on the Peace Process in South Sudan that they were “mindful of the unprecedented suffering of the people of South Sudan caused by devastating civil war and the urgent need to cease hostilities”, and committed themselves to providing humanitarian access. In the statement, they spoke of being “humbled by the relentless spiritual and moral appeal for peace, reconciliation and fraternity by Pope Francis, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the former Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland”.
Kidnapped seminarian is released
ONE Roman Catholic seminarian has been released after he and three other seminarians were kidnapped from the Good Shepherd Seminary, Kaduna, earlier this month. He is being treated in hospital after being dumped on the side of a highway, the Catholic News Agency reported. The whereabouts of the three others are unknown. The RC bishops of Nigeria have appealed to the kidnappers to release the young men. Also in Kaduna State, children from the Du Merci Centres in Kano and Kaduna have published a statement condemning the detention of the co-founder of the orphanages, Professor Richard Solomon Musa Tarfa, and the closure of their orphanages (News, 17 January).
MU’s world President joins faith leaders in Rome
THE Worldwide President of the Mothers’ Union, Sheran Harper, attended last week’s Abrahamic Faiths Initiative dialogue in Rome, which brought together 25 leaders from different faiths at the Pontifical Gregorian University to discuss sustainable peace and mutual respect. Others attending included the President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, Cardinal Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot; the President of the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies, Shaykh Abdallah Bin Bayyah; the Chief Rabbi of Rome, Riccardo di Segni; and the Greek Orthodox Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem and All Palestine. The increased inclusion of women and youth was one of the subjects under discussion.
Aid for vulnerable Iraqis may stop soon, UN warns
AID for vulnerable Iraqis may run out within weeks as a result of the suspension of government documents allowing critical humanitarian missions, the United Nations’ humanitarian chief in Iraq, Marta Ruedas, warned on Tuesday. “Our operations are at risk,” she said. “Without predictable, continual-access authorisation, humanitarian aid is in danger of rotting in warehouses, putting lives in jeopardy and wasting badly needed donor funds.” As of this month, documents allowing humanitarian workers to travel around the country expired, and no replacements are forthcoming. A survey of the UN’s NGO partners found that more than 2460 humanitarian missions had been cancelled or prevented from reaching their destinations.