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World news in brief

25 September 2020


Ohio supporters lobby President Trump about the Supreme Court seat this week

Ohio supporters lobby President Trump about the Supreme Court seat this week

Ruth Bader Ginsburg ‘made God’s work her own’ says Curry

THE Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States, the Most Revd Michael Curry, paid tribute to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died last week. Bishop Curry said that she had “made God’s work her own” by promoting “liberty and justice, dignity and equality”. Democrat politicians in the US have criticised plans by the Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, to hold a vote on confirming President Trump’s nominee to succeed the judge so close to the presidential election. Senator McConnell blocked a similar vote on a nominee of the Democrat President Barack Obama during the year before the 2016 election.


Pastor’s wife vows to fight for his release

SUSANNA LIEW has promised “relentless action” to pursue the release of her husband, Pastor Raymond Koh, who was kidnapped in Malaysia in 2017 (News, 31 July 2019, 3 March 2017), the charity Release International reported on Monday. Mrs Liew said: “What the police want is for people to be quiet. But the Koh family will never forget and we will be relentless in keeping this issue alive.” Release International is pressing the Malaysian government to investigate. Pastor Koh was taken from the street by Malaysian Special Branch police officers and has not been seen since. An inquiry by the country’s Human Rights Commission into the kidnapping of Pastor Joshua Hilmy and his wife, Ruth, in 2016, was halted by the pandemic. Mr Hilmy disappeared after trying to change the religion on his identity card from Muslim to Christian. Malaysian law forbids Christians’ proselytising among Muslims, and Christian converts from Islam can face a criminal charge of apostasy.


Archbishop calls for peace in Belarus

THE Vatican Observer at the United Nations, Archbishop Ivan Jurkovic, has called for a “peaceful and just resolution” to the tensions in Belarus over the legitimacy of the election result in August (News, 21 August). Widespread protests against its outcome have been met with mass arrests, police brutality, and imprisonment. The country’s President for the past 26 years, Alexander Lukashenko, was this week sworn in for a sixth term.


UN’s states have failed to keep up, it is told

THE United Nations’ Messenger of Peace, the Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai, told the UN General Assembly last Friday that member states that had signed the Sustainable Development Goals five years ago had “not kept up with your work”. The pandemic could not be used as an excuse for women’s lack of access to education. “On education alone, 20 million more girls may never go back to the classroom when this crisis ends,” she said. “The global education funding gap has already increased to $200 billion per year.”


Bible-study app’s users multiply

USERS of the free Bible-study app WordGo increased tenfold between January and July. Of its more than 300,000 members worldwide, 75 per cent are women. The app, provided by Bible Study Fellowship International, provides short courses of readings, with notes and questions. The director of WordGo, Simon Lennox, said: “With the pandemic stripping away our social interactions face to face, there has never been a better time to grow the community aspect of Church.”

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