Pray for peace in Ethiopia, says All-Africa Conference
THE All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) has invited prayers for Ethiopia, and called for a peaceful solution to the ongoing crisis in the country. The Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed, launched a military offensive this month against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, after it went ahead with regional elections that Mr Abiy’s government deemed illegal (News, 20 November). Civilians have been killed in air strikes, and thousands have fled to neighbouring Sudan. The general-secretary of the AACC, the Revd Fidon Mwombeki, a Tanzanian Lutheran pastor, said: “It is very disheartening that the leaders have ruled out any possibility for peace talks, but I don’t think this can be solved through military means.” The Archbishop of Canterbury has also added his prayers on Twitter.
US Episcopal General Convention postponed
THE General Convention of the Episcopal Church in the United States has been postponed from summer 2021 to 7-14 July 2022, to allow as big a gathering as possible. The Presiding Bishop, the Most Revd Michael Curry, and the president of the House of Deputies, the Revd Gay Clark, wrote to bishops and deputies last week: “It is unlikely that even highly effective vaccines and robust federal intervention would permit us to gather as many as 10,000 people safely by next summer, as we had originally planned.” The venue, Baltimore Convention Center, in Maryland, remains unchanged.
Repairs under way at Beirut church
THE Church of the Saviour, Beirut, which lost its roof in the explosion of ammonium nitrate in a warehouse by the port in August (News, 5 August), is undergoing reconstruction. The work to the Greek Melkite church, built in 1890, is being funded by Aid to the Church in Need, which has provided €5 million to help Beirut’s Christian community with reconstruction work. The church has been cleaned, but the window frames on the side and entrance are still shattered. Its priest, Fr Nicolas Riach, hopes that the rebuilding will help the community, about ten per cent of whom fled after the explosion.
‘Global solidarity’ sought to meet HIV target
A SENSE of “renewed global solidarity” on World AIDS Day, next Tuesday, is needed if the target set by UNAIDS (the joint United Nations programme on HIV/AIDS) of bringing an end to the HIV pandemic by 2030 is to be met, the charity Acet UK has said. Since 1988, 35 million people around the world have died of HIV-related illnesses, and 37 million are currently living with HIV. The Covid-19 pandemic has hindered efforts to prevent HIV and to care for those suffering from it.