Community can import religious texts
THE European Court of Human Rights has ruled in favour of a religious community that had been prohibited from importing religious literature into Azerbaijan by the authorities in the country. The community had sought approval to import religious materials, but selected texts were rejected by the government of Azerbaijan because they were deemed “detrimental to fostering respect” between religious communities, ADF International reports. Lawyers for the campaign group intervened, arguing that blacklisting certain religious texts set a “dangerous precedent”. The legal counsel for ADF, Jennifer Lea, said: “It is not the proper role of government agencies to determine whether religious beliefs or the means used to express them are legitimate.”
Mexican clergy join campaign for missing people
ANGLICAN and RC churches in Mexico are supporting a campaign for the return of tens of thousands of missing people who are feared dead as a result of drug-related violence in the country. More than 60,000 people are missing. There are 30,000 unidentified bodies in morgues. The violence erupted in 2006 as a result of the efforts of the Mexican government to apprehend prolific drug cartels; but existing alliances were disrupted, which allowed more factions to form. Seventy-one relatives took part in a 15-day campaign to raise awareness and search for graves. It began with an ecumenical service at the RC Cathedral in Papantla, Veracruz, and ended on Sunday. The Coadjutor Bishop of Southeastern Mexico, the Rt Revd Julio César Martín, was among Anglican clergy who attended. He later accompanied the families on a march through Papantla. The RC Bishop of Papantla, the Rt Revd José Trinidad Zapata, called for more support for the families. Both Anglican and RC churches held vigils for the families.
South Sudan farming project receives UK Aid grant
THE charity Feed the Minds has been awarded a grant from UK Aid Direct to fund a project in Mvolo County, South Sudan, designed to empower rural farmers. The charity has been working with its partner in the country, Sudan Evangelical Mission, to support marginalised and disadvantaged communities. The project will support mostly women and people with disabilities to make the transition from subsistence farming and aid dependency to sustainable livelihoods, giving communities food security, incomes, and access to loans. The project will also give communities the literacy skills to learn about farming and business.