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World news in brief

10 December 2021


Japanese Anglicans elect first woman bishop

A PRIEST in the diocese of Tokyo, the Revd Maria Grace Tazu Sasamori (right), was elected Bishop of Hokkaido on 26 November. She will be the first female bishop in Nippon Sei Ko Kai, the Anglican Church in Japan, ACNS reports this week. The director for gender justice at the Anglican Communion Office, Mandy Marshall, said: “This is a real breakthrough for Japan and will be an encouragement to ordained women everywhere but especially in Japan. Bishop-elect Tazu will need our prayers as she steps into a very male space and has the pressure and holds the hopes of Anglican women in Japan.” The date of the consecration and installation is yet to be determined.


Prayers after Javan volcano erupts

THE World Council of Churches (WCC) has offered prayers for people affected by the eruption on Saturday of Mount Semeru, a volcano on the Indonesian island of Java, which has left at least 34 people dead and hundreds displaced. “Amid the chaos and the loss, we pray for you, we stand in solidarity with you, and we want to share our condolences with the families and loved ones of the victims,” the WCC’s acting general secretary, the Revd Dr Ioan Sauca, said. “We pray for God’s mercy on those who are injured. We pray that God might guide the churches and the rescue workers responding to the needs of the people.


US boycott of Winter Olympics welcomed by CSW

THE diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics announced by the United States government on Monday has been welcomed by Christian Solidarity Worldwide. In a statement, the White House Press Secretary, Jen Psaki, said that the US could not carry on with “business as usual in the face of the [People’s Republic of China]’s egregious human rights abuses and atrocities in Xinjiang”. CSW’s founder and president, Mervyn Thomas, urged other countries to follow suit. The charity said that the leader of China, Xi Jinping, had told a national conference on religious affairs last week that “religious personages and believers should be guided to cultivate core socialist values and put them into practice and promote Chinese culture.”


Pope calls EU manual ‘watered-down secularism’

A MANUAL on communications designed to promote inclusivity, “Union of Equality”, produced by the European Commission, which recommended referring to the “holiday period” rather than “Christmas”, has been criticised as “an anachronism” by Pope Francis. Speaking to journalists on a flight to Rome from Greece on Monday, the Pope said, as quoted by Vatican News: “In history many, many dictatorships have tried to do so. Think of Napoleon. . . Think of the Nazi dictatorship, the communist one. . . It is a fashion of a watered-down secularism, distilled water. . . But this is something that throughout hasn’t worked.” The European Union was “necessary”, but must “be careful not to take the path of ideological colonisation. This could end up dividing the countries and [causing] the European Union to fail.” On Tuesday, it was announced that the manual had been withdrawn.

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