Monthly eucharist begins for stranded seafarers
A MONTHLY international eucharist for seafarers has been organised at 8 a.m. GMT on the first Saturday of each month, live-streamed from the Basilica of Notre-Dame de la Garde, in Marseilles. The first of the celebrations, which takes place in English, was held on 6 February, and is intended for sailors around the world who are unable to leave their ships because of the pandemic. The Anglican Chaplain of All Saints’, Marseilles, the Revd Jamie Johnston, said: “There was a tangible sense of the seafarers sharing the mass with us, despite the distance that separated us from them.”
Vatican observer: UN’s Islamophobia report ‘divisive’
A REPORT from the United Nations Human Rights Council last week which focused on Islamophobic and anti-Muslim discrimination and hostility has been criticised as “divisive” by the Vatican’s Permanent Observer to the UN, Archbishop Ivan Jurkovic. It failed to mention the persecution of Christians and other religions, he said in Geneva last week. All religions were being “vehemently condemned”, and it was “of paramount importance that the civil authorities commit themselves to respect, protect, and defend the freedom of religion or belief”.
Swiss narrowly vote to ban burqa
WOMEN in Switzerland will be banned from wearing the burqa or niqab in public, after 51.2 per cent voted in favour of the ban in a referendum this week, to the dismay of religious groups (News, 5 March). The country joins France, Belgium, and Austria, which have already banned people from covering their face completely on the street, in shops, and in restaurants. Full facial veils will still be allowed to be worn inside places of prayer, and face coverings worn for health and safety reasons (for example during the pandemic) are exempt.