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World news in brief

13 August 2021


Brick by brick: a Lego model of St John’s Episcopal Church, Lafayette Square, in Washington, DC, created by Matthew Taylor and on display at BrickFair in Arlington, Virginia

Brick by brick: a Lego model of St John’s Episcopal Church, Lafayette Square, in Washington, DC, created by Matthew Taylor and on d...

Russian sues McDonald’s for tempting her with cheeseburger ad

A RUSSIAN woman, Ksenia Ovchinnikova, is demanding compensation from McDonald’s, complaining that she broke her Lent fast in 2019 after being tempted by its cheeseburger advert, The Times reports. “The actions of McDonald’s are a violation of consumer-rights legislation,” she said. “I ask the court to investigate this and, if a violation took place, to demand that McDonald’s compensate me for my moral injury.” She is citing legislation that criminalises acts that “insult believers’ religious feelings”. A representative of Russia’s Orthodox Church advised her to “go to confession, not to court”.


Catalans protest noisily after bells stop ringing

RESIDENTS of the Catalan town of Banyoles are banging pots and pans in a protest against the decision to stop ringing the bells of their church, Santa Maria dels Turers, to appease tourists, The Guardian reports. The Rector, the Revd Ramon Pijoan, told the paper El Periodico that the owner of tourist apartments opposite the church had received complaints about the noise. The residents’ association put out an online request: “Everyone in front of the church of Santa Maria dels Turers to rattle pots, pans, plates. . . If you can’t come, go out to the balcony or window.” The Mayor, Miquel Noguer, told a local radio station last week that the church bells would begin ringing again while a compromise, such as lowering the volume of the bells, was considered.


Petition to change all-white Holy Family in crib set

A FISHER-PRICE nativity set featuring a white Holy Family “fuels white supremacy”, a campaign group in the United States argues, RNS reports. The group, Faithful America, an online cross-denominational community that puts “faith into action for social justice”, has launched an online petition calling on the manufacturer, Mattel, to “immediately and publicly commit to depicting the Holy Family as people of color in your Nativity sets and to no longer selling white Jesus products”. The current model “doesn’t just get history wrong; it also fuels white supremacy, as many theologians and historians have noted,” the group says.

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