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World news in brief

14 May 2021


Ascended on high: Building work takes place last month on Christ the Protector, a new statue in Encantado, a city in southern Brazil. The statue will be 43 metres high, five metres higher than Christ the Redeemer in Rio, with an arm span of 36 metres. and work is scheduled to be completed in December

Ascended on high: Building work takes place last month on Christ the Protector, a new statue in Encantado...


UN: ‘Clear evidence’ of IS genocide against Yazidis

THE United Nations team investigating Islamic State atrocities in Iraq has established clear evidence of genocide against the Yazidi religious minority, the UN Security Council heard on Monday. In a final briefing to ambassadors, the special adviser, Karim Khan, said that “based upon independent and impartial investigations . . . there is clear and convincing evidence that the crimes against the Yazidi people clearly constituted genocide.” He reported incidence of executions, slavery, and sexual slavery, as well as “crimes against children that are horrific, and really chill one’s soul”. He asked: “How on earth could such things be allowed to happen? Yet they did.” In 2018, a report by the international charity AMAR said that, to prevent persecution, Yazidism should be recognised as a world religion by other faith groups (News, 6 July 2018).


South Sudan’s parliament dissolved in peace move

THE President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir, has dissolved parliament this week to make way for the appointment of lawmakers as part of an ongoing process to end the civil war in the country. The move has been welcomed by the acting general-secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), the Revd Professor Ioan Sauca, as “an important step in the long-awaited and repeatedly delayed implementation of the peace accords”. Dr Sauca expressed concern, however, about security in South Sudan, referring to the serious wounding of the RC Bishop-elect of Rumbek, Mgr Christian Carlassare, by unidentified gunmen (News, 30 April). Bishop Carlassare was taken to Nairobi for medical attention and is recovering.


Vatican group works on excommunicating mafia

alamyA picture of Rosario Livatino in Agrigento Cathedral on Sunday, when a mass was celebrated for his beatification. He was killed by the mafia in 1990

THE Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development has established a new working group focused on excommunicating members of organised crime groups. Its formation coincided with the beatification ceremony in Agrigento, Sicily, on Sunday, of the Sicilian magistrate Rosario Livatino, who was killed by the mafia in 1990. He became the first beatified judge in the history of the RC Church. In his encyclical Fratelli Tutti (News, 9 October 2020), Pope Francis wrote: “Loneliness, fears and insecurity of so many people, who feel abandoned by the system, mean that a fertile ground for mafias is being created.”


Myanmar people living in fear, charity reports

CHRISTIANS in Myanmar have said they are living in fear and uncertainty as churches in the country continue to be raided in the aftermath of the military coup in February (News, 16 April; 5 February). Brother Lwin*, who is a partner of the Christian persecution charity Open Doors, said: “The situation in Myanmar has become much worse — there has been unimaginable bloodshed. Churches have been raided more than once, and for many, grief, loss, and uncertainty persist.” Brother Ko Tun Tun* said: “We are living in fear. Police and soldiers try to scare people in the daytime and at night. . . If they fired real bullets in our community, our wooden houses would not be able to protect us from the bullets and keep us safe.” *Names have been changed

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