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World news in brief

by
17 December 2021

Alamy

President Biden walks past the coffin of Bob Dole during a funeral service in Washington National Cathedral, last Friday

President Biden walks past the coffin of Bob Dole during a funeral service in Washington National Cathedral, last Friday

Biden delivers eulogy at funeral of Bob Dole

PRESIDENT BIDEN delivered a eulogy at the funeral of the former US presidential candidate Bob Dole, in Washington National Cathedral, last Friday. Dole, who died on 5 December, aged 98, of lung cancer, served for 36 years in the US Congress, as a representative and then senator, and was the Republican nominee for Vice-President in 1976, and for President in 1996. He also served in the US army during the Second World War. President Biden said: “God, what courage Bob Dole had. He understood that we’re all a part of something much bigger than ourselves.”


Worshippers abducted in Kaduna are released

SIXTY-ONE Christians abducted by armed kidnappers who stormed a service at Emmanuel Baptist Church, Kakau Daji, in Kaduna State, Nigeria, on 31 October (News, 12 November), were released on 3 December, the charity Church in Chains reports. The chairman of the Kaduna chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria, the Revd John Joseph Hayab, said that nine other hostages were released, alongside the 61 members of the congregation. He said that a ransom was paid, but did not specify how much. Christian Solidarity Worldwide reported on Tuesday that a senior Evangelical pastor, the Revd Dauda Bature, had died after being abducted from his farm in the Igabi area of Nigeria in November. His wife, Haddasa Bature, was also abducted, but released on 6 December with a ransom note for her husband.


Attack on RC school in India reported

MORE than 300 people belonging to Hindu nationalist groups attacked St Joseph’s Roman Catholic School, Ganj Basoda, in Madhya Pradesh state, in India, on 6 December, after allegations of conversions at the school, it has been reported. Christian Solidarity Worldwide reports that members of “right-wing Hindu groups” threw stones at a window at the entrance to the school while pupils were taking exams. “Although the students were immediately moved to another room for safety, many were traumatised and could not complete their examinations.” The attack was said to have been sparked by a YouTube channel report that showed eight girls receiving communion, suggesting that they were students at the school and had recently converted. School authorities later clarified that the photo was of a confirmation service in St Joseph’s Church near the school.


Appeal launched and dialogue called for in Holy Land

CHRISTIANS in the Holy Land are the target of “frequent and sustained attacks by fringe radical groups”, the Patriarchs and Heads of Churches in Jerusalem said in a joint statement issued on Monday. The statement refers to physical and verbal assaults against clergy, the desecration and vandalism of churches, and the ongoing intimidation of Christians since 2012 “in a systematic attempt to drive the Christian community out of Jerusalem and other parts of the Holy Land”. It requests “urgent dialogue” with political leaders in Israel, Palestine. The International Community of the Holy Sepulchre, a global UK-based body, has launched a Christmas appeal for £100,000 “to strengthen the education system in the region and provide much needed funding for Christian schools”. www.icohs.org

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