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World news in brief

23 July 2021


Urgent appeal from Anglican Centre in Rome

THE Anglican Centre in Rome has launched an urgent appeal, after reporting “dangerously low” reserves and a financial position that “places the survival of the Centre in its current form at serious risk”. The appeal refers to the impact of the pandemic, which has meant that courses, events, and visits have not been possible, and that grant-making bodies face their own financial challenges. The goal of the appeal is €200,000. To make a donation and for further information, visit: anglicancentreinrome.org/news/an-urgent-appeal.

Report finds no human-rights improvement in North Korea

THE Government should assess “cases of possible genocidal atrocities” in North Korea, recommends the All-Party Parliamentary Group on North Korea, which reports no improvement in human rights in the country since the 2014 report of the UN Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights (News, 21 February 2014). Other recommendations include the provision of “comprehensive humanitarian assistance to all those affected by atrocity crimes”. The report follows an inquiry that concluded that North Korean officials were involved in murder, torture, sexual and gender-based violence, modern-day slavery, and persecution based on religion or belief. The report was welcomed by Christian Solidarity Worldwide.


Pakistani Christian in prison for nine years loses appeal

A CHRISTIAN, Zafar Bhatti, jailed for life by a Pakistani court for alleged blasphemy (News, 12 May 2017), has lost an appeal again, the British Asian Christian Association (BACA) reported on Monday. In a special hearing at Adiala Jail on 28 June, Judge Sahibzada Naqeeb Shezad also quashed an application by the complainant counsel to impose a death sentence. Mr Bhatti, who has been in prison since 2012, has always denied the charges, related to text messages sent from a phone that his defence says was not registered to him. BACA reports that progress is being made on his defence, and that a medical procedure has helped to improve Mr Bhatti’s deteriorating eyesight.


Under-30s invited to tackle gender-based violence

YOUNG Anglicans — defined as 30 or under — in the Anglican Communion are being invited to record video messages to contribute to this year’s 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, now in its 30th year (News, 16 November 2020). A selection of the messages will be featured on the Anglican Communion’s social-media channels between 25 November and 10 December. Videos of up to two minutes’ duration should be emailed to exposure@anglicancommunion.org by 31 October. anglicancommunion.org/exposure

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