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World news in brief

14 April 2022


Protesters in Lima demand the resignation of the President of Peru, Pedro Castillo, on Saturday

Protesters in Lima demand the resignation of the President of Peru, Pedro Castillo, on Saturday

Peruvian bishops offer to mediate amid unrest

BISHOPS in Peru have offered to mediate between the country’s President, Pedro Castillo, and protesters who are calling for his removal from office, Crux reported on Saturday. Hundreds of thousands of Peruvians have been protesting since the start of the month. They include farmers and truck drivers who object to rising fuel costs and inflation. The Archbishop of Arequipa, the Most Revd Javier del Río Alba, was quoted by Crux as saying that the Church was able to offer mediation services, but that this needed “the two parties in conflict [to] agree and ask for the mediation of the church, always for the good of Peru. We are all hurt by the living situation in Peru.”

Soldiers storm church compound in Myanmar

NEARLY 100 soldiers under the command of Myanmar’s military junta stormed the compound of the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Mandalay last Friday, Roman Catholic news agencies have reported. They forced their way into the cathedral, where a Lent service was taking place; the house of the Archbishop of Mandalay, the Most Revd Marco Win Tin; and the clergy centre, where the soldiers said they had received a tip-off that a weapon was being hidden. Most of the soldiers left the compound after three hours, and no arrests were made, reports say.

Coptic priest stabbed fatally in Alexandria

A COPTIC ORTHODOX priest was stabbed fatally in Alexandria, Egypt, on Thursday of last week, Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) reports. Archpriest Arsanious Wadid was on a church youth outing on the beach-side promenade when he was approached by a 60-year-old Muslim man, who asked him for assistance before stabbing him in the neck, CSW reports, The Coptic Orthodox diocese of Alexandria has declared Fr Wadid a martyr. The Grand Imam of al-Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, condemned the attack, and warned that such acts “might instigate religious wars”, the AP news agency reports. Coptic Orthodox Archbishop Angaelos of London also condemned the killing. He wrote on Twitter last Friday: “In clerical attire in a public space with no one else attacked, it can be safely assumed that Father Arsanious Wadid was targeted as a priest.”

Chinese state censors word ‘Christ’ online

A CHURCH in China has been censored for using the word “Christ” online, Release International says. Early Rain Covenant Church in Chendu, Sichuan, posted on WeChat a reference to The Imitation of Christ by St Thomas à Kempis. The term “Christ” was immediately flagged as violating “regulations on Internet Information Services, including, but not limited to the following categories: pornography, gambling, drug abuse, incitement”. The chief executive of Release International, Paul Robinson, said: “In today’s China, it seems Jesus Christ is lumped in with porn, drugs and rabble-rousing.” New restrictions came into force on 1 March. They require organisations and individuals to obtain a official permit from the government before they can post religious content on the internet. Comment: Tear down the firewalls of totalitarianism

Charity feeds nearly 2.3 million children each school day

THE Scottish-based charity Mary’s Meals announced at the start of this month that it was feeding 2,279,941 children each school day. The charity’s executive director, Daniel Adams, said, however: “We know that a difficult year lies ahead. Many of our dedicated supporters will be affected by the cost-of-living crisis here in the UK, and conflict and natural disasters continue to make our work overseas both challenging and indispensable.” Despite the financial uncertainty, he said, he was determined that Mary’s Meals would continue to feed the same number of children. marysmeals.org.uk

Mary’s MealsPupils from Óscar Romero School for the Deaf, in Liberia

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