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World news in brief

by
14 July 2023

CHRISTIE’S

Rocco Zoppo: The oil-on-panel painting The Madonna and Child with Saint Jerome and Saint Francis, by Giovan Maria di Bartolomeo Baci di Belforte, known as Rocco Zoppo, who was active in Florence 1496-1508, was offered for sale at Christie’s last week, and expected to fetch somewhere between £120,000 and £180,000

Rocco Zoppo: The oil-on-panel painting The Madonna and Child with Saint Jerome and Saint Francis, ...

 

African church leaders warn of Darfur genocide

CHURCH leaders of several denominations in Africa have called on the African Union, governments, and regional bodies to “stop [a] repetition of genocide in Darfur and other war crimes and crimes against humanity,” Crux reports. In a joint statement issued on 24 June, the WCC and other bodies said that the conflict in Sudan had killed hundreds of people, “and seems to have no immediate prospect of ending”. They called on the Sudanese people to “remain vigilant against being instrumentalized for conflict and division”, and urged the international community to exert diplomatic pressure and reignite the peace process.

 

Iranian pastors charged after accusation

TWO leaders in the Church of Iran are facing charges of undermining state security, Christianity Solidarity Worldwide reported last week. Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani, who was recently released from arbitrary detention as part of a national amnesty (News, 22 April), and Pastor Matthias (Abdulreza Ali) Haghnejad, currently detained on other charges of which he was acquitted in 2014 (News, 19 December 2014; 6 March 2020), were charged after being accused by a couple with whom Pastor Nadarkhani had “a vague acquaintance”, and whom Pastor Haghnedjad had never met. A CSW source suggested that they had been subject to “psychological pressure”, possibly including the threat of their children being taken away. On Wednesday, CSW reported that Pastor Haghnejad has been transferred to a prison more than 1000 miles from his home.

 

Nicaraguan bishop refuses exile again

THE RC Bishop of Matagalpa, the Rt Revd Rolando Álvarez, a prominent critic of the dictatorship in Nicaragua, was re-arrested last week after refusing to leave the country. He was charged in January with “conspiracy, spreading fake news, obstructing and disobeying the authorities”, and sentenced to 26 years’ imprisonment, after refusing to board a flight taking 222 other dissidents, including four priests, into exile in the United States (News, 2 June). He was released from prison last week, on the expectation that he would go into exile in Rome, but refused, “because I have done nothing wrong”, The Tablet reported.

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