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World news in brief

24 February 2023


The Bishop of Matagalpa, the Rt Revd Rolando Álvarez, pictured in May 2022

The Bishop of Matagalpa, the Rt Revd Rolando Álvarez, pictured in May 2022

Nicaraguan bishop’s citizenship is revoked

AFTER the sentencing the RC Bishop of Matagalpa, Nicaragua, the Rt Revd Rolando Álvarez, to 26 years in prison earlier this month (News, 14 February), President Daniel Ortega’s regime has moved against another bishop, it is reported. The Bishop of Managua, the Rt Revd Silvio José Báez, who already lives in exile in the United States, has been has been stripped of his citizenship, with 93 other Nicaraguans, including Fr Uriel Vallejos, a priest from Matagalpa. Their property has been confiscated, and they have been branded traitors to their country. The day after Bishop Álvarez was sentenced, 222 Nicaraguans, accused of sedition, were deported to the US.

Give up luxuries to provide clean water, charity urges

A LENTEN appeal, “Jars of Change”, launched by WaterAid this week, asks people to give up luxuries and to donate the money that they would have spent to projects to provide clean water to communites without access to it. WaterAid has developed fund-raising resources, available at wateraid.org/donate, for churches and other faith groups. The charity’s director of communications and fund-raising, Jennie York, said: “Access to clean water should be normal for everyone everywhere, but today, one in ten people have their access denied simply because of the circumstances they are born into.”

New Delhi rally held against religious discrimination

MORE than 15000 people joined a rally in New Delhi on Sunday to protest against anti-Christian discrimination, it is reported. The United Christian Forum said that there were 598 incidents of violence against Christians in India in 2022: up by 400 per cent in a decade. Vatican News reports that the spokesperson for the All Indian Catholic Union, John Dayal, said that 350 Christians were in prison in Uttar Pradesh, a state in northern India, simply for practising their faith, and that hundreds of Christians who were part of tribal communities had been forced from their homes in Chhattisgarh. “We want the government to hear our cries and intervene and take steps to ensure the safety and security of Christians,” he said.

Egyptian Christians released from captivity

SIX Egyptian men who were abducted in Libya on 6 February were released last Saturday after the payment of $90,000 in ransom money, Christian Solidarity Worldwide reports. The organisation’s founder and president, Mervyn Thomas, welcomed the news, but criticised the “failure of the Libyan authorities to contain the dangerous extremist and criminal groups operating in the country”. He called on the Libyan government to “do far more to discourage abductions and secure the release of all who are still in captivity, regardless of their ethnicity, religion, or belief”, and on the international community to support such endeavours.

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