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World news in brief

28 April 2023


Californian pilgrimage for Episcopalians

A GROUP of Episcopalians in San Joaquin diocese, in the United States, set off on Saturday on a 22-day, 1100-mile pilgrimage across the central Californian diocese, to draw attention to “the intersections of environmental disaster, racial discrimination, and migrant exploitation, and to reckon with the diocese’s own complicity in unjust systems”, Episcopal News Service reports. The pilgrims, led by the Bishop of San Joaquin, the Rt Revd David Rice, will travel by carpool and on foot to stops that include a homeless shelter and the Sequoia National Forest. They will raise money for a number of organisations, including the Absalom Jones Center for Racial Healing.


Kenyan police investigate suspected cult deaths

THE death toll of followers of a Kenyan cult believed to have starved themselves in the hope of going to heaven has reached 89, the Kenyan government confirmed on Tuesday. Reuters reports that mass graves are being exhumed in the Shakahola forest, in eastern Kenya, where the Good News International Church was based. The cult’s leader, Paul Mackenzie, was arrested on 14 April. The number of survivors was 34, as of Tuesday. The Interior Minister, Kithure Kindiki, told reporters: “We pray that God will help them to go through the trauma, to help them recover and tell the story of how one time a fellow Kenyan, a fellow human, decided to hurt so many people, heartlessly, hiding under the holy scriptures.”


Religious are beating heart of Church, says Pope

MONKS and nuns are “the beating heart of the Church’s proclamation,” Pope Francis said at his General Audience on Wednesday of last week. “Their prayer is oxygen for all the members of the Body of Christ, the invisible force that sustains the mission.” His remarks focused on St Gregory of Narek, a medieval Armenian monk, who “learned to peer into the depths of the human soul and, by fusing poetry and prayer together, achieved the pinnacle of both Armenian literature and spirituality”.


Riga church requests videos for interactive map

A REQUEST for videos from churches around the world has been made by St Saviour’s, in Riga. The church plans to put together an online interactive map of the churches who submit videos, with all videos being on show at all the churches involved. The montage will also be shown at a special “Night of Churches” event. Last year, a request for postcards generated submissions from 271 churches in 39 countries (News, 20 May 2022). Videos should be just one or two minutes long, and could contain a simple greeting, song, or tour of the church. Send to admin@anglicanriga.lv by 20 May.

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