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World news in brief

04 August 2023


Displaced Iraqi Yazidis settle at the Qandil mountains near the Turkish border outside Zakho, on the Irazi side, after IS extremists killed 80 men during a sustained campaign against the Yazidi community, in 2014

Displaced Iraqi Yazidis settle at the Qandil mountains near the Turkish border outside Zakho, on the Irazi side, after IS extremists killed 80 men dur...

Yazidi attack deemed to be genocide

THE UK Government has formally recognised that acts of genocide were committed against the Yazidi people by Daesh (IS) in 2014 (News, 8 August 2014). On Tuesday, the Minister of State for the Middle East, Lord Ahmad, said: “The Yazidi population suffered immensely at the hands of Daesh nine years ago, and the repercussions are still felt to this day. Justice and accountability are key for those whose lives have been devastated.” The determination was made after the judgment of the German Federal Court of Justice earlier this year, which found a former Daesh fighter guilty of acts of genocide and crimes against humanity committed in Iraq. In 2016, when the Archbishop of York, when he was the Bishop of Chelmsford, argued in the House of Lords that applying the term could “help to stop the killing and help to bring the perpetrators sooner to account for their crimes”.


ACNA flock votes to join US Episcopal Church

A CONGREGATION of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) in Texas, the Resurrection, South Austin, announced on Wednesday of last week that it was disaffiliating from ACNA would pursue affiliation with the Episcopal Church’s diocese of Texas, ENS has reported. The Rector, the Revd Dr Shawn McCain Tirres, who was ordained in ACNA in 2012 before planting the church in 2015, said in a message online that a parish vote had secured a majority of more than 80 per cent for the move. “We have always aspired to be the kind of place that could welcome everyone in our neighborhood to encounter the love of God,” he said.


WCC urges lifting of Nagorno-Karabakh blockade

THE World Council of Churches (WCC) has reiterated its call for an end to the blockade of Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh). The region is internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan, but is mostly governed by the Republic of Artsakh, a de facto state with an Armenian ethnic majority (News, 2 October 2020). Conflict broke out between Armenia and Azerbaijan in 2020, and, since December 2022, Azerbaijan has blocked the Lachin corridor, the only road that links the region to Armenia. The WCC’s general secretary, the Revd Professor Jerry Pillay, said that this had resulted in a “humanitarian emergency . . . putting the lives of 120,000 people, including children, in great danger”.


European legal challenge to Covid worship bans

A CHALLENGE to bans on public worship during the Covid pandemic has been lodged at the European Court of Human Rights by Dr Ján Figel, a former EU Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief. As his co-counsel, ADF International, a conservative Christian legal advocacy group, is supporting him. In 2021, it backed a successful legal challenge to closing places of worship in Scotland. “Prohibiting people from worship and communal religious exercise is profoundly illiberal and illegitimate,” Dr Figel said this week. The case rests on the argument that the prohibitions in Slovakia were “neither proportional, nor appropriate or necessary”, and a Slovak lawyer, Martin Timcsak, is acting.

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