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World news in brief

06 April 2023


Presiding Bishop Curry and Archbishop Modéus celebrate the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding, at the American Cathedral in Paris, last week

Presiding Bishop Curry and Archbishop Modéus celebrate the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding, at the American Cathedral in Paris, last week

Americans in Paris sign accord with Swedes

THE Episcopal Church in the United States and the Church of Sweden have entered into full communion, after the signing of a memorandum of understanding on Monday of last week, the Episcopal News Service reports. The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, the Most Revd Michael Curry, and the Archbishop of Uppsala, Dr Martin Modéus, signed the agreement in the American Cathedral in Paris, on Monday of last week. A former Bishop-in-Charge of the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe, the Rt Revd Pierre W. Whalon, told ENS that the agreement could be traced back to 18th-century New England, and the affiliation of seven Swedish Lutheran churches with the Episcopal Church. The 1992 Porvoo Agreement established full communion between Anglican Churches in the British Isles and Baltic and Nordic Lutheran Churches.

WCC urges access to Jerusalem during Holy Week

A SAMPLE letter calling for “unimpeded access” to Jerusalem for Christians from the West Bank and others for Holy Week and Easter has been published as part of an advocacy campaign by the World Council of Churches. Designed to be sent to government ministers, it requests that recipients of the letter contact the Israeli government to make the request and “talk about the issue publicly and in front of the press”. It refers to last year’s celebrations, which “witnessed the most unprecedented restrictions since the occupation began in 1967”. It also calls for unimpeded access for Muslims during Ramadan: “The inhumane and crowded conditions at the checkpoints on Fridays during Ramadan pain us all.”

Pope condemns ‘hidden’ neo-colonialism

COLONIALISM persists, but is “virtualised, camouflaged, hidden, making it difficult to to detect and neutralise it”, Pope Francis has warned a forum of judges gathered for a workshop on neo-colonialism in the Vatican last week. Vatican News reports that participants from the United States and Africa reflected on “the legacy of the colonial system in Africa and the Americas, focusing on today’s global inequalities and social injustices, unsustainable development, unchecked climate change, and mass migration, and discussed the role of institutions and the justice system in reversing these developments”.

Alleged church arsonist to face trial in Sudan

YASIN AHMED HAROUN, a Sudanese soldier, is being held on a charge related to an arson attack on a church in Doka, east Sudan, last December. He is expected to face trial on 13 April, Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) reports. The church, belonging to the the predominantly Nuba Sudan Church of Christ had been a place of worship since 1991. The man is charged under Articles 127 and 182 of the Criminal Act (Defiling and Disturbing Places of Worship and Criminal Mischief). CSW’s head of advocacy, Dr Khataza Gondwe, commended the application of Article 127 “for the first time following an attack on a church”.

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