Following the signing in Nigeria of a peace agreement between Sudan’s government and Darfur’s biggest rebel group, Africa’s largest grouping of churches urged that UN peacekeepers step in for duties now carried out by African Union (AU) troops.
Church leaders in many parts of the world, including General Secretary Samuel Kobia of the World Council of Churches, expressed relief and joy at the freeing of three members of Christian Peacemaker Teams held hostage in Iraq.
Mincing few words, an umbrella group representing 22,000 Roman Catholic monks, nuns and priests in Canada’s religious orders has challenged the “intransigent” stands of the Vatican on such issues as divorce, contraception and homosexuality.
A debate on absolution was stirred in England recently after an Anglican priest stepped down from her parish duties because she could not forgive those who carried out the July bombings on London’s transport system. The attacks resulted in the death of more than 50 people, including her daughter.
Saying climate change represents one of humanity’s most dire threats, the top official of the World Council of Churches has appealed to denominations around the world to speak with one voice to alert political leaders to tackle the issue.
Hamas intends to apply Islamic law, or shari'a, as the basis for running the Palestinian Authority after its landslide win in the late January elections for the legislature, officials from the group said. But they added that people would not be forced to comply with shari‘a.
Pope Benedict XVI has issued the first encyclical of his papacy, dedicating Roman Catholicism’s highest form of writing to a reflection on love and charity that calls for a “purification” of erotic love between men and women.
Conservative critics have claimed victory over the pulling of a fledgling prime-time TV program depicting an Episcopal priest with a host of family problems who held long conversations with a seemingly hip Jesus.
Israel ended its brief suspension of relations with Pat Robertson after the controversial religious broadcaster apologized for suggesting that Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon’s stroke was divine retribution for Israel’s withdrawing from the Gaza Strip.
Filipino churches seeking justice over the summary killings of church and human rights workers are looking to the international Christian community to pressure the government in Manila to put a halt to the assassinations.
The Anglican church in Central Africa has rejected the consecration of British priest Nicholas Henderson as bishop of the diocese of Lake Malawi because of his involvement with a group seen as supporting homosexual clergy.
A statement from the Central Africa church in Blantyre, Malawi, said the bishop had been rejected by its court of confirmation “because of lack of sound faith.”
Israel ended its 38-year occupation of the Gaza Strip following one last difficult decision. Israeli government officials decided at the last moment not to go ahead with the destruction of 19 synagogues in the coastal strip.
Sectarian attacks in Northern Ireland were showing no sign of abating by the end of August, despite a recent declaration by the Irish Republican Army that it will lay down its arms, according to both Catholic and Protestant communities reporting attacks.
Church and political leaders are urging Sudanese to stay on the peace path after the death in a helicopter crash of John Garang de Mabior, the guerrilla leader who steered the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement into a government of national unity with the dominant Arab-Islamic government of Sudan after 21 years of civil war.