After days of protests during their Hong Kong talks in December, the 149 members of the World Trade Organization hammered out a scaled-down agreement on global commerce. But many Christian and civil society groups fighting for trade justice predicted that the deal will do little to help the world’s poor. “Those talks might not have crashed as spectacularly as those at Seattle and Cancun.
Despite a growing protest movement against the Iraq war, President Bush remains determined to “stay the course.” He offers sympathy to grieving parents, but his attention seems to be elsewhere. So he seemed not to notice the people gathered along the roadside when, on a recent hot August day, his limousine drove past a crowd of Gold Star Mothers and their supporters.
In what one official called the “penultimate” step toward full communion with the United Methodist Church, delegates at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s biennial assembly overwhelmingly approved an interim agreement to permit the sharing of the rite of communion.
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has announced plans to target five public companies that it says “contribute to the ongoing violence that plagues Israel and Palestine.” Church officials said they could ultimately pull their assets, or divest, from those companies if corporate behavior remains unchanged.
Despite lobbying pleas from a noted Jewish organization, delegates to the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) General Assembly have passed a resolution calling on Israel to stop construction of a security barrier intended to stop suicide bombers.
The Vatican, in a sharp retort to Israeli criticism of Pope Benedict XVI, said it could not protest every act of Palestinian terrorism because Israel’s responses are “not always compatible with the norms of international law.”
Contrary to some expectations, the United Church of Christ convention over the Fourth of July weekend in Atlanta reaffirmed traditional Christian claims and rejected financial divestment tactics against Israel as a way to work for Mideast peace.
In an unusual turn of events, a Palestinian Authority committee of inquiry has cleared Irineos, the deposed Greek Orthodox patriarch of Jerusalem, of accusations that he was involved in leasing church property to Jewish investors.
The United Church of Christ will vote in July on whether to pull invested church money from U.S. companies involved in constructing Israeli settlements and assisting with security measures in Palestinian territories.