February 20, 2007

Archbishop Desmond Tutu has received India’s highest international honor, the Gandhi Peace Prize, and has dedicated it to “the people of South Africa, to the freedom of Darfur and to Aung San Suu Kyi,” the Burmese leader held under house arrest. The honor was conferred in Thrissur, India, on the Nobel Peace Prize laureate and former Anglican archbishop of Cape Town at a ceremony last month by Indian president Abdul Kalam in the presence of other government leaders.

Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, a onetime Southern Baptist pastor, has joined the ranks of long-shot presidential hopefuls on the Republican side. Huckabee recently completed more than 10 years as governor. Huckabee announced January 28 on NBC’s Meet the Press that he has formed a committee to explore his candidacy. He graduated from Ouachita Baptist University, which is the Arkansas Baptist State Convention’s flagship school, and from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. After a few early years working in Christian broadcasting, he served as pastor of two sizable Arkansas Baptist churches. In 1989, while pastor of Beech Street First Baptist Church in Texarkana, Huckabee was elected president of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention and at that time was considered a moderate in the SBC’s intense theological conflict.

Milan Opocensky, 75, a Protestant theologian from the Czech Republic who led the World Alliance of Reformed Churches during the decade that followed the collapse of communism in eastern Europe, has died after a brief illness. “Milan will go down in the history of the alliance as a very committed leader and scholar who placed economic justice squarely on the agenda of WARC member churches,” said WARC general secretary, Setri Nyomi. His predecessor died in Prague on January 31.

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