World News

London street pastors help Olympic visitors

AS the 2012 London Olympic Games winds toward its conclusion on 12 August, so-called "street pastors" have been helping visitors make sense of an event spread over 13 venues in the British capital. London Street Pastors, an inter-denominational church organization that was formed in 2003 to respond to urban problems by engaging with people on the streets, has mobilized a ...

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Catholics willing to implement Global Plan to halt mother-to-child HIV transmission

CATHOLIC health care organizations and institutions will play a key role in implementing an ambitious plan to end the transmission of HIV to children, according to a study released 25 July at the International AIDS Conference in Washington, reports a news release from the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance. Building on last year's launch by UNAIDS of the Global Plan towards the ...

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Norway called beacon of hope one year after massacre

BISHOP Munib A. Younan, president of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF), has called Norway a beacon of hope and inspiration for the way it has dealt with the horror and pain of last year's massacre. Younan, the bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Jordan and the Holy Land, was speaking on 30 July at the week-long St. Olav Festival ...

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Religion playing strong role in background of Olympic Games

IN a BBC radio broadcast today, Anglican canon Duncan Green called on people everywhere in the world to live together in peace and harmony, in the spirit of the Olympic Games. "I was very moved last week when the Christian chaplains on the team helped their Muslim colleagues prepare a large hall for the Friday prayers of Ramadan. A young ...

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Scotland will be first country in UK to legalize gay marriage

SCOTLAND announced on 25 July it will allow same-sex weddings as early as 2015, becoming the first country in the United Kingdom to do so. "We are committed to a Scotland that is fair and equal, and that is why we intend to proceed with plans to allow same sex marriage and religious ceremonies for civil partnerships," said Deputy First ...

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In London, Olympic athletes offered free sports Bibles

ATHLETES competing at Olympic Games beginning on 27 July are being offered copies of the "Sports Good News Bible" and the "Sports Good News Gospel of Luke," thanks to an initiative of the Bible Society. These special editions, illustrated with line drawings by Swiss artist Annie Vallatton, use the Good News English translation and include an additional 40 pages connecting ...

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To fast or not to fast: Muslim athletes face dilemma at Olympic Games

SEVERAL of the world's top Muslim athletes have announced they will delay the start of their annual Ramadan fast this year, as it clashes with the Olympic Games taking place in London from 27 July to 12 August. During the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims throughout the world abstain from eating, drinking, and sexual relations—leaving the 3,000 Muslims competing in ...

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Faith community must address injustice to help stop HIV pandemic

ON the eve of the 19th International AIDS Conference, an interfaith pre-conference on HIV concluded on 21 July, with participants singing and pledging to do their part to "turn the tide" against HIV and AIDS. On a banner that will be displayed at the Global Village Faith Zone at the conference, running from 22-27 July in Washington, D.C., participants wrote ...

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Scottish government delays decision on same sex weddings

GAY rights campaigners expressed "disappointment" that the Scottish Government has delayed passing legislation that would recognize gay weddings while leaving faith groups free to choose whether they wanted to conduct such ceremonies. At the end of a two-hour cabinet meeting 17 July in Edinburgh, a government spokesman said that no decision had been reached but that one would be made ...

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EU and religious leaders call for solidarity to solve economic and other challenges

CHURCHES and religious communities are well placed to build bridges among European Union societies, nurture solidarity between young and old, and help tackle the economic crisis and demographic challenges, according to EU leaders speaking to religious representatives at a meeting in Brussels on 12 June. The meeting, called "Intergenerational Solidarity: Setting the Parameters for Tomorrow's Society in Europe," was attended ...

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