World News

Church agencies offering aid to Congolese refugees

URGENT relief aid is under way for nearly two million refugees, mostly women and children, fleeing increased fighting in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), according to church and agency officials. The people were displaced following clashes between the March 23 (M23) rebels and the Congolese army, the FADRC (Forces Armees de la Republique Democratique du Congo). The conflict started ...

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Jubilee dissenters call for economic justice

WHILE the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations dominated the media in early June, the dissenting voices of some Christian groups were raised behind the pomp and pageantry. The presence of anti-monarchist protestors at the celebrations was not unexpected, but some of the demonstrations that occurred across the United Kingdom had a more pressing message than republicanism: a radical, even prophetic, call ...

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Churches are vital in tackling HIV/AIDS

FAITH communities are often seen as an obstacle to the treatment and prevention of HIV and AIDS but according to a new report they are crucial partners in responding to the disease. Traditional teaching on sexual abstinence before marriage and the stigma of sexually transmitted disease has in the past led to faith leaders not communicating the importance of condom ...

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London Paralympics involve churches

CHURHCES in Britain are organizing celebrations and activities in the runup to the London Paralympic Games, which take place after the Olympics, but critics are also wondering whether churches will be inspired to improve their own facilities for the disabled. The Paralympics — sports competitions for athletes with a range of disabilities — will take place from 29 August to ...

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Australian census shows numbers of non-believers are growing

THE latest Australian census shows that the number of non-believers is growing but Christianity is still identified as the dominant faith. The proportion of people who reported no religious affiliation grew to 22.3 per cent in 2011 from 18.7 per cent from the last census in 2006, according to the report released on 21 June by the Australian Bureau of ...

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Faith groups criticize outcome of climate summit

SEVERAL faith-based organizations said they were disappointed with the U.N. Conference on Sustainable Development, known as Rio+20, which took place 20-22 June in Rio de Janeiro. The Geneva-based Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance (EAA) said that while the conference's final document, addressing the theme "The Future We Want," acknowledged hat access to food is a human right, it did not pay adequate ...

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Occupy faith announces pilgrimage

A group of faith leaders announced in May that they would be making a pilgrimage from London to Canterbury in June to protest unjust economic systems in the 21st century. The group, called Occupy Faith, met at St Paul’s Cathedral in London with the permission of cathedral authorities, in contrast to last year’s four-month clash between clergy and Occupy protestors ...

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Aid down but increase to Pacific

THE Pacific Institute of Public Policy reports that the Australian government‘s target for increasing aid as a percentage of the national economy has been pushed back, but the 2012-13 budget sees aid to the Pacific region increasing modestly to $1.17 billion, up from $1.16 billion in 2011-12. In most cases, the changes at the country level are slight: aid to ...

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Canadian Anglican and United churches renew dialog

THE Anglican Church of Canada in May entered a new round of dialogue with the United Church of Canada, aiming to explore ways in which the two churches can work together for more effective ministry and mission. "Much of the impetus for these conversations is coming from the grassroots of our two churches," said Archdeacon Bruce Myers, the Anglican church's ...

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In Indonesia, Lady Gaga show cancelled after religious protests

  AMERICAN pop star Lady Gaga cancelled a scheduled 3 June show in Indonesia after religious authorities threatened violence over her risque outfits and provocative dance moves. More than 52,000 fans bought tickets to the sold-out 3 June concert in Indonesia's capital, Jakarta. But thousands of members of a group called the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) had threatened to turn ...

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