Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- Church Leaders Call for Prayer for Sudanese Elections
- Ugandan Primate 'Resigns' from Key Anglican Body
- Malatya Trial Sentencing Soon to Come
- Vatican Orders Bishops to Report Charges to Police
Church Leaders Call for Prayer for Sudanese Elections
ASSIST News Service reports that Christian leaders are urging believers worldwide to pray for Sudan's three-day elections, which began Sunday and conclude today. According to the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA), these elections are crucial to the fulfillment of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). The CPA, signed in 2005 between the predominantly Islamic North and the Christian and Animist South, brought an end to civil war that first begun in 1955. According to WEA, "The build up to the elections has been marred by allegations of vote rigging by the Northern Government and continued unrest in the Darfur region. This has resulted in many opposition parties withdrawing for the election in protest and the European Union has removed its Election Monitors from Darfur due to safety concerns. These problems have led many to say that next week's elections will not be free and fair."
Ugandan Primate 'Resigns' from Key Anglican Body
Religion News Service reports that Archbishop Henry Orombi of Uganda has reportedly resigned from the standing committee of the Anglican Communion. The archbishop cited the election of a lesbian bishop by the Episcopal Church as part of an unacceptable "revisionist theology". At the same time, Orombi called for an urgent meeting of the primates, or senior bishops, of the Anglican Communion without their colleagues from the U.S. and Canada, "and with an agenda set by the participants themselves." His announcement was made in an April 9 letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams. His resignation is the second this year, following Archbishop Mouneer Anis of Jerusalem and the Middle East in February. The standing committee, which functions as an executive body, consists of 14 members of the Anglican Communion. The committee includes the Episcopal Church primate and other members of the Episcopal Church.
Malatya Trial Sentencing Soon to Come
Mission News Network reports that the suspects in the murder of three Christians in Turkey may soon be sentenced. Salih Guler, Cuma Ozdemir, Hamit Ceker and Abuzer Yildirim allegedly killed the men as part of a larger plot in Malatya three years ago. "All of us in the Christian church are praying that not only will justice be served here, but that, in the course of this, these young men who perpetrated these crimes will find the hope and the forgiveness that comes through the Gospel of Jesus Christ," says Rody Rodeheaver of I.N. Network. "One of the things that has emerged from this is a global day of prayer for Turkey, which was started a year ago to commemorate the deaths of these young men. But it has been broadened to call attention to the fact that God is at work in Turkey through His church."
Vatican Orders Bishops to Report Charges to Police
Religion News Service reports that the Vatican yesterday published an on-line guide to its disciplinary procedures in processing cases of sexually abusive priests, reiterating a mandate to cooperate with local civil authorities. Running less than 700 words in length, the guide is intended for lay people and non-specialists in church law. Based on a 2001 decree by Pope John Paul II, it explains in ordinary language the rules followed by church officials, both at the local level and at the Vatican, in investigating and punishing cases of sex abuse. According to the guide, the "local diocese investigates every allegation of sexual abuse of a minor by a cleric," and refers every allegation with a "semblance of truth" to the Vatican's doctrinal office, which since 2001 has had global jurisdiction over cases of pedophile priests.