World News

World news summary – 23rd February

Short reports with links
A year on: Christchurch remembers earthquake victims – The 185 people who perished in the quake were remembered at memorial services and community events across the country today.

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Burma’s Buddhists savour taste of freedom

Belfast Telegraph – Vast crowds are gathering at Burma’s most sacred Buddhist shrine to celebrate a festival banned for more than 20 years under the former military government. The festival at the gold-plated, diamond-studded Shwedagon Pagoda in Rangoon is a mix of Buddhist ritual and traditional fun and games. The fact that it is taking place at all this year is the latest sign of new freedoms trickling into this long-repressed country
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Church of Scientology demands right to underpay workers
Daily Telegraph Australia –  In Australia  Scientologists have asked the Federal Government for an exemption to the Fair Work Act so they do not have to pay workers the minimum wage.
In a submission to the Fair Work review, public affairs director Reverend Mary Anderson said the Church of Scientology, which believes Earth was founded 75 million years ago by an alien tyrant called Xenu, should be exempt from workplace law because it was a legitimate religion. “There is nothing wrong with the concept ‘a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work’ but it is misdirected when applied to religious volunteers whose focus is not on pay but on service to a spiritual cause,” Ms Anderson wrote.
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Anglican Health Network establishes medical equipment supply system
ACNS – The Anglican Health Network (AHN) medical supply system is now open for business. With access to a wide range of surplus equipment in the United States, AHN is now looking for partners and recipients to facilitate deliveries.“We have the supply lines. We are aware of hospitals and health centres around the Anglican Communion that urgently need life-saving equipment” said Lee Hogan, Co-chair of AHN. “What we need now is collaborative support.” Anglican health facilities in the developing world are often dependent on their relationships with multiple donors. These can be parishes, dioceses or individuals that have long term links. The facilities rely on numerous modest financial contributions and volunteer visits.

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For further information, please contact Revd Paul Holley, Coordinator of the Anglican Health Network:

Bishop of Harare: “We are CPCA and there is no law that forbids us to worship God.”
ACNS – Bishop Chad Gandiya of Harare yesterday issued an open letter to stress the difference between the Church of the Province of Central Africa dioceses in Zimbabwe and the churches run by an excommunicated former bishop.Bp Chad said in the letter that there appeared to be “still a lot of confusion” about the status of the two groups and so he wanted to clarify things: “so that our members can continue to congregate and worship God freely as members of the Diocese of Harare (CPCA)”.

“The Diocese of Harare, Church of the Province of Central Africa (CPCA) is part of 
the worldwide Anglican Communion with over 70 million members,” he said. “It is not a part of the ‘Anglican Church in Zimbabwe’ or Province of Zimbabwe which was formed and headed by Dr Nolbert Kunonga.” Bp Chad accused Dr Kunonga—who left and was later excommunicated from the CPCA—of “deliberately playing on words” by referring to the church he established as ‘Anglican Church in Zimbabwe’ and also ‘the Province of Zimbabwe’. The outspoken bishop pulled no punches in criticising police intervention of Anglican services: “Let it be known therefore, that the Diocese of Harare (CPCA) is a legal church organisation in Zimbabwe whose operations are above board. Anyone who disturbs the activities of the Diocese of Harare (CPCA) is breaking the law. Christians anywhere in Zimbabwe when they meet for worship or church business do not need to be sanctioned by the police. You only need to look at the number of congregations throughout Zimbabwe who meet under trees to worship. They do not need police to give them permission to gather. “Any police officer who demands any of our congregations to be sanctioned by them or Kunonga is simply abusing his/her authority, breaking the law and infringing on the constitutional rights of the people of Zimbabwe to assembly, association, expression and worship.”
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Uruguay Elects Bishop Coadjutor
ACNS for The Iglesia Anglicana del Cono Sur de America – In the 29th Extraordinary Synod held in Holy Trinity Cathedral, Montevideo, on December 9, 2011, an ample majority elected the Venerable Dr. Michael Pollesel as Bishop Coadjutor. Pollesel is the recent past General Secretary of the Anglican Church of Canada, has functioned as secretary to the Metropolitan Council for Cuba, and has been a frequent visitor to the diocese. Bishop Peter Bartlett of Paraguay was the supervisor of the election for the Province. All candidates standing for election had to subscribe to the 1998 Lambeth resolution I.10 on human sexuality as a basis for eligibility. If the Provincial Executive and House of Bishops of the Southern Cone approve the election at their meeting in Montevideo in May, Pollesel will succeed Bishop Miguel Tamayo, serving in Uruguay since May 1998 as its second Bishop. Tamayo also served as Interim Bishop of Cuba for an extended period from January 2004 until November 2010 and was a member of the design committee for the Lambeth Conference 2008. He is a recipient of the Saint Augustine of Canterbury medal.
Inquiries, +Frank Lyons, Bolivia,

Anglican Communion Faith and Order body issues videos on the Covenant
ACNS – can now watch three videos produced by the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Unity Faith and Order (IASCUFO) in which its members speak about the Covenant.
In one, members from Provinces including England, the West Indies, Central Africa and Southern Africa explain why they consider the Covenant important for the Communion.
In another the Church of Ceylon’s Rt Revd Kumara Ilangasinghe, recently retired Bishop of Kurunagala, shares his thoughts on the value of accountability.
In the third, members share their thoughts about the sections of the Covenant.
You can find them here: 

The Anglican Communion Covenant
The Covenant and accountability
The sections of the Covenant