The head of one of the world’s largest church bodies recently denounced the extrajudicial killings of two lay church ministers in the Philippines.
In solidarity with the National Council of Churches in the Philippines and the Iglesia Filipina Independiente, the World Council of Churches sent a letter to President-elect Benigno Aquino III on Tuesday condemning the killing of Benjamin Bayles and Jovelito Agustin.
Both victims were active lay ministers in their churches and known to be outspoken advocates of human rights. Bayles was a human rights advocate involved with peasants and worker organizations. And Agustin was a broadcaster who helped victims of illegal recruitment and defended workers’ rights. They were murdered by suspected paramilitary groups on June 14 and 15, respectively. more >>
A newly revealed poster picturing the ultrasound of an unborn Jesus with a halo is adding fuel to the abortion ad uproar in the United Kingdom.
ChurchAds.Net’s “Baby-Scan Jesus” poster, which will be used for a 2010 Christmas campaign, has already started stirring debate months before the holiday season. Although the poster’s creators say it is meant to spark conversation about the meaning of Christmas, critics of the poster say it is too political and see it as a counterattack on the recent first-ever TV ad for abortion services.
“It gives the impression that it was politically motivated, that they are trying to put across some sort of subliminal message,” said Terry Sanderson, director of the National Secular Society, according to U.K.-based The Guardian. “The image is too specifically associated with pro-lifers to be seen in a benign context.” more >>
Ecumenical, evangelical and Roman Catholic leaders have conceded that there are still many obstacles to unity in the body of Christ but stress they remain committed to the journey.
Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the World Council of Churches, Dr. Geoff Tunnicliffe, international director of the World Evangelical Alliance, and the Most Rev. Brian Farrell, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, were speaking to journalists on Saturday at Edinburgh 2010, a major conference taking place this week to mark 100 years since the World Missionary Conference was held in the Scottish capital in 1910.
Bishop Farrell was the least optimistic about efforts towards unity. more >>
The Edinburgh 2010 conference will open on Wednesday with the aim of providing direction for Christian mission in the 21st century.
Hundreds of leaders from around the world will gather in Edinburgh, Scotland, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first-ever global mission conference, Edinburgh 1910.
From June 2 to 6, mission experts will convene to discuss nine major themes, including Christian mission among other faiths, mission and post-modernities, and Christian communities in contemporary contexts. more >>
Israel’s deadly attack on a convoy of ships carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza is “a crime,” said a large network of church-based relief organizations.
“This incident could easily have been avoided. This aggression has been heavily criticized and condemned by the worldwide members of ACT Alliance,” said John Nduna, general secretary of Action by Churches Together (ACT) Alliance.
ACT is an alliance of 100 humanitarian and development organizations working in 130 countries, including the Gaza Strip. more >>
Both western and eastern Christians will celebrate Easter on the same day this year.
And one ecumenical leader hopes that such a unified celebration will continue in the future.
In a letter to church bodies worldwide, the Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon, general secretary of the National Council of Churches, renewed a call for a common Easter date. more >>