Hong Kong (ENI 24.10.07). The first Anglican bishop to live openly in a same-sex relationship has described his consecration as a "remarkable experiment", and said it offered the worldwide Anglican Communion a chance to show that people with different experiences could coexist. "In this global village, while we have different experiences and histories, how are we going to live together?" Bishop V. Gene Robinson said in a speech in Hong Kong on 20 October. Robinson's consecration in 2003 by the US Episcopal (Anglican) Church as a bishop in the state of New Hampshire triggered the ire of many Anglican leaders particularly in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Study by church-backed group links freer rice trade to hunger
Geneva (ENI 5.11.07). Trade liberalisation in rice has led to more hunger and poverty among subsistence farmers in at least three developing countries, the Geneva-based Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance has found in a study it carried out. The study into the effect of decisions to open national rice markets to foreign imports in Ghana, Honduras and Indonesia was released to coincide with a critical stage in world trade talks that continue in Geneva this week. "Access to adequate food and the means to acquire it are a basic human right which virtually all countries have agreed to defend," said Linda Hartke, the EAA coordinator. "This study confirms what we have suspected, that trade liberalisation has been used to create unfair conditions that directly violate this right which is fundamental for life." Anglican leaders praise religion decision by Chinese communists
Hong Kong (ENI 7.11.07). A group of Asian and African Anglican leaders recently returned from a visit to China have praised a decision by the country's ruling Communist Party to include the word "religion" in its constitution. "This is a recognition of the increasing role that the Church plays in the nation's economic and social development," the Anglican leaders said in a statement issued after their 21-30 October visit. State media said the change had been made to meet the demands posed by the "new situation and new tasks". The Communist Party for a long time discouraged religion, because it was officially atheist. In recent years, however, Chinese leaders have said that religion can play an important role in creating a "harmonious society". The term is used by the Chinese leaders to refer to the need for economic growth to be accompanied by social cohesion. Polish Protestants deplore posters denouncing Luther
Warsaw (ENI 7.11.07). Protestant leaders in one of Poland's largest cities have condemned a poster campaign denouncing Martin Luther, the 16th century German Protestant leader, as a blasphemer and heretic. "What would happen if someone hung placards outside a Catholic church attacking the 'blasphemy and heresy of John Paul II,' or the 'blasphemy of Muhammad' at a mosque? These actions are clearly illegal, yet the local council has said and done nothing," said Mariusz Maikowski, a pastor with the Seventh-day Adventist church in Lublin in eastern Poland. The posters were displayed throughout Lublin to advertise lectures by Ryszard Mozgol, an official with Poland's National Remembrance Institute, the body charged with dealing with the records of the communist-era secret police. Churches must offer hope says HIV-positive Zimbabwe pastor
Harare (ENI 8.11.07). The Rev. Maxwell Kapachawo is the first known religious leader in Zimbabwe to declare publicly that he is living with HIV and he is using radio and television to spearhead a campaign to combat stigmatisation of those who have the disease. The pastor is national coordinator of the Zimbabwe Network of Religious Leaders Living with or Personally Affected by HIV/AIDS (ZINERELA). It has 181 members but Kapachawo is the only one to have publicly declared his HIV status.
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