World News Briefs


Anglican Church in Kenya Expels Priests Accused of Practicing Homosexuality


(WNS)–In an unprecedented move, the Anglican Church in Kenya on Sept. 10 expelled five priests for allegedly engaging in homosexual activity.  The priests, from the diocese of Mt. Kenya West in Central Kenya, were under investigation since mid-August. They were serving in the towns of Othaya, Karatina, Murang’a and Nyeri towns.  “That is the stand of the church … they have to be out of the ministry,” said the bishop under whom the priests served.  The five had earlier been suspended to allow a tribunal to probe the allegations made against them. Four of the priests are married while one is single. They are said to have had relations with other adult men for as long as 20 years.  The identity of the priests has so far not been made public.


Christians Call on Indonesia’s President to Combat Islamic Extremism


(WNS)–The president of Indonesia needs to do more to combat Islamic extremists’ persecution of Christian minorities, a new report states.  The World Evangelical Alliance said Aug. 31 that though President Joko Widodo, popularly known as Jokowi, wants to check growing Islamic extremism in the majority Muslim country, his methods have not succeeded.  “Since the beginning of his presidency, Jokowi has been implementing a cautious bottom-up strategy, which is needed to promote tolerance and moderation, while avoiding a direct confrontation with extremist groups. This perhaps explains why he has not been taking enough top-down measures required to improve law and order. And extremist groups seem to have little fear of action by the government yet,” the report stated.  Indonesia has the highest per-capita Muslim population in the world, but legally guarantees religious freedom to people of four other religions, including Christianity. Because of increasing persecution, many supported Jokowi’s candidacy in 2014. His agenda included human rights, freedom, and opposition to religious intolerance.


China Locks Away Christian Lawyer in “Secretive Detention”


(WNS)–The United States is demanding the release of a Chinese human rights lawyer who represented churches whose crosses the government tore down in a crackdown on Christianity. Zhang Kai was detained Aug. 25 and faces up to six months of secretive detention under accusations of endangering state security and “assembling a crowd to disrupt social order,” according to his colleagues. China Aid notes that these detentions often include torture.   Zhang and two assistants were taken from a Xialing church in early September, a day before a planned meeting with Rabbi David Saperstein, U.S. ambassador at-large for religious freedom. About 10 other pastors have also been detained and accused of threatening public order and national security.


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