News Bites

  • Praise Band. The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, which networks with 15 million U.S. Latino evangelicals, launched the World Hispanic Evangelical Alliance last spring to connect national evangelical communities in Spanish-speaking countries. The World Alliance will meet in Puerto Rico in 2008.

  • Peace Day. October 2, the birthday of Mohandas Gandhi, is now the International Day for Nonviolence, according to a declaration in June by the U.N. General Assembly.

  • Worker World. "The universalization of labor standards should not be considered a burden on trade agreements," said Catholic Archbishop Silvano Tomasi at the June conference of the International Labor Organization, "but rather a concrete support for the human rights of workers and a condition for more equitable competition on the global level."

  • Good Year. After a 37-year battle, the Christian Reformed Church decided at its June synod to remove the word "male" as requirement for holding "ecclesiastical office." The synod also moved that the CRC publicly repent for personal and corporate sins of racism.

  • Gordon Rules. U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown proposed to parliament in July to remove the power of the prime minister in choosing bishops for the Church of England. Some Catholic leaders hope Brown will soon remove archaic anti-Catholic laws as well.

  • People's War? More than 180,000 civilians are working in Iraq under U.S. contracts, compared with 160,000 soldiers and a few thousand civilian government employees stationed there, according to the Los Angeles Times.
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