jump to navigation

2 Dead in Nigerian Sectarian Bombings: The Church of England Newspaper, September 30, 2012 p 5. October 5, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of Nigeria, Persecution, Roman Catholic Church.
Tags: , ,
comments closed

Two people have been killed and 45 wounded in a car bomb attack on St John’s Catholic Church in the Northern Nigerian city of Bauchi.

On 23 September 2012, a car attempted to enter the church compound shortly after 9:00 am. Police report the driver detonated an explosive device and the car exploded in the church’s parking lot, killing him and one other person attending mass in the church.  The militant Islamic group Boko Haram is suspected to be behind the attack.

The Bauchi bombing is the first major incident since the Nigerian army reported that it had killed several of the group’s leaders in a gun battle on 17 September outside of Kano.  Boko Haram had switched tactics in recent weeks, also, destroying 30 mobile phone towers in Northern Nigeria, cutting off communications in some parts of the country.

The chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), the Rev. Pokti Lewis told Sahara Reporters, “we are sad but are appealing to all Christians to be calm and not seek revenge, we have not kicked against anyone and his or her religion but God is watching and time will tell.”

“Just few Sundays ago we lost nine persons in a suicide bombing and today again,” he said, warning Boko Haram was engaged in a war of religion. “This clearly cleansing agenda by those perpetrating this act” designed to convert, kill or drive out Northern Nigeria’s Christians.

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

Hungary bans Anglicans: The Church of England Newspaper, Aug 12, 2011 p 6. August 12, 2011

Posted by geoconger in Church of England, Church of England Newspaper.
Tags: ,
comments closed

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

Hungary has introduced a new law governing the registration of religious groups that critics charge discriminates against minority faiths, and strips St Margaret’s Anglican Church in Budapest of its status as a religious organisation.

On 14 July the Hungarian Parliament adopted “The Right to Freedom of Conscience and Religion and on the Status of Churches, Religions and Religious Communities” Law, by a vote of 254 in favour to 43 opposed.

Introduced on 10 June in Parliament, the proposed legislation would have created three tiers of religious groups, with differing authorities to conduct worship and engage in charitable activities under Hungarian law. Human Rights activists, NGOs and a number of religious leaders objected, arguing, in the words of the Washington think-tank, the Institute on Religion and Public Policy, the bill gave Hungary “a tiered system offering an inferior religious status to minority faiths that violates the right to religious freedom and the right to be free from religious discrimination.”

On 12 July the governing Fidesz party with their coalition allies the Christian Democrats amended the bill, eliminating the tier system and recognising 14 religious organisations as Churches. Hungary’s 348 other faiths and denominations were stripped of their legal status as religious organisations and lost their tax exempt status and entitlements to state subsidies.

The 14 denominations that were allowed to retain their registration were the Roman and Greek Catholic Churches, the Eastern Orthodox Churches, the Lutherans, the Calvinists, select Jewish denominations, the Hungarian Unitarians, the Baptists and the Faith Church.

Among those losing recognition were Hungary’s Anglican, Methodist, Pentecostal, Adventist and reform Jewish congregations, the Salvation Army and Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Muslim, Buddhist, and Hindu groups.

The Institute on Religion and Public Policy condemned the new law saying it “creates the most burdensome registration system in the entire OSCE region while codifying systematic discrimination of religious minorities. The Religion Law is completely inconsistent with fundamental human rights as it contravenes the principles of equality and non-discrimination.”

A coalition of human rights and democracy activists that opposed the communist regime submitted an open letter to the European Union asking it to intervene. “Never before has a Member State of the EU so blatantly dared to go against the principles of freedom of beliefs, equality before the law, and separation of church from state. These are all established fundamental rights in our common Europe,” the 8 August letter stated.

“In the 1970s, under the Soviet domination over Eastern Europe, all we could do in similar situations was to hold vigils at worship sites that had been shut or demolished.

We fought for a Europe that is united under human rights. Have our hopes been in vain,” they stated, urging the EU to “start an official inquiry into this violation of the rights that are possessed by all Europeans.”