Daily Archives: February 17, 2015

(RNS) Killed by Idi Amin, a Ugandan archbishop gets the honor he deserved

Armed with a Bible and a cross, a Ugandan Anglican archbishop took a bold step 38 years ago when he demanded that dictator Idi Amin put an end to extrajudicial killings, political repression, corruption and ethnic persecution.

Archbishop Janani Luwum paid with his life; he was assassinated on Feb. 16, 1977, his body placed in mangled car wreck in a staged accident. Reports suggest Amin ordered the cleric’s death.

But on Monday (Feb. 16), the country celebrated the life and ministry of the late cleric with a public holiday.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni spoke at an international memorial organized by the Anglican Church of Uganda to mark Luwum’s life.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Provinces, Church History, Church of Uganda, Death / Burial / Funerals, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Theology, Uganda

(Christian Post) Two Megachurches That Have Thriving Singles Ministries

The head of a North Carolina-based organization that aids ministries for singles has said that too many churches consider the unmarried to be “invisible.”

Kris Swiatocho, director of The Singles Network Ministries, told The Christian Post that “for most churches single adults are invisible. Mainly because most pastors, secretaries, deacons/elders are married with children. When they are in the pulpit they typically preach and identify with those that are like themselves.”

“I have actually spoken with churches who are not sure they have any singles there mainly because they view singleness has a particular age-range vs. someone who isn’t married from 18 to the grave.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Parish Ministry, Theology, Young Adults

(CNN) Niger police arrest 160 suspected Boko Haram militants

Authorities in the landlocked African nation of Niger have arrested 160 suspected Boko Haram militants allegedly involved in deadly attacks near that country’s border with Nigeria, a national police spokesman said Tuesday.

The arrests happened over the last two days in Niger’s Diffa region, which borders Nigeria. Those taken into custody include Kaka Bunu, who police spokesman Adil Doro said was “involved in the recruitment of (Boko Haram) members.”

Some of the suspects fled south, only to be arrested while on the run or in “their hiding places,” said Yakubu Sumana Gawo, the governor of Niger’s Diffa region.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Immigration, Islam, Law & Legal Issues, Niger, Nigeria, Other Faiths, Police/Fire, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Terrorism, Theology, Violence

C of E House of Bishops' Pastoral Letter on the 2015 General Election

The House of Bishops of the Church of England have today expressed the hope for political parties to discern “a fresh moral vision of the kind of country we want to be” ahead of the General Election in May of this year.

In a pastoral letter from the House of Bishops to the people and parishes of the Church of England, the Bishops urge Christians to consider the question how can we “build the kind of society which many people say they want but which is not yet being expressed in the vision of any of the parties?”

The letter also encourages church members to engage in the political process ahead of the General Election and to put aside self-interest and vote for ‘the common good’: “The privileges of living in a democracy mean that we should use our votes thoughtfully, prayerfully and with the good of others in mind, not just our own interests.”

The letter also states that: “In Britain, we have become so used to believing that self-interest drives every decision, that it takes a leap of imagination to argue that there should be stronger institutions for those we disagree with as well as for those ‘on our side.’ Breaking free of self-interest and welcoming our opponents as well as our supporters into a messy, noisy, yet rich and creative community of communities is, perhaps, the only way we will enrich our almost-moribund political culture.”

Read it all and please follow the link to the full letter there.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Economics, Politics, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ethics / Moral Theology, Politics in General, Theology

Uganda President agrees national day to honour Anglican martyr Janani Luwum

Archbishop Stanley Ntagali called today for Archbishop Janani Luwum Day to be declared a national holiday.

His appeal was made before more than 20,000 people gathered in Mucwini, Kitgum, to honour and celebrate the life, ministry, and martyrdom of Archbishop Janani Luwum, the Church of Uganda’s 2nd Ugandan Archbishop.

Former President Idi Amin Dada assassinated Archbishop Janani Luwum on 16th February 1977 after arresting him on false charges. There have been local celebrations of his life and martyrdom around the country since 1977, but today’s commemoration marks the first national and international celebration. His Excellency, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the President of the Republic of Uganda, was the Guest of Honour.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Church History, Church of Uganda, Death / Burial / Funerals, Parish Ministry, Spirituality/Prayer, Theology

Bibles Could Be Removed From Aberystwyth University Student Halls After Being Deemed 'Inappropriate'

Bibles could be removed from student halls at Aberystwyth University after more than half of students said they found the presence of the holy book “unacceptable” or “uncomfortable”.

A proposal to have the bibles withdrawn will be put forward at the university’s student union council later this month, following the results of a survey conducted by the SU.

Only 4% of students said the inclusion of bibles was a “good idea”. Student John David Morgan first highlighted the issue last month, where he said the Bible’s were “inappropriate in a multicultural university”.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Books, Education, England / UK, Religion & Culture, Wales

(Arc of the Universe) Zahra Vieneuve–Another bloody chapter in the story of Egyptian Copts

The Egyptian army launched airstrikes against ISIS targets in Libya hours after the release of a video showing the beheading of 21 Egyptian Copts kidnapped by Libyan Islamists in December 2014 and January 2015. One may be tempted to say that President Sisi’s response to these murders is comparable to King Abdullah’s after a Jordanian pilot, Moaz al-Kasasbeh, was burned to death by ISIS. However, a closer examination of both leaders’ reactions shows a number of significant differences.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Coptic Church, Egypt, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Islam, Middle East, Other Churches, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Terrorism, Theology, Violence

(BBC) Egypt seeks UN mandate for Libyan ISIS intervention

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has called for a United Nations resolution allowing international forces to intervene in Libya.

There was no other choice, he told French radio. “We will not allow them to cut off the heads of our children.”

Egyptian jets bombed IS targets on Monday in response to a militant video of the apparent beheadings of 21 Egyptian Christians.

Rival militias have been battling for control in Libya since 2011.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Defense, National Security, Military, Egypt, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Globalization, Islam, Libya, Middle East, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Terrorism, Theology, Violence

(First Things) Paul Loverde–Pornography Goes Mainstream

Anyone listening to Pope Francis has heard his call to resist unjust social conditions and go to the margins: to the poor, weak, and defenseless in our “throwaway culture” marked by a “globalization of indifference.”

At the margins, I see twelve-year-old John fighting an addiction he did not seek. I see our daughters and sisters and wives viewed as objects for pleasure, victimized, and even trafficked. And I see a predatory porn industry that is nothing short of euphoric over these developments.

“There’s a greater sense of optimism,” a leader in the porn industry was quoted as saying earlier this year. “I believe the companies that have stood the test of time . . . have figured out a way to stay viable. I would say it’s a new era for the industry.”

It is most certainly a new era. The time has come to join our children at the margins and to defund the industries that prey so viciously and unjustly upon them.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Movies & Television, Pornography, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Teens / Youth, Theology, Violence

***Bishop Festo Kivengere's account of the Martyrdom of Ugandan Archbishop Janani Luwum

In Uganda, during the eight years in the 1970’s when Idi Amin and his men slaughtered probably half a million Ugandans, “We live today and are gone tomorrow” was the common phrase.

We learned that living in danger, when the Lord Jesus is the focus of your life, can be liberating. For one thing, you are no longer imprisoned by your own security, because there is none. So the important security that people sought was to be anchored in God.

As we testified to the safe place we had in Jesus, many people who had been pagan, or were on the fringes of Christianity, flocked to the church or to individuals, asking earnestly, “How do you prepare yourself for death?” Churches all over the country were packed both with members and seekers. This was no comfort to President Amin, who was making wild promises to Libya and other Arab nations that Uganda would soon be a Muslim country. (It is actually 80 per cent Christian)….

It became clear to us through the Scriptures that our resistance was to be that of overcoming evil with good. This included refusing to cooperate with anything that dehumanizes people, but we reaffirmed that we can never be involved in using force or weapons.

…we knew, of course, that the accusation against our beloved brother, Archbishop Janani Luwum, that he was hiding weapons for an armed rebellion, was untrue, a frame-up to justify his murder.

The archbishop’s arrest, and the news of his death, was a blow from the Enemy calculated to send us reeling. That was on February 16, 1977. The truth of the matter is that it boomeranged on Idi Amin himself. Through it he lost respect in the world and, as we see it now, it was the beginning of the end for him.

For us, the effect can best be expressed in the words of the little lady who came to arrange flowers, as she walked through the cathedral with several despondent bishops who were preparing for Archbishop Luwum’s Memorial Service. She said, “This is going to put us twenty times forward, isn’t it?” And as a matter of fact, it did.

More than four thousand people walked, unintimidated, past Idi Amin’s guards to pack St. Paul’s Cathedral in Kampala on February 20. They repeatedly sang the “Martyr’s Song,” which had been sung by the young Ugandan martyrs in 1885. Those young lads had only recently come to know the Lord, but they loved Him so much that they could refuse the evil thing demanded of them by King Mwanga. They died in the flames singing, “Oh that I had wings such as angels have, I would fly away and be with the Lord.” They were given wings, and the singing of those thousands at the Memorial Service had wings too.

–Festo Kivengere, Revolutionary Love, Chapter Nine

[See here for further information, and, through the wonders of the modern world, you may also find a copy online there].

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Church History, Church of Uganda, Death / Burial / Funerals, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Theology

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Janani Luwum

O God, whose Son the Good Shepherd laid down his life for the sheep: We give thee thanks for thy faithful shepherd, Janani Luwum, who after his Savior’s example gave up his life for the people of Uganda. Grant us to be so inspired by his witness that we make no peace with oppression, but live as those who are sealed with the cross of Christ, who died and rose again, and now liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Church History, Church of Uganda, Death / Burial / Funerals, Parish Ministry, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day from the Church of South India

O Christ our God, who wilt come to judge the world in the manhood which thou hast assumed: We pray thee to sanctify us wholly, that in the day of thy coming we may be raised to live and reign with thee for ever.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

O LORD, I love the habitation of thy house, and the place where thy glory dwells.

–Psalm 26:8

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

BBC World Interview with HG Bishop Angaelos following murder of Copts in Libya

Watch it all and you can also read his statement there.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Coptic Church, Egypt, England / UK, Libya, Middle East, Orthodox Church, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Violence

(AP) Manchester United rallies for 3-1 win at Preston in FA Cup

Manchester United had to come from behind to avoid an FA Cup upset at Preston, rallying with three second-half goals to beat the third-tier club 3-1 and reach the quarterfinals.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Men, Sports