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Madagascar Protestant leader reported released from detention

Geneva (ENI). The head of the largest Protestant church in Madagascar is reported to have been freed after being detained on 17 March by unspecified military personnel following the resignation of President Marc Ravalomanana. Reports received by the World Alliance of Reformed Churches indicated that the president of the Church of Jesus Christ in Madagascar (FJKM), the Rev. Lala Rasendrahasina, was released after only a brief detention. The FJKM is a member of Geneva-based WARC. [450 words, ENI-09-0222]

Hungarian churches warn of social collapse amid financial crisis

Warsaw (ENI). Hungarian church leaders have warned their country faces violence and breakdown in the face of unemployment and dislocation brought by the current financial meltdown. “We were already in bad shape before this global crisis, and we are now affected more deeply than other countries in our region,” explained the Rev. Balazs Odor, ecumenical officer of the Reformed Church in Hungary, which comprises about one fifth of the country’s 9.9 million citizens. [451 words, ENI-09-0223]

In Africa, Pope Benedict praises family ‘values’ amid HIV dispute

Rome (ENI). Pope Benedict XVI has urged bishops in Cameroon to defend African family values and to protect the poor from globalisation, on his first full day of a visit to Africa, which was also marked by controversy over his remarks concerning condoms and AIDS. “The difficulties arising from the impact of modernity and secularisation on traditional society inspire you to defend vigorously the essential values of the African family,” the pontiff told an 18 March meeting of Cameroon bishops the day after he arrived in the west African country. [688 words, ENI-09-0221]

Global conference to promote solidarity with excluded Dalits

Manila (ENI). The leaders of two global church organizations have called for international solidarity with 250 million Dalits, people regarded as “untouchable” who face discrimination on the basis of their descent. “We hope to promote the emergence of an international ecumenical movement in solidarity with Dalits and other similarly affected groups, in order to break the silence, and to work for an end to this form of oppression and exclusion, and for the liberation of those under its yoke,” said World Council of Churches general secretary the Rev. Samuel Kobia and his counterpart in the Lutheran World Federation, the Rev. Ishmael Noko. They made the statement in a letter inviting 100 participants to meet in Bangkok from 20 to 24 March at a global conference to raise international awareness about the human rights and justice concerns of the Dalits.


The WCC says that there are an estimated 250 million Dalits in South Asia. The Bangkok meeting is taking place a month before a United Nations meeting in Geneva to review progress towards the goals set in Durban, South Africa, at a 2001 U.N. conference on racism. [332 words, ENI-09-0220]


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Dietrich Bonhoeffer

We must act and dare the appropiateness and not whatever comes to our mind not floating in the likelihood but grasp the reality as brave as we can be freedom lies in action not in the absence of mind obedience knows the essence of good and satisfies it, freedom dares to act and returns God the ultimate judgment of what is right and what is wrong, Obedience performs blindly but Freedom is wide awake Freedom wants to know why, Obedience has its hands tied, Freedom is inventive obedient man respects God’s commands and by virtu of his Freedom, he creats new commands. Both Obedience and Freedom come true in responsability (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)

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