The Episcopal Church Welcomes You
» Site Map   » Questions    

« Return
International briefing

[Episcopal News Service]   
  • BURUNDI: Synod elects new provincial secretary; drought threatens country
  • ENGLAND: New charity commemorates Ugandan martyr Janani Luwum
  • INDIAN OCEAN: Foundation stone laid for new Cathedral in Antsiranana
  • SOUTH AFRICA: Political parties reminded of election pledge in Cape Town

BURUNDI: Synod elects new provincial secretary; drought threatens country

[ENS, Source: Anglican Church of Burundi] At the Anglican Church of Burundi's January Synod, the Rev. Pédaçuli Birakengana was elected as the next provincial secretary.
        Born in 1966, Birakengana is married to Anatolie and has five children. He studied theology at Uganda Christian University from where he gained a Bachelor's in Divinity. He has been Pastor of Holy Trinity Cathedral in Bujumbura.
        His appointment will take effect April 2006.

Drought Threatens the Country

Once again, the rains in Burundi have been insufficient, and drought and famine are now threatening 14 out of the country's 17 provinces, with the most affected areas in the north. This presents particular challenges for the dioceses as they seek to respond to the current crisis.

Further information:

ENGLAND: New charity commemorates Ugandan martyr Janani Luwum

[ENS, Source: Church of England] Ugandan Archbishop Janani Luwum was murdered on February 17, 1977, for standing up to dictator Idi Amin. The Archbishop Janani Luwum Trust will be launched in Westminster Abbey, London, on Saturday, February 18.
        The Archbishop of York, the Most Rev. & Rt. Hon. Dr. John Sentamu, will be president of the Archbishop Janani Luwum Memorial Trust. He will join other worshippers for the traditional service of Evensong in the Abbey at 3 p.m., after which he will lead hundreds of worshippers in a short, exuberant, African-style service with drums and singing.
        "Archbishop Luwum was a major influence on my call to the ministry," Sentamu said. "I am honored to have a part in this permanent and practical memorial to him."
        Sentamu will be joined by Bishop Gideon Oboma from Northern Uganda and the Rev. Dr. Jeanette Meadway who is a Trustee of the new charity. Meadway said, "A Ugandan Christian told me of the apprehension she felt on the night when Archbishop Janani was killed. Her story helped me to understand the great respect people had for their Archbishop and his example. The Trust will promote his passion for the Christian Gospel and the wellbeing of all people, by supporting poverty relief and promoting education and health in war-torn Northern Uganda."

Janani Luwum was born in 1922 in Mucwini, near Kitgum, just 18 years after Christianity first arrived in north Uganda. Ordained in 1955, Janani was a gifted leader and teacher, and was made Bishop of North Uganda in 1968. In 1974 he became Archbishop of Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Boga-Zaire. In 1976 he stood against the abuse of human rights by President Idi Amin of Uganda, drafting a letter of protest to him and demanding to see him. After a show trial it was announced that Archbishop Janani had been killed in a car crash. In fact he had been shot for opposing the president. It was February 17, 1977.

INDIAN OCEAN: Foundation stone laid for new Cathedral in Antsiranana

[ENS, Source: Diocese of Antsiranana] The foundation stone of the new St. Matthew's Cathedral was laid in Antsiranana on Sunday, February 5. The Dean, the Very Rev. Joana Lehibe, the Chairman of the PCC, Boanarijesy Rodain, and the congregation of the 8.30 a.m. service were present at this initial blessing of the construction.
        The new cathedral was envisaged by Bishop Keith Benzies, but he died before he saw it realized.
        The diocese appeals for prayers that enough money and labor will be found to complete the Cathedral in 18 months.

Full story and photos:

SOUTH AFRICA: Political parties reminded of election pledge in Cape Town

[ENS, Source: Church of the Province of Southern Africa] High levels of tension around the March 1 local government election have been addressed in meetings between members of the Electoral Code of Conduct Observer Commission (ECCOC) and members of the media and political party leaders.
        Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane of Cape Town, who chairs ECCOC, said that all indications are that the election in the Western Cape will be a particularly intense contest. He said that even though political parties signed the Electoral Code of Conduct in January this year, thereby agreeing to certain standards of behavior in the run-up to the election, ECCOC is concerned whether parties are adhering to the spirit of the document.
        ECCOC is also concerned that the media be particularly careful to report responsibly and not incite and perpetuate tensions.
        ECCOC is made up of representatives from the religious, legal, business, media, health and education sectors. Its role is to monitor the political parties' adherence to the All Party Electoral Code of Conduct as signed by them; to conduct investigations into all transgressions; and to intervene decisively in matters needing arbitration and mediation that are brought to it. It will provide monitoring on election days, particularly in flashpoint areas and will also be available to citizens for any post election problems. It will also engage all political players and the media in dialogue to ensure free and fair elections.
        "These meetings today were called in order to remind all role-players to contest the election with dignity and respect, recognizing the values enshrined in the South African Constitution," said the Archbishop.

Full story: