News and views from Australia and around the world
Martin Luther King's son criticises Australia; Hugh Mackay on faith's future; and the C of E would like you to meet Alexa!
May 30 2018
Martin Luther King III, son of the late US civil rights leader, tells a Reconciliation Week event in Alice Springs that Australia's Indigenous people are worse off than when he first visited the country 20 years ago. “For some reason, there's been this desire to re-oppress people who are already oppressed,” he said. Read more in this ABC report and see photos of Mr King’s visit to the Red Centre.
Listen to Hugh Mackay tell Simon Smart from the Centre for Public Christianity that faith has a part to play in renewing Australian communities. “Even among people who don’t have any religious faith, they admire it and often envy it,” he says. “People recognise that the expression of faith, whether in medical care, social services, or education, is likely to be of a very high standard because it’s driven by this faith in the higher being, this higher power.”
Secularisation is widespread in Western Europe, but most people in the region still identify as Christian, although few regularly attend church. Read the Pew Research Centre’s findings.
For the second time in three years, voters in the Irish Republic have overwhelmingly overturned the country’s image as a bastion of conservative Christianity – in 2015, over same-sex marriage and last week, to liberalise their abortion laws. Church Times reports on what to expect next.
Sir John Carrick was a prisoner-of-war who became a Liberal Party stalwart, Cabinet minister under Malcolm Fraser and mentor to figures such as John Howard. He died only months after his wife and only months before his 100th birthday. Read Deborah Snow’s moving account of his Anglican funeral service in The Sydney Morning Herald.
Watch Dame Sarah Mullally take her oath in the House of Lords, a seat in which comes with her role as Bishop of London, the first woman to occupy the role.
Five days after he preached to the world at the royal wedding, Bishop Michael Curry was one of the leaders of a vigil and procession to the White House to “reclaim Jesus” amid concerns about the treatment of minorities, the normalisation of lying and moves toward autocratic leadership. “We are not a partisan group, we are not a left-wing group, we are not a right-wing group, we are a Jesus Movement,” he declared.
Peace talks in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa made some progress in responding to the conflict in South Sudan, but opposition groups rejected a draft compromise agreement and withdrew. Watch Archbishop Justin Badi Arama, the leader of the Anglican Church in South Sudan who was a mediator, speak about the talks on his return to Juba.
The Church of England has launched an Alexa “skill” as part of a digital drive in recent years. Alexa offers prayers and answers questions such as: What is the Bible? Who is God? What is a Christian?
Ashley Lopez Olijnyk and Jack Palmer-White, who both work in the Anglican Communion Office at the United Nations in New York, say the Church’s unique role and experience in health care is needed right around the UN system and beyond. In conflict situations, they say, the Church is often the only functioning institution.