An international ecumenical team representing the World Council of Churches has left the USA encouraged by the signs of hope and commitment after meeting with American Christians struggling with issues of gun control, war and a culture of violence.
Pope Benedict has used the occasion of the official receipt of the credentials for the new Italian ambassador to the Holy See to issue a defence of the alliance of church and state, an arrangement facing increasing criticism in a plural, post-Christendom Europe.
Gayy Christians in the UK have criticised primarily white conservative Christians for pressurising African Anglican leaders, and have said that the US Episcopal Church's compromise in saying it will not ordain gay people or bless partnerships at the moment will backfire.
American congress persons, including Joe Pitts of Pennsylvania, are urging European countries to keep up the political and economic pressure on the dictatorship in Burma, following the brutal suppression of pro-democracy protests originally led by Buddhist monks.
There is an "international responsibility to protect people at risk in the Darfur region ... and in neighbouring Chad," says the World Council of Churches executive committee, calling on member churches to bring that responsibility "to the attention of their governments".
With reports of hundreds of people killed by the junta in Burma, international solidarity with the pro-democracy protesters is set to continue this week in spite of the crackdown and what looks like a logjam in UN diplomacy.
These days, it can so easily feel as if religion is an anti-democratic force in our polity, writes Giles Fraser. No one votes for Bishops in the House of Lords, for example. So it's worth remembering that in this country, as indeed in many others too, religion was the nursemaid of democracy.