Twelve people were murdered yesterday (7 January) in an appalling attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. This has inflamed religious and ethnic tensions, as the killers are believed to be violent Islamist extremists.
At least three Muslims were shot dead in southern Sri Lanka after a hardline ‘Sinhala Buddhist’ group went on the rampage. Dozens more were injured and buildings set alight as the Bodu Bala Sena marched on Aluthgama and surrounding areas.
Sri Lankan government minister GL Peiris has tried to justify a wave of attacks on churches and mosques, claiming that these were simply community reactions to unauthorised facilities. The state’s refusal to protect religious minorities further undermines human rights in Sri Lanka overall.
Leaders of Eastern Orthodox churches recommitted themselves to overcome intra-Orthodox conflicts as well as to continue theological dialogues with Christians from other confessions at a 10-12 October meeting in Istanbul, Turkey.
Blaming religion alone for the world's troubles is factually wrong, says the head of the World Council of Churches. Both religious and non-religious roots of conflict must be faced, and Christians have a vocation as peacemakers.