A leading Hindu organisation has suggested that calls for open funeral pyres at British crematoria are primarily cultural rather than religious, but sensitivity to different funeral sensistivities is needed.
Following the execution of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein earlier this morning(30 December 2006), the general secretary of the World Council of Churches issued a statement asking God to grant the nation of Iraq "the mercy, justice and compassion that it has long been denied" and "an end to fear and death that marked Saddam Hussein's rule and that continue now".
A Bolivian NGO backed by church and other development groups has almost totally eradicated death-in-childbirth and significantly diminished infant mortality in one of the poorest regions of the country.
This week I have had the great pleasure of meeting up again, for the first time since March 2006, with Jim Loney from Canada and Harmeeet Singh Sooden from New Zealand. One year ago this weekend we were companions in kidnap and held in close confinement in Baghdad where we had gone as members of a Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) delegation.