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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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When Bishop Grant LeMarquand arrives in his new diocese this summer, he won't live in a mansion, receive a regular salary or have steady access to electricity.
The longtime professor of missions at Trinity School for Ministry in Ambridge will be the Anglican bishop based in Ethiopia with responsibility for that country as well as Somalia, Eritrea and Djibouti. That is among the most desperate and dangerous regions of the world.
"Some of those places are very dangerous. All of them are places of great need," said Bishop LeMarquand, 57, a priest of the Anglican Church of Canada until his consecration for the Episcopal/Anglican Diocese of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa last month in Egypt.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces The Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East * Christian Life / Church Life Missions * International News & Commentary Africa Ethiopia
Thirty-five Ethiopian Christians, 29 of them women, face deportation from Saudi Arabia for "illicit mingling" after police raided a private prayer gathering, Human Rights Watch said on Monday.
The New York-based watchdog said the women were subjected to "unwarranted strip search," while the men were beaten and insulted as "unbelievers".
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Filed under: * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Foreign Relations Politics in General * International News & Commentary Africa Ethiopia Middle East Saudi Arabia
Podo is grotesque. In severe cases, the victim's feet appear to be turning into cauliflower—horrible, rotting cauliflower—or something that grows under a rock in 20 feet of water. These are nightmare feet, seeming to bubble and melt, producing unbearable odors.
An estimated one million Ethiopians suffer from podo, as do perhaps three million more, mostly Africans. In affected areas—typically mountains with red volcanic soil—1 out of every 20 people have it. A village of 2,000 will have 100 victims, permanently disabled. In certain areas of Ethiopia, the podo infection rate surpasses that of HIV/AIDS.
Though prevalent and severe, the disease was not identified until 35 years ago. Doctors had been diagnosing the symptoms as infectious elephantiasis until a Christian doctor named Ewart Price realized that the diagnosis didn't fit.
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Widely celebrated for its coffee and long-distance runners, but notorious for its extreme poverty, Ethiopia is the only sub-Saharan nation with a Christian culture dating to the earliest days of the church – a little known fact that it shares with Eritrea, its former province and northern neighbor. About 50 percent of Ethiopia’s estimated 77 million people belong to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, a dominant force that, with Ethiopia’s monarchy, had defined this ancient land and its people for more than 16 centuries.
But the entrenched church is losing ground to a burgeoning Sunni Muslim population in the country’s south and southwest – who now account for almost half of the nation’s people – and to successful proselytizing efforts among the Orthodox by evangelical Christians from the West.
Some 500 years ago Ethiopia’s distinctive Orthodox Christian community faced the Counter Reformation zeal of the Jesuits, who worked to restore full communion between the Roman Catholic and Ethiopian Orthodox churches. The Jesuits failed and Ethiopia slipped into civil war. Once the dust settled, hundreds of Catholic missionaries were expelled or put to death. Europeans were forbidden to enter this “African Zion,” which, more than any other factor, preserved Ethiopia’s independence during Europe’s empire-building land grab centuries later.
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