World News Briefs

Netherlands

International Court Names Adventist Judge

Daniel D. Ntanda Nsereko, Adventist law professor, has been named as one of the International Criminal Court's 18 judges. He was nominated for the position by the Ugandan government and endorsed by the African Union last year. Nsereko most recently served as a professor at the University of Botswana. He has experience in international criminal law and human rights work. The International Criminal Court is an independent body established in 2002 to prosecute genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

Source: Adventist News Network

Arkansas

Federal Court Upholds Religious Discrimination Ruling

A U.S. Court of Appeals has upheld a ruling for an Adventist UPS worker discriminated against for not working on Sabbath. Todd Sturgill from Springdale, Ark., was fired in 2004 after returning from his route without delivering 35 packages on a Friday night so he could go home for Sabbath. The court determined his employers failed to meet his previous requests for Sabbath accommodation. Sturgill was compensated for lost wages, court fees and will get his job back. The court did reverse an award for punitive damages, saying UPS did not act with malice or reckless indifference.

Source: Adventist News Network

Trinidad and Tobago

Adventist University Receives Government Grant

The government of Trinidad and Tobago has announced it will award a $15.5 million grant to the Adventist-operated University of Southern Caribbean. The nation's prime minister announced the grant during a national budget speech. USC is the first private institution in Trinidad and Tobago to receive this level of financial support from the government. The grant, which will be paid over the next four years, is part of a national effort to achieve first-world status for undergraduate education.

Source: Inter-American Division

Egypt

Court Rules in Favor of no Religious Preference

A Cairo court ruled Egyptians may elect to leave their religious preference blank on official documents. This decision, in effect, restores access to jobs, schools, property ownership and medical care for Egyptian Bahais. Five years ago, Egypt announced that Islam, Christianity and Judaism would be the only recognized religions on state-required identification papers. As a result, Bahais had been forced to choose between claiming another faith or possible arrest for not having legal identification.

Source: Agence France-Presse

North Korea

Christian Aid Worker Released by Government

A Canadian man, who was detained for more than two months in North Korea, has been released. Kim Je-Yell spent over a decade bringing in dental supplies and setting up clinics in North Korea with official approval. But when he began criticizing the North Korean regime and tried to establish a church in the region he was taken into custody on charges related to national security. North Korea's constitution provides for freedom of religious belief, but the government strictly regulates religious activity.

Source: Agence France-Presse

Russia

Chief Rabbi Opposes Political Use of Religion

Russian Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar has called on participants in the World Economic Forum in Switzerland to stand against the use of religion for political purposes. Lazar pointed out many terrorist groups try to excuse their actions with references to religion and quotes from holy books. He encouraged religious leaders to publicly declare such actions have nothing to do with true faith in God.

Source: Interfax

Washington

State Prisons Struggle with Multi-religion Issue

A recent change in Washington state prison policy allows inmates to profess to belong to more than one religion. That change comes after one inmate sued the state, claiming he was prohibited from worshipping as both a Native American and a Seventh-day Adventist. As a result of the decision, a Catholic chaplain at McNeil Island Corrections Center has taken leave, saying he could not minister to someone who might claim to be a Catholic and a pagan at the same time.

Source: Tacoma News Tribune

March 01, 2008 / World Church
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