Monthly Archives: February 2017

From awareness to empowerment.

Advocacy is about politics and change, values and beliefs, consciousness and knowledge. It is about influencing the powerful on problems that concern people. Advocacy aims to build strong democratic organizations to hold those in power accountable, expanding citizens’ skills and understanding of how power operates. At the end, its aim is to empower people to…

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Lutherans in Africa. For a new responsibility towards creation.

The Reformation, which celebrates its 500th anniversary, is increasingly global. Today only half of Lutherans live in Europe. A look  into the Lutheran Church in Africa. According to the Lutheran World Federation – a global communion of 145 Churches in the Lutheran and Reformation tradition – out of 72 million Lutherans, nearly 36 million live…

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2017. A year of presidential elections in Latin America.

Presidential elections will be held in Ecuador, Chile and Honduras. Results will shed more light on the future of the region. The 2017 electoral calendar also includes the parliamentary elections in Argentina, the jurisdictional ones in Bolivia, and the polls to be held in four Mexican States. In 2018 the entire Latin America political situation…

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North Africa/Europe. Intelligence collaboration

As jihadist terrorism escalates in Europe, the collaboration between Moroccan and Algerian intelligence services and those of the old continent has intensified. Security in several European countries during New Year’s celebrations was strengthened by mixed teams of Moroccan and European counter-terrorism specialists. The anti terrorism collaboration initiated by the King of Morocco Mohammed VI with…

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South Africa. The appointment of ten new permanent deacons.

Ten married men were recently appointed as permanent deacons in the Diocese of Witbank. They will administer the sacrament of Baptism, witness marriages and preach on the occasion of  liturgical celebrations. They are the face of a Church which is close to people. The ceremony took place in Maria Trost, at the pastoral centre of…

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Jordan. At a Crossroad

Like many political fruits of the Sykes-Picot agreement, Jordan is a relatively new State in an ancient land. It was created in 1950, evolving from ‘The Emirate of Transjordan’ (in Arabic: Imarat Sharq-Al-Urdun) – a British protectorate. Jordan is important for Christians. It is home to many Biblical places – including Mount Nebo – and…

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Jatropha curcas – A multipurpose African traditional medicinal plant.

Jatropha curcas (Linnaeus); commonly referred to as Barbados nut, it is a perennial shrub or small tree belonging to the plant family Euphorbiaceae. The genus name Jatropha is derived from two Greek words jatr’os (doctor) and troh’e (food), indicating its valuable use in traditional medicine. The plant grows up to a height of 6m. Leaves…

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Synod on Young People: “Going out; Seeing; Calling.”

Listening to everyone, “without exception”, “abandoning the rigid attitudes which make the proclamation of the joy of the Gospel less credible” and avoiding “anachronism.” It is the goal of the preparatory document of the Synod for Young People. The Synod will take place in October 2018. We look at the Preparatory Document of the Synod.…

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The Islamists and ISIS

The Islamic Action Front, the Jordanian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, has grown in significance on the street. Yet, it defies the Jordanian approach to Islamists, which has been to allow them representation to better absorb their impact. It’s largely made up, and represents, Palestinians. But, it’s more moderate than Hamas, which is the main…

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The Economy is Jordan’s Main Weakness and Source of Risk.

Yet, Islamist pressures exist in Jordan. Just as in the early 90’s, when Arab mujahedin fighters returned to their countries (Algeria, Jordan, Egypt, etc.) from the Afghan war, so too Islamist combatants have started to return from Syria, as government forces gradually retake the territory. In the past few years, Prince Rashid bin Hassan, head…

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Nicaragua. Ometepe Island. Between ancient legends and biodiversity.

Formed by two green volcanoes; sanctuary of flora and fauna species. Ometepe is the largest fresh water lake island in the world. The tranquil atmosphere and pre-Columbian mystique continue to make it one of the interesting places in the Americas. From the top deck of the old ferry coming from San Jorge (Rivas) on the…

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Money as a mission.

St. Basil the Great, in the 4th century would call money ‘the devil’s dung,’  an epithet reused by Pope Francis last year. Oscar Wilde said…

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The Hare, the Hippo and the Fire.

The hare and the hippo were great friends. They walked together in the veld and visited each other in their homes. The hippo was very proud…

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Youth & Mission

The Virus of Racism.

The world is seeing once again the upsurge of a vicious “virus” that has spread to every corner of the world. This time, the “virus” is…

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