Global Briefs for Nov. 2

Pope Francis to visit Uganda: Pope Francis plans to visit Uganda in less than a month, and some are worried that construction at famous Anglican and Roman Catholic shrines to the martyrs of Uganda may not be finished in time. The visit will mark the 50th anniversary of the canonization of 22 martyrs by Pope Paul VI. A pavilion at the site for Roman Catholics lacks a roof. When President Yoweri Museveni visited the site of a new Anglican Martyrs Museum, work was said to be progressing “at snail’s pace.”

Corrymeela Celebrates 50 years: The Archbishop of Canterbury joined Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh for an ecumenical service at St. Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Corrymeela.  Northern Ireland’s oldest peace and reconciliation organization strives to create understanding between divided religious communities. Archbishop Welby said Corrymeela emerged “as a place which has achieved the capacity to say even in the worst moments that there is hope for people who are deeply divided and deeply enmeshed in conflict to meet each other and to talk and to find their common humanity.”

Sharing Faith is Risky: New research suggesting Christians can do “more harm than good” when they try to speak openly about their faith has received mixed reaction among church leaders. The study, commissioned for the Church of England’s General Synod and the Evangelical Alliance, suggested people who talk about their beliefs to friends or colleagues are three more times likely to put them off God as to attract them to the faith. Four in ten people did not think Jesus was a real person and 22 percent thought he was a “mythical or fictional character.” The Rt. Rev. Michael Hill, Bishop of Bristol, said the findings would be “greeted with disbelief” by Synod members; all 470 members received a copy. William Fittall, Synod’s general secretary, agreed that some methods of evangelism could be “counterproductive.”

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