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  • The Malaysian government has ruled that non-Muslim publications may not use the word Allah. The Herald, a Catholic newspaper, filed a lawsuit against the government December 5 protesting the prohibition, and it continued to use Allah in its 2008 editions. The government has not revokedTheHerald's license, but has reportedly confiscated other publications.. Supporters of the publisher note that Christians in Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei — and other parts of Asia and Africa where local languages have come in contact with Arabic — use Allah to refer to God. Christians make up less than 10 percent of the religiously diverse but Muslim-majority nation of Malaysia, which guarantees freedom of religion in its federal constitution.

  • Plans for a global gathering of conservative Anglicans have continued as the Episcopal Church has taken disciplinary action against two conservative bishops. The gathering, called "Global Anglican Future Conference," is scheduled for June 15–22 in Jerusalem, one week before the communion's once-a-decade Lambeth Conference. Conservative leaders of the 70-million-member church are expected to discuss next steps in the ongoing dispute over homosexuality and scriptural authority. Those disputes have been sharpest in the communion's U.S. body, the Episcopal Church (TEC), which acted to censure two conservative bishops in January. John-David Schofield, bishop of San Joaquin, California, was "inhibited" — meaning he was barred from carrying out any ministerial or oversight duties — after leading his diocese to secede from the national church. Similarly, an Episcopal committee declared that Pittsburgh bishop Robert Duncan, who has taken the first steps to lead his diocese out of TEC, had "abandoned the communion of the church." TEC's presiding bishop, Katharine Jefferts Schori, sought to inhibit Duncan but was unable to get the necessary unanimous support of TEC's three senior bishops.

    Christianity Today's articles about the Anglican division are in our full-coverage section.

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March 2008

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