AUSTRALIA
80 Anglican Women Ordained

Since the Anglican Church of Australia lifted its ban on female ordination in November of last year, dozens of women have joined the priesthood—80 in the first weeks of December alone.

Ten women had already been ordained the previous March by Bishop Peter Carnley of Perth, who acted under the authority of diocesan legislation, in advance of General Synod approval.

The Church of England also voted in November to allow women to be ordained to the priesthood (CT, Dec. 14, 1992, p. 52); many of that country’s 1,400 women deacons are expected to seek ordination. But unlike the Australian church’s decision, England’s ordination measure must have approval from Parliament and royal assent before it can become law.

It could be July 1994 before the first women are ordained as priests in England. Australia and England are among the 14 (out of a total of 30) provinces in the Anglican communion that have approved legislation allowing women to be ordained as priests.

SAUDI ARABIA
Quick Action Spares Filipinos

Western human-rights groups say a quick mobilization of their international networks may have saved the lives of two Filipino Christian leaders imprisoned in Saudi Arabia. Just days before Christmas, reliable sources within the human-rights community reported that lay pastor Wally Oswaldo Magdangal was scheduled to be executed on Christmas day.

Magdangal and a second Christian, Renato Posedio, were arrested in October and charged with violating kingdom law by preaching Christianity.

The two had apparently been in hiding since January 1991 when an international Christian service they led in a private home was raided by Saudi religious police.

Reports of the scheduled execution prompted a flurry of international ...

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