The 600th anniversary of the
martyrdom of Jan Hus was marked
in July by concerts, dramas, lectures
and discussions, as well as a silent
procession with candles in Prague.
Born in 1370 in Bohemia and
ordained a priest, Hus was influenced
by John Wycliffe, who pressed for a
national church with Scriptures in the
vernacular. Hus also called for reforms
so Bohemia could govern its own
church instead of being ruled by the
pope in Rome.
“Hus believed that there was a
transcendent truth, which he was
required to respect even if this was
in conflict with his own safety or
life,” according to Irish scholar Alister
For that Hus was burned alive on
July 6, 1415. A century later, his beliefs
and actions influenced Martin Luther.
Anniversary celebrations took place
around a memorial in Prague’s old
town square, which was transformed
into a medieval marketplace and
included activities for children.
Anders Wejryd, World Council of
Churches president for Europe, paid
tribute to Hus during the observances,
saying that in “an era of deep divisions
in the Church, Hus called his followers
to proclaim the One Church as the
mystical body of Christ made up of the
chosen people of God.”
The anniversary commemorations
were organized by the Evangelical
Church of Czech Brethren and the
Czechoslovak Hussite Church. The
World Council of Churches will also
host an exhibition on the life and
legacy of Jan Hus in October in Geneva.
– W W W.OIKOUMENE.ORG
The World Evangelical Alliance is
encouraging the world’s 600 million
Evangelicals to reflect on the biblical call
to be good stewards of God’s creation,
an issue highlighted by Pope Francis.
The Pope’s recent publication, an
encyclical called Laudato Si: On Care
for Our Common Home, is theologically
rich and morally challenging, says WEA
secretary general Efraim Tendero.
The encyclical reminds us that
“climate change, pollution, and
other actions that degrade our air,
rivers, oceans, forests, and soils
disproportionally affect the poor,”
says Tendero. “Responding to those
challenges is therefore also a matter of
loving our neighbour and speaking up
The WEA has long been engaged
in issues of creation care. A joint WEA
statement with the Lausanne Movement
from 2012 calls on the global evangelical
community “to take steps, personally
and collectively, to live within the proper
boundaries of God’s good gift in creation,
to engage further in its restoration and
conservation, and to equitably share its
bounty with each other.”
The WEA also has a Creation Care
Task Force that networks with other
organizations and individuals, equips
local churches and speaks out on these
issues. – W W W. WORLDEA.ORG
REPORT ON VIE TNAM
A new report from Human Rights
Watch claims the oppression of
Vietnam’s Christian Montagnards
(mountain people) has reached
a critical state, with one official
promising to put an end to Christianity,
or “the evil way,” among them.
The report, Persecuting “Evil Way”
Religion: Abuses Against Montagnards
in Vietnam, claims government
authorities have arrested Christians,
detaining them sometimes for days
or months. Many of the detainees,
who follow a form of evangelical
Protestantism not recognized by the
government, were beaten.
Official Vietnamese media have
reported that security forces are taking
action against activists protesting
shortcomings in Communist Party
policies. Authorities have denied
human rights violations, calling them a
fabricated excuse to cover the crime of
illegally leaving Vietnam for Cambodia.
– W W W.CHRISTIANEXAMINER.COM
is a call,
and a gift.
indispensable foundation and
—The Cape Town
(ADOP TED AT THE
CONGRESS ON WORLD
MEETING OF 4,200
FROM 198 COUNTRIES,
IN OCTOBER 2010.
World Renew, an agency of the Christian Reformed Church, supports literacy, health
and other programs in Phongsali province, Laos, where girls and certain ethnic
groups have sometimes had little access to education ( www.worldrenew.net).
Debra Fieguth of Kingston, Ont., is a senior
writer at Faith Today.