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Church members support sailors

An Anglican and United Church group is seeking support in their fight to prevent four Filipino sailors from the Maersk Dubai being forced to return to the Philippines by July 2.

Two years ago, the four sailors gave information in Halifax that Romanian stowaways had been thrown overboard from the Taiwanese ship. The men say their families in the Philippines have been threatened and harassed as a result of their coming forward. They have been seeking refugee status for themselves and their families since then. The Immigration and Refugee Board turned down the sailors and ordered them out of the country by July 2.

Concern for Seafarer Witnesses Society was formed in Nova Scotia in 1996 to support and protect the sailors and their families. The group is seeking letters of support from other Canadians for the men to be granted the right to stay in Canada based on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.

Japanese women may now become priests

Anglican women in Japan may now become priests.

Japan’s General Synod voted on May 27 to ordain women to the priesthood, having rejected the idea at synod two years earlier.

The synod also elected Most Rev. John Takeda, Bishop of Tokyo, as the new archbishop and primate for a term of two years. Rev. Samuel Isamu Koshiishi was appointed provincial office general secretary until the next synod of 2000.

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