Maria Sung has rejected terms for a meeting with Roman Catholic Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo, whom she married in a Unification Church ceremony. She has been on a hunger strike for two weeks demanding a private meeting, but refuses to meet at the South Korean embassy to the Vatican in the presence of an interpreter. Let's be clear: she is rejecting the meeting, not Milingo. And if this story wasn't asinine enough, now the Zambian government is getting involved. Government officials have summoned the Vatican's ambassador to the country, where Milingo used to serve as archbishop before he was disciplined for inappropriate exorcisms and reassigned to an inconsequential post in Rome. And they've ordered both the Zambian ambassador to the Vatican and the Zambian High Commissioner to Britain to contact Milingo. "Our concerns are that we have not been apprised of what was going on," Zambian Foreign Minister Keli Walubita told the government-operated Times of Zambia. But why should the Vatican call the government of Zambia? Even though Milingo is still apparently a citizen of the country, he hasn't been archbishop there since 1983. And despite the claims of Maria Sung, the Vatican isn't holding Milingo hostage.
Could the Burnhams have been freed?
Milingo isn't a hostage, but New Tribes missionaries Gracia and Martin Burnham continue to be. According to a Filipino priest, that's not just the fault of the Abu Sayyaf Muslims who've taken them captive but also that of military officers who took bribes in exchange for allowing the kidnappers to escape. The military—especially the army general and four other officers accused—deny the allegations, which came during an official inquiry of the Philippine House of Representatives. Meanwhile, New Tribes Mission reports that the Burnhams are well despite continuing poor weather.
Not all the Taliban's detainees are Christians
"I have been working for Shelter Now since 1995, and nobody has ever invited me to become a Christian or even shown me a Bible," a 24-year-old refugee camp clerk tells The Washington Post. "We are all good Muslims, and nobody can change that. I don't know what all this trouble is about." Well, certainly not all employees of Shelter Now are "good Muslims," explains the Post. "Shelter Now is a Christian charity that works both in Afghanistan and … in the Pakistani refugee camps, building houses, distributing food and providing other basic services. Although its small foreign staff and a few Pakistani workers are Christians, most of its several hundred employees in both countries are Afghan Muslims." Still, one does wonder why, if the 16 Afghans arrested by the Taliban were in fact Muslims, they're still being detained. Meanwhile, parents of the two detained American women have apologized "if there is anything wrong that our children have done," according to a Taliban official.
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