Week commencing 16th January 2023

The BBC reports that after 5 years of discussions within the Church of England, bishops have agreed not to alter teaching that marriage is between a man and a woman and to continue the ban on same-sex weddings.

The Church Times reports on the decision of bishops to allow blessing of same-sex couples, but not marriage, after a long process of consultation.

The New York Times reports on Pakistan’s strengthening of already strict blasphemy laws. Insulting the founder of Islam is a capital offense, but now a prison term can be given for insulting anyone connected with the Prophet Mohammed or his family.

The BBC carries a story about the first woman pastor to be ordained in the Holy Land. A Palestinian from Jerusalem, Sally Azar, was made pastor at an event at the Lutheran church in Jerusalem, attended by hundreds of international well-wishers.