Faith news around the world

Published: Saturday, Oct. 27 2012 5:00 a.m. MDT

Myanmar Buddhist monks hold banners and placards during a rally against recent violence in Rakhine state, outside the city hall in Yangon, Myanmar, Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012. Nearly 200 protesters including Buddhist monks called for the stop of renewed violence in western coast of Myanmar. Rakhine state spokesman Myo Thant said clashes between Rohingya Muslims and ethnic Rakhine Buddhists - reported in other parts of the coastal region Sunday - engulfed the townships of Kyaukphyu and Myebon late Tuesday. (AP Photo)

The Associated Press

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Faith news briefs from around the world.

New clashes break out between Muslims, Buddhists in Myanmar

YANGON, Myanmar — New clashes between Muslims and Buddhists have broken out in volatile western Myanmar, leaving at least two people dead and more than a thousand homes burned to the ground, authorities said Tuesday.

The information ministry said the violence was continuing and authorities were trying to restore law and order.

The unrest, which began Sunday night, is some of the worst reported between Rohingya Muslims and ethnic Rakhine Buddhists since skirmishes swept the region in June, displacing about 70,000 people.

Rakhine state Attorney General Hla Thein said the latest violence began in Minbyar township, about 15 miles north of the state capital, Sittwe. It later spread farther north to Mrauk-U township. Both areas are remote, reachable only by foot.

The unrest comes four months after members of the two religious groups turned on each other across Rakhine state in June after the alleged rape and murder of a Buddhist woman by three Muslim men in late May.

— Associated Press

Romanian archbishop's conviction of helping secret police is upheld

BUCHAREST, Romania — Romania's highest court has upheld the conviction of a top Orthodox cleric that he secretly served as an informant for the country's communist-era Securitate police.

The 83-year-old Archbishop Pimen was found guilty by a government council of serving as an informant sent by the church and the Securitate to spy on fellow clergy and members of Romania's expatriate community in the United States in the 1970s.

Before the allegations emerged in 2007, he was considered one of the luminaries of the church and had hosted Romania's former King Michael and Britain's Prince Charles at famous painted monasteries in Romania.

The conviction carries no penalty.

The influential Romanian Orthodox Church has opposed opening the files of its senior clergy from Romania's 1945-1989 communist era. Many priests are believed to have collaborated.

— Associated Press

Catholic Church scuttles plans for new Philly-area high school

LANSDALE, Pa — Roman Catholic education officials are abandoning a plan for a new high school in suburban Philadelphia.

The archdiocese announced Tuesday that it can't afford to build a new facility for Lansdale Catholic Regional High School.

The existing school has occupied its location in Lansdale since 1960. Five years ago, officials announced a plan to construct a new building about 10 miles away.

Now, the church says the 68-acre parcel reserved for the project in Hilltown Township will likely be sold.

The archdiocese has recently sold several properties to close a budget deficit. They include a mansion known as the cardinal's residence and a vacation home for priests at the New Jersey shore.

— Associated Press

Some church child-care programs in Tennessee must get licenses

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — State officials say church-sponsored child-care programs such as parents' day out, must either obtain licenses or limit their programs to no more than two days a week.

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