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Symbolically and spiritually, the river is of mighty significance to many. Physically, the Lower Jordan River of today is a lot more meager than mighty. By the time it reaches the baptismal site, its dwindling water looks sluggish, a dull brownish green shade. Its decline is intertwined with the decades-old Arab-Israeli conflict and rivalry over precious water in a valley where so much is contested.

The feuding that the Partition initiated between Indian and Pakistani Hindus and Muslims has not ceased. Increasingly it is fueled by governments on both sides that stoke religious nationalist feelings among their citizens. But in this 75th anniversary year of the Partition, many Indians and Pakistanis are looking to oral history to preserve the memory of interfaith collaboration as an essential part of their two countries’ histories.

In this issue of A Public Witness, we take off on an Australian adventure. We kick things off like kangaroos to discover the relationship between church and state for the Aussies. Then we curl up like koalas to reconsider the wild text known as the Lord’s Prayer. This prayer practice and the new debate around it offers fertile ground for thinking about faith and government.

Nicaraguan authorities ordered the closure of six radio stations belonging to the Roman Catholic Church on Monday and surrounded one with riot police, church officials said. 

For many Ukrainian Orthodox Christians, and clergy in particular, the question of religious identity in relationship to the Russian Orthodox Church is both personal and political. What is a chaplain’s answer to men and women who have chosen to defend a country under siege since February?

Right before Mass began, two Indigenous women unfurled a banner at the altar of the National Shrine of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré that read: “Rescind the Doctrine” in bright red and black letters.

In this issue of A Public Witness, we look at what led to a historic apology by Pope Francis before reflecting on what it means to offer a corporate apology and what steps must come afterward. 

With attention focusing on the former school in the prairie town of Maskwacis as Pope Francis visits Monday to apologize for abuses in a system designed to sever Native children from their tribal, family, and religious bonds, Indigenous Canadians are voicing a range of skepticism, wariness, and hope.

Faith leaders from a range of religions are teaming up with WHO officials to help prevent monkeypox as outbreaks of the disease occur across the globe. Religions for Peace Secretary-General Azza Karam said “theologies of compassion” that developed in response to HIV/AIDS, Ebola, and COVID-19 are shaping the plans being put in place to address the latest disease.

On the final day of the 2022 Baptist World Alliance annual gathering, the BWA presented the 2022 Denton and Janice Lotz Human Rights Award to Daniel L. Buttry. Established in 2006, the annual award is given by the BWA for significant and effective activities to secure, protect, restore, or preserve human rights.