The death of a village priest, his wife and three small children in a mysterious fire has highlighted hardships that Russian Orthodox clergy face in isolated locations outside Moscow's bubble of wealth and power ‚Ä' writes Sophia Kishkovsky from Moscow for Ecumenical News International.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has expressed concern about the safety of historic Christian communities in the Middle East, and particularly in Iraq, given current tensions in the region and the continuing consequences of Western policy.
Katharine Jefferts Schori, the sometimes embattled Presiding Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church in the United States, which is facing attacks by hard-liners in its ranks and through a breakaway Anglican network supported by the Church of Nigeria, has issued a Christmas message which contrasts the vulnerability of God's ways with earthly power-mongering.
The Anglican Bishop of Rochester, the Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, has chosen Christmastide to reignite the row about religious dress in a plural society - by saying that legislation should be introduced giving some officials the power to remove the veil worn by Muslim women.
Angolan authorities could be planning to forcibly evict thousands of squatters living in the capital Luanda in a Mugabe-style slum clearance over the Christmas holiday, UK-based international aid agency Christian Aid has warned.