News Briefs

Christian human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng, imprisoned in China’s Xinjiang Province, was allowed a visit from his brother and father-in-law on March 24, the first time he has been seen since April 2010. • On March 29 the Dalai Lama was named the winner of the 2012 Templeton Prize, to be presented in London on May 14, because of his “incomparable global voice for universal ethics.” • U.S. bishops announced on March 26 Vatican approval for the publication of a new Rite for the Blessing of a Child in the Womb. • More than 40,000 people from 41 countries and 47 U.S. states gathered in Anaheim, Calif., for the annual Los Angeles Religious Education Congress on March 23-25. • Bishop Fabio Colindres of El Salvador persuaded leaders of Mara Salvatrucha and Barrio 18, El Salvador’s most notorious gangs, to end a wave of killings across the country after negotiating better prison conditions for 30 gang leaders. • On March 29 Nigerian Army troops stormed a neighborhood of Kaduna, Nigeria, and arrested 33 members of Boko Haram, an Islamist terrorist group suspected in a series of attacks against Christian churches.

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 Pope Francis and Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski stand outside the presidential palace in Lima, Peru, Jan.19.(CNS photo//Mariana Bazo, Reuters)
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