WorldWatch: Updates on the Global Church

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Read below or click play for this week's stories affecting the global church.

New Patriarch Linked to Soviet Spy Network

Religious rights watchers say Patriarch Kirill, was an agent for the Soviet Spy Network in his younger days.

Russian orthodox church leaders voted Kirill to lead the 165 million member church in Moscow this week.

Felix Corley of Forum 18 News Service says Kirill's past is the least of concerns.

"I think his former role as a KGB agent is less important than his current attitudes," he said. "He rejects the idea that there is any universality of human rights, that's there's any objective kind of code that people around the world should recognize."

Corley also said that practically every church leader from every Christian church had ties to the KGB in Soviet times.

READ MORE: Orthodox Church Leaders to Elect New Patriarch

Bolivian Voters Approve New Constitution

Bolivian voters approved a new constitution that grants additional rights to indigenous communities.

It also allows socialist President Evo Morales to run for another term of office.

Still, the vote did little to heal the country's racial and class divisions.

The new constitution was strongly rejected in four of Bolivia's most prosperous states.

Church leaders are also critical of the the new constitution.

They say it favors Bolivia's ancient religions and could impose limits on the Christian faith.

But they also say it has prompted public discussions about God.

"Now the Christian evangelical church is a point of reference," Charles Suarez of the Association of Evangelicals said. "I believe that the church has provided a balance that was needed for our country."

Church leaders also said the fight against the constitution brought about greater Christian unity.

READ MORE:  New Constitution Rallies Bolivia's Christians

Churches Spread 'My Hope' Message in Singapore

Chinese communities around the world celebrated their New Year Jan. 26.

In Hong Kong, crowds came to see the traditional dragon parade.

In Singapore, where 75 percent of the population is Chinese, churches partnered with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association to spread the gospel.

Families invited guests to their homes for a meal and to watch the "My Hope" television specials, sponsored by the Graham Association.

The hosts shared their own spiritual journeys and invited their guests to open their lives to Jesus as well.

"It's absolutely incredible to see how ordinary church members can be mobilized to reach and evangelize their friends through something like My Hope Singapore," said Pastor Melvyn Mak of Fellowship Community Church.

More than 21,000 believers were trained to conduct the home meetings during Christmas and New Years holidays.

And over 200 singapore churches are following up on the results.

READ MORE: Amid Birthday, Graham's Legacy Lives On

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