12/22/2014VATICAN Pope: the 15 "diseases" of the Curia, from careerism to "gossip", from pomposity to accumulation of wealth In a speech entitled "The Roman Curia and the Body of Christ", Francis lists a "catalogue" of "curial diseases" that "weaken our service to the Lord." You can not live without "a relationship with Christ that is vital, personal, authentic and solid." "The closer we are to God the more we are united among ourselves." An examination of conscience is needed.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Feeling "indispensable", having "a heart of stone", wanting to plan everything, losing one's memory of his encounter with the Lord, vanity, gossip, the desire to accumulate things...
12/22/2014MYANMAR - CHINA Growing illegal tiger and wild cat trade from Myanmar to China A recent report shows a spike in trade near the Burmese town of Mong La. In the past eight years, the number of shops selling animal part products has jumped more than threefold. About 80 per cent of the parts are from tigers, which is on the endangered species list. Only 5 per cent the population is left compared to a century ago.
12/22/2014ASIA - OPEC Oil price war aimed at non-OPEC countries The United States, Mexico, Russia, and Norway are among the countries targeted. Non-OPEC countries are blamed for an overproduction of 2 million barrels a day. Prices are expected to go up again in the second half of 2015.
12/22/2014CHINA - HONG KONG Chen Zuoer pushing for new security law in Hong Kong (after Occupy) by Paul Wang The former deputy director of the State Council's Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office wants a law that curbs free speech to block further protests and a possible repeat of the Occupy Central movement. In 2003, the Hong Kong government drafted security legislation that met with strong popular opposition.
12/22/2014INDONESIA Indonesian Islamists threaten Christmas celebrations by Mathias Hariyadi
For the past few years, the Christian festivity has become an excuse for violence and targeted attacks. Among Muslims, moderates defend Christmas whilst fundamentalists view it as "haram", sinful. Whilst Jakarta Governor sets up a tree, President Jokowi travels to Papua for the celebration. Meanwhile, members of the Yasmin Church prepare to celebrate the event outdoor.
12/22/2014INDIA For Mgr Dabre, India should ensure respect for the rights and freedoms of all citizens by Thomas Dabre * In a country with different cultures, religions, and states, "cultural nationalism" is wrong. The same is true for attempts to impose the Hindu majority's culture, sacred books, festivities and even terminology on believers of other religions. Christians do not practice forced conversions, but uphold the right to change religion as guaranteed by the Constitution.
12/22/2014SYRIA Aleppo: Christmas among Christian families broken by war, praying for peace by Giorgio Istifan A young Christian from Aleppo victim of the Syrian conflict tells his story. He went from leading a normal life with a wife and daughter to one of unemployment and separation. The war has split his family; now he can see his wife and daughter only a few hours a day. Yet, the conflict has boosted his faith. For Christmas, he calls on Christians around the world to pray "for us, Christians of Syria."
12/22/2014MONGOLIA - KOREA "We are few Christians, but God's love makes everything possible," says Mongolia's first deacon by Pietro Kim Jaedok Joseph Enkh-Baatar was ordained deacon in Daejeon, South Korea, on 10 December. In an interview with AsiaNews, he talked about the challenges of his future priestly life in the country with the world's youngest Church, looked at the difficulties of proclaiming the Gospel in a society where unfettered capitalism coexists with animist traditions, and described the many problems that await him. Yet, he is full of hope. "I want to become a priest who never loses sight of his centre, which is Jesus Christ, so that I can carry out my mission."
12/22/2014PAKISTAN Peshawar school massacre: Pakistani police arrest a group of suspects Those arrested are suspected of "aiding and abetting". For the Minister of Interior investigations are continuing "in the right direction." Intelligence sources: new attacks in the planning. Thousands of people have paid tribute to the 148 victims of the massacre at the military school, of whom 132 were children.
12/20/2014IRAQ Chaldean Patriarch: on Christmas, Christian refugees should not feel "abandoned" or "forgotten" by Joseph Mahmoud Ahead of Christmas celebrations, Mar Sako issued a message to the Christian community that fled the Islamic state. Understandably, Christians are "concerned" about the loss of homes and jobs, but they should keep the "hope for a future of "peace and coexistence" alive. His Beatitude calls on the faithful to pray to keep courage alive and expressed gratitude for the help provided so far.
12/20/2014ISRAEL - PALESTINE Gaza: Israel launches airstrike in response to rocket fired from the Gaza Strip This morning Israel's Air Force carried out an airstrike, the first since a truce between Israel and Hamas was brokered last August. No casualties or damages have been reported. An Israeli military spokesman said that the "Hamas terror infrastructure" was hit. Hamas did not claim responsibility for yesterday's rocket.