07/28/2015CHINA Christians respond to demolitions in Zhejiang with a ‘Make and carry the cross" campaign In a joint online campaign, Catholics and Protestants call on the faithful to make crosses at home and carry them everywhere. This is a "peaceful and non-violent" response to the authorities’ campaign against the religious symbol. For Catholic priest, "Tomorrow you will see crosses everywhere in Zhejiang." Beijing (AsiaNews) – Catholics and Protestants in the eastern province of Zhejiang have launched an ‘ecumenical’ campaign to make crosses – the Christian symbol par excellence – and carry them everywhere.
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07/28/2015CHINA-HONG KONG China shares continue to fall, despite the assurances of the government After the big crash yesterday (-8.5%), the Shanghai stock market lost 1% today; Shenzhen 1.3%. At least 900 companies have withdrawn from trading after losing 10%. The central bank of China promised to inject 50 billion yuan in the money market, but the production figures do not favour optimism.
07/27/2015JAPAN Battle over peace “reopens old wounds that never healed” Fr Domenico Vitali, a Jesuit, has been in Japan for more than half a century. He spoke to AsiaNews about Japan’s ongoing debate over constitutional reform. For him,” It is not about being in favour or against war, but about arguments heard before the Second World War” based on nationalist rhetoric and honour. Even within the Church, “various groups have split to take different positions”.
07/26/2015 VATICAN-SYRIA Pope: urgent appeal for the release of Fr. Dall'Oglio, kidnapped two years ago in Syria At the Angelus, Pope Francis recalls the Jesuit priest, the two Orthodox bishops and all those who have been kidnapped, calling on all present to join him in the recitation of a Hail Mary. Joined by the presence of two young people, he opens registration for WYD in Krakow and registers himself as teh first pilgrim online with a tablet. Commenting on today's Gospel: "Who among us does not have his" five loaves and two fish "? If we are willing to put them in the hands of the Lord, they will be a bit more love in the world to go around".
07/24/2015CHINA Wenzhou: 90-year-old bishop and 26 priests protest against cross demolitions by Joseph Yuan This is not the first time that the old bishop and his priests speak out against the demolition campaign against crosses and churches, which has touched more than 400 buildings. During the protest, police tried to disperse the group, which sought to submit a petition. The faithful recite a Crown of the Divine Mercy is in support of the Chinese Church. In Lishui, churches are expected to be torn down by 31 August.
07/24/2015CHINA Beijing: industrial output in July is the worst in 15 months Despite June’s limited rebound, the manufacturing index has dropped again this month. For the fifth consecutive month, the figure is below the threshold of contraction. Beijing had set growth for April-June at 7 per cent but analysts estimate that it will be around 5 per cent.
07/24/2015VATICAN - GREAT BRITAIN For the pope, euthanasia is what “mafiosi do. There is a problem: we get rid of this guy . . .” In his message to the Catholic Church in England and Wales for this year’s Day for Life, centred on the theme of ‘Cherishing Life and Accepting Death,’ Pope Francis said that “There is nothing progressive about solving problems by eliminating a human life." For him, “considering having a baby as a right is not a scientific achievement when the child should instead be welcomed as a gift; nor is it right to use humans as laboratory rats in order to save ostensibly others.”
07/24/2015TIBET - CHINA Tibetan political prisoner dies after 14 months in custody He was held in prison for his role in protests against a Chinese gold mine. Local sources said he had been tortured since his detention. Two other village men were sentenced to two years in jail for their roles in protests. None of the relatives and friends of Lobsang Yeshi was allowed to see his body.
07/23/2015ISRAEL - IRAN After nuclear deal, Israel ought to become Iran’s best ally by Uri Avnery This is the thesis of Uri Avnery, leader of Gush Shalom, a major supporter of peace between Israelis and Palestinians. According to the great statesman and peace activist, Iran only wants to be a regional power in the Islamic world, able to trade with everyone, inspired by a sophisticated experience that goes back thousands of years. Iran, which faces backward-looking Gulf monarchies and emirates, could be a great ally against Daesh. Meanwhile in Israel Netanyahu, politicians and the media continue to blunder.
07/23/2015CHINA Stock Market Crash: Communist Party shielding the country’s “red aristocracy”, not its people by Willy Lam China’s recent stock market crisis has exposed the flaws in President Xi Jinping’s economic policies. Party-controlled media have praised government leaders, but analysts and experts view large-scale government interventions as a “step backward”. The crisis needs urgent political reform, which the party has rejected so far. What follows is an analysis by a great China expert, courtesy of the Jamestown Foundation.