Yahya Cholil Staquf, a leader in Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), travelled to Tel Aviv on a "private mission". According to extremists, he is undermining Indonesian support for a Palestinian state. Israel’s decision to stop issuing tourist visas to Indonesians remains controversial.
The group includes 51 students from Indonesia’s oldest Catholic seminary. The first performances were held in Magelang with the participation of local university students. Concerts in Yogyakarta and Jakarta were sold out. For the choir coordinator, “months of preparation have served this: to build their capacity to communicate with others."
In his message for World Day of the Poor, Francis writes that poverty is caused by sins like selfishness, pride, greed and injustice, whilst society “elevates riches as the primary objective”. Believers cannot limit their concern to providing assistance but need to show "loving attentiveness".
In a message, Francis writes that in order to meet and respond to the current migration phenomenon, the Pope writes, "the help of the whole international community is needed". "Particular concern must be shown for migrant children and their families, those who are victims of human trafficking rings".
The 21st World Cup starts tomorrow with the host nation playing against Saudi Arabia. Asian teams have little chance of winning, but Asian businesses are swooping up sponsorship deals. Nike denies Iran boots as a result of Trump’s sanctions. Child labour used in making World Cup goods emerges as an issue.
Saint Mary is the oldest Cistercian monastery in Indonesia. It grows coffee, runs a dairy and makes bread and pastry, contributing to the community's self-sufficiency. In 1987, Trappist monks established the first female community in Gedono, on the slopes of Mount Merbabu. In 1996, the Abbey of Lamanabi was built on Flores, a predominantly Catholic island.
The Statistical Yearbook of the Church shows that there are more bishops and permanent deacons. The number of priests stable but religious and seminarians in decline. In Asia Catholics are 11% of the population, but vocations are growing
With today's signature, the two leaders commit to a lasting and stable peace on the Korean Peninsula. The deal calls for the recovering the remains of prisoners of war. Kim makes an "Unwavering commitment" to denuclearise the peninsula. Trump offers security guarantees to North Korea. China approves; France has doubts. South Koreans “hope” for peace. North Korean refugees are concerned.
The civil war in the northern state has entered its seventh year. The number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) has exceeded 150,000. Some tell of their flight from their homes and of their life in the reception facilities.
Writer Liao Yiwu spoke with Liu Xia, wife of the late dissident Liu Xiaobo, who was left to die in prison from cancer. Under house arrest, Liu Xia was promised by the government that she could leave China for treatment. But nothing has happened so far. Despite her request, Angela Merkel could not meet her. Liao pleads with politicians and ordinary people.