Geographical areas
In the foreground
by Shafique Khokhar | Pakistan

An armed group broke into a church in Faisalabad’s Harsa Kot Thesil Samundri District. Some 20 worshipers gathered in prayer were beaten, some sacred objects were vandalised. Police action prevented the worst. For Justice and Peace Commission coordinator, the state should protect minorities amid raising election-related tensions.

News
by Kamran Chaudhry

During sessions, topics that could create tensions are forbidden. The spouses sit side by side, even if the Islamic tradition does not approve of closeness between men and women. Nadia's story: "I was fighting with God because of my daughter's illness, but now I found consolation".

| 12/07/2018
| PAKISTAN

In a report presented by the UN it emerges that 357 million minors are involved in bloody conflict. The worst situation in Yemen, Mali and South Sudan. Unicef: situation " almost beyond comprehension". Unanimously approved resolution considers child soldiers as first victims. And highlights the different treatment needs between males and females. In 2017, over 21 thousand cases of violations.

| 11/07/2018
| ASIA - UN

Victims include Haroon Bilor, one of the leading exponents of the Awami National Party. The bomber was loaded with eight kilos of explosives. Protests against the Islamabad government: "No guarantee of security". Deployment of over 371 thousand soldiers to defend polling stations.

| 11/07/2018
| PAKISTAN

Cardinal Parolin signs message full of encouragement and blessing for relief efforts. Meanwhile, rescuers are carrying out a house-to-house search for survivors, with dwindling hope. The death toll rises to 156 but is expected to get worse. Thousands are in shelters. Authorities warn against the effects of 35-degree heat on construction workers.

| 10/07/2018
| VATICAN – JAPAN
by Shafique Khokhar

In addition to the former prime minister, his daughter Mariam and her husband were also sentenced. The case involves the purchase of a luxury residence in London. For some educators, activists and journalists, the decision is political, designed to crush their party and favour challenger Imran Khan. Elections are scheduled for 25 July.

| 09/07/2018
| PAKISTAN

The Son of God overturns every human scheme: it is not the disciples who washed the feet of the Lord, but the Lord who washed the feet of the disciples. This is a cause for scandal and disbelief, not only in that era, in every age, even today ". Francis also jokingly refers to the world cup. "I see Brazilian flags - he said. Take courage - he added - there is always next time! ".

| 08/07/2018
| VATICAN
Editor's choices
 
by Suor Mary Prema

The disappearance of a child who was sold has "nothing to do with the Congregation of the Missionaries of Charity". The nuns are victims of "many myths [. . .] information distorted and false news” as well as “baseless innuendo". Sr Prema gives her version of events and defends her congregation. Only two weeks before, the authorities described the children’s home involved as an “excellent environment for the care of children”. Now they have been taken by social services.

| 17/07/2018
| INDIA
 
by Shafique Khokhar

Many Pakistanis are in Rome for the official celebration of his elevation. Political leaders, members of civil society groups and community leaders appreciate him. “He is a leader who has lived through the different and tormented phases of Pakistani history,” said one observer. He “is a strong voice for minorities in Pakistan,” said another.

| 29/06/2018
| PAKISTAN - VATICAN
 

On the solemnity of the Apostles Peter and Paul, Pope Francis blessed the palliums for the metropolitan archbishops appointed during the year (including three from Asia). He prayed together with the delegate of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople at the tomb of Peter. “We too have been brought back to life, healed, renewed and filled with hope by the anointing of the Holy One,” he said. “Like Peter, we [. . .] will always be tempted to hear those “whisperings” of the evil One, which will become a stumbling stone for the mission." He warned against "empty forms of triumphalism". Meanwhile, “millions of people continue to ask the question: “Are you he who is to come, or shall we look for another?

| 29/06/2018
| VATICAN
 

Pope Francis is hopeful about relations with China, which are not just based on diplomatic talks but also on cultural exchanges and friendship. For him, Card Zen is "a little scared".

| 20/06/2018
| VATICAN – CHINA
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