Geographical areas
In the foreground
by Francis Khoo Thwe | MYANMAR

Demonstrations continue in Yangon, Lashio, Loikaw, Myitkyina, Dawei, Myeik, Kyaikto, and Myingyan. Police resort to tear gas, grenades, and beatings. The economy could come to a standstill. Withdrawing cash from ATMs has become difficult. Some foreign businesses are planning to leave. A total lockdown is possible as an extreme attempt to block protests, communications and social media platforms. The UN special envoy to Myanmar, Christine Schraner Burgener, warns against providing legitimacy to the junta.

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Francis celebrated Mass in Baghdad’s Chaldean cathedral, “where wisdom arose in ancient times, so many witnesses have arisen in our own time, often overlooked by the news, yet precious in God’s eyes. Witnesses who, by living the Beatitudes, are helping God to fulfil his promises of peace.”

| 06/03/2021
| IRAQ - VATICAN

Today was dedicated to dialogue between faiths. It began with a visit to the leader of Iraqi Shias, Al-Sistani, and continued with the interfaith meeting in Ur of the Chaldeans, a blessed place that “brings us back” to “the birth of our religions”. “Hostility, extremism and violence are not born of a religious heart: they are betrayals of religion.”

| 06/03/2021
| VATICAN - IRAQ

Francis met with bishops, priests, religious, seminarians and catechists in the Syriac Catholic Cathedral of "Our Lady of Salvation" where a terror attack killed 48 people. “Their deaths are a powerful reminder that inciting war, hateful attitudes, violence or the shedding of blood are incompatible with authentic religious teachings,” said the Pope.

| 05/03/2021
| VATICAN – IRAQ

During his first hours in Iraq, Francis met with Iraq’s president, political leaders and diplomats. “May God grant that we journey together as brothers and sisters in ‘the firm conviction that authentic teachings of religions invite us to remain rooted in the values of peace… mutual understanding, human fraternity and harmonious coexistence’.” The pontiff will travel in a bullet-proof car and wear a mask.

| 05/03/2021
| VATICAN – IRAQ
by Franco Pisano

Francis leaves for Baghdad tomorrow to meet a “martyred Church” and visit places devastated by the Islamic State. The trip includes a visit to Ur of the Chaldeans and a meeting with Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani, leader of the Shia community, which is the majority religion in Iraq and in neighbouring Iran. Before his departure, Francis released a video message.

 

| 04/03/2021
| VATICAN
by Francis Khoo Thwe

Today's death toll included five in Monywa; two in Mandalay, one hit in the chest and one in the head; two in Myingyan, one in Magway, and one in Yangon. Strikes and acts of civil disobedience are spreading across the country. Some 34 journalists have been arrested, many for spreading “fake news”. Thousands have been arrested. ASEAN foreign ministers’ meeting yields no results.

| 03/03/2021
| MYANMAR

At the general audience, Francis asks to pray for the journey that begins on Friday. In Myanmar, "aspirations for peace must not be stifled by violence". Before knowing Jesus, he said, "we really did not know how to pray: what words, what feelings and what languages ​​were appropriate for God."

| 03/03/2021
| VATICAN
by Mathias Haryiadi

The Indonesian government adopts the new measure to support the economy hit by the collapse of the tourist sector. The poverty index rose to 10.9 per cent. Meanwhile, mass vaccination has begun in Jakarta with priority given to the elderly and clerics, but there is concern about the time it will take to reach the farthest islands.

| 02/03/2021
| INDONESIA
by Francis Khoo Thwe

Clashes with security forces in Yangon. Rumours of two deaths. One dead and several wounded in Kale. Following global protestations, the military leaders ask security forces not to use lethal weapons. ASEAN runs for cover. Singapore: No to violence, free Aung San Suu Kyi, dialogue for peace. Democratic leader charged with two other violations.

| 02/03/2021
| MYANMAR

Eight other members of the Cambodia National Rescue Party, including his wife, also sentenced - again in absentia. Defendants deprived of civil rights will not be able to participate in elections in 2022 and 2023. Activists and experts speak of a politically motivated ruling. The dissolved party announces a battle.

| 02/03/2021
| CAMBODIA
by Mathias Hariyadi

A viral outbreak has been declared at the John XXIII Seminary in East Java, which hosts major seminarians from ten dioceses. At least 30 people have been infected, 13 of whom have been hospitalised. The Sisters of St Charles Borromeo in Yogyakarta, who have already faced the coronavirus, have come to help.

 

 

| 01/03/2021
| INDONESIA
by Francis Khoo Thwe

Demonstrations in Yangon and Lashio. The UN condemns the use of lethal bullets, tear gas and stun grenades against protesters. Aung San Suu Kyi in court. A Yangon police chief, Tin Min Tun, says he "does not want to serve under the present military regime." Tom Andrews, UN human rights expert in Myanmar: Words are insufficient. Action must be taken.

| 01/03/2021
| MYANMAR

A Christian's mission, Francis said at the Angelus, is "ignite little lights in people's hearts;  be little lamps of the Gospel that bring a little love and hope ".  In Lent a "fast" from gossip.  A prayer for children suffering from rare diseases.

| 28/02/2021
| VATICAN
by Bernardo Cervellera

 Commentary on the Gospel of the 2nd Sunday of Lent B (Mark 9, 2-10).

| 28/02/2021
|
Editor's choices
 
by Shafique Khokhar
Thanks to the generosity of some AsiaNews readers, 52 families were helped to pay off their debt to kiln owners who had forced them to work as slaves. Now their children can go to school and are no longer forced to pay for their parents' debt. Some ...
| 03/03/2021
| PAKISTAN
 
Hong Kong authorities want to strike a blow at pro-democracy moderates, says Ernest Ng, expert in public policy. The 47 are back in court tomorrow. Freedom of association and the right to organise under International Labour Convention have been violated. ...
| 03/03/2021
| HONG KONG – CHINA
 
The Papal visit bears three messages: hope, peace and coexistence and it is a “dream come true". A thank you to the Yazidis for their support over the years. Sunni Muslim: "We want to pray together with Christians", a stimulus from the Pope "to ...
| 03/03/2021
| IRAQ - VATICAN
 
To participate in the major pilgrimage, it will be "mandatory" to demonstrate immunization. Doubts about the presence of faithful from abroad. Riyadh started the vaccination campaign on December 17. Since the beginning of the pandemic, almost 380 thousand ...
| 02/03/2021
| SAUDI ARABIA
 
by Francis Khoo Thwe
Mya Thwate Thwate Kaing died yesterday after being wounded by police in Naypyidaw. The United Kingdom imposes sanctions on three generals; Canada on nine officials. The United States, India, Japan and Australia are demanding a quick return to democracy. ...
| 20/02/2021
| MYANMAR
 
by Wang Zhicheng
The church was built in 2000, with all the permits and praise of the local authorities. There are two reasons for the destruction: the land’s commercial value and erasing the "showy" symbolism of the religious building. The policy of "sinicization" ...
| 19/02/2021
| CHINA-VATICAN
 
Zdeněk Hřib targeted for having twinned with Taipei and supporting Tibetan dissidents. “No cost” for my commitment to Taiwan and Tibet. China is an “unreliable” trading partner. Alarm raised over Chinese lobbying campaigns in ...
| 11/02/2021
| CZECH REPUBLIC-CHINA-TAIWAN
 
by Francis Khoo Thwe
Buddhist monks in Pegu and Pakokku pray and march to protect the people from darkness. In Kengtung, Christians in procession with the statue of Our Lady. In Mandalay, the bishop's evening of prayer with priests and sisters. The religious of Saint ...
| 11/02/2021
| MYANMAR
Myanmar protests: woman shot dead
Myanmar: Police beating medics
VANGELO 28 Febbraio
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