07/29/2014VATICAN - SRI LANKA - PHILIPPI Pope's apostolic visit to Sri Lanka and the Philippines confirmed Francis will travel to the former Ceylon on 12-15 January and the Philippines on 15-19 January 2015. Last May, the bishop of Mannar had already told AsiaNews that the visit was "more than a hope." In June the Archbishop of Manila, Card Tagle, stressed "Pope Francis' great love for Asia and the Philippines." Vatican City
(AsiaNews) - As AsiaNews
reported last May, Pope Francis will make an apostolic trip to Sri Lanka
and the Philippines in January 2015. The Holy See Press Office made the
official announcement today,...
07/28/2014ISLAM Eid al-Fitr: Ramadan ends today (for Sunnis) For Shia Muslims, the festival of Eid begins tomorrow. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, UAE, Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon (Sunnis) announce the end of Ramadan, which commemorates the period during which the Koran was revealed to Muhammad.
07/27/2014VATICAN "Stop! I am asking you with all my heart. Stop!" says pope as he speaks out on the Middle East, Iraq and Ukraine He mentions children, victims of war, "from whom we take away the hope for a decent life," urging the parties to address "every diatribe with the tenacity of dialogue and negotiation and the power of reconciliation". As tomorrow marks 100 years since the outbreak of the First World War, "a day of mourning," we should learn the lessons of history. The Gospel makes us know the true Jesus, the living Jesus, who speaks to the heart and is a life changer as he was for Saint Francis of Assisi. "The joy of finding the treasure of the Kingdom of God comes through, can be seen. Christians cannot hide their faith."
07/25/2014ASIA Air disasters: 2014 could beat 2005 in terms of fatalities So far this year, 680 people have died, higher than 12-month totals for the past three years. With 916 deaths, 2005 was the worst year. IATA points out that about 100,000 flights take place every day without incident with passenger trips on airlines exceeding three billion last year.
07/24/2014SRI LANKA Bishop of Mannar: Pope Francis’ visit, a consolation for victims of war Msgr. Rayappu Joseph, Bishop of Mannar, talks about expectations ahead of the apostolic trip scheduled for January 2015. The Church's mission in the north ravaged by civil war, with the population "left to itself" by the government and institutions. The discrimination suffered by the Tamil minority, and "the only possible solution: a federal and truly democratic state."
07/21/2014SRI LANKA Sri Lankan human rights activists tell government: Hands off NGOs by Melani Manel Perera More than 500 people demonstrated against a Ministry of Defence-issued notice to all non-governmental organisations. The warning prohibits associations from engaging in activities that transcend their specific tasks. Specifically, it bans activities related to freedom of the press, expression and assembly.
07/20/2014VATICAN Pope: I am with the persecuted Christians of Mosul and the Middle East "May the God of peace inspire in all a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated with violence. Violence is defeated with peace." At the Sunday Angelus Francis comments on the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God is "patient" He knows "the same weeds in the end, may become good wheat". But "at the time of the harvest, that is, of judgment, the reapers will execute the order of the master separating the weeds to be burned".
07/19/2014SRI LANKA Jaffna: government erodes freedom and dignity of Tamil people by Melani Manel Perera A thousand people of all ethnicities and religions participate in a meeting to denounce the conditions in which the North’s Tamils are forced to live. Police desperately try to prevent the rally, even threatening some refugees.
07/18/2014VATICAN - ISLAM Christians and Muslims should work fraternally for "justice, peace and respect for the rights and dignity of every person" The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue issues a message for the Muslims of the world to mark the end of Ramadan. "Despite being aware of our differences, [. . .] We perceive the importance of promoting a fruitful dialogue built upon mutual respect and friendship. Inspired by our shared values and strengthened by our sentiments of genuine fraternity, we are called to work together for justice, peace and respect for the rights and dignity of every person."
07/13/2014VATICAN As pope makes "heartfelt appeal" for peace in the Holy Land, he notes that prayer is not "in vain" After the Angelus, Pope Francis called on those present to pray during a minute of silence. He made the same plea to local and international policy makers. Prayer helps us "not allow ourselves be overcome by evil, nor accept that violence and hatred take over from dialogue and reconciliation." The parable of the sower asks, 'How is our heart? To what ground does it look like: a road, rocky ground, or a bush? We must remember that with our words "we too are sowers". Indeed, "Our words can do so much good and so much evil; they can hurt and heal, encourage and depress." And "please, do not forget to pray for me."
07/12/2014ASIA - UNITED NATIONS More than half the world's population lives in cities India will lead the way, as the country's urban population is expected to swell by 404 million people between now and 2050. Tokyo will continue to top the mega-city list followed by Delhi, Shanghai, Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Beijing, Osaka, and Cairo. This trend will be challenge for health care, schools, food, and housing.