27 February 2017
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  • 26/02/2017 - VATICAN

    During the Angelus, Pope Francis called on everyone to rediscover that God is Father "in this age of orphanhood". The "obsessive search for earthly goods and riches" is an "illusion and a cause of unhappiness".  Entrusting oneself to the love of the Father enables us to overcome “the torments and adversities of life, even persecution, as the testimonies of so many of our brothers and sisters show." The pontiff greeted groups involved in ‘Rare Disease Day’.




    25/02/2017 - CHINA

    Shaolin abbot Shi Yongxin cleared of all charges

    by Wang Zhicheng

    Monks, former monks and monastery employees had accused him of extortion, having mistresses with children, and leading a lifestyle devoid of religion and spirituality. Henan authorities and the State Administration for Religious Affairs cleared him of all charges. Thanks to him, Shaolin has become a successful brand.


    25/02/2017 - NEPAL

    Hindu parents forbid their children from attending Shia celebrations because of drug use

    by Christopher Sharma

    During the festival, Hindu holy men sell drugs and invite young people to smoke hashish and cannabis. Hundreds of young people have become addicts. The Hindu festival accused of driving many to crime. Attendance at the Pashupatinath Temple drops from 500,000 to 200,000.


    25/02/2017 - INDONESIA – SAUDI ARABIA

    Oil. Pilgrimage, and Saudi king’s visit to Indonesia

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    On 1 March, King Salman will arrive in Jakarta on an official visit. Breaking with Protocol, President Widodo will welcome him in person at the airport. The Saudi monarch will travel with an entourage of about 1,500 people, including government ministers and princes. The visit includes a short vacation in Bali.


    25/02/2017 - LEBANON – SYRIA – VATICAN

    Greek Melkite Church: peace reached between Patriarch Gregory III and “rebel” bishops

    by Fady Noun

    The Synod held a few days ago in Rabieh, Lebanon, ends in success. Divisions between the patriarch and a group of dissident prelates over real estate is settled. Communion and fraternal charity prevailed in the community. The presence of the nuncios to Syria and Lebanon, Card Zenari and Mgr Caccia, proved crucial.


    25/02/2017 - JAPAN

    Tokyo, past forced sterilisations and today’s demographic winter


    Approximately 25,000 sterilisations and 60,000 forced abortions were performed under the Eugenic Protection Act, which was abolished in 1996. Some call for an official apology and compensation for the victims. Japan’s grave demographic crisis requires new policies to promote life.


    25/02/2017 - INDIA

    For Kolkata nun, serving the poor means welcoming everyone, regardless of their faith

    by Santosh Digal

    Sister Mary Mukta Kindo has worked at the Mother Veronica Social Centre for Women of Barrackpure since 2001. The centre makes garments like uniforms and tunics as well as church linen. Some 200 women have been trained allowing them to be independent and help their families.


    24/02/2017 - SRI LANKA

    In Jaffna, displaced Tamils want back land seized by the military or used for tourism (photos)

    by Melani Manel Perera

    Thousands took part in a rally organised by the People's Alliance for Right to Land and the National Fisheries Solidarity Movement. Seized during the civil war, properties are still held by the military or businesses operating them for tourism or agriculture.


    24/02/2017 - INDONESIA

    Standoff between Indonesia and US mining giant Freeport McMoRan


    On 10 February, Freeport-McMoRan discontinued its mining activities, leaving thousands of Indonesians out of work. The reason is a dispute over fees and contract to be renegotiated by the company and the authorities.


    24/02/2017 - EGYPT – VATICAN – ISLAM

    Al Azhar and the Vatican renew inter-faith dialogue against fundamentalism


    A symposium sponsored by the Al Azhar Centre for Dialogue and the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue ended yesterday in Cairo. Participants called for action against the root causes of extremism like "violence and poverty". Protecting young people, who are the most vulnerable to extremist ideologies, is a priority. Cutting funding and weapons to terrorist groups is another.


    24/02/2017 - PHILIPPINES

    Duterte’s harsh critic Leila De Lima arrested


    Arrested this morning on drug trafficking charges, she faces a life sentence. The senator and her supporters deny the charges, calling the case a plot by Duterte. For a decade, she has opposed the Filipino President, whom she describes as a "sociopathic serial killer".


    24/02/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: "In God, justice is mercy, and mercy is justice"


    Do not give in to the "logic of casuistry" that reduces the faith in terms of "can" or "cannot", but follow the path of Jesus, "the path from case study to truth and mercy". Jesus says, "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her", but he spoke "many times with an adulteress." And in the end he said: "I do not condemn you. Sin no more. "

     


    24/02/2017 - INDIA

    Bangalore archbishop inaugurates first family counselling service

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    The goal is to solve the crisis of the family, and emphasise again the sanctity of the institution of marriage. The archdiocese will rely on the expertise of 20 Holy Cross priests. The disintegration of families is evident in the rise in marriage annulments.


    24/02/2017 - INDIA

    Mumbai fishermen furious over plans for worlds tallest Shivaji statue


    The equestrian statue of the god warrior will measure 190 meters; its construction will cost almost 510 million euro. It  is expected to be completed in 2021. It will attract 10 thousand visitors a day. The fishing community complains that the money could be spent on improving health, education and infrastructure. Activist: "The fascist forces use the god's statue as a symbol of Hindutva".

     


    24/02/2017 - MYANMAR – CHINA

    Hundreds of workers attack Chinese factory in Yangon


    Some angry 300 workers destroyed machinery and held captive seven Chinese workers for a few hours over the sacking of a fellow worker. Strikes over low wages are increasing. Many in Myanmar are impatient with China’s economic “colonisation”.


    24/02/2017 - MALAYSIA - NORTH KOREA

    Kim Jong-nam killed by a powerful nerve gas


    Police found traces of VX nerve agent on the victims’ face and in his eyes. VX is considered by the UN as a weapon of mass destruction. Just one drop absorbed through the skin leads to death within minutes. North Korea believed to have between 2500 and the 5 thousand tons of nerve gas.

     


    23/02/2017 - SOUTH KOREA

    The testimony of Fr Lee Tae-seok in South Sudanese school books


    The South Korean missionary and doctor will be remembered in elementary and high school textbooks. He served as priest, doctor, teacher and architect in the small village of Tonj in a country devastated by war. For Education minister, he is an example for new generations.


    23/02/2017 - IRAQ

    Christians and Muslims on a peace march from Erbil to Alqōsh


    The Chaldean Patriarch spearheads action to end violence in Iraq and the Middle East on Palm Sunday. During Lent, Nineveh towns liberated from the Islamic State will be the stations of the Cross. Some 50 families came together in Tall Usquf for Mass and the raising of a large Chaldean cross on a hill. Mar Sako calls for "conversion" among regional and world leaders. Bridges, not walls, are needed.


    23/02/2017 - BANGLADESH

    Rajshahi, proclaiming the Gospel of young people to other young people

    by Sumon Corraya

    About 400 young students took part in a five-day seminar, which included meeting some families. The goal was to “help young people be free from the slavery of consumerism, materialism, and capitalism”. For Mgr Rozario, “Our young people need to be like salt."


    23/02/2017 - INDONESIA

    Catholic programme Hidup TV launched


    It provides three hours of content a day. According to Indonesia’s Ministry of Information and Communications, 63 million Indonesians use the internet every day. The country is ranked fifth (after the US, Brazil, Japan and the UK) in terms of use of social media like Twitter and Facebook.


    23/02/2017 - CHINA

    Beijing, army veterans protest: abandoned by the government


    Since yesterday thousands have been protesting in front of the Party offices in the biggest demonstration since October. Promises made and not kept, "We have nothing, are in poverty and distress." Arrests and violence in Liulihe, Aiminjie, Datong, Luliang and Harbin.

     


    23/02/2017 - PAKISTAN

    "We are lying to ourselves,” says former Christian general after another bomb kills nine in Lahore

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    The latest is the eighth incident of violence in ten days. The bomb exploded in the city's commercial district, inside a building under construction. There are fears that some workers are still trapped under the rubble. A number of shops, banks and restaurants were also damaged. No one has yet claimed responsibility. There is little hope for a new military operation against the extremists.


    23/02/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: do not give scandal with a double life, but converted soon


    "It would be good for all of us, each one of us, today, to consider if there is something of a double life within us: ‘But, sure, the Lord will eventually forgive everything, but I’ll keep going as I have been…’ If there is something saying, “Sure, this is not going well, I will convert, but not today: tomorrow.’ Let’s think about that. And let us profit from the Word of the Lord and consider the fact that on this point, the Lord is very strict. Scandal destroys. "

     


    23/02/2017 - IRAN - TURKEY

    Turkish u-turn fuels renewed tension between Ankara and Tehran


    Turkish President spokesman tries to downplay crisis. Turkey does not want "an escalation" of words with Iran. But Erdogan accuses Tehran of  "destabilizing” the region  irritating the leaders of the Islamic Republic. Ambassador summoned, a ready response on the Syrian arena. Israel's moves to create an Arab-Turkish in front in an anti-Iranian key.

     


    23/02/2017 - NORTH KOREA - MALAYSIA

    Pyongyang blames Kuala Lumpur for death Kim Jong-nam


    The first statement issued on the issue by the North cites the death of "its nationals" in Kuala Lumpur, without the leader's half-brother Kim Jong-un named. Malaysia’s actions  termed "illegal and immoral" and in "total disregard for international law."

     


    23/02/2017 - IRAQ

    Assault for Mosul airport begins


    The goal is to tear control of the airport and a nearby military base from Islamic State. Later attack to be launched on southwest sector. Increasingly critical humanitarian situation in the west. Children dying from malnutrition, at least 160 thousand people have fled the city.


    23/02/2017 - INDIA

    India, Franciscan nuns promote inter-religious dialogue: An experience of deliverance

    by Santosh Digal

    In 1986 the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary created groups for Interreligious Dialogue. Their work is developed in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and other parts of India. They created a network of collaboration with other organizations that support friendly relations between religious communities. Thanks to mutual understanding, conflicts between Christians and Muslims defused.

     


    22/02/2017 - LEBANON

    Trump, Marine Le Pen and the Middle East: Lebanon against walls and divisions

    by Fady Noun

    The beginning of the Trump presidency has been characterised by the "babelisation" of American society. Each country pours out his hatred against an external enemy. The current global crisis has religious roots. At the heart of the chaos there is the Jihadi threat. The third world war cannot be won with drones, but with moderation and promoting rapprochement and discussions.


    22/02/2017 - HONG KONG

    Hong Kong’s former chief executive Donald Tsang sentenced to 20 months in prison

    by Paul Wang

    He was accused of getting a HK$ 50 million flat in exchange for a radio license. Some 40 character witnesses came to his defence. The family will appeal.


    22/02/2017 - INDIA

    A law faculty at a Catholic college proposes an amendment to the Civil Code

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    Marriage law is at the centre of discussions in a country with many religious communities following different rules. The law that allows quick Muslim divorce is one of the main bones of contention. The Catholic Church supports all proposals that support “equality, fraternity and freedom".






    Editor's choices

    LEBANON
    Trump, Marine Le Pen and the Middle East: Lebanon against walls and divisions

    Fady Noun

    The beginning of the Trump presidency has been characterised by the "babelisation" of American society. Each country pours out his hatred against an external enemy. The current global crisis has religious roots. At the heart of the chaos there is the Jihadi threat. The third world war cannot be won with drones, but with moderation and promoting rapprochement and discussions.


    EGYPT - ISLAM
    Al Azhar under the influence of Daesh Islamism

    Kamel Abderrahmani

    The official religious institutions and so-called Islamic universities are the cause of the immobility of the Muslim world. The programs taught and literature used at Al Azhar are the same that are applied on the ground by all armed terrorists. No comparison possible between Al Azhar and the Vatican. The Vatican has hosted Iraqi Muslims and Syrians fleeing the war. Al Azhar has never done anything for Christians and Yazidis. The persecution of Nasr Mohamed Abdellah, eager to modernize Islam. The comment of one Muslim student.


     


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