26 September 2017
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  • 26/09/2017 - NORTH KOREA-USA

    Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho: The US has declared war on us. We have the right to shoot down US jets. The White House: Absurd idea. Fears that the "war of words" will turn into "real action". UN, Russia, China, and South Korea ask both sides to cease provocations. In Pyongyang, photos and videos of an US bomber and a North Korean missile carrier.




    26/09/2017 - SYRIA

    Catechist in Aleppo, where faith overwhelms fear and violence


    Rania Salouji is a 40-year-old Christian woman. She is married to Grigor and they have two kids, 17 and 14. At the beginning of the war she thought about fleeing but chose to stay. She was anxious for months when her husband was held captive and she is still traumatised by the death of a boy killed by a rocket near the catechism centre. Each day she entrusts her children to Our Lady, reciting the Rosary. We must “live normally, as much as possible”.


    26/09/2017 - ISRAEL

    For activist, Israeli taboo about nuclear issues endangers health


    There is no awareness about the risks of nuclear power. The security of citizens must be the priority. The Dimona plant has had 1,500 faults, but no one knows what or where. The prime minister's statements about Iran are accepted as factual even though they contain no facts. Civil society groups must become involved.


    26/09/2017 - PAKISTAN

    As an Islamic State flag is found in Islamabad, government is accused of ineffectiveness

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    Police removed a slogan under a billboard praising the Islamic Caliphate. Pakistani authorities have always denied the presence of the Islamic State group in the country. But for years, the terrorist programme has been taught in school. Religious parties make gains in by-election.


    26/09/2017 - VIETNAM

    Catholic students committed to “missionary discipleship” in Ho Chi Minh City

    by Thanh Thuy

    Tens of thousands take part in charity and social activities in the country’s parishes, mostly Catholic students attending university or working in cities. St Paul Parish, Binh Tân District, has taken steps for migrants and poor children. During Saigon Diocese’s ‘Migrant Week’, students promoted the message of the encyclical Laudato si’. Some young people told their story.


    26/09/2017 - PHILIPPINES – VATICAN

    Pope's initiative to “dispel fear and understand” migration, says Card Tagle

    by Santosh Digal

    "Share the Journey" seeks to promote a culture of encounter with migrants and refugees. The campaign will run until 2019. More than 160 Caritas members are involved around the world. The ACT Alliance, a coalition of 146 churches and faith-based organisations, supports it. “I hope the global migration and refugee situation will lead the whole world in a corporate examination of consciousness and our value systems," the cardinal said.


    26/09/2017 - CHINA

    WhatsApp in the crosshair of Chinese censorship


    For more than a week the app had dropped in and out with periods of total disruption. Photo sharing and voice messaging have become impossible. The app provides end-to-end encryption. As the 19th Chinese Communist Party Congress approaches, the government has tightened censorship.


    26/09/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: "Familiarity" with Jesus is to live freely in his home, sharing our problems


    Familiarity with God and Jesus "is something more than being" disciples "or" friends "; it is not a "formal" or "educated" or "diplomatic" attitude. It is "being with him, watching him, listening to his Word, trying to practice it, talking to him."


    26/09/2017 - UN - MYANMAR

    Myanmar at the UN General Assembly: 'No ethnic cleansing or genocide in Rakhine'


    The Burmese ambassador: "The issue is extremely complex." Member States and the international community call for "objective and impartial" analysis. The "fear factor" and the "burnt earth tactics" adopted by terrorists are the reasons for the Rohingya exodus. The government's priority is the resolution of the humanitarian emergency. Assistance programs for displaced people in collaboration with the Red Cross.


    26/09/2017 - BANGLADESH

    Bandarban, Card. Patrick D'Rozario visits Rohingya refugee camps (Photo)

    by Sumon Corraya

    The archbishop of Dhaka went to Tumbro and Ghumdhum. He listened to the stories of violence and misery. The cardinal appealed to world leaders. The Catholic Church has collected a million taka (10,200 euros) for the emergency.


    26/09/2017 - ISRAEL - PALESTINE

    West Bank: Palestinian kills three Israeli settlers, one seriously wounded


    The attack occurred near the back entrance of the Har Adar colony. The identity of the attacker and the three victims still unknown. The man was "neutralized" by the security forces. The survivor was transported to a hospital in Jerusalem.


    25/09/2017 - SRI LANKA

    Young people seek the meaning of life, the Church has to guide them, says activist sister

    by Rasika Pieris*

    Sister Rasika Pieris expresses her thoughts about the Preparatory Paper of the Synod of Bishops on Youth, set for October 2018. The Church is “Euro-centric in its thinking,” she writes. The challenges faced by young people in Asia are different from those in Europe.


    25/09/2017 - INDONESIA

    Young women to sell their virginity online

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    Islamic wedding between rich men and women in difficulty is promoted. The "nikah siri and virginity on sale" are ways to "help the government reduce poverty," promoter says. Membership requires women to be Muslim and at least 14. Police detained creator. For women rights advocate, the “ultimate goal is to sell sexual service”. Both are “practices of violence and a grave abuse of women’s human rights,” said Justina Rostiawati, head of a Catholic women's group


    25/09/2017 - MYANMAR

    Rakhine: Military accuse Rohingya for mass grave with 28 dead Hindus


    The bodies of 20 women and eight men, including six boys under 10, were found. For the military, they were “cruelly and violently killed by ARSA extremist Bengali terrorists. About 30,000 displaced Hindus and Buddhists are in refugee camps. They say the United Nations and foreign organisations help only Rohingya Muslims. The exodus towards Bangladesh has slowed down, but thousands are still stuck in Myanmar.


    25/09/2017 - CHINA

    What is Xi Jinping thought?

    by Willy Wo-Lap Lam

    At the next Congress, Xi Jinping's thinking will be included in the party's constitution, just like Mao Zedong's was. But this thought seems only to be made of rhetoric, nationalism, and an emphasis on China's greatness. Xi's much-vaunted contribution to Chinese-style communism tends to stop reforms to maintain power in the hands of the party and his own. Mao looked to the future; Xi is trying to hold onto the status quo. Courtesy of the Jamestown Foundation.


    25/09/2017 - IRAQ

    Kurdistan's referendum amid celebration and fears

    by Pierre Balanian

    Since the early hours of the day people have flooded polling stations. Mosques and churches have joined in the festive atmosphere with muezzins' calls and bells pealing. Kurdistan is a country of tolerance and coexistence. But Turkmen fear and Turkey voices threats. The Israeli lobby backs the referendum opposed by Iraq’s Arabs and Shias.


    25/09/2017 - BANGLADESH

    The Church of Rohanpur celebrates 100 years of 'seeds of the Gospel' planted by PIME(Photo)

    by Sumon Corraya

    The parish was founded by Msgr. Giovanni Battista Anselmo in 1922. Only the tribal Santorum and Hindus lived in the area, who had never heard the Word of God. The church created three more parishes; runs a primary school and a hostel for boys and girls.


    25/09/2017 - RUSSIA

    Hilarion: Russia and European Christians for the Salvation of the Continent

    by Vladimir Rozanskij

    The "Foreign Minister" of the Moscow Patriarchate points to the religious crisis of the old continent. With migrations and secularism, Europe is heading towards the total suicide of its identity. The responsibilities of intellectuals. "The present weakening of Christianity in the Western world recalls the situation of the Russian Empire before 1917." In Russia, only 13% declare themselves atheist and non-believers. Unite church efforts.


    25/09/2017 - INDIA

    Ranchi: 5,000 protest against the anti-conversion law and the lands

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    Catholics, Hindus, Sikhs, and Muslims demonstrated against the Jharkhand Freedom Religious Bill 2017 and the Land Acquisition Act 2013 amendments, the rule that protected tribal lands. Now these lands will be sold out to the best bidder. The anti-conversion law "used to divert attention" from economic interests.


    25/09/2017 - CHINA-VATICAN

    Msgr. Mathew Hu Xiande, bishop of Ningbo, has died

    by Paul Wang

    Because of persecution, he had to delay his priestly ordination for nearly 30 years. Subjected to seven years of forced labor. He contributed to the rebirth of the diocese. He was an official bishop, recognized by the Holy See and the Chinese government.


    25/09/2017 - IRAQ

    Amid controversies and threats, Kurds vote in referendum on independence


    Polls opened at 8 am local time in the three provinces of the autonomous region. First results expected tomorrow morning. Baghdad has already announced "measures" to defend the unity of the country, including a Kurdish oil blockade. Iran stops flights to and from Kurdistan. Ankara extends the mandate of Turkish troops to Iraq (and Syria).


    24/09/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: there are no unemployed in the Kingdom of God


    During the Angelus, Pope Francis explained the parable of the day workers called up at different times but paid the same remuneration. "Jesus wants to open our hearts to the logic of the love of the Father, which is free and generous.” US missionary Stanley Francis Rother, killed in 1981 by death squads in Guatemala, is beatified.


    23/09/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope tells Cistercians that from their silent cloisters comes the unceasing prayer for the Church and the world


    In his audience with the participants in the General Chapter of Order, Pope Francis urges them to continue their "assiduous prayer" as “lovers of prayer” dedicated to "sobriety" to overcome today's cultural context that exalts "ephemeral goods and illusory artificial paradises.” Monasteries are places of charity and hospitality, a "school of prayer, and a school of charity for all". Cistercian communities are present in Asia and the rest of the world.


    23/09/2017 - SAUDI ARABIA

    Riyadh to modernise, opening stadium to women and allowing voice/video calling


    Saudi women will be able to attend 87th National Day event in stadium seated with their families but separately from single men. Voice and video calling is now available. Rights groups slam the kingdom for arresting dissidents.


    23/09/2017 - INDIA

    Sister Palmira Biancolin at 100, 64 in India

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    The missionary is a member of the Religious of Mary Immaculate. She left Italy in 1953 for India. Her congregation helps and protects girls in growth and education, until they find work.


    23/09/2017 - PHILIPPINES

    Philippines ranked third in terms of world ocean pollution


    Multinationals contribute to the problem by selling cheap disposable plastic products. Greenpeace points the finger at Nestlé, Unilever and Procter & Gamble as some of the worst offenders.


    23/09/2017 - CHINA – NORTH KOREA

    Beijing limits oil exports to North Korea


    Following last week’s UN sanctions, China will restrict oil exports on 1st October and suspend textile imports on 30 September. Meanwhile, petrol prices have gone by 20 per cent. Workers’ Party and military stage rallies in support of Kim Jong-un's statement against the US and Trump.


    23/09/2017 - ISRAEL – PALESTINE

    New Vicar of Jerusalem to focus on young people and education, future of peace and hope


    Mgr Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo stressed the importance of education to ensure the future of new generations. The Church is a sign of "unity" in a context "marked by divisions" and a bridge in interfaith dialogue. The situation has gone from euphoria for peace to resignation over permanent conflict. He appeals to Western Christians to come as pilgrims to the Holy Land.


    22/09/2017 - VATICAN

    ‘Educating to fraternal humanism’ 60 million students in Catholic schools and universities


    This is the goal of a document released 50 years after the encyclical ‘Populorum progressio’, which was presented today in the Vatican. Humanising education and promoting a culture of meeting and dialogue are urgent and necessary.


    22/09/2017 - NEPAL

    As Dashain starts, mass slaughter of animals sparks protest by Buddhists and animal rights activists

    by Christopher Sharma

    The 15-day event is the most important religious celebration in Nepal. Animal rights activists have gone to Hindu temples to raise awareness among believers. The stench of rotting dead animals fills the areas near the places of worship. Police have been deployed to prevent confrontation.






    Editor's choices

    ISRAEL – PALESTINE
    New Vicar of Jerusalem to focus on young people and education, future of peace and hope



    Mgr Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo stressed the importance of education to ensure the future of new generations. The Church is a sign of "unity" in a context "marked by divisions" and a bridge in interfaith dialogue. The situation has gone from euphoria for peace to resignation over permanent conflict. He appeals to Western Christians to come as pilgrims to the Holy Land.


    NEPAL
    As Dashain starts, mass slaughter of animals sparks protest by Buddhists and animal rights activists

    Christopher Sharma

    The 15-day event is the most important religious celebration in Nepal. Animal rights activists have gone to Hindu temples to raise awareness among believers. The stench of rotting dead animals fills the areas near the places of worship. Police have been deployed to prevent confrontation.


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