20 January 2018
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  • 20/01/2018 - UZBEKISTAN

    The victims were all Uzbeks. Yesterday, the repatriation of bodies. 30 of them have already been identified. "We still have a lot to do for our people" forced to look for work abroad.

    20/01/2018 - VATICAN - PERU

    Pope in Peru: an integral ecology as an alternative to 'a model of development now overtaken'

    The meeting with authorities. "An outdated model of development [that] continues to produce human, societal and environmental decline" and corruption are threats against hope. Security "stems from the belief that Peru is a space of hope and opportunity ... but for everyone and not just for the few".

    20/01/2018 - TURKEY -SYRIA

    Afrin, Ankara launches the campaign to 'eliminate' the Syrian Kurds

    The bombings until the late yesterday evening: the heaviest since Erdogan raised the alert level . A senior Turkish official went to Moscow to get approval to launch an area campaign. Damascus warns: we could take down your planes. 

    20/01/2018 - CHINA

    Births, workforce and aging: The demographics scare Beijing

    The number of newborns fell to 17.23 million in 2017, from 17.86 million in 2016. The workforce has shrunk by over 5 million units. The social security system is at risk. Tangible signs of the damage of the harsh population control measures adopted by the government in the last forty years.

    20/01/2018 - PAKISTAN

    'By the Moors’, the new book by Pakistan’s youngest Christian writer

    by Shafique Khokhar

    Anee Muskan is 18 and lives in Lahore with her parents. The text is a collection of stories and poems. The author defines herself as a "book addict". Her family’s example; "competition" with her brothers. Persevering in reading and writing just like training one’s muscles.

    19/01/2018 - VATICAN – PERU

    Pope in Peru: Defending the Amazon, its land, its culture and above all its people

    Francis met today indigenous people whose land is threatened by business interests but also vy the type of conservationism that has no place for people. “I consider it essential to begin creating institutional expressions of respect, recognition and dialogue with the native peoples, acknowledging and recovering their native cultures, languages, traditions, rights and spirituality.”

    19/01/2018 - MIDDLE EAST – UNITED STATES

    Mike Pence’s (downsized) visit to the Middle East

    Announced more than a month ago, the US vice president’s visit will not include meetings with Palestinian leaders nor Christian religious figures as a result of the US decision on Jerusalem. The trip will only boost relations between the United States and Israel, as well as evangelicals and Jewish fundamentalists. For expert opinion, it would better if he stays home.

    19/01/2018 - INDIA

    Chhattisgarh withdraws law that would have allowed the seizure of tribal lands

    The legislation was dropped following protests by indigenous groups. The Church is on the side of the poor. Tribals make up about 28 per cent of the State’s population. About 15 per cent of India’s steel is produced in the State.

    19/01/2018 - KOREA

    Call to exempt tuberculosis medicines from sanctions against North Korea

    The Eugene Bell Foundation made the request during a press conference at South Korea’s National Assembly in Seoul. For years, the NGO has been helping in the treatment of North Korean patients with a thousand currently under care. Recently, North Korea’s Ministry of Public Health signed a memorandum with the Foundation aimed at “treating all the patients with multidrug-resistant TB in South Hwanghae Province.”

    19/01/2018 - ITALY-CHINA

    Zhang Naizhong, alleged Chinese mafia boss, arrested yesterday

    32 others arrested with him charged with extortion, prostitution, drug trafficking. He had established a quasi-monopoly of the transport of goods to Chinese companies in Europe. Amazement and silence in Prato.

    19/01/2018 - INDONESIA

    Papua, 61 children dead and 500 sick because malnourished. The Church's commitment (Photo)

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    The diocese of Agats sends two teams to assist and distribute basic necessities in the affected villages. The peculiar characteristics of the remote territory make it difficult and dangerous to reach the most isolated settlements. In Jakarta, some Catholic humanitarian organizations and groups have set up a fundraising program. The Indonesian government deploys military paramedics. Critics of the government, accused of neglecting the remote eastern province.

    19/01/2018 - INDIA

    Vasai, Week of prayer for Christian unity "for the conversion of hearts"

    by Felix Machado*

    More than 1500 faithful of different Christian denominations gathered in common prayer. "In the name of Jesus we are called to overcome all the challenges of division". "The unity of the Christian family is the key to unity in the human family and peace in the world".

    19/01/2018 - RUSSIA-UKRAINE

    The two Churches in Ukraine and the bleeding child

    by Vladimir Rozanskij

    New tensions between Ukrainian and pro-Russian nationalists, among the faithful of the Kiev Autonomous Patriarchate and Orthodox of obedience to the Moscow Patriarchate. The spark: the refusal of an Orthodox church in Moscow to officiate the funeral of a child who died in an accident, because he was baptized "a heretic" in the Church of Kiev. Monks of the two Churches blocked at the Kiev caves. Mutual violence towards sacred buildings.

    19/01/2018 - MYANMAR

    Ethnic violence in Rakhine: Buddhist parliamentarian arrested for 'high treason'

    The nationalist politician attacked the government and incited the Rakhine ethnic minority to armed struggle against the government. The arrest occurred two days after the clashes in Mrauk U, where seven local people lost their lives. A Rakhine rebel group promises "serious" retaliation for the demise of the protesters. 

    19/01/2018 - CHINA

    Official figures: the Chinese economy grew by 6.95 in 2017. But doubts remain

    Growth is greater than the government's forecasts. But analysts are sceptical that the figures have been manipulated. Standard & Poor's and the IMF are calling for reforms on state-owned companies, those that absorb the most credit and indebt the state.

    18/01/2018 - VATICAN - CHILE

    Pope in Chile: This land surrounded by the driest desert knows how to put on party clothes

    At the final Mass of his visit to Chile, at the Campus Lobito in Iquique, Pope Francis prayed for "the integration of peoples" in an region that has know emigration and immigration. He called on people to be like servants at Cana – “they too are part of the miracle” – and take care of the poor and those who have a "watered down" life. He crowned the statue of Our Lady of Carmel (Virgen de la Tirana), patron saint of Chile, and received a crosier and a cross made of salt crystals.

    18/01/2018 - ISRAEL – PALESTINE

    Ahed Tamimi to remain in jail until the end of her trial

    She was charged with assault in connection with an attack against a soldier, but also with previous incidents. The video of her attack against the soldier went viral. The self-restraint of the Israeli soldier was praised, but seen as weakness by Israel’s right-wing camp. Meanwhile, security forces continue their hunt for those who murdered a rabbi. One of the suspects dies in a shootout.

    18/01/2018 - INDIA

    Winter Cricket Cup to keep kids away from drugs in Miao diocese

    Some 18 teams are involved in the sporting competition, which will last until 25 January. Organisers envisage holding the event on an annual basis. The “lack of guidance and a suppressed need to get recognised” are the main cause of drug addiction.

    18/01/2018 - CHINA

    Sichuan is the world hub of Bitcoin mining

    The province dominates bitcoin mining because of its abundant hydroelectric energy, which is perfect for energy-intensive supercomputers. Electricity in fact accounts for 60-70 per cent of plant costs. With 550 mining machines operating 24 hours, up to 2.5 Bitcoins can be mined per day, worth around US$ 6,400.

    18/01/2018 - THAILAND – MYANMAR

    Caritas Thailand defending the rights of migrant workers

    The country has one of the largest migrant population in all of Southeast Asia, some 4-5 million, plus about a million illegal migrants. A new law on undocumented workers came into effect on 1st January. Starting last June, workers from Myanmar, Cambodia, and Laos have been leaving in droves.

    18/01/2018 - PAKISTAN

    1800 Pakistani Imams issue a 'fatwa' against suicide attacks

    The Islamic directive is contained in the book "Pakistan's Message", published by the government of Islamabad. President of Pakistan: "Building a moderate Islamic society". The kamikaze attacks are "haram" (forbidden) and violate the principles of the Koran.

    18/01/2018 - VATICAN - CHILE

    Pope in Chile: to young people, always be "connected" to Jesus

    Francis reflects on the importance of always being connected online for young people today, so they don’t feel out of touch, disoriented, in a bad mood. With faith it is the same, "when we remain without this 'connection' that gives life to our dreams, the heart begins to lose strength". Call for Catholic Universities to propose a renewed humanism to today’s "liquid society", one that avoids falling into any kind of reductionism.

    18/01/2018 - INDIA

    Tamil Nadu, five gored to death in the 'Jallikattu' bull race

    The victims were watching the sporting event. Indian bullfighting is considered the oldest sport of modern times. The bullfighters do not use weapons, unlike the Spanish bullfighters.

    18/01/2018 - KAZAKHSTAN

    Irgiz, a bus catches fire: 52 dead

    The accident occurred in the north-west of the country this morning. The victims are all of Uzbek nationality. Only five people managed to escape.

    18/01/2018 - KOREA

    Kang Kyung-wha: we will continue to dialogue with North Korea with "clear eyes"

    Seoul knows Pyongyang "better than anyone" and wants to get "the best" from the meetings in progress. The two Koreas will march under a single flag and will have a joint female hockey team.

    17/01/2018 - INDIA

    Ranchi: clergyman beaten by Hindu radicals, but most Indians are against violence

    Anti-Christian violence is orchestrated by extreme right-wing nationalist groups. “What is under attack is the pluralism of Indian society!”

    17/01/2018 - VATICAN - CHILE

    Pope in Chile: unity is not about being the same, but about reconciling diversity

    Francis celebrated Mass dedicated to the progress of peoples in a region where the Mapuche people still view themselves as victims of oppression and discrimination that have reduced their number. "The unity that our peoples need" comes from their recognition and solidarity. We “must abandon the notion that there are higher or lower cultures.”

    17/01/2018 - CHINA

    Yunnan: Christians accused of membership in an apocalyptic sect get up to 13 years in prison

    The Three Grades of Servants cult, an underground pseudo-Protestant sect founded in Henan, is especially strong in the countryside. Those convicted claim they are just ordinary Christians and know nothing about the sect. Defense lawyers have been threatened with loss of their license to practice.

    17/01/2018 - VIETNAM

    Court in Nghệ An upholds sentence against Catholic activist Nguyễn Văn Oai

    A member of outlawed pro-democracy Việt Tân movement, he is also the co-founder of an association of former prisoners of conscience, and was part of a group of 14 young Catholics and Protestants arrested by the regime in 2011. Last January he was attacked and arrested on charges of violating the terms of his conviction.

    17/01/2018 - EGYPT

    North Sinai, a young Copt killed: he had a cross tattooed on his wrist

    The killers promise to "kill more Copts". Bassem Herz Attalhah was killed under the eyes of his brother, who saved himself because his tattoo was hidden by his sleeve. Already in 2010 al Qaeda had promised to clean Sinai from Christians.

    Editor's choices

    Muslims and Christians meet in Cairo for Jerusalem, 'the cause of causes'

    Fady Noun

    A conference was held on 16-17 January at al-Azhar. Many prominent figures from Lebanon took part, including the Maronite Patriarch Bechara Al-Rahi. The Arab world is divided between "complicit passivity" and "noisy but ineffective speeches". For a former Lebanese premier, coordinated actions are needed to ensure greater efficacy on behalf of Jerusalem’s "pluralistic identity " and "religious freedom". Card Al-Rahi called for joint prayers, Islamic-Christian interfaith solidarity in the Arab world, and support for the Palestinians.

    Yunnan: Christians accused of membership in an apocalyptic sect get up to 13 years in prison

    The Three Grades of Servants cult, an underground pseudo-Protestant sect founded in Henan, is especially strong in the countryside. Those convicted claim they are just ordinary Christians and know nothing about the sect. Defense lawyers have been threatened with loss of their license to practice.


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