» 04/04/2005 SYRIA - VATICAN Assad will attend Pope's funeral by Jihad Issa People wave photos of the Pope, whilst national media remembers his moral stature and historic 2001 visit.
Damascus (AsiaNews) An official Syrian government statement released today said that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will attend Pope John Paul II's funeral, which is scheduled for Thursday. He will head an official delegation whose members have not yet been named.
Sorrow for the loss of John Paul II is palpable everywhere: in Catholic churches crowded with the faithful saying prayers for the soul of the Pontiff, but also in the streets plastered with photos of the Pope, especially the one that shows John Paul II planting a tree in the Golan and another in which he is kissing the Qu'ran in his visit to a mosque in Damascus in 2001.
Like the streets, the Pontiff is all over the front-pages of newspapers:
Teschrine, a Damascus daily, carried a photo on its front-page of John Paul II in the Golan valley whilst an editorial focused on the Pontiff's strong religious charisma and his constant efforts in favour of world peace; Al-Sawrat led today's edition with the Pope's historic 2001 visit and its most significant moment, his visit to al-Qunaytirah, a city in the Golan destroyed in 1967 War with Israel.
Syrian media have also generally emphasised the role played by the Holy See in the Arab world and its efforts in favour of inter-faith dialogue and bridging the gap between Islam and Christianity.
Pope John Paul II's condemnations of the two Iraq wars and his repeated appeals for peace were given wide coverage.
SOUTH KOREA NORTH KOREA VATICAN The Pope's legacy in the two Koreas TURKEY VATICAN Turkey, an ecumenical and inter-religious gesture for John Paul II VATICAN Three million mourners in Rome for Pope's funeral RUSSIA - VATICAN May Russian Catholics harvest the fruits of the Pope's labour JORDAN - VATICAN Tributes to the Peoples' Pope IRAQ - VATICAN Pope, example of humility to Iraqi Christians NORTH KOREA VATICAN N Koreans hold Mass for late Pope ASIA - VATICAN Prayers and mourning for Pope's funeral throughout Asia VATICAN A million people attend John Paul II's funeral vatican Rome prepares for the funeral of John Paul II VATICAN - ASIA Asia united in St Peter's to say goodbye to the Pope VATICAN - CHINA The Pope's love shall make the Church blossom in China VATICAN PHILIPPINES Mgr Capalla: The Pope's legacy for the Philippines: a culture of life and missionary zeal VATICAN CHINA Singing the praises of a Pope who loves China vatican Rome flooded with pilgrims who want to pray before the body of the Pope NORTH kOREA -VATICAN North Korea sends condolences for Pope's death VATICAN - KAZAKHSTAN Emotion and pride over the Pope among Kazakhs BANGLADESH - VATICAN A mystic and missionary Pope touched the heart of Muslims in Bangladesh SOUTH KOREA - VATICAN The missionary Pope, a great friend of all Koreans Taiwan Vatican China Taiwanese president, Chen Shuibian, to attend the Pope's funeral SYRIA - VATICAN Pope like a new John the Baptist, says Patriarch of Damascus PAKISTAN VATICAN The pope, an unforgettable personality for Christians and Muslims in Pakistan PAKISTAN - VATICAN The Pope's legacy is in his message of peace, says Bishop of Karachi THAILAND - VATICAN The Pope, an inspiration to perfection, says Buddhist monk INDONESIA - VATICAN John Paul II, a preacher of peace, says Wahid vietnam - vatican Vietnamese honour the holy man who never visited them INDONESIA - VATICANO Indonesia remembers the Pope of dialogue and tolerance INDIA - VATICANO India mourns the death of the Pope who beatified Mother Teresa and honoured Gandhi LEBANON - VATICAN Card Sfeir and Pres Lahoud in Rome for Pope's funeral CHINA VATICAN Condolences for the Pope and new arrests of bishops and priests in Peking IRAQ - VATICAN From Heaven the Pope will continue to pray for Iraq, says the Bishop of Mosul LEBANON - VATICAN The Pope: Lebanon mourns the loss of a steadfast defender of the land of the cedars ISRAEL PALESTINE HOLY LAND The Pope was always close to the sufferings of the peoples of the Holy Land, says Patriarch Sabbah TIBET - VATICAN Dalai Lama mourns John Paul II, "a true spiritual practitioner" india - vatican Sr Nirmala: the Pope and Mother Teresa, united in a shared vision about life and the world hong kong - china - vatican Pope s regret was "not to have the chance to visit China", Bishop Zen says JAPAN - VATICAN In Japan, the Pope is remembered as "a father". Editor's choices
IRAQ-ITALY "Adopt a Christian from Mosul," the thanks of the Patriarch Louis Sako; the concerns of the Bishop of Kurdistan by Bernardo Cervellera The head of the Chaldean Church is grateful for the AsiaNews campaign and hopes that "this chain of solidarity will reach far and wide”. Helping refugees to remain in Iraq. But many want to flee abroad. The bishop of Amadiyah where thousands of displaced people have found haven in churches and homes: We also help the Arabs (Muslims), and Yazidis, for free and without looking at our confessional differences. ITALY - IRAQ "Adopt a Christian from Mosul" to respond directly to Iraq's emergency AsiaNews is launching a fundraiser to support Christians targeted by the Islamic State, thus responding to a request by the Patriarch of Baghdad and Pope Francis's urgent appeal "to guarantee all necessary assistance - especially the most urgently needed aid - to the great multitude of people who have been driven from their homes, whose fate depends entirely on the solidarity of others." More than 100,000 people have been forced to flee their homes leaving everything behind and now have nothing to live on. To help them, five euros a day are enough. The funds raised will be sent to the Patriarchate of Baghdad, which will distribute them according to the needs of each family. CHINA - VATICAN Wenzhou bishop and priests slam government's campaign against crosses and churches in Zhejiang by Eugenia Zhang For Mgr Vincent Zhu Weifang, from the official Church, the campaign of destruction is increasing social instability. It is real persecution against the Christian faith. The bishop apologises for failing to intervene sooner. He was hoping that the campaign would end quickly. Catholics and Protestants suffer injuries as they attempt to defend their sacred buildings. For priests in Wenzhou, the campaign is unfair and touches buildings that have all the right papers. Such "stupid acts" by the government are undermining social harmony. Dossier