18/10/2017 - VATICAN
Christian hope and the reality of death was the theme of catechesis for the general audience. "I invite you now, perhaps, to close your eyes and to think of that moment: of our death. Let us each think of our own death, and imagine the moment that will come when Jesus takes us by the hand and will say, 'Come, come with me, arise.' There hope will end and reality begins, the reality of life."
18/10/2017 - IRAQ
Iraqi Kurdistan caught between Talabani's death and Barzani's political suicideby Pierre Balanian
Kirkuk's seizure by the Iraqi army marks a turning point, and certainly widens the split between Talabani’s supporters and those of Barzani. Turkey and Iran are happy at the end of the dream for independence.
18/10/2017 - IRAN – EUROPEAN UNION – UNITED STATES
EU disowns Trump over Iran nuclear deal, a “key pillar” for international non-proliferation
At a time of acute nuclear threat, European leaders intend to preserve the agreement signed with Iran despite Trump’s threat to terminate it. For UN atomic agency, the deal is fundamental for the security of the US, its allies and the region. The IMF rejects the US president’s demand to cut loans to Tehran.
18/10/2017 - VATICAN – INDIA
Christian-Hindu dialogue is difficult but imperative to know each otherby Anna Chiara Filice
A Hindu-Christian international conference on ‘Enlightenment and tantra’ was held in Rome. For Mgr Spreafico, “ignorance brings many evils”. Card Tauran noted Pope Francis’s many appeals in favour of dialogue. “Every religion and every believer thinks that his or her belief is the best’” said Hindu scholar. Spirituality should be the starting point, Christian mystic said.
18/10/2017 - INDIA
Thousands in Belgaum celebrate the centennial of Fatima's apparitionsby Peter Machado*
A novena of prayers preceded the celebrations. Marian devotion in the diocese dates back to the 1940s. for Card Gracias, Our Lady’s “message of peace” is even more important today.
18/10/2017 - MYANMAR
For Yangon priest, Myanmar Catholics “long for” the word of Godby Inviato di AsiaNews
Since Aung San Suu Kyi came to power, people feel greater religious freedom. The Myanmar Church offers many faith training programmes. The Archdiocese of Yangon is involved in many initiatives.
18/10/2017 - CHINA
As the Communist Party Congress gets underway, Xi Jinping announces “a new era”
Xi’s opening speech lasted more than three hours. China will be a "modern socialist power" under the leadership of the Communist Party. The fight against corruption and the opening up of the economy will continue. Xi Jinping pursues his rise.
18/10/2017 - VATICAN
Pope: All religions are called to invoke peace
Francis receives delegates from the "World Conference of Religions for Peace". "All men of good will, especially those who hold responsibilities, are called to work for it." "Whoever commits violence or justifies it in the name of religion severely offends God".
18/10/2017 - EU - PAKISTAN
EU: grave concern for human rights in Pakistan
The Council of the Europe publishes the report on "Human Rights and Democracy in the World in 2016". Weak judicial system, lack of education, violence against women, discrimination of minorities, presence of terrorism. This morning an attack on a police convoy.
18/10/2017 - ISRAEL - PALESTINE
Israel plans to build 1292 settlements in the West Bank
Peace Now: The project will "affect the West Bank". Permits expected to be issued today to speed up the construction process. The government plan targets significant growth in settlements in Palestinian territories. For the first time since 2002, Hebron also involved.
18/10/2017 - PHILIPPINES
Marawi liberated after five months of clashes
The Islamist occupation lasted 148 days. More than 1,000 people killed, mostly rebels. Marawi's operations cost 5 billion pesos (about 95 million euros). Fears of terrorist infiltrations in Mindanao Island.
18/10/2017 - RUSSIA
Putin's campaign towards new electionsby Vladimir Rozanskij
The president has not yet announced his candidacy. He could do it in December. Rumours of an alternative plan, that Putin would be ready to appoint his successor: Aleksej Djumin. Meanwhile new governors arrive and there may also be new ministers.
17/10/2017 - IRAQ
Iraqi forces seize two Kurdish-held oil fields near Kirkuk
The Kurds had held the Bay Hassan and Havana fields since 2014. Together they produced 250,000 barrels a day, providing Kurdistan 40 per cent of its oil exports. As Turkey backs Iraq the US calls for calm and dialogue. For Kurdish experts, voters in the referendum were "fooled by false promises".
17/10/2017 - MYANMAR – VATICAN
Myanmar bishops express gratitude to Pope Francis for his three giftsby Inviato di AsiaNews
A solemn mass of thanksgiving is held at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. For Card Charles Maung Bo, this "is a historic moment for all of us and for the Church in Myanmar”. The new nuncio, Mgr Paul Tschang In-Nam, calls on Catholics to work for national peace and reconciliation.
17/10/2017 - VIETNAM
Vietnamese bishops hold assembly in flood-affected Thanh Hóa diocese
At the meeting, the new members of the Bishops' Conference introduced themselves. Preparations are underway to mark the 30th anniversary (1988-2018) of the canonisation of the 117 martyrs of Vietnam. The bishops’ ad limina visit to the pope is set for March. The prelates also met with flood victims and handed out packages with food and other items.
17/10/2017 - INDIA
Card Gracias highlights Amoris Laetitia's responses to the challenges of the Indian family
Delegates from 41 dioceses attend national symposium. A "growing cultural, ideological, social and spiritual crisis” makes families feel like "a burden". There is a “spiralling rate of atrocities and violence against women” who, along with children, are victims of trafficking and exploitation. Couples in crisis "require a constructive response” because the Church never condemns anyone for eternity.
17/10/2017 - SRI LANKA
Sinhalese girls: Blessing to spend one’s life for othersby Melani Manel Perera
17/10/2017 - INDONESIA
Jakarta’s new governor causes controversy using pejorative termby Mathias Hariyadi
Using a derogatory term for ethnic Chinese, he sparks outrage among Indonesians in order to instigate a new wave of "social differentiation". Anies Baswedan is backed by the Islamist Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) and Gerindra, a nationalist party. Sectarian divisions and religion played a decisive role in his victory against his rival.
17/10/2017 - VATICAN
Pope: not listening to the Word of God is "foolish" and leads to corruption
The doctors of the Law are only concerned with the external appearance of things, foolish those who follow "idols," like consumerism, foolish those Christians who have become "ideologues of Christianity." "The fool does not listen, he thinks he is listening, but he does not listen. And for this reason the Word of God cannot enter into the heart, and there is no place for love. "
17/10/2017 - CHINA
On eve of Congress, the Party controls everything: dissidents, climate, economicsby Wang Zhicheng
At least 14 activists, bloggers, democracy artists arrested or "traveling". Security stepped up at Beijing Metro Stations. Steel mills, chemical factories and construction industry closed down to reduce pollution. Economic data manipulated by the government in the name of stability.
17/10/2017 - NORTH KOREA - EU
European Union issues new sanctions against North Korea. Former official: the regime may end in a year
Ban on sale of refined crude oil and the renewal of visas for foreign workers. Sanctions at historical levels. In the past, Pyongyang evaded them thanks to China. Now the regime is also facing internal struggles and likely to disintegrate.
17/10/2017 - BANGLADESH
Teknaf, boat carrying Rohingya capsizes leaving 12 deadby Sumon Corraya
In September, 60 refugees drowned in these waters, another 30 in October. More than half a million Rohingya have entered Bangladesh to escape the violence. Only this week about 50,000 have crossed the border. The Catholic Church's commitment to refugees.
17/10/2017 - SYRIA
Arab-Kurdish coalition takes infamous Raqqa square used for executions
Decapitated and crucified bodies remained hanging on poles or from lanterns for days. The offensive of Syrian Democratic Forces (Fsd) continues in the "capital" of the Caliphate. Currently, jihadists still control 10% of the territory, including the main hospital and the stadium. The structure is used as prison and weapon storage. Highly symbolic victory for coalition.
16/10/2017 - EGYPT
Coptic priest’s murderer is a Islamist fanatic, says bishop
For Abba Estiganous, bishop of Beba, religion is behind the murder of "martyr" Sam'an Shehata. His murderer, Mohamed Sonbaty, attacked his own relatives in the past and set fire to their home. For neighbours, he is a known radical. The Catholic Church shares the pain and offers prayers.
16/10/2017 - KYRGYZSTAN
Outgoing President Atambaev’s favourite candidate wins election
These are the first elections since streets protests in 2005 and 2010. Early results give Sooronbai Jeenbekov 54.46 per cent of the vote. His rival Omurbek Babanov is at 34.2 per cent. Opinion polls had predicted a tighter race. The last days of the campaign were heated. The new president inherits a complex situation dominated by relations with Kazakhstan, the economy and security.
16/10/2017 - CHINA
Party Congress: opening and menu set
The meeting will start at 9 am on 18 October in a ceremony televised live. Delegates will have a buffet with eight hot dishes and eight cold dishes, as well as rice, bread and noodles; no sea cucumbers or prawns this time in accordance with the frugality preached by Xi Jinping.
16/10/2017 - BANGLADESH
The late Fr Benjamin Costa, a well-known educator, is mourned in Dhakaby Sumon Corraya
More than 3,000 people attended his funeral. The priest was involved in education for 35 years. He founded the country’s first Catholic university. Prime Minister Hasina and former students praise him.
16/10/2017 - VATICAN
Pope tells FAO to use love and solidarity against war and climate change that cause migration
During his visit to the UN agency, Francis spoke about how food security can affect human mobility. To overcome conflicts good will, dialogue, and disarmament are needed. "There is a re-emergence of the nonchalance towards the delicate balances of ecosystems, the presumption of being able to manipulate and control the planet’s limited resources, and greed for profit,” he said. “’I am hungry, I am a stranger, I am naked, sick, confined in a refugee camp’. It is a request for justice, not a plea or an emergency call.”
16/10/2017 - VATICAN – HINDUS
Vatican tells Hindus that diversity is a sign of richness, not intolerance
In its message for the Diwali party, the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue states that for lasting peace and true harmony “tolerance is not enough. What is also needed is genuine respect and appreciation for the diversity of cultures and customs within our communities, which in turn contribute to the health and unity of society as a whole. To see pluralism and diversity as a threat to unity leads tragically to intolerance and violence.”
16/10/2017 - MYANMAR – VATICAN
Pope Francis’s visit to Myanmar will also be a blessing for Protestant youthby Inviato di AsiaNews
The pope’s apostolic visit raises hopes and expectations. For Patrick Loo Tone, president of Myanmar Council of Churches, the pope’s visit will open a window on the country’s Christians. Myanmar has 700,000 Catholics in 14 dioceses.
16/10/2017 - PAKISTAN
Punjab, three Ahmadi men sentenced to death on blasphemy charges
The culprits are Mubasher Ahmad, Ghulam Ahmed and Ehsan Ahmed. “The court’s verdict was unfair,” says a spokesperson for the Ahmadi community. Last week, former Prime Minister Sharif’s son-in-law called for the social boycott of the “heretic” minority.
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