25 June 2016
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    25/06/2016 - VATICAN -ARMENIA

    Francis visits the "Hill of the Swallows," the Tzitzernakaberd Memorial Complex to commemorate those who died during the "Great Evil." A long silent prayer before the entrance of the building, then the Psalms and the Gospel in Armenian and Italian in the Flame Room of perpetual memory. Immediately after, a meeting with the descendants of those who were housed by Pope Benedict XV in Castel Gandolfo during the persecutions.




    24/06/2016 - VATICAN – ARMENIA

    Pope in Armenia condemns genocide, calls for action against those who use God to commit violence


    The ‘Great Evil’, the genocide that struck the Armenian people "was the first of the deplorable series of catastrophes of the past century, made possible by twisted racial, ideological or religious aims”. Hence, “it is vitally important that all those who declare their faith in God join forces to isolate those who use religion to promote war, oppression and violent persecution, exploiting and manipulating the holy name of God.”


    24/06/2016 - ORTHODOXY

    Pan-Orthodox Synod continues its proceedings

    by NAT da Polis

    The recognition of the Catholic Church as a true Church will be discussed in the next two days. So far, the meeting has agreed on the Orthodox Church’s mission in the world, fasting, impediments to marriage, and Churches’ declarations of autonomy. New national bishops’ conferences will include bishops from various rites and nations.


    24/06/2016 - BANGLADESH

    “God has called me to this task,” says Caritas’s new director; for him it is “the vocation of my life”

    by Sumon Corraya

    Francis Atul Sarkar yesterday replaced Benedict Alo D'Rozario who led the Church’s social arm for 29 years. The new director wants to bring the Church’s help to as many people as possible. Caritas has 92 projects to its credit.


    24/06/2016 - VATICAN - ARMENIA

    Pope in Armenia: Ecumenism, collaboration, is also of value outside of Churches


    On arriving in Yerevan, Francis went to Etchmiadzin Cathedral. "For Armenia, faith in Christ has not been like a garment to be donned or doffed as circumstances or convenience dictate, but an essential part of its identity, a gift of immense significance, to be accepted with joy, preserved with great effort and strength, even at the cost of life itself".


     


    24/06/2016 - MALAYSIA

    On refugees, Malaysian authorities should “learn from the world’s religious communities"

    by Joseph Masilamany

    Rev Harman Shasri, secretary general of the Council of Churches of Malaysia, makes the suggestion as immigration becomes a hot topic in the Southeast Asian country. Interior Minister complains about UN’s attempt to “blackmail” Malaysia into accepting 150,000 people living in refugee camps.


    24/06/2016 - ISRAEL-PALESTINE-HOLY LAND

    Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem


    On the same day, the Holy See accepts the resignation of Fouad Twal, the Latin Patriarch, and appoints the former custodian of the Holy Land as apostolic administrator of the patriarchate. Facing new challenges, addressing the geopolitical and socio-religious changes taking place in the Middle East.

     


    24/06/2016 - PHILIPPINES

    Trafficking in human beings "is the cruelest of crimes. But it should not be punished with execution"


    The president of the Filipino bishops' Commission for Migrants and Itinerant People, Msgr. Ruperto Santos, responds to the new government that wants to include human trafficking in the list of crimes punishable with death. Trafficking "is a barbaric act that violates the very nature of man. But it is fought with serious investigation and severe punishment, up to life imprisonment. No man can kill another man in the name of the law".


    24/06/2016 - INDIA

    Woman killed for her ovule. Catholic doctor: Surogacy is about business, not about life

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    Maharashtra police uncover a racket in trafficking of human eggs. Poor women persuaded to donate theirs on the back of promises they will be richly compensated. But one of them rebelled and was killed. Dr. Pascoal Carvalho: "The child is never seen as a gift, but as an article to be bought and sold".

     


    24/06/2016 - MYANMAR - THAILAND

    Muslim minority living in fear, after 200 Buddhists attack mosque in Bago


    An angry mob destroyed part of the building and damaged the Islamic cemetery, forcing Muslim families to take refuge at a police station. Aung San Suu Kyi arrived in Thailand yesterday to discuss, among other things, the situation of Muslim Rohingya in refugee camps.


    24/06/2016 - INDONESIA -PHILIPPINES

    Abu Sayyaf kidnaps seven Indonesian sailors

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    The attack took place on June 20 last year in the waters of Sulu (Philippines), a stronghold of the jihadists. The "Charles 001" ship was attacked by two militia groups. Indonesian Foreign Minister: "intolerable gesture, we will do everything to free our fellow countrymen."


    24/06/2016 - ASIA - GREAT BRITAIN

    Asian markets panic over the victory of Brexit


    "Leave" campaign wins with 52% of the votes. Stock markets plummet. The pound loses 10% of its value. Jump in price of gold and oil drops below $ 50 again. The UK might lose a lot of investment from Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore. The British move goes against projects of a Euro-Asian market and communications network.


    23/06/2016 - PAKISTAN

    Christians and Muslims mourn Sufi singer killed by the Taliban for blasphemy

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    Amjad Sabri was killed yesterday with three gunshots in his car in Karachi. A Taliban group claimed responsibility for the murder. He had been sued for blasphemy because one of his songs mentioned Muhammad’s relatives. For Christian activist, “He had fans of all religions”.


    23/06/2016 - ARMENIA – VATICAN

    Pope Francis in Armenia, a pilgrim in the land of Christian martyrs

    by Pierre Balanian

    This visit is first and foremost a way of sharing with the first Christian people in history, marked by the genocide. There is also the ecumenical value of fraternity with the Armenian Apostolic Church, and the prophetic quality for peace in the Caucasus, a crossroad between Asia and Europe. Here are the views of a Diaspora Armenian.


    23/06/2016 - VATICAN – CHINA

    Pope is praying for Mgr Ma Daqin, the Vatican had no "role" in his statement


    Vatican Press Office Fr Federico Lombardi dispels all doubts and suspicions among Chinese Catholics with respect to Mgr Daqin’s “volte face” vis-à-vis the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association.


    23/06/2016 - SRI LANKA

    Villagers in Paanama pray and demonstrate for their lands (photos)

    by Melani Manel Perera

    Paanama is a Buddhist village in south-eastern Sri Lanka. In 2011, the government decided that certain lands belonged to residents, a decision overturned by a district court. For months, villagers have camped out in protest. This week, they marched and broke a coconut in a Buddhist ritual.


    23/06/2016 - VIETNAM

    Hue: Catholic nuns and Buddhist women together to fight breast cancer


    Every year, 4,500 Vietnamese women die from cancer. Over a ten-year period, the rate jumped by 69 per cent. Lack of preventive measures and financial means as well as social stigma deter people from seeking treatment. A group of Catholic nuns, medical practitioners and Buddhist volunteers organised a seminar to raise awareness about the problem, and allay fears about the pain.


    23/06/2016 - TURKEY

    Ramadan, the battle for prayer in St. Sophia a sign of Turkey’s Islamisation


    In the month of fasting and prayer every day a Muslim imam reads passages from the Koran in the gardens of the former church, now a museum. Heeding the demands of the lunatic fringe, the government wants to turn the building into a mosque. The clash with the Greek government and the strategic relations between Ankara and Athens on immigration.

     


    23/06/2016 - CHINA

    Wukan, CPC to press: Erase all reports on "democracy village"


    Protests of the small Guangdong village against abuse of authority show no signs of stopping. The Department of Propaganda orders the removal of any news reports on the issue. Citizens continue protest against the arrest of their leader. Human Rights activists: "It’s like Nazi Germany."

     


    23/06/2016 - ISRAEL – PALESTINE

    For Israeli activist, Netanyahu is an obstacle to peace that can be removed by corruption charges

    by Uri Avnery

    Israel’s prime minister is coming under closer judicial scrutiny for wasteful spending and financial mismanagement. Despite a strong base of support in the country, the courts might end his political career. His wife Sarah is involved in the misdeeds. Corruption is deeply rooted among Israeli politicians. We publish an editorial piece by Uri Avenry, a former Israeli lawmaker, writer and peace activist. (From Gush Shalom).


    23/06/2016 - ASIA - GREAT BRITAIN

    Asia looks with interest to Brexit economy


    Most in favor of "remain" campaign because it gives more stability to general situation. For China, an exit would lead to a loss of Great Britain’s influence. Fears of multinationals that have their headquarters in London. The problems of goods and the common market.

     


    23/06/2016 - MYANMAR

    Myitkyina, Burmese soldiers kill Kachin university student


    The victim is 19-year old Gum Seng Aung, freshman at the City IT University. According to the government the soldiers responded to the young man’s attack by opening fire. Witnesses and local sources deny army's reconstruction. Activists are mobilizing online and demanding justice.


    23/06/2016 - JORDAN - IRAQ

    Iraqi refugees: Daesh, exile and the desire to meet with Pope Francis


    Two Christian refugees welcomed by the Jordanian Church in Amman.  From a peaceful childhood, under an authoritarian but stable regime, to violent conflict and jihadist drifts. Relations with Muslims and the power of faith. With other refugees they have made a chasuble for the Pope whom they hope to meet in Krakow.


    22/06/2016 - IRAQ

    For Iraqi priest, the Chaldean meeting leads to “new paths” to give hope to people


    The two-day event brought a "strong human and spiritual charge", said Fr Samir Yousef, pastor in Amadiya. The Church remains an essential point of reference for exchange and mediation. Mercy is the basis of a “future of unity”. In a final statement, the Patriarchate stressed the role of the laity and the importance of transparency in financial matters.


    22/06/2016 - NEPAL – AFGHANISTAN

    Nepal wants to withdraw work permits for Nepalis in Afghanistan

    by Christopher Sharma

    A suicide bomber blew himself up as a minibus carrying Nepali guards was on its way to the Canadian Embassy. Nepal has already banned regular work permits. Only 5,292 Nepalis working for UN agencies or diplomatic missions are left. Nepali Hindus could be the new target of Islamic terrorists.


    22/06/2016 - VIETNAM

    Caritas Vietnam brings rice and donations to people affected by marine disaster


    Mgr Joseph Nguyen Van Yen led a delegation on 6 June that brought rice and donations to the people of the diocese of Vinh. Over two months, pollution has devastated fishermen’s livelihood, who now find themselves jobless and hungry. About five million people live in the affected area.  On 12 June, residents in Vinh took to the streets to demand justice from the government.


    22/06/2016 - RUSSIA – CHINA

    Vladimir Putin in Beijing to discuss energy, transport and trade

    by Nina Achmatova

    Russia’s president will meet his Chinese counterpart next Saturday. Although the meeting’s agenda has not yet been made public, some 30 deals are expected to be signed. China would like to share in Rosneft’s privatisation.


    22/06/2016 - BAHRAIN

    As tensions remain high, authorities raid Ayatollah Isa Qassim’s headquarters


    Police raid the building housing the cleric’s offices, including student residences. For the cleric’s associates, the move is “provocative and offensive”. The authorities threaten to deport him unless he goes into voluntary exile.


    22/06/2016 - INDONESIA

    Hundreds of young Indonesians set off for WYD: A spiritual journey

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    The youth of the country respond enthusiastically to the proposal to attend the event which will begin on July 25. So far 170 have enrolled, not counting volunteers. Secretary of Youth Ministry: "The young people are not made intimidated by the high cost, but have personally raised the funds for the trip." In 2017 Indonesia will host the Asian Youth Day.

     


    22/06/2016 - CHINA

    Not just Wukan: an "epidemic of legality" invades Guangdong


    The fight against corruption and the expropriation of land led by the "symbol" village in the rich southern province pushes the bordering areas to report the same abuses. But funds are lacking for protests as well as "clean and capable" leaders to confront the government. Lin Zuluan, village chief and Communist Secretary of Wukan, "confesses" to have taken bribes. And on the Global Times website users ask: "Have you tortured him?".






    Editor's choices

    CHINA - VATICAN
    Vatican silence over Shanghai’s Mgr Ma Daqin causing confusion and controversy

    Bernardo Cervellera

    For some, Mgr Ma’s blog post praising the Patriotic Association and acknowledging his mistakes is nothing but “dirt”. For others, he chose humiliation for the “sake of his diocese”. Many wonder why the Holy See has remained silent about the article’s content and the bishop’s persecution. Some suspect the Vatican views the episode in positive terms. Yet, the Ma Daqin affair raises a major question. Has Benedict XVI’s Letter to Chinese Catholics (which describes the Patriotic Association as “incompatible with Catholic doctrine”) been abolished? If it has, who did it? A journey of compromises without truth is full of risks.


    CHINA – VATICAN
    Mgr Ma Daqin: the text of his “confession”

    Mons. Taddeo Ma Daqin

    Four years after quitting the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, the bishop of Shanghai “admits” his faults on his blog, praising the organisation that controls the Church. We publish his article, almost in its entirety. Translation by AsiaNews.


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