24 April 2017
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  • 24/04/2017 - US-CHINA-JAPAN-NORTH KOREA

    Japan with the US: All options open, including military. North Korea says it is ready to sink "an American carrier". Another American citizen arrested.




    24/04/2017 - SAUDI ARABIA - EGYPT

    Al-Sisi meets King Salman to relaunch relations between Cairo and Riyadh


    Tensions shelved, the Egyptian president receives a warm welcome when he arrives in the Saudi capital. The two leaders speak of "strong and fraternal" bonds and intention to "strengthen strategic relations". In addition to the economy, the unresolved knots of the fight against terrorism and control of the controversial islands.


    23/04/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: Mercy is a form of knowledge that opens the door of the mind and heart


    On the Sunday of Divine Mercy, established by Saint John Paul II, Francis reiterated the importance of the experience of mercy, "the concrete form in which we give visibility to the resurrection of Jesus". He also explained the meaning of Sunday ‘in Albis’, and thanked those who sent him Easter greetings.


    22/04/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: The persecution of Christians comes from the devil's hatred


    Francis went to the basilica of St Bartholomew on the Tiber, which, after the Jubilee of 2000, was dedicated to the memory of the new martyrs of the 20th and 21st century. “The memory of these heroic, old and recent witnesses confirms us in the awareness that the Church is a Church of martyrs,” the pope said. “Refugee camps are concentration camps. They [refugees] are left there, because international agreements seem more important than human rights."


    22/04/2017 - AFGHANISTAN

    Taliban attack on military base kills 140 in worst attack ever


    Disguised as soldiers, a Taliban commando penetrated an Afghan base in Mazar-i-Sharif, northern Afghanistan. They attacked soldiers leaving the local mosque after Friday prayers. The base serves as headquarters for the Afghan National Army’s 209th Corps. It also houses 70 NATO advisers and German soldiers.


    22/04/2017 - NORTH KOREA – CHINA

    Pyongyang against everybody, threatening “catastrophic consequences” against China


    Without naming it, a commentary published today slams China accusing it of " dancing to the tune of someone” else. As China scales back coal imports from North Korea, fears grow. Pyongyang responds to US threats by warning that it is not afraid of war.


    22/04/2017 - VIETNAM – CHINA

    Catholics outraged by bad-mannered Chinese visitors in Nha Trang cathedral

    by Nguyen Hung

    The local Communist Party section told the parish to keep the church open to visitors. Parishioners are opposed to this because Chinese tourists are aggressive towards worshippers, cause degradation and undermine local cultural traditions. For Catholics, protecting the building’s sacredness is a duty.


    22/04/2017 - HOLY LAND

    The ancient tradition of tattoos in the Holy Land


    At first, the tattoo was a sign of oppression that was eventually claimed as a proof of faith. From the crusades to the present day, for pilgrims the tattoo is a permanent testament to their journey.


    22/04/2017 - VATICAN

    Vatican releases message on Buddha’s feast day (Vesakh), stresses shared path of nonviolence


    Religions must work together because religion is often used to justify violence. Christians and Buddhists recognise the need to heal evil in the heart where it originates. They must promote peace education and respect for the environment as well as reject "hate speech" in the media and rebuild "broken societies".


    22/04/2017 - INDIA

    Missionaries of Charity visit families, the sick and dying on the Andaman Islands

    by Santosh Digal

    The Sisters of Mother Teresa arrived in the capital of Port Blair in 1994. Four of them currently work on the archipelago, helping the sick and dying at their time of need as well as supporting the poor by funding their children’s education.


    21/04/2017 - CHINA

    Voice of America cuts interview with Guo Wengui over rampant corruption in China


    A webcast with the magnate was interrupted under pressure from the Chinese government. Guo wanted to speak about corruption among China’s Communist leaders. Beijing got Interpol to issue an arrest warrant against him. Guo accuses Wang Qishan and his family. Wang is the public face of China’s anti-corruption drive, and Xi’s close friend.


    21/04/2017 - TURKEY

    Republican Turkey and the Erdogan phenomenon (Part One)

    by NAT da Polis

    The changes to the Constitution, through a popular referendum, fertile ground to claim and exercise power, in an authoritarian and personal context, like a new Kemal Ataturk.


    21/04/2017 - INDONESIA

    Indonesian Catholics meet to discuss the country's development


    Catholic Academics and business leaders met at Atma Jaya Catholic University to focus on what they can do for Indonesian society.


    21/04/2017 - VIETNAM

    Farmers resist land grab, put up barricades, and seize police agents


    Land in Mỹ Đức, a suburban district in the capital, is at the centre of the dispute. For days, residents have held 20 cops and local officials as hostages. The authorities sent Hà Nội mayor to mediate, but protesters refused to meet him. Instead, they said they are ready to set the hostages on fire in case of armed intervention.


    21/04/2017 - SRI LANKA

    Sri Lankan woman convert from Buddhism to become a Catholic bride with great joy

    by Melani Manel Perera

    Dilani Dharshani, 25, has a Buddhist father and a Catholic mother. She grew up going to Mass with her mother, and praying in her own unique way. Her path to conversion lasted more than a year under a nun’s guidance. She is looking forward to becoming "the daughter of God".


    21/04/2017 - CHINA

    Toxic ponds near Tianjin. Contradictory campaign against pollution


    For years, chemical and galvanic companies have been pouring waste into three ponds as large as 42 soccer fields. Those who have exposed the problem are silenced. Meanwhile, the Ministry for Environmental Protection has found that 69% of Beijing-Tainjin-Hebei companies do not observe anti-pollution rules. A prize to those who denounce it.


    21/04/2017 - PAKISTAN

    Punjab, three sisters kill a Shiite accused of blasphemy, fomented by an Imam


    Fazal Abbas was 45 years old. In 2004 he attended a demonstration and had been denounced for offending the prophet. He had fled abroad and had recently returned to Pakistan to face trial. Between 1987 and 2015, at least 62 people were assassinated for alleged blasphemy.


    21/04/2017 - RUSSIA

    Supreme Court outlaws Jehovah's Witnesses


    Jehovah’s Witnesses “pose a threat to the rights of citizens, public order and public security”. Members and leaders of the group are concerned, will appeal.


    21/04/2017 - IRAN

    Rouhani and Raisi to contest presidential elections in Iran, Ahmadinejad excluded


    The Guardians Council approved six names out of a total of 1600 aspiring presidents. The nomination of 130 women rescinded, the 2017 vote men only. Economy and nuclear agreement remain the hot topics. Third-term for the former ultra-conservative president blocked, considered a figure "divisive" by Khamenei.


    21/04/2017 - FRANCE - ISLAM

    More terror in Paris: Islamic State claims Champs Elisées attack


    The author was known by the security forces as dangerous. The attack a few days ahead of the presidential election. The long series of violence in Paris, Nice, Rouen, and Marseilles. Causes to be found among poverty and abandonment in the suburbs, but also of the fundamentalist teaching of many imams in the French mosques.


    20/04/2017 - INDONESIA

    Jakarta prosecutors ask for light sentence in blasphemy trial involving Ahok

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    Prosecutors call for two years' probation with a possible one-year jail term if the accused breaks the law during this period. The maximum sentence in such cases is five years. Islamic extremists slam the prosecutors’ request. The latter acknowledge the outgoing governor’s "great work" in the capital.


    20/04/2017 - INDIA

    Bishop Mascarenhas: Indian bishops condemn the disruption of the Way of the Cross in Tamil Nadu

    by Purushottam Nayak

    On Good Friday, police stopped Mass and prevented worshippers from carrying the cross up a hill. Previously they had torn down statues and crosses on a slope. Meanwhile, the other side of the hill is invaded by Hindu temples.


    20/04/2017 - IRAN – UNITED STATES

    Washington accuses Tehran of “ongoing” provocations, jeopardising nuclear deal


    US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson talks tough on Iran, accusing Tehran of exporting "terrorism and violence". The Islamic Republic is blamed for "destabilising" various Mideast nations and “intensifying multiple conflicts”. Trump orders review of the nuclear deal.


    20/04/2017 - ISRAEL – PALESTINE

    Christians celebrate Easter in Gaza amid restrictions and fear of terrorism


    Fr Mario Da Silva, Gaza’s parish, talks about the half-empty churches due to fear following attacks in Egypt. Fewer permits were granted for pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Christians in Gaza are fewer and fewer.


    20/04/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope to proclaim saints young Fatima shepherd children on 13 May


    The canonisation will take place during Francis's trip to Portugal. Francisco and Jacinta Marto will be the first children in the history of the Church to be proclaimed saints without being martyrs.


    20/04/2017 - RUSSIA

    Easter celebrations in Moscow with bells, cakes and cheeses

    by Vladimir Rozanskij

    Moscow’s Easter gift festival is underway from 12 to 23 April in 24 downtown squares and 19 parks. Typical products from the Russian regions include cakes, honey, cheeses . . . and bells. “If we had a little more time, Sergey Semenovich and I too would gladly take a ride on the carousel," said Kirill.


    20/04/2017 - CHINA - VATICAN

    Underground Priest: Easter renewal, with two full days of confessions


    Following Pope Francis’ Lenten Message, the priests proposed catechesis, retreats, Eucharistic adoration, Via Crucis, works of charity. Renewal for individuals, families, parishes, society.


    20/04/2017 - PAKISTAN

    Pakistan, Asia Bibi's trial could resume in June

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    The Christian mother charged with blasphemy has been on death row for seven years. Her final hearing was postponed to a date to be determined after the retirement of a judge. The case of Asia Bibi returns to the spotlight after some imams demand her execution by hanging.


    20/04/2017 - INDIA

    Demolition of Babri Mosque: Supreme Court incriminates three Bjp leaders


    Lal Krishna Advani, Murali Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti will be tried within four weeks. The sentence will be issued at most within two years. Former Chef Minister of Uttar Pradesh escapes court proceedings thanks to governor immunity. Ram Puniyani: "Hopes of Justice After 25 Years".

     


    20/04/2017 - SYRIA

    Aleppo Church in aid of young couples: married in war, future hope of the country

    by Ibrahim Alsabagh*

    The family is a sign of hope in a context of war and violence. The Latin parish launches a "spiritual and material" support program. Fr. Ibrahim: An initiative that embraces all Christian rites and confessions and does not forget "our Muslim brothers and sisters". Pope Francis (and the Curia) donate 100,000 euros. Information on how you too can donate to the campaign.

     






    Editor's choices

    CHINA - VATICAN
    Msgr. Peter Shao Zhumin, bishop of Wenzhou (underground) seized by police

    Bernardo Cervellera

    Public security will not reveal where he was taken, but allow the faithful to deliver some clothes for their pastor. The bishop will celebrate Easter with his faithful. Pressures on the prelate to adhere to the Patriotic Association. A similar fate to that of Msgr. Guo Xijin. It is also pressure on the Holy See.


    CHINA – VATICAN
    Underground Mindong Bishop Guo Xijin missing for four days

    Wang Zhicheng

    After being detained at the Religious Affairs Office in Fuan, he was taken to an undisclosed location "to study and learn." Catholics believe that he will be pressured into joining the Patriotic Association. His refusal will likely mean that he won’t be allowed back to his diocese.


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