25 September 2016
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    25/09/2016 - VATICAN

    Speaking before thousands of catechists from around the world during the Jubilee Mass, Pope Francis highlighted "the centre" of the faith that is to be proclaimed: "the Lord Jesus is risen, [. . .] and he has given his life for you”. He also focused on the quality of the messenger, who proclaims “not by the power of convincing, never by imposing the truth, no less by growing fixated on some religious or moral obligation.” The rich man is blind because he does not see the poor. He squints because “he looks with adulation at famous people, of high rank, admired by the world, yet turns his gaze away from the many Lazaruses of today”. Nowadays, “we have fallen into this abyss of indifference, worldliness, selfishness". Francis expressed solidarity with Mexican bishops committed to the family against gender ideology. He mentioned the beatification of Fr Engelmar Unzeitig, killed in Dachau as well as the Day of the Deaf.




    24/09/2016 - VATICAN – FRANCE

    For pope, interreligious relations can alleviate the wounds of the Nice attack


    In his meeting victims of the terrorist attack in Nice on 14 July and their relatives, Pope Francis encouraged religious groups to entertain fraternal relations and refuse hatred. As a token of the who were killed, the pope received the gift of 86 flowers. Some secularists and environmentalists criticised the meeting. Muslim and Jewish leaders express their appreciation.


    24/09/2016 - PAKISTAN – INDIA

    Lahore: Christians and Muslims stand for peace in Kashmir, against India-Pakistan skirmishes

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    Activists appeal to the governments of the two countries to an end the war of words and solve peacefully the dispute. For the bishop of Faisalabad, war is no solution for culturally close countries. It is necessary to foster human rights and social justice to counter belligerent slogans.


    24/09/2016 - SRI LANKA

    Colombo students’ practical advice to protect the environment by eliminating plastic bags

    by Melani Manel Perera

    About 2,000 women and girls took part in a six-kilometre march to back Pope Francis’s Laudato si’ encyclical, which speaks about social justice. Sri Lanka is among the five countries that pollute oceans the most. Developing best practices in school can be passed on in the family.


    24/09/2016 - INDONESIA

    Jakarta’s Christian governor is Islamists’ "common enemy" in upcoming elections

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    Campaigning for the post of Jakarta’s governor starts today. Election is set for July 2017. Outgoing Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama, an ethnic Christian Chinese is seeking re-election. He is backed by the country’s second largest party, but opposed by radical Islamic parties because of his faith and for his fight against corruption.


    24/09/2016 - UNITED STATES – SAUDI ARABIA

    Obama vetoes law that would allow legal action against Saudi Arabia over the 9/11 attacks


    The US president expressed "deep sympathy" for the victims’ families, but reiterated his opposition to a law that is "detrimental to US national interests." Riyadh threatens to break off economic agreements with Washington. Law sponsors pledge to overturn the veto with a two-thirds vote in Congress. Hillary Clinton is in favour of the law.


    24/09/2016 - CHINA

    FAST: China inaugurates the world’s biggest telescope


    With a 500-metre diameter, the new facility will help study the structure of galaxies and the formation of stars. There is no competition with the United States.


    23/09/2016 - INDONESIA

    Islamic radicals in Makassar tell Protestant church it does not have the right to a building permit

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    Ethnic Toraja attend the parish church. Pastor says it has “proper papers” and saw the mayor visit.


    23/09/2016 - IRAN

    Iranian women’ revolution on two wheels against Ayatollah Khamenei’s ruling


    With the hashtag #IranianWomenLoveCycling, campaign gets more and more women to post pictures of themselves on two wheels on social media in what constitutes an open challenge to the supreme leader’s fatwa according to which cycling endangers women’s “chastity”. For Iranian activist, “Women are the main agents of change.”


    23/09/2016 - LEBANON – SYRIA

    Caritas: as poverty creates tensions between the Lebanese and Syrian refugees, there is risk of conflict


    Caritas Lebanon director Fr Paul Karam warns of great potential "social conflict" between locals and refugees. He will talk to Pope Francis about the “tragic situation”. The local Church is involved in mediation and tensions reduction. Those “who make weapons also run the war and manoeuvre it to make it go on”


    23/09/2016 - VATICAN – UNITED NATIONS

    Card Parolin tells UN that Mideast shows that development is impossible without peace


    The most effective way to safeguard the dignity of all in the Middle East is a renewed commitment to the rule of law and freedom of religion and conscience. The Holy See and the Vatican State become parties to the UN Convention against Corruption.


    23/09/2016 - CUBA – JAPAN

    Shinzo Abe in Cuba to open new markets and stop Pyongyang’s nuclear plans


    This is the first state visit to Havana by a Japanese head of government. Medical aid, debt relief, and investments dominate talks. In return, Castro will use his good offices to curb North Korea, Cuba’s old ally. China’s Li Keqiang will follow Abe, a sign that East Asia is increasingly interested in the Caribbean.


    23/09/2016 - INDIA - PHILIPPINES

    "Couples for Christ", from the Philippines to Odisha give strength to Catholic families

    by p. Purushottam Nayak*

    A retreat for the enrichment of marriage was held in Bhubaneshwar. Five members of ‘Couples for Christ from the Philippines and two from Bangalore, Karnataka, led the event. The lay movement was established in Manila in 1981. It obtained Vatican recognition in 2005 as a private international association for lay faithful.


    23/09/2016 - SYRIA

    Aleppo: al Nusra Front leader calls for jihadi unity ahead of decisive battle


    Mufti Al Muhaysini addresses jihadi fighters across Syria, calling for "unity, organisation and rapprochement" based on the "general fundamentals of Islam." A sworn enemy of the Islamic State, the qur‘anic judge has tried to ingratiate himself with the likes of Shia Hezbollah. However, his unifying language has not convinced any jihadi groups.


    23/09/2016 - ASIANEWS SYMPOSIUM

    Mother Teresa, Mercy for Asia and for the world (VIDEO)


    We publish the video recordings of the presentations made at the international symposium organised by AsiaNews on 2 September. In order of appearance: Fr Ferruccio Brambillasca, PIME Superior General; Card Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation of Propaganda Fide; Sr Mary Prema, Superior General of the Missionaries of Charity; Father Brian Kolodiejchuk, postulator of the Cause of Mother Teresa; Card Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Mumbai; Fr John A. Worthley, on the influence of Mother Teresa in China; a witness to the influence of Mother Teresa in the Islamic world; and Mgr Paul Hinder, Apostolic Vicar of Southern Arabia.


    23/09/2016 - CHINA-VATICAN

    Beijing issues new, harsh draft regulations on religious activities

    by Bernardo Cervellera

    Fines of up to 200 thousand yuan (27 thousand euro) for "illegal religious activities" by Catholic or other members of underground communities. "Illegal activities" include "dependence from abroad" (such as the relationship with the Vatican). The regulations preach non-discrimination, but party members are forbidden to practice their religion, even in private. Strict control of buildings, statues, crosses. Clampdown on the internet. It could be the end of the underground community.
     


    23/09/2016 - BANGLADESH

    Dhaka massacre terrorists buried after three months

    by Sumon Corraya

    23/09/2016 - VIETNAM

    Hanoi, Catholic blogger Nguyen Huu Vinh back in prison


    He must serve five years in prison. He was sentenced along with his assistant for having "violated the interests of the state" by publishing articles online. The defense lawyers argue that the trial was not democratic: "The accusation is based on false evidence, and under the current Penal Code Vinh is innocent."

     


    23/09/2016 - CHINA

    China, 12 years in prison for Ai Weiwei’s lawyer: He fought for human rights


    Xia Lin defended some of the most important dissidents in the country. A court found him guilty of tax fraud for about 500 thousand Euros. Leaving the courtroom he shouted: "This is revenge for the cases that I defended in court." The "battle against lawyers" launched by the leadership led by Xi Jinping continues and grows harsher.

     


    22/09/2016 - LEBANON

    Christian and Muslim religious leaders pray for peace in the name of Mary in Beirut

    by Fady Noun

    Heeding Pope Francis’s call, the Lebanese Church organised a meeting for peace at the Marian shrine of Harissa. Card al-Rahi stressed the value of reconciliation. For Sunni leader, "terrorism in the name of Islam” is “a sign of the end times". Shia dignitary slammed politicians for holding the country "hostage". Courage is needed to ask for forgiveness for one’s mistakes.


    22/09/2016 - HONG KONG

    Eddie Chu attacks town planning, says Hong Kong should stand with the weak


    The youngest lawmaker elected to Hong Kong’s Legislative Council has not yet been sworn in, but he has already said that he will stand with the poor, not with the lobbies for the rich. The bone of contention is the Wang Chau housing project, which would come at the expense of three villages. He warns Hong Kongers not to be distracted by the chief executive’s “tears”.


    22/09/2016 - CHINA - VATICAN

    Wenzhou underground priests pay homage to the late (official) bishop

    by Victoria Ma

    A group of 16 priests from the underground Church held a "simple but solemn" ceremony of prayer in memory of the late Mgr Vincent Zhu Weifang. Fr Paul Jiang, who led the group, was given “a vacation" this morning. Bishop Shao Zhumin, who succeeds the late prelate as ordinary, is still outside the diocese. Wenzhou Catholics thank the Holy See for this decision.


    22/09/2016 - INDIA

    Some 10,000 students celebrate Mother Teresa with a "peace march" in Guwahati


    The students, including many non-Christians, come from 30 schools. The event was enlivened with posters, as well as white and blue balloons. About a thousand teachers took part in a seminar on the ‘Joy of giving’. People are “mostly non-Christian,” but everyone is “grateful for the work of the Missionaries of Charity,” archbishop says.


    22/09/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: "greed, vanity and pride are the root of all evil"


    "Our soul can be consumed by two types of worry: a good one gifted us by the Holy Spirit, that spurs an anxious soul to do good things" and a "bad worry, one that is born of a guilty conscience".

     


    22/09/2016 - CHINA

    Party slams "stronghold of the one-child law": Procreate now


    For decades Yichang in the central Hubei province was praised for its strict observance of the "one child policy". Today the communist authorities are retracting everything and calling on young comrades to "work on themselves" to have at least a second child. The elderly comrades must "guide them on the socialist road of education of young people".

     


    22/09/2016 - RUSSIA - VATICAN

    The Catholic-Orthodox Joint Commission reaches agreement on synodality and primacy

    by Nina Achmatova

    The announcement on website of Moscow Patriarchate's Department for External Church Relations, on the eve of the closing of the Plenary Session in Chieti. Orthodox Russians hope that focus of dialogue will now turn to Uniate question.


    22/09/2016 - YEMEN - SAUDI ARABIA

    Yemen, Saudi coalition raid hits a market killing 25 civilians


    Local witnesses speak of more than 50 injured. Riyadh’s bombs hit a crowded market. Earlier in the area, Houthi militia rebels had celebrated two years of the conquest of Sana'a. The UN says half of the 22 provinces of the country is at risk famine.

     


    22/09/2016 - CHINA - HONG KONG

    Permanent deacons: a novelty for the Chinese Church

    by Lucia Leung

    A seminar in Beijing "plants a seed" to begin the implementation of this service. The help of the diocese of Hong Kong, where the permanent diaconate began in 1993, for the first time in Asia.

     


    22/09/2016 - BANGLADESH

    Crowded ferry overturns in Barisal: at least 17 victims

    by Sumon Corraya

    The boat was carrying 60 people. Most managed to save themselves by swimming to the shore, but six other people missing. The port official said that the ferry was not registered for passenger transport and had no valid travel permits.

     


    22/09/2016 - INDONESIA

    Floods in West Java: 23 dead and 18 missing

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    The toll is still provisional. Torrential rains started two days ago, causing the Cimanuk river to burst its banks and several landslides. Thousands of homes submerged by the waters, people seek refuge on rooftops. The Agency for Environmental Disasters is searching for the missing and working to distribute basic necessities to the displaced. The provincial governor blames excessive deforestation.

     


    21/09/2016 - NEPAL

    Maoists place bombs in ten private schools in Kathmandu, two arrested

    by Christopher Sharma

    Those responsible are part of a Communist cell led by a fugitive Maoist leader. For some time, the group has extorted money from private schools. The bombs were placed against those who refuse to pay. Now parents do not want to send their children to school.






    Editor's choices

    ASIANEWS SYMPOSIUM
    Mother Teresa, Mercy for Asia and for the world (VIDEO)



    We publish the video recordings of the presentations made at the international symposium organised by AsiaNews on 2 September. In order of appearance: Fr Ferruccio Brambillasca, PIME Superior General; Card Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation of Propaganda Fide; Sr Mary Prema, Superior General of the Missionaries of Charity; Father Brian Kolodiejchuk, postulator of the Cause of Mother Teresa; Card Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Mumbai; Fr John A. Worthley, on the influence of Mother Teresa in China; a witness to the influence of Mother Teresa in the Islamic world; and Mgr Paul Hinder, Apostolic Vicar of Southern Arabia.


    CHINA-VATICAN
    Beijing issues new, harsh draft regulations on religious activities

    Bernardo Cervellera

    Fines of up to 200 thousand yuan (27 thousand euro) for "illegal religious activities" by Catholic or other members of underground communities. "Illegal activities" include "dependence from abroad" (such as the relationship with the Vatican). The regulations preach non-discrimination, but party members are forbidden to practice their religion, even in private. Strict control of buildings, statues, crosses. Clampdown on the internet. It could be the end of the underground community.
     


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