28/03/2017 - VATICAN – UNITED NATIONS
In a message to the ‘United Nations Conference to Negotiate a Legally Binding Instrument to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons, leading towards their Total Elimination’, Francis said that dialogue must boost trust. “Humanity has the ability to work together in building up our common home; we have the freedom, intelligence and capacity to lead and direct technology, to place limits on our power, and to put all this at the service of another type of progress.”
28/03/2017 - ISRAEL – PALESTINE
Tensions rise as Israeli settlers visit daily the Temple Mount
In 2016, more than 14,000 settlers visited the Muslim holy site (where the ancient Jewish temple once stood). The visits of Jewish extremists have sparked clashes between Muslims and police.
28/03/2017 - CHINA
Suzhou, 9 human rights activists detained in secret since September
On 8 September 2016, the police seized the protesters outside of the people's court in Suzhou. Eight are under "residential surveillance at a designated place" (RSDL), while another has been formally arrested. Those arrested were protesting the conviction of Fan Mugen. Some of the detainees are accused of having sent "politically sensitive" online messages. In November, other police arrests. The UN Committee against Torture: "The extent to which RSDL is widely abused illicit and open to interpretation and application." Eleven countries have called for an end to the practice.
28/03/2017 - PAKISTAN
For Mgr Arshad, Lent is a time to embrace our daily crossesby Shafique Khokhar
The bishop of Faisalabad issues a message on our preparation for Easter. He addresses young people who are hardest pressed in finding jobs, facing the economic crisis, and integrating into society. He calls on people to follow Christ’s example: his death and resurrection gave meaning to "our daily crosses".
28/03/2017 - VATICAN
Pope: follow Jesus by accepting the life we have, without being paralyzed by sloth
Sloth is a "bad sin", it means living just because “oxygen is free," is "by watching others who are happier than me"; it is full of "sadness", it makes you forget joy. "Sloth - said the Pope - is a shame that paralyzes us, we become paralytics. It stops us from walking. Even today the Lord looks at each of us, we all sin, we are all sinners but he is watching this sin, "he says," Get up. "
28/03/2017 - CHINA
Former judge detained for helping farmers in complaints against the government
Huang Yunmin was to set to accompany farmers to Beijing to file petitions. He could get up to ten years in prison. He had criticised the judicial bureaucracy and exposed court corruption. Because of this, he was forced out of his job.
28/03/2017 - RUSSIA
A fine and 15 days in prison for Alexei Navalny. Criticism from Europe and the US
Moscow claims many young people were paid to take part in the demonstrations. Navalny: "More than a thousand people were arrested yesterday, but it is impossible to stop millions." For EU and the US: an "affront to democracy."
28/03/2017 - INDIA
Karnataka Catholic Organization appeals for prison ministry volunteersby Purushottam Nayak
Prison Ministry India has worked with detainees for over 30 years. Now it is running a recruitment campaign to bring relief to 1,382 in Indian jails. "Nearly 400 thousand people languish without love, hope and help." Membership is open to all; training will last two weeks from May 8 to 23.
28/03/2017 - LEBANON
Beirut: World Day of dialogue between religions and culturesby Fady Noun
Lebanese political and religious leaders call for such a feast. The Islamic-Christian celebration can be a model for meeting and exchange. An international Marian centre dedicated to dialogue will be set up in the capital. A garden dedicated to Mary, a beloved figure revered by both monotheistic religions, will also be established.
28/03/2017 - EGYPT - ISLAM
Secularism and citizenship: how Al Azhar could influence Arab-Islamic countriesby Luca Galantini
The Cairo conference studies proposals for equal rights for Christians and Muslims, and for a State separation from religion. Regional constitutions and especially the Arab League and Organization of the Islamic Conference Human Rights Charter need to be addressed. All this just one month before Pope Francis’ visit to Egypt.
28/03/2017 - HONG KONG – CHINA
Carrie Lam to visit mainland bodies in Hong Kongby Paul Wang
Hong Kong’s new chief executive will make a courtesy call, not a visit of gratitude for the mainland’s support. She pledged to uphold the principle of "one country, two systems". Beijing's influence is “worrisome”.
28/03/2017 - IRAN
The Islamic State threatens Tehran and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
In a video in Farsi faction of the "province of Diyala" threatens Tehran over its involvement in ongoing regional conflicts. Iran's support for Iraqi government and Syrian leadership targeted. Its openness and tolerance towards Jews also criticized.
27/03/2017 - VIETNAM
Youth evangelisation is an urgent priority for the Church in Vietnam
Vietnam’s Catholic community is not growing. Young people and their testimony can help evangelise society. Youth need to interact with one another and share their experiences. Moving to the city comes with many difficulties.
27/03/2017 - INDIA
Mumbai, 25 thousand people make a pilgrimage for peace
Great participation of Catholics and non-Catholics in the annual Lenten march for peace 20 km. The pilgrims walked through the night for 7 hours until the Mass in the Basilica of Mount Mary. Card. Gracias: "Peace, harmony and brotherhood will prevail." Large presence of young people.
27/03/2017 - PAKISTAN
Pakistani Christians caught between the sacrament of marriage and domestic violenceby Shafique Khokhar-Ata-ur-Rehman Saman
Christians have begun to analyse in depth the institution of marriage. Abuse and violence among married people is the main spark. For decades, the only way of separating from a violent spouse was through conversion to Islam. Maria is one of the victims.
27/03/2017 - SOUTH KOREA
Prosecutors ask Seoul court to arrest former President Park Geun-hye
If the Seoul District Court agrees with the request and issues the arrest warrant, Park will be the first former South Korean president to be arrested since 1995. The charges against her include abuse of office, bribery and leaking government documents.
27/03/2017 - IRAQ
Chaldean patriarch’s sorrow over Mosul’s tragedy, ready to help thousands of displaced people
Mar Sako tells of west Mosul "difficult but necessary" liberation. Jihadis "use people" as human shields amid narrow streets and houses. Thousands have died and more than 10,000 homes have been destroyed. Controversy continues over an air strike by the US-led coalition that killed more than a hundred people. The Chaldean Church provides food aid to Muslim refugees.
27/03/2017 - HONG KONG – CHINA
On Carrie Lam’s first day, prosecution awaits Occupy Central leadersby Paul Wang
Lam is elected chief executive with 777 votes. Viewed as Beijing candidate, she also seen as CY 2.0, heir to Leung Chun-ying (CY 1.0) who is against democratic demands. The formal transfer of power will take place on 1 July, the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to China.
27/03/2017 - INDIA
Uttar Pradesh: Christian graves vandalized; (False) accusations of forced conversions (VIDEO)by Nirmala Carvalho
Crosses taken down; tombstones smashed. State led by Hindu nationalist party. Growing violence against Christians in the region. The Hindu Yuva Vahini organization, founded by the Chief Minister, for the return of the Dalits to Hinduism.
27/03/2017 - YEMEN
Aden, tens of thousands of people take to the streets to demand an end to the war
Promoted by the Houthis, who occupy the capital and large areas of the north of the country. Former President Saleh also present. He called crowd to resistance. One demonstrator: "In the streets against the Saudi aggression." A criminal court close to Shiite rebels issues death sentence for Hadi in absentia.
27/03/2017 - INDONESIA
Jakarta: incitement to hatred, the most common online crime in 2016
The authorities conducted 199 investigations. The victims targeted for ethnic and religious reasons. Religious and conservative groups increasingly active as vigilantes. The case of the Christian governor is an example of this trend.
27/03/2017 - RUSSIA
Dozens of anti-corruption demonstrations. Alexei Navalny arrested
Demonstrations against corruption of Medvedev and Putin. A video about the premier’s construction empire, seen by 11 million people. Unauthorized demonstrations: at least 500 protesters arrested. Rallies in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Krasnoyarsk, Omsk, Yekaterinburg, Vladivostok.
26/03/2017 - VATICAN
Pope urges the faithful to abandon the false lights of prejudice towards others and self-interest
Baptism inspires us to follow Jesus and judge men and things according to a new scale of values that comes from God, as well as to walk in the light, that is to "abandon false lights”. Francis thanked Milan and the Milanese for the warm reception they showed him yesterday. He also said that it is true that "In Milan people are welcomed heart in hand”.
25/03/2017 - ITALY – VATICAN
Pope tells 80,000 youth that grandparents can help them find faith, says no to bullying
Parents should strive to educate children about contents, ideas, values and attitudes about life. He urged them to play with their children, take the time to go to Mass with them, visit a park, and remember that they can see and suffer when they argue.
25/03/2017 - ITALY – VATICAN
Pope: in a time marked by speculation, nothing and no one is "foreign" to God
Francis celebrated Mass in Monza before a million people according to organisers. This followed his visit to Milan’s San Vittore Prison where he had lunch with inmates. “The Lord loves me as much as he does you,” he told them. “Jesus himself is in you and in me; we are sinful brothers".
25/03/2017 - ITALY – VATICAN
Pope in Milan: pastors must teach how to choose in a society that has many cultures
Francis began his visit at the Case Bianche compound, home to three families. He met priests and consecrated people at the Cathedral where he talked about discernment. “Choose the peripheries, reawaken processes, ignite the spent and weakened hope of a society that has become insensible to the pain of others,” he said.
25/03/2017 - ISRAEL – PALESTINE – UNITED STATES
UN: Israel has failed to comply with UN demands and continues to expand settlements
The United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process criticised the Jewish state for failing to comply with the UN resolution on settlements. Instead, the Israeli government has authorised a “high rate” of settlement expansion. For Israel’s UN ambassador, the settlements are not an obstacle to peace.
25/03/2017 - INDONESIA
The "Days in the Diocese" for Asian Youth Day 2017
Representatives from 16 countries met on 20-24 March at the Sanjaya Pastoral Centre in Muntilan, the ‘Bethlehem of Java’ for the ‘Days of the Diocese’. The goal was to rehearse 7th Asian Youth Day (AYD) scheduled for 30 July-6 August 2017.
25/03/2017 - BANGLADESH
Islamic State claims responsibility for attempted suicide attack at Dhaka international airportby Sumon Corraya
The bomber blew himself as he tried to enter the airport carrying a bomb, dying “right away" in the blast. His identity remains unknown, but his fingerprints have been found. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, but the government blames a local recently formed extremist group.
24/03/2017 - VATICAN - EU
Pope: Europe is not just an economy, but a way of conceiving man and a capacity for hope
Francis spoke to the heads of state and government of the 27 EU member states on the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome. He told them that the Old Continent is a reality based on the centrality of man, effective solidarity, openness to the world, the pursuit of peace and development, and overture to the future. He also talked about "serious migration crisis" and the populism that is the "fruit of an egotism".
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