24 February 2017
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  • 23/02/2017 - SOUTH KOREA

    The South Korean missionary and doctor will be remembered in elementary and high school textbooks. He served as priest, doctor, teacher and architect in the small village of Tonj in a country devastated by war. For Education minister, he is an example for new generations.




    23/02/2017 - IRAQ

    Christians and Muslims on a peace march from Erbil to Alqōsh


    The Chaldean Patriarch spearheads action to end violence in Iraq and the Middle East on Palm Sunday. During Lent, Nineveh towns liberated from the Islamic State will be the stations of the Cross. Some 50 families came together in Tall Usquf for Mass and the raising of a large Chaldean cross on a hill. Mar Sako calls for "conversion" among regional and world leaders. Bridges, not walls, are needed.


    23/02/2017 - BANGLADESH

    Rajshahi, proclaiming the Gospel of young people to other young people

    by Sumon Corraya

    About 400 young students took part in a five-day seminar, which included meeting some families. The goal was to “help young people be free from the slavery of consumerism, materialism, and capitalism”. For Mgr Rozario, “Our young people need to be like salt."


    23/02/2017 - INDONESIA

    Catholic programme Hidup TV launched


    It provides three hours of content a day. According to Indonesia’s Ministry of Information and Communications, 63 million Indonesians use the internet every day. The country is ranked fifth (after the US, Brazil, Japan and the UK) in terms of use of social media like Twitter and Facebook.


    23/02/2017 - CHINA

    Beijing, army veterans protest: abandoned by the government


    Since yesterday thousands have been protesting in front of the Party offices in the biggest demonstration since October. Promises made and not kept, "We have nothing, are in poverty and distress." Arrests and violence in Liulihe, Aiminjie, Datong, Luliang and Harbin.

     


    23/02/2017 - PAKISTAN

    "We are lying to ourselves,” says former Christian general after another bomb kills nine in Lahore

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    The latest is the eighth incident of violence in ten days. The bomb exploded in the city's commercial district, inside a building under construction. There are fears that some workers are still trapped under the rubble. A number of shops, banks and restaurants were also damaged. No one has yet claimed responsibility. There is little hope for a new military operation against the extremists.


    23/02/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: do not give scandal with a double life, but converted soon


    "It would be good for all of us, each one of us, today, to consider if there is something of a double life within us: ‘But, sure, the Lord will eventually forgive everything, but I’ll keep going as I have been…’ If there is something saying, “Sure, this is not going well, I will convert, but not today: tomorrow.’ Let’s think about that. And let us profit from the Word of the Lord and consider the fact that on this point, the Lord is very strict. Scandal destroys. "

     


    23/02/2017 - IRAN - TURKEY

    Turkish u-turn fuels renewed tension between Ankara and Tehran


    Turkish President spokesman tries to downplay crisis. Turkey does not want "an escalation" of words with Iran. But Erdogan accuses Tehran of  "destabilizing” the region  irritating the leaders of the Islamic Republic. Ambassador summoned, a ready response on the Syrian arena. Israel's moves to create an Arab-Turkish in front in an anti-Iranian key.

     


    23/02/2017 - NORTH KOREA - MALAYSIA

    Pyongyang blames Kuala Lumpur for death Kim Jong-nam


    The first statement issued on the issue by the North cites the death of "its nationals" in Kuala Lumpur, without the leader's half-brother Kim Jong-un named. Malaysia’s actions  termed "illegal and immoral" and in "total disregard for international law."

     


    23/02/2017 - IRAQ

    Assault for Mosul airport begins


    The goal is to tear control of the airport and a nearby military base from Islamic State. Later attack to be launched on southwest sector. Increasingly critical humanitarian situation in the west. Children dying from malnutrition, at least 160 thousand people have fled the city.


    22/02/2017 - LEBANON

    Trump, Marine Le Pen and the Middle East: Lebanon against walls and divisions

    by Fady Noun

    The beginning of the Trump presidency has been characterised by the "babelisation" of American society. Each country pours out his hatred against an external enemy. The current global crisis has religious roots. At the heart of the chaos there is the Jihadi threat. The third world war cannot be won with drones, but with moderation and promoting rapprochement and discussions.


    22/02/2017 - HONG KONG

    Hong Kong’s former chief executive Donald Tsang sentenced to 20 months in prison

    by Paul Wang

    He was accused of getting a HK$ 50 million flat in exchange for a radio license. Some 40 character witnesses came to his defence. The family will appeal.


    22/02/2017 - INDIA

    A law faculty at a Catholic college proposes an amendment to the Civil Code

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    Marriage law is at the centre of discussions in a country with many religious communities following different rules. The law that allows quick Muslim divorce is one of the main bones of contention. The Catholic Church supports all proposals that support “equality, fraternity and freedom".


    22/02/2017 - INDONESIA

    With Ahok leading in first round of gubernatorial election, Islamists protest


    Islamic groups want to stop the incumbent governor. In October, he was charged with blasphemy and put on trial. Today’s demonstrations are aimed at pressuring the government. Home Affairs minister notes that only Ahok is targeted.


    22/02/2017 - BANGLADESH

    One million palm trees against lethal lightning


    Since 2010, about 1,500 people have died from lightning, 274 in 2015, and 349 (82 in a single day) in the first months of 2016, according to the Bangladesh Meteorological Department. In view of the situation, the government has decided to reforest rural areas by June. Experts express their opinion.


    22/02/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: sin has also ruined creation, but we know that God is preparing "a new earth"


    "Human pride, exploiting Creation, destroys. However, the Lord does not leave us alone and, even in this desolate picture, He offers us a new prospect of liberation, of universal salvation." For South Sudan, where "a serious food crisis is underway which condemns millions of people to death by starvation, including many children", "declarations are not enough, concrete aid is needed".

     


    22/02/2017 - EGYPT

    A first in modern times: woman becomes governor

    by Loula Lahham

    22/02/2017 - INDIA

    Punjab Church launcehs "Sport for young people" against drug abuse

    by Santosh Digal

    Eight hockey coaches give lessons to 540 children and young people, most of which have dropped out of school or are unemployed. The state has the highest rate of crimes linked to drug use. The program was conceived by the Social Service of the Diocese of Jalandhar, in collaboration with Caritas India.

     


    22/02/2017 - TURKEY

    Ankara, imprisonment and expulsion from parliament for the Kurdish opposition party leader


    Selahattin Demirtas will have to serve five months in prison for "insulting" the nation and its institutions. The HDP number two Figen Yuksekdag, already indicted for terrorism, and expulsion from Parliament. For party colleagues there would campaign for the "No" in the constitutional referendum in April behind the repression.


    22/02/2017 - PAKISTAN

    Charsadda, new Taliban attack on a court: 7 dead


    Three suicide bombers mingled among a crowd of lawyers. The timely intervention of the agents avoided a worse toll. It is the seventh attack in just over a week. The Taliban group attack in retaliation against the killing of one of its radical leaders.

     


    22/02/2017 - MALAYSIA - NORTH KOREA

    Two North Koreans (including a diplomat) wanted for the murder of Kim Jong-nam


    Kwang Hyon-song second secretary at the embassy of North Korea in Malaysia; Kim Uk-il is employed by Air Koryo, the North’s State airline. The two women who poisoned Kim Jong-nam knew that the substance was toxic. No sign of the presence of Kim Han-sol, the son of Kim.

     


    21/02/2017 - ISRAEL – PALESTINE

    Israeli gets 18 months for killing a helpless Palestinian. For Peace Now, this is an “explosive situation"


    Sergeant Elor Azaria gets a light sentence. The prosecutor had requested three to five years but could have asked up to 20 years. The hearing was held at the Defence Ministry in Tel Aviv amid tight security with right-wing militants protesting outside. For Israeli peace activist, outside influence and a toxic atmosphere possibly swayed the decisions.


    21/02/2017 - MALAYSIA – NORTH KOREA

    Tensions mount between Pyongyang and Kuala Lumpur over Kim Jong-nam’s murder

    by Joseph Masilamany

    The victim’s body is at the centre of a diplomatic row. Malaysian sources claim that the dead man’s eldest son is in the country to claim his father’s remains. Investigations into the murder of Kim Jong-un’s half-brother continue. Malaysia responds angrily to harsh allegations from North Korea’s ambassador.


    21/02/2017 - INDONESIA

    Taizé meeting for youth in Jambi to learn the true love of Jesus in their lives

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    Kristopel House in Jambi held a meeting to strengthen Catholic morality and raise awareness of the true love of Jesus. About 250 young people from many parishes in the province took part in the event. Fr Christopher Wahyu Triharyardi told AsiaNews that spiritually participants were made aware of the real presence of God as well as love for family and neighbours in everyday life.


    21/02/2017 - INDIA

    The passion of Jesus drove Franciscan Sister to build 54 houses for the poor in Kerala

    by Santosh Digal

    Sister Lizzy Chakkalakal heads Our Lady's Convent Girls Higher Secondary School in Kochi. In 2012 she provided the first house to a needy family. For her, “the birth of a culture of sharing and mutual care among local people" is more important than just providing housing.


    21/02/2017 - RUSSIA

    Thousands in procession for the return of St. Isaac's Church to the Moscow Patriarchate


    The building had been seized in 1917 and used as a museum. Spokesman for Patriarch Kirill: The church "should first of all be a place of prayer." Opponents: Giving the management to the Church risks opening the path to "wild provincialism". Putin among the opponents. Kirill: A sign of reconciliation.


     


    21/02/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: May "holy shame" defend us from the temptations of ambition, worldliness


    "Sometimes we say it with shame we priests, we priests: 'I wish for that parish ...' - 'But the Lord is here ...' - 'But I would like that ...'. The same. Not the way of the Lord, but that road of vanity, worldliness. Even among us bishops the same happens: worldliness becomes as temptation. "

     


    21/02/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: it is "our duty" to welcome, protect, promote and integrate migrants


    "The human promotion of migrants and their families begins with their communities of origin.  That is where such promotion should be guaranteed, joined to the right of being able to emigrate, as well as the right to not be constrained to emigrate." "In the face of tragedies which take the lives of so many migrants and refugees – conflicts, persecutions, forms of abuse, violence, death – expressions of empathy and compassion cannot help but spontaneously well-up."

     


    21/02/2017 - EGYPT – ISLAM

    Who was Umar ‘Abdu r-Raḥman, who preached terrorism and the Qur'an

    by Loula Lahham

    The spiritual leader of an extremist movement died at the age 79 in a North Carolina prison. He had backed the 1993 attack against the World Trade Center. Recently, the political wing of Al-jamāʻah al-islāmīyah had requested his release on health grounds. He supported terrorism as a weapon of jihad.


    21/02/2017 - BANGLADESH

    Khulna, Islamic leader promises protection to Christians and Hindus

    by Sumon Corraya

    The Commission for Dialogue and Ecumenism organized a workshop, attended by Catholics, Hindus and Muslims. "Politicians often work only for their own benefit." "Christians must create more interfaith seminars to reduce religious fanaticism in Bangladesh"


     


    21/02/2017 - ASIA

    Annual profits of the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banks down by 62%

    by Paul Wang

    The cause is "volatile financial conditions", including the US and Brexit. The greater part of the profit comes from operations in Asia. Hang Seng in Hong Kong drop by 41%.

     






    Editor's choices

    LEBANON
    Trump, Marine Le Pen and the Middle East: Lebanon against walls and divisions

    Fady Noun

    The beginning of the Trump presidency has been characterised by the "babelisation" of American society. Each country pours out his hatred against an external enemy. The current global crisis has religious roots. At the heart of the chaos there is the Jihadi threat. The third world war cannot be won with drones, but with moderation and promoting rapprochement and discussions.


    EGYPT - ISLAM
    Al Azhar under the influence of Daesh Islamism

    Kamel Abderrahmani

    The official religious institutions and so-called Islamic universities are the cause of the immobility of the Muslim world. The programs taught and literature used at Al Azhar are the same that are applied on the ground by all armed terrorists. No comparison possible between Al Azhar and the Vatican. The Vatican has hosted Iraqi Muslims and Syrians fleeing the war. Al Azhar has never done anything for Christians and Yazidis. The persecution of Nasr Mohamed Abdellah, eager to modernize Islam. The comment of one Muslim student.


     


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