24 February 2017
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  • 24/02/2017 - EGYPT

    The Coptic minority is being targeted by local cells of the Islamic state. The murder took place yesterday in Al-Arich. The man's house was set on fire. Previously a 60 year old Christian and son were killed; the young man was burnt alive. Daesh announces new attacks on social networks.


     




    24/02/2017 - SRI LANKA

    In Jaffna, displaced Tamils want back land seized by the military or used for tourism (photos)

    by Melani Manel Perera

    Thousands took part in a rally organised by the People's Alliance for Right to Land and the National Fisheries Solidarity Movement. Seized during the civil war, properties are still held by the military or businesses operating them for tourism or agriculture.


    24/02/2017 - INDONESIA

    Standoff between Indonesia and US mining giant Freeport McMoRan


    On 10 February, Freeport-McMoRan discontinued its mining activities, leaving thousands of Indonesians out of work. The reason is a dispute over fees and contract to be renegotiated by the company and the authorities.


    24/02/2017 - EGYPT – VATICAN – ISLAM

    Al Azhar and the Vatican renew inter-faith dialogue against fundamentalism


    A symposium sponsored by the Al Azhar Centre for Dialogue and the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue ended yesterday in Cairo. Participants called for action against the root causes of extremism like "violence and poverty". Protecting young people, who are the most vulnerable to extremist ideologies, is a priority. Cutting funding and weapons to terrorist groups is another.


    24/02/2017 - PHILIPPINES

    Duterte’s harsh critic Leila De Lima arrested


    Arrested this morning on drug trafficking charges, she faces a life sentence. The senator and her supporters deny the charges, calling the case a plot by Duterte. For a decade, she has opposed the Filipino President, whom she describes as a "sociopathic serial killer".


    24/02/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: "In God, justice is mercy, and mercy is justice"


    Do not give in to the "logic of casuistry" that reduces the faith in terms of "can" or "cannot", but follow the path of Jesus, "the path from case study to truth and mercy". Jesus says, "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her", but he spoke "many times with an adulteress." And in the end he said: "I do not condemn you. Sin no more. "

     


    24/02/2017 - INDIA

    Bangalore archbishop inaugurates first family counselling service

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    The goal is to solve the crisis of the family, and emphasise again the sanctity of the institution of marriage. The archdiocese will rely on the expertise of 20 Holy Cross priests. The disintegration of families is evident in the rise in marriage annulments.


    24/02/2017 - INDIA

    Mumbai fishermen furious over plans for worlds tallest Shivaji statue


    The equestrian statue of the god warrior will measure 190 meters; its construction will cost almost 510 million euro. It  is expected to be completed in 2021. It will attract 10 thousand visitors a day. The fishing community complains that the money could be spent on improving health, education and infrastructure. Activist: "The fascist forces use the god's statue as a symbol of Hindutva".

     


    24/02/2017 - MYANMAR – CHINA

    Hundreds of workers attack Chinese factory in Yangon


    Some angry 300 workers destroyed machinery and held captive seven Chinese workers for a few hours over the sacking of a fellow worker. Strikes over low wages are increasing. Many in Myanmar are impatient with China’s economic “colonisation”.


    24/02/2017 - MALAYSIA - NORTH KOREA

    Kim Jong-nam killed by a powerful nerve gas


    Police found traces of VX nerve agent on the victims’ face and in his eyes. VX is considered by the UN as a weapon of mass destruction. Just one drop absorbed through the skin leads to death within minutes. North Korea believed to have between 2500 and the 5 thousand tons of nerve gas.

     


    23/02/2017 - SOUTH KOREA

    The testimony of Fr Lee Tae-seok in South Sudanese school books


    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 - 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.


    23/02/2017 - INDIA

    India, Franciscan nuns promote inter-religious dialogue: An experience of deliverance

    by Santosh Digal

    In 1986 the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary created groups for Interreligious Dialogue. Their work is developed in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and other parts of India. They created a network of collaboration with other organizations that support friendly relations between religious communities. Thanks to mutual understanding, conflicts between Christians and Muslims defused.

     


    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

    Nadia Abdou will lead Beheira, northwest Egypt, focusing on tourism and investments to revitalise the governorate. Chronic water shortages, infrastructure and sustainable development are among the priorities to be addressed. Religious fundamentalism remains a threat.


    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.

     






    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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