17 January 2017
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    17/01/2017 - TURKEY

    The police arrested the main suspect in the attack on the nightclub, which killed 39 people. He was in the suburban district of Esenyurt, hosted by other Islamic State militants. Relief and satisfaction of Turkish authorities. Deputy prime minister confirms: "Our war on terror continues".




    17/01/2017 - INDIA

    Mangalore hosts tenth national meeting of young Catholics

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    The event will be held January 18 to 22. Over 3 thousand youth leaders are expected from all over India. The meeting will end with a march for peace. The "Youth Cross", a symbol of Christ's love, has traveled 2 thousand kilometers.

     


    17/01/2017 - CHINA

    Party Member fired for criticizing Mao cult


    Zuo Chunhe, deputy director of the Culture and  News Bureau in Shijiazhuang, called Mao "a devil." He was found guilty of "wrong remarks" and violation of Party discipline. No one is allowed to study the critical aspects of history of Mao and the Party.


     


    16/01/2017 - ISRAEL – PALESTINE

    Uri Avnery: Two-state solution is the only game in town

    by Uri Avnery

    The great Israeli leader and pacifist gives his thoughts a few hours before the Paris Conference. By tolerating Hamas and treating Abbas as an enemy, the Israeli government hinders real peace negotiations. People’s conferences should be held to overcome the most difficult aspects of future Israeli-Palestinian coexistence.


    16/01/2017 - PAKISTAN

    Emeritus Bishop of Multan: his paralysed legs have not stopped him (Video)

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    Mgr Andrew Francis celebrated 45 years of priesthood. He praised Christians who struggle for their faith. In 1996, he survived an assassination attempt, whilst in 2013, a car accident left him disabled. But for him, “there is no downside in my life."


    16/01/2017 - INDIA

    Odisha soldier who converted is proud of his faith in Jesus Christ

    by Santosh Digal

    Naba Kishore Patra is a catechist in the diocese of Balasore. Born and raised in a Hindu family, he married a Catholic woman, who introduced him to the Christian faith. Vincentian priests and nuns nurtured the seed of his faith. Now he wants "to work hard for the mission".


    16/01/2017 - TURKEY

    Turkey’s parliament takes first step in favour of a presidentialist constitution


    A second vote is scheduled for this week, to be followed by a referendum for final approval. The ruling party obtained the required three fifths needed thanks to the support of a far-right party. Kurdish MPs boycotted the vote. In recent days, MPs clashed in parliament.


    16/01/2017 - EGYPT

    Fear grows among Egypt’s Christians after a Coptic doctor was stabbed in the throat

    by Loula Lahham

    This is the third attack against minority Copts since the start of the year. Bassam Safouat Zaki was originally from Asyut. His murder follows that of a couple in Monufia and that of man who was attacked in broad daylight in Alexandria by a man shouting “Allah Akbar".


    16/01/2017 - CHINA

    Drugged and schizophrenic: the fruits of the imprisonment and torture of Human Rights lawyer Li Chunfu

    by Wang Zhicheng

    In prison, he was forced to take daily medicine "against the high blood pressure" (which he has never had). Long periods spent locked in a narrow iron cage. The testimony of his sister-in-law Wang Qiaoling and thanks his wife Bi Liping: "Expose the crimes of the Tianjin police. Show them to the light of day". The magazine "China Change" demands an international investigation into abuses against Human Rights lawyers (many of them are Christians).

     


    16/01/2017 - SOUTH KOREA

    Samsung’s vice chairman Lee Jae-yong arrested in connection with President Park’s scandal


    He is accused of paying bribes to Choi Soon-sil worth more than US$ 36 million US. Prosecutors allege that the group also financed a Choi-owned sports company to the tune of US$ 18.3 million.


    16/01/2017 - FRANCE - ISRAEL - PALESTINE

    Israel-Palestine: from Paris a renewed commitment to peace and two States


    Over 70 countries, including the permanent members of the UN Security Council and Arab League attended the meeting. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas absent. The final communique result of long negotiations between the parties. No direct reference to unresolved issues, including the status of Jerusalem and the US embassy move.

     


    16/01/2017 - TAIWAN

    A prize for "hidden people": 30 people who improve the lives of others in the peripheries

    by Xin Yage

    The award created and given by Kuangchi Program Service (光啟 社) in collaboration with AsiaNews and the Chinese Regional Bishops' Conference. Prizes donated by category: social commitment; music; art; proclamation of faith; training and education; jobs for migrants; spiritual accompaniment; responsibility towards society. Pope Francis in favor of  program called  "Not I (wu wo)", which means: "Not I, but the people I serve."

     


    16/01/2017 - KYRGYZSTAN

    Bishkek, Turkish airplane crashes into houses: at least 32 dead


    It had left Hong Kong bound for Istanbul. The cause of the disaster seem to be the weather. The plane crashed into about 15 houses, killing entire families, some caught in their sleep. The Kyrgyz president has interrupted a trip to China to return immediately to the capital.

     


    15/01/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: The Church does not proclaim itself, it proclaims Christ; it does not bring itself, it brings Christ


    During the Angelus, Pope Francis said that "The Church, in every age, is called to do what John the Baptist did – show Jesus to the people." The pontiff warned though, “Woe, woe to the Church when it proclaims itself, for it loses its compass, and does not know where it goes.” On the World Day of Migrants and refugees, dedicated to migrant children, “It is necessary to take every possible measure to ensure protection and defence to migrant children, as well as their integration." Speaking to ethnic communities, he expressed his hope that they will “live peacefully in the towns that welcome you, respecting their laws and traditions and, at the same time, maintaining the values ​​of your cultures of origin.” He thanked the Migrantes Office and cited the example of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, patron saint of migrants.


    14/01/2017 - KAZAKHSTAN – RUSSIA – UNITED STATES

    Moscow to invite new Trump administration to Syria peace talks in Astana


    The Kremlin bypassed President Obama, not involved in the background work for the talks in the Kazakh capital. Outgoing administration tells Trump to honour the invitation. Russia is in favour of the "broadest possible representation of the parties." According to Ankara, the US presence is necessary.


    14/01/2017 - VIETNAM – VATICAN

    Following Pope Francis, the archdiocese of Saigon promotes the pastoral care of migrants

    by Thanh Thuy

    A few days ago, Catholics in Ho Chi Minh City began a week dedicated to migrants. Thousands of people took part in meetings, roundtables, seminars, and services. The archbishop of Saigon notes that migrants are "the first missionaries of the Church." A nun tells AsiaNews that the diocesan initiative offers an opportunity to raise issues and hear the views.


    14/01/2017 - CHINA

    Lawyer Li Chunfu shows signs of deep mental and physical scars after 18 months in prison

    by Wang Zhicheng

    He has represented 200 miners in Hebei and some members of the Falun Gong movement. His brother, a Christian lawyer, has represented members of house churches and political dissidents. The police have probably threatened him of jailing him again if he talks about his situation and if he meets other human rights lawyers, or their spouses, who are fighting for their release. China Change calls for an international investigation into torture and violence in China.


    14/01/2017 - VATICAN – PALESTINE – ISRAEL

    Pope Francis meets with Mahmoud Abbas as the Palestinian Embassy to the Holy See is inaugurated


    The 20-minute meeting was held in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. For Abbas, the pontiff "loves the Palestinian people and loves peace." He hopes that other countries will follow the Holy See and recognise Palestine as "an independent state." Concerns remain over the Holy Places. The Middle East Peace Conference starts tomorrow in Paris. Abbas criticises Trump for his statements on Jerusalem.


    14/01/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: Mother Teresa is an icon for all those who treat irresponsible globalization


    In his meeting with members of the Global Foundation, Pope Francis condemned the "culture of waste" and the "capitalist system”, as had John Paul II in his encyclical Centesimus Annus. Mother Teresa welcomed “every human life, whether unborn or abandoned and discarded". For a " fraternal and cooperative" globalization, we need to learn “compassion for those suffering”, and be guided by the Church's social doctrine.


    13/01/2017 - INDONESIA

    West Kalimantan Dayak tribal groups stop radical Islamic leader from deplaning

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    A group of people in traditional outfit and wielding traditional weapons "invaded" the Sintang airport runway to prevent Tengku Zulkarnain, MUI deputy secretary, from deplaning. The Muslim Islamic leader was set to meet the local Muslim community. He had previously described the Dayak as "infidels." In fact, the indigenous group has always promoted an atmosphere of harmony and dialogue with other faiths and ethnic groups.


    13/01/2017 - BANGLADESH

    Card D'Rozario tells Bangladesh priests and religious to visit more families

    by Sumon Corraya

    The cardinal met with 50 priests, 20 nuns and 30 Catholic lay people. "Family members want to hear words of hope". The family is the root of the Church. The country needs more people trained to meet their needs. Marriage is not just a social tradition, but is “the mirror of God’s love."


    13/01/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: Church must listen to "the sensitivity of the faith; even the doubts and criticism" of young people


    Francis writes a Letter to present the preparatory document of the 2018 Synod, on "Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment". Online questionnaire for young people announced.


    13/01/2017 - PAKISTAN

    Pakistan premier praises religious harmony, but should not forget Ahmadis and other minorities

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    For Nawaz Sharif, the country will be recognized as a "friend of minorities." Ahmadi Muslims however are considered heretical by Sunnis and Shias. And in December, an Ahmadi place of worship was attacked. The Government of Sindh rejects the law against forced conversions. Protests take place on the day Salman Taseer was remembered.


    13/01/2017 - IRAQ

    Chaldean Patriarchate proposes an Iraq’s Churches Council based in Baghdad


    Patriarch issues statement outlining the new body designed to bring together the country’s different Christian Churches. Based in Baghdad, it will include an executive council and a general council. Its task will be to, among other things, promote a "spirit of unity" and “coordinate” activities.


    13/01/2017 - CHINA – RUSSIA – SOUTH KOREA

    Wary of South Korea-based THAAD, Beijing and Moscow discuss "countermeasures"


    The two countries held joint anti-missile drill in May last year, plan another one this year.


    13/01/2017 - CHINA

    As Chinese exports drop in December, all eyes are on Trump


    In 2016, Chinese exports fell by 7.7 per cent, the worst decline since 2009. With Trump’s victory, the yuan weakened to its lowest level since 2009.


    13/01/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: following Jesus "is not easy, but it's nice! It is always a risk". And to do that you have to get moving


    "To follow Jesus, because we need something or follow Jesus because we are in danger and that means following Jesus in faith: this is the faith. Trust in Jesus, trust Jesus. "

     


    13/01/2017 - PHILIPPINES - VATICAN

    Manila, Congress of Mercy: Respect for rights, not murders in the fight against drugs


    From January 16 to 20 the Filippino capital will host the IV World Apostolic Congress of Mercy (Wacom). 4 thousand people to attend event including prelates, priests, religious and laity. Bishop of Balanga: Mercy is "defending life." Auxiliary of Manila: We cannot remain silent in the face of governmental count of victims.

     


    13/01/2017 - PAKISTAN

    Lahore High Court stops execution of schizophrenic prisoner


    Khizar Hayat was convicted in 2003 for killing a fellow policeman. The court, the ruling on another inmate, who was also suffering from schizophrenia, for which the Supreme Court stayed the execution. Since December 2014, 427 executions have been carried out.

     


    13/01/2017 - SYRIA - ISRAEL

    Damascus accuses Israel of bombing a military airport near the capital


    The airport is located in the Mezzeh, already the scene of past attacks. The missiles have caused a huge fire, but there are no reports of casualties or wounded. The Syrian government promises "repercussions", but does not specify whether there will be "direct reprisals." Yesterday a suicide bomber blew himself up in Damascus, causing eight deaths.






    Editor's choices

    CHINA – VATICAN
    Old guard and illegitimate bishops dominate the new Catholic Assembly

    Elizabeth Li

    Ma Yinglin and Fang Xingyao are re-elected presidents of the Bishops Council and the Patriotic Association, respectively. The principles of independence, autonomy, self-management and sinicisation are extolled. There is no "positive signal" as hoped by the Vatican.


    CHINA - VATICAN
    Assembly of Chinese Catholic Representatives extolls "independence and autonomy"

    Bernardo Cervellera

    59 bishops present at assembly, as well as the state administration for religious affairs director and members of the United Front. Future changes in the leadership of the Council of Bishops and the Patriotic Association. Extolling of autonomy (from the Holy See), a non-positive sign. The Global Times reiterates preconditions for dialogue. A state church. The criticism of Card. Joseph Zen and Hong Kong’s Justice and Peace. One Catholic: This assembly is a slap in the face to the Vatican.


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