18/03/2018 - VATICAN
"In the image of Jesus crucified the mystery of the death of the Son of God is revealed as the supreme act of love, the source of life and salvation for humanity of all times". Being, like Jesus, the grain of wheat "means thinking less about oneself, about personal interests, and knowing how to" see "and meet the needs of our neighbors, especially the least among us".
17/03/2018 - CHINA
Xi Jinping’s second term unanimously confirmed
His ally Wang Qishan elected vice president with only one vote against. He was in charge of the fight against corruption and has experience in relations with the US. Xi Jinping consolidates his power.
17/03/2018 - BANGLADESH
Abp. Costa: Lent, 40 days to combat selfishnessby Sumon Corraya
The Archbishop of Chittagong issues his message in preparation for Easter. Lent is "the right time to renew our faith" and to "perform works of mercy". "We are one body in Christ. Therefore we cannot be indifferent to others who believe in Christ ".
17/03/2018 - RUSSIA
A vote to sanction twenty years of Putinby Vladimir Rozanskij
Given the certainty of its outcome, the only doubt about the 18 March elections concerns the turnout. Over two decades, the president has built a Russia where wealth is abundant, but is distributed among a few bureaucrats, strong men and oligarchs aligned to them, while most of the population has more or less the same standard of living as during the Soviet Union.
17/03/2018 - VATICAN - ITALY
Pope in Pietrelcina: Follow in the footsteps of Padre Pio
Today Francis visits the birthplace of the saint and San Giovanni Rotondo on the centenary of the appearance of the permanent stigmata of Saint Pio and on the 50th anniversary of his death. In his native country "he was strongly tormented in his heart and he feared to fall into sin, feeling assaulted by the devil". "The devil - he added - tempts us".
17/03/2018 - IRAQ
One Iraqi Dominican’s mission to save 'treasures' of culture from jihadist madness
Fr. Najeeb Michaeel: "A man without culture, is a dead man". With the arrival of the Islamic State, he transferred the religious and cultural heritage from Mosul and Qaraqosh to Iraqi Kurdistan. Today he continues his work teaching Christians and Muslims. Thousands of volumes and century old documents saved thanks to his work.
17/03/2018 - VATICAN - ITALY
Pope: Padre Pio, 'apostle of the confessional' who taught to us 'how to become small
Francis celebrated Mass in San Giovanni Rotondo. Prayer, smallness and wisdom are the fundamental elements of Padre Pio's teaching. The visit to the little sick in the House of relief of suffering.
16/03/2018 - YEMEN – SAUDI ARABIA
Saudis and Houthis in secret talks in Oman to end Yemen conflict
The two sides meet in Oman in their first attempt to end a war that has caused one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world. The goal is to reach a comprehensive agreement. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia deposits US$ 2 billion in the Central bank of Yemen.
16/03/2018 - SRI LANKA
Doubts over the new TV reconciliation channel because only Tamil can understand itby Melani Manel Perera
Sri Lanka’s national television network opens a new channel dedicated to Tamil culture, identity and religion. For some it is "useless" because it cannot be understood in the south; for others it is "a positive effort” because today's Tamil youth have abandoned their culture in favour of “Western styles".
16/03/2018 - BANGLADESH
The manual for the 'perfect terrorist' available onlineby Sumon Corraya
Police try to block websites that praise holy war. The number of young people radicalised online is growing. The extremist who tried to stab Prof Iqbal was inspired on the Dawahilallah forum.
16/03/2018 - HONG KONG – CHINA
Jeering China’s national anthem in Hong Kong to be punished with three years in prison
Booing the anthem is a widespread form of protest by young people during football matches. The proposal parallels a law already in place in mainland China but not applicable to the city. Many fear for Hong Kong’s autonomy. The opposition does not have the numbers to block the bill.
16/03/2018 - KOREA-US
Preparations for Korea-US summit. Moon's approval ratings hit 74%
Seoul reassures Tokyo over meetings as necessary for peace on the peninsula, and urges for a preliminary summit with Kim Jong Un. North Korean Foreign Minister flies to Sweden. "Sports diplomacy" continues. But some experts warn: a nuclear reactor active, the purpose is not clear.
16/03/2018 - VIETNAM
The remains of the late archbishop have come home to the archdiocese in Saigonby Paul Nguyen Hung
Fr Ignatius Hồ Văn Xuân and Fr Joseph Đào Nguyên remember Mgr Paul Bùi Văn Đọc and his last days. For Catholics in Saigon, "Now Archbishop Paul belongs to the love of Jesus and the Church in heaven."
16/03/2018 - CHINA-VATICAN
The Year of Truth? (Truth with Chinese characteristics?)by Card. Joseph Zen
The considerations of the bishop emeritus of Hong Kong on claims made by recent articles regarding the agreement between Beijing and the Holy See.
16/03/2018 - SYRIA - KAZAKHSTAN
Astana, diplomacy at work for a ceasefire. Evacuation of Ghouta east continues
Foreign ministers from Russia, Iran and Turkey meet in the capital of Kazakhstan. A preparatory meeting ahead of the presidents’ summit on April 4 in Istanbul. Yesterday 20 thousand people left the rebel enclave on the outskirts of Damascus, besieged by the government army. At least 25 trucks loaded with aid for Douma.
16/03/2018 - PHILIPPINES
The Hague investigates Duterte’s drug war, Manila abandons the Rome Statute
The Filipino government is accused of crimes against humanity. The police say they have killed about 4 thousand suspects for resisting arrest, but human rights groups claim that the number is three times higher. Duterte has often called on authorities to kill drug suspects by promising to protect agents from legal consequences.
16/03/2018 - ISRAEL
Supreme Court freezes refugee expulsions
16/03/2018 - PAKISTAN
Lahore marks third anniversary of attacks on Christian churchesby Shafique Khokhar
On March 15, 2015, two Taliban kamikazes blew themselves up at the entrance to two churches in Youhanabad. The blood of martyrs against terrorism. After the suicide attack, the number of faithful has increased.
15/03/2018 - PALESTINE – MIDDLE EAST – EUROPEAN UNION
Another US$ 100 million pledged at Palestinian refugee conference in Rome
With a shortfall of US$ 446 million, the UN agency faces the "worst financial crisis in its history" and could cut many critical services. The situation is due to the US decision to reduce its contribution. This “could push the suffering in disastrous and unpredictable directions.”
15/03/2018 - INDIA
BJP anti-minority policies in north-eastern Indiaby Ram Puniyani*
Last week the nationalist party won big in state elections. The anti-Bangladeshi feelings and the illusory promise of development were decisive in Tripura. Through its flexibility, the prime minister’s party has been able to use manipulation to gain power.
15/03/2018 - SYRIA
Syria enters its eight year of war with half a million dead and no 'light at the end of the tunnel'
Today Eastern Ghouta and Afrin are the main battlefields. The evacuation of sick people has begun from the rebel enclave near Damascus. In the north the Turks are close to victory, a claim the Kurds deny. The civilian population is increasingly poor and desperate: 80 per cent live below the poverty line.
15/03/2018 - VATICAN
Pope: Pray to God in freedom, like children and pray with insistence
"If I want the Lord to listen to my requests, I must return, and return again, to knock at the door of God’s heart, since my own heart is committed to [this petition]! But if my heart is not concerned for this need, or the person for whom I am praying, neither will it be capable of courage and patience".
15/03/2018 - PHILIPPINES
Catholics against bill to legalise divorceby Santosh Digal
For the Bishops’ Conference, the apparent remedy “might end up destroying even those marriages that could have been saved”. Card Luis Antonio Tagle, archbishop of Manila, calls on married couples to make decisions for the good of their children. The Couples for Christ movement is against the bill because of the “sacredness and indissolubility of marriage”.
15/03/2018 - JAPAN
Japan opens investigation into forced sterilisations
Thousands of people were forced to undergo sterilisation because of intellectual disabilities or mental illness under a law in force between 1948 and 1996. The first lawsuit for compensation will be heard on 28 March.
15/03/2018 - BANGLADESH-MYANMAR
Naypyitaw, less than 400 of 8 thousand Rohingya 'eligible for repatriation'
There are no fingerprints and identification photographs of the other applicants. Three terrorists identified among them. Refugees must prove that they have lived in Rakhine since before October 9, 2016.
15/03/2018 - THAILAND
An Easter letter from Thailand: The greater the pain, the greater the hopeby Adriano Pelosin
This is the story of an ordinary day of pain. "The greater the sin, the greater the forgiveness". God “frees us from slavery paying the price of our redemption with the Blood of his One and Only son, Jesus Christ.”
15/03/2018 - RUSSIA
Abandoned owl sparks Orthodox crusade and electoral polemicsby Vladimir Rozanskij
A Patriarchate priest disputes claims of the bird’s divine origin. The controversy can be contextualised in moves by some quarters to have the Internet shut down because of its interference, also in the political arena.
15/03/2018 - PAKISTAN
Lahore, Taliban kamikaze attacks a religious gathering: 9 dead
An teenager blew himself up at the police station in Nisar. Police were deployed for the safety of a meeting at the Tableeghi Jamaat center. Maximum alert for Pakistan Super League cricket semi-final.
15/03/2018 - TURKEY - UNITED STATES
US pastor risks life imprisonment in Turkey, over suspected coup support
Andrew Brunson, 50, has been held in prison for over 500 days without formal charges. The public prosecutor claims he is linked to the Gülen movement, alleged "mastermind" of the coup. He risks 35 years in prison. Activists and NGOs speak of "total lack of proof".
14/03/2018 - IRAQ
Islamic State carries out new violent attacks, threatening Iraq’s future
Declared defeated in December, the Islamic State continues to strike, carrying out attacks in Diyala, Salahuddin and Kirkuk provinces with scores of victims in a few weeks. The most critical area is the city of Kirkuk, a cauldron of ethnic and confessional tensions. The Chaldean Church has expressed concerns.
14/03/2018 - IRAN – UNITED STATES
Pentagon vs Trump: Iran nuclear deal is in US interest
General Joseph Votel shares the opinion of the US Defence Secretary and Chief of Staff. The deal with Tehran settles one of the main global threats. However, Trump’s sacking of the Secretary of State shows that the deal is in trouble.
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