25 September 2017
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  • 25/09/2017 - IRAQ

    Since the early hours of the day people have flooded polling stations. Mosques and churches have joined in the festive atmosphere with muezzins' calls and bells pealing. Kurdistan is a country of tolerance and coexistence. But Turkmen fear and Turkey voices threats. The Israeli lobby backs the referendum opposed by Iraq’s Arabs and Shias.


    by Pierre Balanian

    25/09/2017 - RUSSIA

    Hilarion: Russia and European Christians for the Salvation of the Continent

    by Vladimir Rozanskij

    The "Foreign Minister" of the Moscow Patriarchate points to the religious crisis of the old continent. With migrations and secularism, Europe is heading towards the total suicide of its identity. The responsibilities of intellectuals. "The present weakening of Christianity in the Western world recalls the situation of the Russian Empire before 1917." In Russia, only 13% declare themselves atheist and non-believers. Unite church efforts.


    25/09/2017 - IRAQ

    Amid controversies and threats, Kurds vote in referendum on independence


    Polls opened at 8 am local time in the three provinces of the autonomous region. First results expected tomorrow morning. Baghdad has already announced "measures" to defend the unity of the country, including a Kurdish oil blockade. Iran stops flights to and from Kurdistan. Ankara extends the mandate of Turkish troops to Iraq (and Syria).


    25/09/2017 - SRI LANKA

    Young people seek the meaning of life, the Church has to guide them, says activist sister

    by Rasika Pieris*

    Sister Rasika Pieris expresses her thoughts about the Preparatory Paper of the Synod of Bishops on Youth, set for October 2018. The Church is “Euro-centric in its thinking,” she writes. The challenges faced by young people in Asia are different from those in Europe.


    25/09/2017 - INDONESIA

    Young women to sell their virginity online

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    Islamic wedding between rich men and women in difficulty is promoted. The "nikah siri and virginity on sale" are ways to "help the government reduce poverty," promoter says. Membership requires women to be Muslim and at least 14. Police detained creator. For women rights advocate, the “ultimate goal is to sell sexual service”. Both are “practices of violence and a grave abuse of women’s human rights,” said Justina Rostiawati, head of a Catholic women's group


    25/09/2017 - MYANMAR

    Rakhine: Military accuse Rohingya for mass grave with 28 dead Hindus


    The bodies of 20 women and eight men, including six boys under 10, were found. For the military, they were “cruelly and violently killed by ARSA extremist Bengali terrorists. About 30,000 displaced Hindus and Buddhists are in refugee camps. They say the United Nations and foreign organisations help only Rohingya Muslims. The exodus towards Bangladesh has slowed down, but thousands are still stuck in Myanmar.


    25/09/2017 - CHINA

    What is Xi Jinping thought?

    by Willy Wo-Lap Lam

    At the next Congress, Xi Jinping's thinking will be included in the party's constitution, just like Mao Zedong's was. But this thought seems only to be made of rhetoric, nationalism, and an emphasis on China's greatness. Xi's much-vaunted contribution to Chinese-style communism tends to stop reforms to maintain power in the hands of the party and his own. Mao looked to the future; Xi is trying to hold onto the status quo. Courtesy of the Jamestown Foundation.


    25/09/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: Living with hopeful expectation for the "visit" that God makes to every Christian


    The Lord brings "consolation" that "moves you and increases in you the gifts of charity, of faith, of hope." "This is the real consolation. It's not fun - fun is not bad when it's good, we're human, we have to have it - but consolation takes you and the very presence of God feels and recognizes: this is the Lord. "


    25/09/2017 - BANGLADESH

    The Church of Rohanpur celebrates 100 years of 'seeds of the Gospel' planted by PIME(Photo)

    by Sumon Corraya

    The parish was founded by Msgr. Giovanni Battista Anselmo in 1922. Only the tribal Santorum and Hindus lived in the area, who had never heard the Word of God. The church created three more parishes; runs a primary school and a hostel for boys and girls.


    25/09/2017 - INDIA

    Ranchi: 5,000 protest against the anti-conversion law and the lands

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    Catholics, Hindus, Sikhs, and Muslims demonstrated against the Jharkhand Freedom Religious Bill 2017 and the Land Acquisition Act 2013 amendments, the rule that protected tribal lands. Now these lands will be sold out to the best bidder. The anti-conversion law "used to divert attention" from economic interests.


    25/09/2017 - CHINA-VATICAN

    Msgr. Mathew Hu Xiande, bishop of Ningbo, has died

    by Paul Wang

    Because of persecution, he had to delay his priestly ordination for nearly 30 years. Subjected to seven years of forced labor. He contributed to the rebirth of the diocese. He was an official bishop, recognized by the Holy See and the Chinese government.


    24/09/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: there are no unemployed in the Kingdom of God


    During the Angelus, Pope Francis explained the parable of the day workers called up at different times but paid the same remuneration. "Jesus wants to open our hearts to the logic of the love of the Father, which is free and generous.” US missionary Stanley Francis Rother, killed in 1981 by death squads in Guatemala, is beatified.


    23/09/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope tells Cistercians that from their silent cloisters comes the unceasing prayer for the Church and the world


    In his audience with the participants in the General Chapter of Order, Pope Francis urges them to continue their "assiduous prayer" as “lovers of prayer” dedicated to "sobriety" to overcome today's cultural context that exalts "ephemeral goods and illusory artificial paradises.” Monasteries are places of charity and hospitality, a "school of prayer, and a school of charity for all". Cistercian communities are present in Asia and the rest of the world.


    23/09/2017 - SAUDI ARABIA

    Riyadh to modernise, opening stadium to women and allowing voice/video calling


    Saudi women will be able to attend 87th National Day event in stadium seated with their families but separately from single men. Voice and video calling is now available. Rights groups slam the kingdom for arresting dissidents.


    23/09/2017 - INDIA

    Sister Palmira Biancolin at 100, 64 in India

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    The missionary is a member of the Religious of Mary Immaculate. She left Italy in 1953 for India. Her congregation helps and protects girls in growth and education, until they find work.


    23/09/2017 - PHILIPPINES

    Philippines ranked third in terms of world ocean pollution


    Multinationals contribute to the problem by selling cheap disposable plastic products. Greenpeace points the finger at Nestlé, Unilever and Procter & Gamble as some of the worst offenders.


    23/09/2017 - CHINA – NORTH KOREA

    Beijing limits oil exports to North Korea



    23/09/2017 - ISRAEL – PALESTINE

    New Vicar of Jerusalem to focus on young people and education, future of peace and hope


    Mgr Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo stressed the importance of education to ensure the future of new generations. The Church is a sign of "unity" in a context "marked by divisions" and a bridge in interfaith dialogue. The situation has gone from euphoria for peace to resignation over permanent conflict. He appeals to Western Christians to come as pilgrims to the Holy Land.


    22/09/2017 - VATICAN

    ‘Educating to fraternal humanism’ 60 million students in Catholic schools and universities


    This is the goal of a document released 50 years after the encyclical ‘Populorum progressio’, which was presented today in the Vatican. Humanising education and promoting a culture of meeting and dialogue are urgent and necessary.


    22/09/2017 - NEPAL

    As Dashain starts, mass slaughter of animals sparks protest by Buddhists and animal rights activists

    by Christopher Sharma

    The 15-day event is the most important religious celebration in Nepal. Animal rights activists have gone to Hindu temples to raise awareness among believers. The stench of rotting dead animals fills the areas near the places of worship. Police have been deployed to prevent confrontation.


    22/09/2017 - TURKMENISTAN

    For priest in Ashgabat, the Asian Games are an opportunity for prayer and meeting between peoples


    Athletes have been provided with prayer space, for Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, and other religions. Turkmenistan "chose the path of positive neutrality.”


    22/09/2017 - PAKISTAN

    Eleven schools celebrate World Peace Day in Faisalabad

    by Shafique Khokhar

    The event was sponsored by the Holy Rosary Parish. Staging “such shows of peace” will make children “ambassadors of peace,” said Fr Shahzad. A “candle of peace” was lighted. Three groups call on the government to improve the situation of minorities who are often victims of kidnapping, conversions, and forced marriage.


    22/09/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: in Europe "signs of rejection" of migrants also among Catholics


    Francis warning to the European national directors of pastoral care for migrants. "From a missiological point of view, contemporary migratory flows constitute a new missionary frontier, a privileged opportunity to announce Jesus."


    22/09/2017 - RUSSIA

    Aleksandr Kalinin, the war against 'Matilda' and Putin

    by Vladimir Rozanskij

    He is the leader of the organization "Christian State - Holy Russia". He has claimed to have died, gone to hell, and been saved by Jesus Christ in person. He launched a war against the movie "Matilda": burn down the cinemas, "take lives for the faith," impale the director. Behind the apocalyptic patriotism of this "Orthodox Fraternity," there may be “divisive”  secret services that want to bring Putin down.


    22/09/2017 - INDONESIA

    Bali: Mount Agung’s “imminent eruption” leads to the evacuation of residents and tourists

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    Level 3 warning is sounded as volcanic activity grows. On Tuesday alone, 427 tremors were recorded. The last eruption in 1963 killed 1,100 people.  The islands most important Hindu temple, Pura Besakih, is located on the volcano’s slopes.


    22/09/2017 - CHINA

    S&P’s downgrade of China’s sovereign debt angers Beijing


    China’s sovereign credit goes from AA- to A after “a prolonged period of strong credit growth”. The downgrade could make it costlier for Chinese companies and government to borrow money on international markets. China’s Finance Ministry calls it the “wrong decision”.


    22/09/2017 - TURKEY

    Istanbul, 14 lawyers arrested: They defended two imprisoned professors on hunger strike


    Lawyers belong to the People's Rights Department (HHB) and have been charged with terrorism. They would be linked to the Revolutionary Front of Popular Liberation (Dhkp-C), an outlawed Marxist group. The arrest took place on the eve of the trial of the two professors,  "suspicious" timing.


    22/09/2017 - KOREA-US

    Kim Jong-un responds to "deranged" Trump


    For the first time, a Korean leader addresses an international audience. Trump "will pay dearly for his speech" to the UN, " unprecedented rude nonsense." The launch of a hydrogen bomb in the Pacific Ocean is paramount. China and Russia are pushing for calm and not to get caught up in "military hysteria". Moon Jae-in: We do not want the collapse of North Korea. 


    21/09/2017 - BANGLADESH – VATICAN

    Card D'Rozario says that the Church can be a field hospital for the Rohingya

    by card. Patrick D’Rozario*

    At least 420,000 Muslim refugees fled Myanmar for Bangladesh. They are “without many dreams or hope for the future, except only to save their lives, so human an urge, from sudden inhuman atrocities.” “The love of Bangladesh should put pressure on Myanmar to open the borders, their conscience and their hearts to receive their brothers and sisters”.


    21/09/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope says he will never pardon people guilty of sexual abuses


    Francis met today with members of Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors. He acknowledged that the Church was late in dealing with these crimes, but insisted that her policy now was “zero tolerance”. More importantly, “we can listen with interest to the voices of the victims and the survivors, as we have much to learn from them and their personal stories of courage and perseverance.”


    21/09/2017 - IRAQ

    Kurdistan referendum sparks fear in Christians, Yazides and Turkmen

    by Pierre Balanian

    Five meters high and two wide the statue was in the center of the city. Since 2003, 90% of Christians have left the city, 300 families remain. The Chaldean Archbishop offers a monument dedicated to all religions.The campaign for the independence of Kurdistan is mounting to push the population to vote "yes" in the referendum. But several Christians are concerned about the tensions with Baghdad and the rise of Kurdish Islamic parties. Yazid and Turkmen threatened. The US proposal to postone the referendum and open three years of negotiations in view of Kurdistan's independence. At least 50,000 troops packed at the border.






    Editor's choices

    ISRAEL – PALESTINE
    New Vicar of Jerusalem to focus on young people and education, future of peace and hope



    Mgr Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo stressed the importance of education to ensure the future of new generations. The Church is a sign of "unity" in a context "marked by divisions" and a bridge in interfaith dialogue. The situation has gone from euphoria for peace to resignation over permanent conflict. He appeals to Western Christians to come as pilgrims to the Holy Land.


    NEPAL
    As Dashain starts, mass slaughter of animals sparks protest by Buddhists and animal rights activists

    Christopher Sharma

    The 15-day event is the most important religious celebration in Nepal. Animal rights activists have gone to Hindu temples to raise awareness among believers. The stench of rotting dead animals fills the areas near the places of worship. Police have been deployed to prevent confrontation.


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