24/05/2016 - CHINA – VATICAN
Pilgrims came from other dioceses like Ningbo and Taiyuan. Some groups organised web prayers. Under house arrest since 2012, Mgr Thaddeus Ma Daqin was not present. The Diocese of Shanghai organised a solemn pilgrimage.
by Victoria Ma
24/05/2016 - IRAQ
For Iraqi priest, IS, violence and divisions have created a sense of brotherhood with Muslims
Living side by side has been replaced by a desire to be “a community”, said Fr Samir Youssef, a priest in Iraqi Kurdistan. This is the result of the “merciful” welcoming of Christian, Muslim, and Yazidi refugees. Recently, 62 people from the diocese of Amadiya took part in a spiritual retreat to discuss pastoral outreach, mercy and catechesis. Iraq need more nuns and priests.
24/05/2016 - VATICAN-RUSSIA-UKRAINE
Lukashenko: Pope Francis and Kirill should meet in Minsk for peace in Ukraineby Nina Achmatova
Belarussian President reveals a proposal he put to the Pope in their recent meeting in the Vatican: "spiritual initiatives" also needed to promote solution. Normandy quartet hold phone call over implementation of Minsk agreements.
24/05/2016 - PAKISTAN
Lahore High Court rules on divorce law, ends marriage discrimination for Christiansby Shafique Khokhar
The 1869 law is restored. In 1981, under General Zia’s rule, an amendment was introduced that allowed Christian couples to divorce only in case of adultery. This chained women to violent and polygamous marriages, and forced Christians who wanted to end a marriage to convert to Islam.
24/05/2016 - PHILIPPINES
Duterte’s attack on Filipino bishops "violent and unprovoked"
The new president has attacked the church calling it "the most hypocritical institution" in the world, offending bishops and accusing them of being corrupt. He adds that he will "challenge the Catholic faith", imposing a limit of three children per family, free the former president Arroyo and bury the dictator Marcos in the "graveyard of heroes." Catholic source: "I am surprised by this violent and unprovoked attitude, particularly unsuitable in a president."
24/05/2016 - BANGLADESH
Bangladesh mourns Nurjahan Begum, a pioneer in women's emancipationby Sumon Corraya
The journalist died at the age of 91. Throughout her life, she fought to help women succeed in a conservative and male-dominated society. Her magazine ‘Begum’ inspired hundreds of women and girls to write. For one Catholic writer, she helped many people: “I am grateful to her”.
24/05/2016 - SINGAPORE – ITALY – VATICAN
Singapore president in Italy to meet Pope Francis
Tony Tan Keng Yam arrived in Rome on Sunday. He will visit the Holy See next Saturday, a first for a Singapore president. This “is a significant event” for the Catholic Church in the city-state. “We are fortunate to be held in high regard and receive great support from the government.”
24/05/2016 - VATICAN
Dublin, 2018 the World Meeting of Families on "The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World"
The event presented today at the Vatican, will be the first after the Synod and the publication of "Amoris laetitia". It is part of a process of discernment and encouragement, accompaniment and animation of families.
24/05/2016 - VATICAN
Pope: Holiness is "a journey to God’s presence", a step forward every day
On the journey we need courage, hope, grace, conversion. "Nothing great, mortification: no, it's simple. The path to holiness is simple. Do not go back, but always move forward, right? And with fortitude ".
24/05/2016 - IRAN – INDIA – AFGHANISTAN
Delhi, Tehran and Kabul sign historic Chabahar port agreement
India grants a US$ 500 million line of credit to build and maintain the facility. Indian goods will be able to reach Central Asia and Europe, halving time and costs. The port will be directly linked to Afghanistan. The goal is to boost cooperation and take advantage of the end of sanctions in Iran.
24/05/2016 - SYRIA
Damascus accuses Qatar, Turkey and Saudi Arabia over attacks on Latakia stronghold
For the Government yesterday's clashes represent a "serious escalation" and aim to derail peace efforts. Behind the terrorists violence is the hand of "evil regimes" in Riyadh, Ankara and Doha. Strong condemnation by the US and UN. Moscow hopes for the resumption of peace talks.
23/05/2016 - SYRIA
Aleppo Pastor: attack on the Franciscan College harms civilians, sows chaos and terror
For Fr Ibrahim, the terrorist attack was meant to cause panic in the population. The Jihadi message is "either with us or you die”. Rockets hit a retirement home, killing a 94-year-old woman, and wounding two more. Islamic State attacks in Tartus and Jableh, which killed more than 100, is a "message" to the Russians.
23/05/2016 - HONG KONG – CHINA
Card Zen: unity among all social strata is needed for Hong Kong ‘s freedom
For the first time in 27 years, the Student Federation plans to stay away from the memorial vigil for the martyrs of Tiananmen Square. Hong Kong’s bishop emeritus told AsiaNews that the kids have great courage but they want to do “their own thing”. Regrettably, “they lack the maturity to understand that today more than ever we need unity and cooperation”. Hong Kong "is a part of China, and this brooks no discussion”.
23/05/2016 - INDIA
Three evangelical Christians arrested in Madhya Pradesh for "forced conversions”by Nirmala Carvalho
Rev V A Anthony V, his wife Prabha and another woman are arrested after police and Hindu radicals stopped them and took them into custody. Extremists waited until the court rejected the accused’s request for bail. For Christian leaders, religious freedom is at risk under Hindu nationalist rule.
23/05/2016 - VATICAN - ISLAM
Pope receives grand imam of Al-Azhar, dialogue and not violence between Catholicism and Islam
The meeting focused “on the shared commitment of the authorities and the faithful of the great religions for peace in the world, the rejection of violence and terrorism, the situation of Christians in the context of conflicts and tensions in the Middle East and their protection" .
23/05/2016 - SAUDI ARABIA - YEMEN
Riyadh going through backdoor diplomacy to reach deal with Houthi rebels in Yemen conflict
Saudi Arabia’s deputy Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman is seeking behind-the-scene mediation with Yemen’s Shia movement to protect the kingdom from possible Houthi attacks. Riyadh wants protection after promoting divisions and violence in Yemen.
23/05/2016 - JAPAN – UNITED STATES
For Bishop of Niigata, Obama should listen to the voices of Hiroshima survivorsby Tarcisio Isao Kikuchi*
23/05/2016 - VATICAN
Pope: one cannot be Christian without "the wonder of joy"
"When in our parishes, in our communities, in our institutions we find people who say they are Christians and want to be Christian but are sad, there is something wrong. And we must help them to find Jesus, to take away that sadness, so they may rejoice in the Gospel, so they may have this joy which is proper to the Gospel".
23/05/2016 - VATICAN - ISLAM
Meeting between Pope Francis and the Imam of Al Azhar "for dialogue and peace in the world"by Bernardo Cervellera
Egyptian Catholic Church spokesman: "Happy for this meeting." Vicar of Al Azhar: "A message of tolerance." The highs and lows of the Al Azhar-Vatican relationship. The breakthrough with Al Sisi and his project to modernize Egypt and the teaching of Islam.
23/05/2016 - BANGLADESH
Cyclone Roanu leaves 24 victims and 500 thousand displaced. Caritas organizes relief effortsby Sumon Corraya
Strong winds and heavy rain hit the coastal districts. Regional Caritas offices activate 246 emergency plans already in place for such situations. Thousands of people have been saved, many others appeal to government for aid. Aid from administration slow in coming.
23/05/2016 - VIETNAM - UNITES STATES
Obama arrives in Vietnam and lifts US embargo on arms sales
At the start of official three-day visit , the White House announces the complete removal of the embargo on the sale of weapons, in place for decades. Hanoi and Washington seek to boost trade (TTP) and safety. The objective is to form a common front against China. 78% of Vietnamese "in favor" of the US.
23/05/2016 - INDONESIA
Sinabung volcano erupts: at least seven deadby Mathias Hariyadi
The mountain suddenly reactivated by emitting a thick red-hot smoke cloud that surprised local residents. Two injured are in critical condition. Access to the area is forbidden, but some farmers continue to live there. Number of people in the area at the time of the eruption unknown.
22/05/2016 - VATICAN
Pope: May Chinese Catholics become concrete sign of love and reconciliation
After the Angelus, Francis remembers the Day of Prayer for the Church in China, which falls on May 24: "Let us ask Mary to give to his children in China the ability to discern at all times the signs of the loving presence of God, that always welcomes and forgives. " Before the Marian prayer, a reflection on the Holy Trinity: "This feast invites us to engage in the daily events to be leaven of communion, of consolation and of mercy."
21/05/2016 - CHINA
125 people arrested for trafficking toxic vaccines
The system was operating in 22 provinces, with a total turnover amounted to half a billion yuan. Health officials also among those arrested. They bought adulterated vaccines, distributing them to unsuspecting citizens. The incident came after the arrest of a doctor who sold millions of doses that had expired or stored incorrectly.
21/05/2016 - TURKEY
Turkey: first step towards removal of Parliamentary immunity
Parliament approves a first amendment of the Constitution that allows pro-Kurdish opposition deputies to be legally pursued. This will pave the way for an avalanche of procedures against parliamentarians who are not aligned with the Erdogan regime. The Head of State wants to transform the country from parliamentary to presidential, further centralizing power.
21/05/2016 - BANGLADESH
Bangladesh, a seminar to "update" priests and imams and relaunch dialogueby Sumon Corraya
The Christian Religious Welfare Trust has organized a seminar for priests and pastors. Simultaneously, the Bangladesh Islamic Foundation will take charge of forming imams. The Dhaka authorities want to promote dialogue among religious, in order to curb Islamic extremism.
21/05/2016 - VIETNAM
To please Obama, Hanoi releases Catholic human rights icon Fr. Van Ly
The communist authorities have released the priest in his 70's, leader of the struggle for rights and religious freedom. The years in jail have taken their toll physically, but not on his spirit. He is "bright and determined." Activists say his release is a gift to Obama on the eve of his trip to Vietnam.
21/05/2016 - INDONESIA
Isis video shows Indonesian children training with Ak-47sby Matthias Hariyadi
According to experts the video is authentic and was shot in Syria. It shows 23 boys between 8 and 12 years old, also from Malaysia and the Philippines. Their trainer is Faiz Abu Indunesy, a sniper sought at home. Intelligence expert: "The government should be concerned that so many children have managed to enter Syria."
20/05/2016 - PAKISTAN
Lahore attack: Christians and Muslims thank Caritas for financial aidby Kamran Chaudhry
Caritas Pakistan hands out cheques worth US$ 380 to 19 beneficiaries, including four Muslim families. The Taliban’s Easter Sunday attack killed 78 and wounded 350, mostly Muslims. “I pray to Allah that others follow the example of the Christians,” Muslim doctor says.
20/05/2016 - HOLY LAND
New Custos of the Holy Land’s challenge is to maintain dialogue
Br Francesco Patton, of the Diocese of Trento, replaces Fr Pierbattista Pizzaballa, grateful for the latter’s 12 years of outstanding service. The new Custos welcomed the appointment "with trepidation” and “confidence." He plans to remain "a man of dialogue" and take care "of the friars and their life".
20/05/2016 - YEMEN
Yemen at risk of break-up following tomorrow’s “declaration of independence’by Pierre Balanian
The Supreme Council of the Revolutionary and Peaceful Southern Movement is set to announce South Yemen’s secession. Saudi and UAE interference hides hegemonic ambitions and fears. Some analysts, as well as some South Yemeni military, view the move as “premature and extreme”.
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