03/05/2016 - INDIA - ITALY
Dora Jelastine is the wife of Valentine, mistaken for a pirate by the two Italian marines. Yesterday, the Hague Tribunal decided that Salvatore Girone will return to Italy until the end of the arbitration proceedings. Rome expresses satisfaction, Delhi throws doubt on ruling accusing Italy of "misconstruing the judgment."
03/05/2016 - INDIA
Andhra Pradesh: Priest among 14 arrested for bishop's kidnappingby Nirmala Carvalho
Fr. Raja Reddy is from the same diocese as Mgr. Gallela Prasad. The bishop was kidnapped and locked up a facility run by the priest. The police speak of kidnapping for ransom, injury, damage and criminal conspiracy. The kidnappers had already attempted the kidnapping four times.
03/05/2016 - CHINA
After burying woman alive, authorities in China return land to her church
Ding Cuimei died on 14 April defending the Beitou church from demolition. The authorities acknowledge they have no legal claim to the land, which belongs to dead woman’s husband, Rev Li Jiangong. Local Christians demand justice.
03/05/2016 - CHINA
Web giant Baidu under scrutiny after man seeking cures for cancer diesby John Ai
A young man, suffering from synovial sarcoma, trusts “medical advice” found on most popular search engine and dies after spending hundreds of thousands of yuan. His death unleashes public ire against companies that pay to obtain "best result" in the online searches. Hospitals also under fire; now entire departments are outsourced to private health companies.
03/05/2016 - BANGLADESH
Workshop in Dhaka to train young Catholic writersby Sumon Corraya
The 24th edition of a creative writing workshop ended today, organised by the Bangladesh Catholic Students Movement along with the Bishops’ Conference. Some 35 students followed courses taught by professionals in literature and publishing. For organisers, these youths will play “an important role in the life of the country” and the Church.
03/05/2016 - PAKISTAN
Pakistan honours Christian politician in new postage stampby Shafique Khokhar
Dewan Bahadur S P Singha is on new 10-rupee stamp. He opted for Pakistan in a critical vote in the Punjab legislature at the time of partition. Christians and Muslims welcome the recognition, a sign that Pakistan is trying to promote interfaith harmony.
03/05/2016 - IRAQ
Islamic State attacks the Christian village of Teleskuf, in the Nineveh plain
Some Christians guarding the village are wounded, and rushed to hospital. Residents had fled in August 2014 when Daesh stormed the region. Lately, the village had been under the control of Peshmerga and Christian volunteers. The Chaldean Patriarchate fears Jihadi attacks will drive out more people.
03/05/2016 - MALAYSIA
Kampar: soup kitchen "is a small way to let others know about the presence of God”
With the Jubilee of Mercy, the Sacred Heart parish has begun to run a soup kitchen with volunteers helping to prepare up to 200 meals each Saturday, including university students and lecturers. The food is handed out near the local market where the needy line up. As volunteers meet the poor, “their eyes are opened to the needs of others,” said Fr Tan who is behind the initiative.
03/05/2016 - VATICAN
Pope: There are many Christians who are "mummified" or "vagabond" or "stubborn" or, finally, "halfway"
There are many "confused" Christians who do not follow the only "right path" that is Jesus. "How am I on this Christian journey? Standing still, on the wrong road, hanging around, only stopping for things that I like or following Jesus who said 'I am the way!'? Let us ask the Holy Spirit to teach us to walk the right path, forever! And when you get tired, take a little refreshment and carry on. Let us ask for this grace. "
03/05/2016 - MIDDLE EAST
Growing corruption in Arab countries, Lebanon and Yemen worst of all
According to the study conducted by Transparency International in nine Arab countries, 92% of Lebanese and 84% of Yemenis say corruption is on the rise. By contrast, only 28% of Egyptians and 26% of Algerians believe that the situation is getting worse. Tunisia only note of hope: 71% believe that even ordinary people "can make a difference" in the fight against corruption.
03/05/2016 - VIETNAM
Chemicals in the sea: thousands of people without foodby Paul N. Hung
Tens of thousands of dead fish litter central coast of the country. The government has not yet given an answer to causes, but independent experts blame local steel company. An underwater pipe uncovered, it had polluted the coast for years. Archbishop of Ho Chi Minh City: "Let us pray for our brothers and sisters affected by the tragedy."
02/05/2016 - PAKISTAN
Pakistan’s trade unions in the streets for workers’ rightsby Shafique Khokhar
Hundreds of people took to the streets yesterday in favour of ‘a living wage’. Trade unions denounce the exploitation of women and children as well as low wages. The Asian Human Rights Commission slam collusion between officials and businesses.
02/05/2016 - PAKISTAN
Punjab: Muslims fund the construction of a Catholic churchby Kamran Chaudhry
The new church is being built in Khalsabad, a village near Gojra. The mud chapel used by eight local Catholic families was destroyed in the last monsoon. Muslim farmers and businesses gave financial support. For a Catholic clergyman, "This is a dialogue of life," even though Pakistan is famous for its violence.
02/05/2016 - IRAN - SOUTH KOREA
Seoul and Tehran agree to a record US$ 45 billion in MoUs
President Park Geun-hye met her counterpart Hassan Rouhani to ink MoUs in infrastructure and energy. This is the main trade understanding in S Korea’s history. Leaders call for the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula, and eradicating terrorism in the Middle East.
02/05/2016 - PHILIPPINES
CBCP: may the upcoming elections be tools of peace and reconciliation
For Mgr Socrates Villegas, president of the Bishops’ Conference, “One cannot proclaim Christ as King and at the same time accept the governance of one whose thoughts, speech and demeanour are diametrically opposed”. Winners should not seek revenge, but show respect for "the rights of God’s people enshrined in the Constitution and their demand for justice, unity, progress and peace”.
02/05/2016 - INDIA
May Day in India: justice and mercy in the workplaceby Nirmala Carvalho
Mgr Oswald Lewis heads the Labour Commission of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India. He spoke about workers’ conditions, many of whom are unorganised, without health insurance or social security. He stressed the need to eliminate child labour.
02/05/2016 - IRAQ
Mar Sako appeals to politicians to stop divisions, focus on shared plans for Iraq’s rebirthby Louis Raphael Sako*
02/05/2016 - IRAN
Tehran’s new parliament increasingly reformist and open to womenby Darius Karimian
After the second round of the elections two days ago, the reformists can count on 133 seats; the conservatives 125 and for the first time they lose their majority. There are also 17 women, mostly reformist. A female member of parliament was blocked by the Guardian Council for having shaken hands with a man. The doubts of Khamenei.
02/05/2016 - VATICAN
Pope: the Christian bears witness to Jesus, but "often" this provokes attacks and persecution
"The Spirit gives witness to Jesus. And each time we feel something in our heart that brings us closer to Jesus, it is the Spirit who is at work". It 'good to ask "that worldliness, easy things, the things that come directly from the father of lies, the prince of this world, sin, do not turn away from witness".
02/05/2016 - CHINA
Hainan, women and children beaten for trying to stop village demolitionby John Ai
A video posted on a national social network forces the government into rare public apology for the incident. The officials, however, insist on "zero tolerance" against illegally built structures. The video of the beating.
02/05/2016 - SYRIA - USA - UN
International diplomacy "at work" to stop fighting in Aleppo
The US secretary of state in Geneva to broker a fragile ceasefire in the northern capital. Scheduled to meet with the UN special envoy and the foreign ministers of Jordan and Saudi Arabia. The next round of Geneva talks set for 10 May.
02/05/2016 - PHILIPPINES - INDONESIA
Jolo, 10 Indonesian sailors freed: they were held by Abu Sayyafby Mathias Hariyadi
On April 26 last the terrorist group beheaded a Canadian hostage. The crew members were found yesterday in front of the house of the governor of Sulu. In good condition, they were transported to Jakarta. Mystery over the payment of a ransom: according to Philippine media it amounted to 900 thousand euro, but Indonesia denies any knowledge.
01/05/2016 - VATICAN
Pope: May the Holy Spirit help us to understand and to remember the words of Jesus
After the Marian prayer of the Regina Caeli Francis appeals for peace in Syria: "There is a spiral of violence in the country that continues to aggravate the already desperate humanitarian situation of the country, particularly in the city of Aleppo, and claim innocent victims, even among children, the sick and those who with great sacrifice pledged to provide assistance to others ". Economic development "must take into account human dignity and fully respect labor laws". Pedophilia "is a tragedy. We must not tolerate it, the guilty must be severely punished."
30/04/2016 - CAMBODIA
Drought kills hundreds of animals, survival of villages at risk
In many areas of the country lack of water and high temperatures means survival is at risk. 50 degrees reached in areas. Tons of fish and hundreds of species of animals - monkeys, reptiles, birds – have died in the last days. People wait for rainy season and the arrival of the monsoon.
30/04/2016 - RUSSIA
The "young" Orthodox Church of Moscow and Easter. Amid interiority and appearanceby Sergei Chapnin*
During the Soviet period it was difficult, dangerous and exhausting to celebrate the Resurrection of Christ. Yet the churches were full and the faithful involved in the liturgy of the victory over death. Today, 25 years after the newfound freedom of worship, the patriarchal liturgy is broadcast on television and Moscow does all it can to appear to be an orthodox city. But it is not and it will not be until it understands the intimate connection of the Easter period with the personal faith experience.
30/04/2016 - VATICAN
Pope: No one be distanced from God because of man-made obstacles!
At an extraordinary Jubilee audience, Francis returns to the theme of reconciliation, "God has never failed to offer his forgiveness to men: his mercy is felt from generation to generation." An appeal to confessors: "You are in the place of God the Father." A special Jubilee greeting for the police and the Armed Forces: "Faced with every day challenges, irradiate Christian hope, which is the certainty of the victory of love over hatred and peace over war."
30/04/2016 - SYRIA
Pastor of Aleppo: "My city is a ghost town. Our Lady, bring us peace!"
Father Ibrahim Alsabag speaks to AsiaNews of closed schools and shops, people barricaded in their homes even if they are not safe. Jihadist groups behind wave of violence, which has dragged in other rebel groups. Syria and Aleppo dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, that She may bring peace. The war has strengthened unity between Christians and created greater solidarity with Muslims.
30/04/2016 - SRI LANKA - EUROPE
Europe removes ban on fish imports from Sri Lankaby Melani Manel Perera
The ban was imposed in January 2015 against Rajapaksa government’s inability to curb illegal fishing. Since 2012, Sri Lankan fishermen under check due to lack of deterrent measures and violation of international law. Colombo exported 68% of fish to EU. The losses amount to 100 million dollars a year. Activist: "It is the fault of the unlawful conduct OF some fishermen, who then had a negative impact on the entire industry."
30/04/2016 - LEBANON - EU
Patriarch Rai’s wake up call to EU: We need solutions to Middle East conflicts
Speaking to the European parliament, the head of the Maronite Church warns that the conflicts in the region not just directly impacting Christians, but also the Mediterranean and the EU itself. Islamic extremism is wiping out centuries of dialogue and is a threat to world peace. Enshrine Lebanon’s neutrality and encourage Muslim nations to separate religion from the state.
29/04/2016 - PAKISTAN
Punjab: home-based workers call for the recognition of their rightsby Kamran Chaudhry
More than a hundred women marched yesterday in front of the Lahore Press Club, holding banners, calling for their wages to be raised to the national minimum. Some 12 million workers are employed in this area, and are denied the same rights that other workers enjoy. Since 2013, a draft bill has been before the Punjab cabinet waiting for approval. See the video of the protest.
29/04/2016 - INDIA
Card Gracias, saddened by the attack on Bishop Gallela Prasad, champion of the poorby card. Oswald Gracias
The archbishop of Mumbai and president of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conference condemns the attack against the bishop of Cuddapah. He calls on the authorities to act quickly. He also prays that God may “touch and turn the hearts of those who committed this sacrilegious assault.” The attacked bishop is closely involved in empowering the poor and women.
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