28 February 2017
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  • 27/02/2017 - EGYPT – ISLAM

    Copts who fled El Arīsh tell harrowing stories of point-blank shootings, robberies and fires. Some of those who fought in the Sinai War in 1973 are now branded "Crusaders" by Daesh. Death threats have appeared on homes, or just the word “Go”. Some refugees sleep in several cars to ensure that some at least survive in case of an attack. Muslims in Ismailia show friendship.

    by Loula Lahham

    27/02/2017 - EGYPT – ISLAM

    Christians flee Islamic State violence in North Sinai

    by Loula Lahham

    In only ten days, seven people have been shot, beheaded or burnt to death. Refugees have been welcomed in Ismailia, Suez, and Cairo. Christians are Daesh’s new target.

    27/02/2017 - MALAYSIA - NORTH KOREA

    Kim Jong-nam, a 'painful death within 20 minutes'

    Malaysian health minister confirms that the nerve agent acted quickly by blocking the heart and lungs. The two women arrested thought they smeared "baby oil" on Kim's face and were taking part in a television prank. One was paid with 80 dollars.


    27/02/2017 - KAZAKHSTAN

    Imprisonment and violence against activists and dissident journalists

    A Kazakh blogger is held for trying to interview a protester. Authorities crackdown on press freedom and opposition media.

    27/02/2017 - IRAN – UNITED STATES

    Asghar Farhadi boycotts Oscar ceremony in protest against Trump’s travel ban

    The Iranian director won for best foreign film but refused to attend. In a message read by Anousheh Ansari, he slammed the travel ban as “inhumane”, calling it a “deceitful justification for aggression and war" that “creates fear”.  Iranian Foreign Minister says he is proud of the victory.

    27/02/2017 - CHINA

    Beijing’s new scorched earth policy towards Uighurs

    by Willy Lam

    China’s crackdown intensifies through more police surveillance. Chen wants fewer mosques and tighter controls over the young. For him, the ethnic conflict can be settled through greater development in agriculture and textile manufacturing. The authorities intensify their efforts against terrorism, but attacks continue unabated. (Courtesy of the Jamestown Foundation)

    27/02/2017 - SRI LANKA

    Sri Lanka’s former president complains of war widows abused by the military

    by Melani Manel Perera

    Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga spoke of widespread exploitation, touching more than 80,000 women with children in northern and eastern Sri Lanka. The lack of livelihood makes them even more vulnerable. Although the military has denied any wrongdoing, in the past it has cracked down on troop misconduct.

    27/02/2017 - CHINA – NORTH KOREA

    China’s responsibilities in Kim Jong-nam’s murder

    by Wei Jingsheng

    Why was Kim Jong-nam killed now? Chinese bodyguards were support to protect him. The Communist regime made the operation possible. Diplomatic strategies are changing in East Asia. The threat of North Korean nuclear weapons is pushing the United States and China to reconsider their approach to North Korea. China ‘s great dissident and "father of democracy" speaks from his place of exile in the United States.

    27/02/2017 - MYANMAR

    For Aung San Suu Kyi, Muslim lawyer's death is a "great loss" for Myanmar

    After almost a month of silence, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Foreign Minister speaks about the murder of Ko Ni. For the NLD leader, he is a "martyr" who spent his life to better the country. Mr Ni however also criticised the ruling party over the rising "Islamophobia".

    27/02/2017 - THAILAND

    Thailand: Fr. Pelosin, a PIME missionary among children and abandoned elderly of the slums

    Stories of "ordinary" mission: teaching reading and writing to children in slums, caring for the abandoned elderly, organizing football matches between slums, ethics courses in the schools and activities for children of the parish. And on March 6, the newly re-elected superior of the Thai Missionary Society will go to Taiwan to agree with the bishop of Hunshu to open a new mission in the diocese.


    27/02/2017 - PALESTINE

    A Palestinian Christian, 23, is the new Arab Idol 2017

    by Melki Toprak*

    It is the most important musical competition, popular across the Middle East and North Africa. Hundreds of Palestinians take to the streets to celebrate the victory. During the program, he repeatedly demonstrated his ethnic and religious affiliation. A Deacon of the Syriac Church, is also a scout of the Arameans of Bethlehem.


    27/02/2017 - INDIA

    Gujarat, Isis lone wolves arrested: they planned an attack on a Hindu temple

    They are the brothers Wasim and Naeem Ramodiya, both computer scientists. Within "one or two days" they would have hit the famous temple of Chamunda, in Surendranagar district. A military arsenal and Islamic propaganda material found in their apartment.


    26/02/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: God is not distant and anonymous, he is our refuge

    During the Angelus, Pope Francis called on everyone to rediscover that God is Father "in this age of orphanhood". The "obsessive search for earthly goods and riches" is an "illusion and a cause of unhappiness".  Entrusting oneself to the love of the Father enables us to overcome “the torments and adversities of life, even persecution, as the testimonies of so many of our brothers and sisters show." The pontiff greeted groups involved in ‘Rare Disease Day’.

    25/02/2017 - CHINA

    Shaolin abbot Shi Yongxin cleared of all charges

    by Wang Zhicheng

    Monks, former monks and monastery employees had accused him of extortion, having mistresses with children, and leading a lifestyle devoid of religion and spirituality. Henan authorities and the State Administration for Religious Affairs cleared him of all charges. Thanks to him, Shaolin has become a successful brand.

    25/02/2017 - NEPAL

    Hindu parents forbid their children from attending Shia celebrations because of drug use

    by Christopher Sharma

    During the festival, Hindu holy men sell drugs and invite young people to smoke hashish and cannabis. Hundreds of young people have become addicts. The Hindu festival accused of driving many to crime. Attendance at the Pashupatinath Temple drops from 500,000 to 200,000.

    25/02/2017 - INDONESIA – SAUDI ARABIA

    Oil. Pilgrimage, and Saudi king’s visit to Indonesia

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    On 1 March, King Salman will arrive in Jakarta on an official visit. Breaking with Protocol, President Widodo will welcome him in person at the airport. The Saudi monarch will travel with an entourage of about 1,500 people, including government ministers and princes. The visit includes a short vacation in Bali.

    25/02/2017 - JAPAN

    Tokyo, past forced sterilisations and today’s demographic winter

    Approximately 25,000 sterilisations and 60,000 forced abortions were performed under the Eugenic Protection Act, which was abolished in 1996. Some call for an official apology and compensation for the victims. Japan’s grave demographic crisis requires new policies to promote life.

    25/02/2017 - INDIA

    For Kolkata nun, serving the poor means welcoming everyone, regardless of their faith

    by Santosh Digal

    Sister Mary Mukta Kindo has worked at the Mother Veronica Social Centre for Women of Barrackpure since 2001. The centre makes garments like uniforms and tunics as well as church linen. Some 200 women have been trained allowing them to be independent and help their families.

    24/02/2017 - SRI LANKA

    In Jaffna, displaced Tamils want back land seized by the military or used for tourism (photos)

    by Melani Manel Perera

    Thousands took part in a rally organised by the People's Alliance for Right to Land and the National Fisheries Solidarity Movement. Seized during the civil war, properties are still held by the military or businesses operating them for tourism or agriculture.

    24/02/2017 - INDONESIA

    Standoff between Indonesia and US mining giant Freeport McMoRan

    On 10 February, Freeport-McMoRan discontinued its mining activities, leaving thousands of Indonesians out of work. The reason is a dispute over fees and contract to be renegotiated by the company and the authorities.

    24/02/2017 - EGYPT – VATICAN – ISLAM

    Al Azhar and the Vatican renew inter-faith dialogue against fundamentalism

    A symposium sponsored by the Al Azhar Centre for Dialogue and the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue ended yesterday in Cairo. Participants called for action against the root causes of extremism like "violence and poverty". Protecting young people, who are the most vulnerable to extremist ideologies, is a priority. Cutting funding and weapons to terrorist groups is another.

    24/02/2017 - PHILIPPINES

    Duterte’s harsh critic Leila De Lima arrested

    Arrested this morning on drug trafficking charges, she faces a life sentence. The senator and her supporters deny the charges, calling the case a plot by Duterte. For a decade, she has opposed the Filipino President, whom she describes as a "sociopathic serial killer".

    24/02/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: "In God, justice is mercy, and mercy is justice"

    Do not give in to the "logic of casuistry" that reduces the faith in terms of "can" or "cannot", but follow the path of Jesus, "the path from case study to truth and mercy". Jesus says, "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her", but he spoke "many times with an adulteress." And in the end he said: "I do not condemn you. Sin no more. "


    24/02/2017 - INDIA

    Bangalore archbishop inaugurates first family counselling service

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    The goal is to solve the crisis of the family, and emphasise again the sanctity of the institution of marriage. The archdiocese will rely on the expertise of 20 Holy Cross priests. The disintegration of families is evident in the rise in marriage annulments.

    24/02/2017 - INDIA

    Mumbai fishermen furious over plans for worlds tallest Shivaji statue

    The equestrian statue of the god warrior will measure 190 meters; its construction will cost almost 510 million euro. It  is expected to be completed in 2021. It will attract 10 thousand visitors a day. The fishing community complains that the money could be spent on improving health, education and infrastructure. Activist: "The fascist forces use the god's statue as a symbol of Hindutva".


    24/02/2017 - MYANMAR – CHINA

    Hundreds of workers attack Chinese factory in Yangon

    Some angry 300 workers destroyed machinery and held captive seven Chinese workers for a few hours over the sacking of a fellow worker. Strikes over low wages are increasing. Many in Myanmar are impatient with China’s economic “colonisation”.

    24/02/2017 - MALAYSIA - NORTH KOREA

    Kim Jong-nam killed by a powerful nerve gas

    Police found traces of VX nerve agent on the victims’ face and in his eyes. VX is considered by the UN as a weapon of mass destruction. Just one drop absorbed through the skin leads to death within minutes. North Korea believed to have between 2500 and the 5 thousand tons of nerve gas.


    24/02/2017 - EGYPT

    Sinai, Coptic Christian killed with a bullet to the neck, third victim in two days

    The Coptic minority is being targeted by local cells of the Islamic state. The murder took place yesterday in Al-Arich. The man's house was set on fire. Previously a 60 year old Christian and son were killed; the young man was burnt alive. Daesh announces new attacks on social networks.


    23/02/2017 - SOUTH KOREA

    The testimony of Fr Lee Tae-seok in South Sudanese school books

    The South Korean missionary and doctor will be remembered in elementary and high school textbooks. He served as priest, doctor, teacher and architect in the small village of Tonj in a country devastated by war. For Education minister, he is an example for new generations.

    23/02/2017 - IRAQ

    Christians and Muslims on a peace march from Erbil to Alqōsh

    The Chaldean Patriarch spearheads action to end violence in Iraq and the Middle East on Palm Sunday. During Lent, Nineveh towns liberated from the Islamic State will be the stations of the Cross. Some 50 families came together in Tall Usquf for Mass and the raising of a large Chaldean cross on a hill. Mar Sako calls for "conversion" among regional and world leaders. Bridges, not walls, are needed.

    Editor's choices

    Trump, Marine Le Pen and the Middle East: Lebanon against walls and divisions

    Fady Noun

    The beginning of the Trump presidency has been characterised by the "babelisation" of American society. Each country pours out his hatred against an external enemy. The current global crisis has religious roots. At the heart of the chaos there is the Jihadi threat. The third world war cannot be won with drones, but with moderation and promoting rapprochement and discussions.

    Al Azhar under the influence of Daesh Islamism

    Kamel Abderrahmani

    The official religious institutions and so-called Islamic universities are the cause of the immobility of the Muslim world. The programs taught and literature used at Al Azhar are the same that are applied on the ground by all armed terrorists. No comparison possible between Al Azhar and the Vatican. The Vatican has hosted Iraqi Muslims and Syrians fleeing the war. Al Azhar has never done anything for Christians and Yazidis. The persecution of Nasr Mohamed Abdellah, eager to modernize Islam. The comment of one Muslim student.



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