01 July 2016
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    01/07/2016 - BANGLADESH

    Police say that “derailed youths” shouting “Allah is great” shot their way into a coffee shop in the capital’s diplomatic district. This comes after a wave of violent attacks and murders against Bangladesh’s non-Muslims. Police call for CCTV cameras in every place of worship.

    01/07/2016 - INDIA

    Mgr Menamparampil: on being peacemakers in India

    by mons. Thomas Menamparampil*

    Ethnic insurgencies in the ‘seven sister states" of India’s north-east goes back a long time. In 1996 local Churches set up a Joint Peace Mission Team. The former archbishop of Guwahati describes what makes a good peacemaker. Peacemaking succeeds if mediators can sympathise with both sides. Appealing for peace must be sincere, excessive publicity can be harmful, and influential people can come together. The power of prayer is a key lesson.

    01/07/2016 - EGYPT

    For Catholic Church spokesman, Christians are seen as "legitimate targets" in Sinai

    Extremist militias view non-Wahhabis as enemies to attack, says Fr Rafic Greiche. The Sinai has a long history of violence, with churches and priests seen as “legitimate targets”. It is “no accident” that a Coptic priest was recently killed on the anniversary of Morsi’s ouster.

    01/07/2016 - LEBANON – SYRIA

    Caritas Lebanon coping with refugees amid acceptance and fundamentalism

    For Fr Paul Karam, Lebanon’s religious and cultural ethnic mosaic is at risk. Region-wide plans and international efforts are needed. Fundamentalism is fuelled by deteriorating conditions in refuge facilities.

    01/07/2016 - PHILIPPINES

    CBCP: We’re not enemies, but we’ll remain vigilant on new government

    President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines said the Church would collaborate for the sake of Filipinos, but would be vigilant at the same time. “Pursuing the same vision as Filipinos and as Catholics, we will be vigilant because vigilance is the great price for freedom.”

    01/07/2016 - CHINA

    'I'll skin you alive': Chinese official threatens Christian farmer after land grab

    Bai Fengju, a Christian farmer, said he was told that his property would be used to build a Buddhist temple on the site in Nanyang, Henan province. A church source who requested anonymity leaked a confidential document that revealed the existence of a State-run command and control centre dedicated to persecuting the Church.

    01/07/2016 - PAKISTAN

    Lahore’s Anglican cathedral hosts Islamic prayer and iftar (video)

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    The prayer has been held for the past three years, backed by Movement for Tolerance (Rawadari Tehreek). After the meal and speeches, some young people visited the church for the first time. Christians should participate "in the feasts of Eid, Muslim weddings and funerals," some said. Muslim groups are set to organise interfaith meetings at Christmas.

    01/07/2016 - NEPAL

    Donors and NGOs warn Nepali authorities against renegotiating reconstruction agreements

    by Christopher Sharma

    Under opposition pressure, Prime Minister Oli wants to speed up aid distribution. The World Bank, which administers a US$ 500 million fund, is against it, and could pull out. Fifteen months after the quake, thousands of families are still living in makeshift shelters.

    01/07/2016 - VIETNAM

    Hanoi admits Formosa Plastic Group responsible for environmental disaster, will pay damages

    After three months of investigation, the government blames steel maker for tonnes of dead fish and marine pollution. The company will pay US$ 500 million in compensation. For activists and dissidents, this is not enough given the damage to millions of people who need long-term help. The authorities too are responsible.

    01/07/2016 - BANGLADESH

    Another Hindu priest hacked to death with machete in Bangladesh

    Shaymanonda Das, 45, worked at the Radha Madan Gopal Temple. He was hacked to death while preparing morning prayers with flowers. His murder resembles similar killings elsewhere in the country claimed by Islamic groups. More than 40 people have been killed since February 2013, including 12 people in the last fourteen weeks alone.

    01/07/2016 - ISRAEL - PALESTINE - UN

    Quartet report says Israel must urgently halt settlement expansion in the West Bank

    Ongoing construction one of three "negative trends" that must be quickly reversed, Un diplomat says. Violence, incitement and the Palestinian Authority's lack of control over the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip also "severely undermine hopes for peace.” Quartet findings the basis for reviving the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Israeli girl stabbed to death by Palestinian inside bedroom.

    01/07/2016 - TURKEY

    Istanbul airport: the terrorists came from Russia, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan

    The international airport is a focal point for pilgrims to Mecca. Many young people from the Caucasus and Central Asia stop in Istanbul before traveling to Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Syria to fight the jihad. The death toll of the attack is now 43, of which 19 foreigners. Tourism in Turkey severely hit.

    30/06/2016 - INDIA

    Church in India mourns the death of Mgr D'Souza, "spiritual son" of Mother Teresa

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    The bishop led the Archdiocese of Kolkata during the revolution brought about by the soon-to-be-canonised Albanian saint. He himself revolutionised his archdiocese’ educational system, whilst remaining close to his former flock in Cuttack-Bhubaneshwar who went through horrific pogroms.

    30/06/2016 - PAKISTAN

    Pakistani Church against cutting funds for minorities to finance a pro-Taliban madrassa

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    Many have slammed the decision. The Islamic school has trained terrorists operating at home and in Afghanistan and is slated to get funds otherwise earmarked for the province’s minorities. One of its former students is among those who assassinated former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. Muslim clerics defend the decision.

    30/06/2016 - SRI LANKA

    Two years after enduring Buddhist violence, Muslims suffer but forgive

    by Melani Manel Perera

    Buddhist radicals looted and torched homes in three towns in south-western Sri Lanka. Survivors still live in fear, remembering the violence: a car dealer who lost everything, a grocer who lost his shop, a young man who lost his leg.

    30/06/2016 - LEBANON - SYRIA

    For Lebanese bishop, Al-Qaa is a symbol of coexistence, the terrorists shall not win

    Mgr Elias Rahal, the Greek -Melkite archbishop of Baalbek, visited the town that was attacked. Lebanon’s army has re-imposed a semblance of security. In this border town, Christians and Muslims live peacefully and fruitfully. We “shall never leave the town,” the prelate said.

    30/06/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope’s travels in the Caucasus to "encourage hope and paths of peace"

    At today’s jubilee audience, Francis spoke about his recent visit to Armenia, and his coming trip to Georgia and Azerbaijan in September. It is "one thing to talk about mercy, it is another to live mercy" because "the works of mercy are not theoretical issues, but actual deeds. They force us to roll up our sleeves to alleviate suffering. "

    30/06/2016 - CHINA – VATICAN

    Mgr Ma Daqin, the Vatican and the Patriotic Association’s “crooked logic”

    by Gu Feng

    A priest in central China looks at the bishop of Shanghai’s volte-face, comparing him to John the Baptist who was jailed after he accused Herod. Because of their crooked logic, the Patriotic Association and the government seek to eliminate religion from the country. The Vatican is in danger of contradicting itself if it makes compromises with the Patriotic Association. Pope Benedict XVI described the latter as “incompatible” with Catholic doctrine in his Letter to Chinese Catholics, which Pope Francis has never disclaimed, but has instead reiterated.

    30/06/2016 - CHINA

    China’s teachers: The unsung heroes of the workers’ movement

    Teachers make up less than two percent of China’s overall workforce but they account for about four percent of total strikes and protests. Moreover, unlike workers in privately-owned factories, most teachers are employed by the state and their protests often pose a direct challenge to local government officials and administrators.

    30/06/2016 - INDIA

    Hyderabad, held Isis group planning attacks during Ramadan

    The National Investigation Agency in India held 11 person, including 5 arrests. They are youth in their 20s and 30s and held regular jobs. They were in touch with the head of a group of Indian jihadists based out of Raqqa in Syria. They wanted to trigger communal riots between Muslim and Hindu communities.

    30/06/2016 - LEBANON - SYRIA

    Al-Qaa bids farewell to victims as archbishop urges declaring outskirts a 'military zone'

    The entire community bid farewell to five of its members died during 27 June attacks. In his homily the greek-Melkite Archbishop stressed: "We will remain in this land". He asked government to solve the emergency situation in the refugee camp on the outskirts of the town. Local sources: the aim of the bombers is to eradicate Christian presence.


    30/06/2016 - TURKEY

    Istanbul airport attack: Turkey declares a day of mourning while the number of victims increases

    The dead are 42; among them there are 13 foreigners. The wounded are 239 of which 41 were in serious condition. For Erdogan terrorists " were non-Muslims." Still no claim of responsibility. Putin reopen dialogue with Turkey.

    30/06/2016 - PHILIPPINES

    Rodrigo Duterte sworn in as Philippines president

    Nicknamed "The Punisher", Mr Duterte is credited with a dramatic reduction in crime in Davao, but rights groups say it was at the expense of human rights. He and his vice-president, Leni Robredo, will both serve a single six-year term.

    29/06/2016 - SRI LANKA

    Sri Lanka army admits to the existence of a list with names of missing Tamil rebels who surrendered

    by Melani Manel Perera

    The names of the missing are still unknown, by a high ranking official admits that a list exists. In the final stages of the civil war thousands of young Tamil fighters handed in their weapons. Many of them are missing, presumed dead in extra-judicial killings.

    29/06/2016 - MALAYSIA – ISLAM

    Opposition and minorities slam government’s attempt to introduce Sharia law in Kelantan

    The bill would allow the stoning of adulterers and the chopping off the hand of thieves. For former Prime Minister Mahathir, the government is trying to win over Islamist party.  “This is not Islam! This is not fair!” For Malaysia’s minorities, the bill is “unconstitutional”; it tears “at the core of the Federal Constitution” and undermines “religious freedom”.

    29/06/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope speaks about Peter and Paul, lights of the east and west, appeals after Istanbul attack

    At the Angelus prayer, Pope Francis talks about the two apostles who brought the faith to Rome. “They still want to carry Jesus, his merciful love, his consolation, his peace.” The pontiff welcomed the ecumenical delegation from Constantinople, as well as Chinese Catholics. Sharing the sorrow, he prays for the Turkish people after the Istanbul airport attack.

    29/06/2016 - TURKEY

    Islamic State suspected in Istanbul airport attack

    At least 36 people are dead and 140 wounded. Attackers began shooting before blowing themselves up at the terminal. Critics point to poor security measures.

    29/06/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: Prayer as the way out for the community in lieu of looking inward from persecution and fear

    On the Solemnity of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, Pope Francis greeted the delegation sent by the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople. He expressed hope to see things go from "division to unity". He blessed the pallia for new major archbishops, a sign of communion with the See of Peter. Christian communities must be Churches “going out” through prayer to overcome fear and "Herod's complex", the feeling of persecution that drives inward when faced with dangers and “God’s surprises”.


    CIA, Saudi weapons for anti-Assad rebels end up on Jordan’s black market

    An expensive programme co-sponsored by the CIA and Saudi Arabia to supply weapons and train anti-Assad rebels derails after corrupt Jordanian officials sell weapons on the black market. Some might have ended in Jihadi hands; others might have been used to kill Americans on at least one occasion.

    28/06/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: mercy is the “criterion” for Catholic-Orthodox relations

    Francis welcomes a delegation from the Ecumenical Patriarchate, presently in Rome for the feast day of Saints Peter and Paul. “For divine mercy frees us of the burden of past conflicts and lets us be open to the future to which the Spirit is guiding us.” Bartholomew mentions the visit to Lesvos Island.

    Editor's choices

    Mgr Ma Daqin, the Vatican and the Patriotic Association’s “crooked logic”

    Gu Feng

    A priest in central China looks at the bishop of Shanghai’s volte-face, comparing him to John the Baptist who was jailed after he accused Herod. Because of their crooked logic, the Patriotic Association and the government seek to eliminate religion from the country. The Vatican is in danger of contradicting itself if it makes compromises with the Patriotic Association. Pope Benedict XVI described the latter as “incompatible” with Catholic doctrine in his Letter to Chinese Catholics, which Pope Francis has never disclaimed, but has instead reiterated.

    Mgr Ma Daqin’s volte-face, a cross to bear for the sake of Shanghai

    p. Pietro dalla Cina

    The auxiliary bishop of Shanghai holds dear the welfare of his diocese and intends to carry alone the burden of his statements of four years ago. Fr Lombardi’s clarification on the role of the Holy See dispels any doubt: the Letter of Benedict XVI to the Chinese Church is still valid; thus the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association's position is not accepted by the Vatican. A Chinese priest comments. Translation by AsiaNews.


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