05 December 2016
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    05/12/2016 - ITALY

    The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople received the St Nicholas Ecumenical Prize, an award that Pope Francis in a telegram called a "significant acknowledgment" and a "sign of gratitude" for the services rendered by Bartholomew "to promote an ever greater communion among all believers in Christ."




    05/12/2016 - CHINA-HONG KONG

    Hong Kong - Shenzhen stock connect launched


    A new step towards integrating China and world markets. But this morning’s results have not met expectations. The Shenzhen technology companies are coveted by global investors. But the Chinese - with the yuan that has lost 10% in value in two years – are  looking towards foreign investments.

     


    05/12/2016 - BANGLADESH

    Lisi Desai, a disabled Catholic woman who helps hundreds of disabled people in Bangladesh (Photos)

    by Sumon Corraya

    The young woman is suffering from a degenerative muscle disease contracted at university. In Bangladesh there are more than a million disabled people, abandoned by the authorities and society. She helps educate them to be independent and self-reliant. The Church can change the faithful’s way of thinking. People with disabilities are "another aspect of God's grandeur."


    05/12/2016 - UZBEKISTAN

    Shavkat Mirziyoye is the new president of Uzbekistan


    Mirziyoye, who won 88.61 per cent of the vote, replaces Islam Karimov who died in early September.


    05/12/2016 - AFGHANISTAN

    As opium cultivation rises in Afghanistan, children are recruited by drug dealers


    In Herat province, opium poppy cultivation has grown significantly. The poor and children are paying the price of this, to the benefit of the Taliban and drug traffickers.


    05/12/2016 - INDIA

    Bandra’s St Andrew Parish celebrates 400 years

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    Built in 1595, the church was elevated to parish status in 1616 with the arrival of permanent clergy. Renovated several times, the building has kept to its original plan. Festivities lasted a whole year with social activities, and support for families and the needy.


    05/12/2016 - SYRIA - EU

    Grand Mufti of Damascus: Europe aid Syria to extinguish the fire of fundamentalism


    An inter-religious meeting of Muslim and Christian leaders in Dublin. Sheikh Ahmad Badr El Din Hassun against the Arab nations and the Gulf monarchies who want to destroy the multi-ethnic and cultural soul of the country. Gregory III Laham: work for peace, not for blame. "We are all guilty in war."

     


    05/12/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: "Give” our sins to God, so that he can transform us, "re-create us"


    "God created the world; man fell into sin; Jesus comes to re-create the world. " The Lord "help us to prepare for Christmas with great faith", "because the healing of the soul, for the existential healing, the re-creation that Jesus brings takes great faith."


    05/12/2016 - MYANMAR

    Clashes in Shan State: St. Francis Xavier church in Mung Koe destroyed



    The parish hit by government army bombings, fighting the Kachin and Shan ethnic militias in the north-east of the country. Bishop: "Only the bell tower left standing. Priests, nuns and the faithful have fled to China. "

     


    05/12/2016 - INDIA

    Chennai, tribal cooperative provides snakebite antidote


    Until the seventies, the tribe of Irula hunted and sold the skins of snakes. With the ban of the practice, the tribe risked being left without a livelihood. The poisonous serum is injected into horses, which produce a natural antidote. Around 46 thousand Indians die each year from snakebites.

     


    05/12/2016 - SYRIA - UN

    Half of Aleppo East in the hands of Assad


    The goal of loyalists is to win back the entire metropolis in the coming weeks. Tens of thousands of displaced persons amid a new exodus of civilians. Today the UN Security Council vote on a resolution for a temporary ceasefire.

     


    04/12/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: the kingdom of heaven is at hand, "in some way, it is already present" and asks for conversion


    “It is to leave the convenient but misleading streets, the idols of this world – success at all costs, power at the expense of the weak, thirst for wealth, pleasure at any price –and open instead the way for the Lord who comes. He does not take away our freedom, but gives us true happiness."


    03/12/2016 - SRI LANKA

    President Sirisena thanks Asian bishops and the Church for their work

    by Melani Manel Perera

    The Plenary Assembly of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences is taking place in Sri Lanka. On the eve of the meeting, Sri Lanka’s president met with a delegation of bishops. Catholics promote the social and religious life of the population.


    03/12/2016 - PHILIPPINES

    Manila, the world's tallest monument of the Divine Mercy


    The 30-metre statue of Jesus will stand in the Marialo national shrine, north of Manila. The inauguration and blessing are scheduled for 19 January 2017, during the 4th World Apostolic Congress on Mercy (WACOM). The event will draw 5,000 local and international delegates.


    03/12/2016 - EGYPT

    For Egyptian activist, new law is a “very harsh and not understandable” attack against NGOs operating in the country


    Iman Bibars slams the new law adopted by Egypt’s parliament, which leaves scope for interpretation and corruption, and does not counter the flow of money into the coffers of extremist movements. In the end, it will harm the activities of associations working for the country’s development.


    03/12/2016 - EGYPT

    Egypt’s new law on NGOs is a blow to civil society and future generations

    by Loula Lahham

    Egypt’s parliament recently approved the bill that is now waiting for President al-Sisi’s signature. It imposes sentences of up to five years in prison and fines up to a US$ 650,000. According to critics, the law’s restrictions will have a devastating impact.


    03/12/2016 - CHINA – UNITED STATES – TAIWAN

    Tsai Ing-wen’s call to Trump irritates Beijing



    03/12/2016 - INDIA

    Open Letter from a Christian leader to Prime Minister Modi asking him to restore a cash-based economy

    by Sajan K George

    Sajan K George writes to the head of the Indian government warning him about the dangers of withdrawing 500- and 1,000-rupee banknotes. The elimination of cash affects the whole economy, creating problems for the social system and agricultural production. Action should be taken before Christmas.


    02/12/2016 - NEPAL

    Poverty, emigration, the main causes of AIDS in Nepal with the sick discriminated at school and in society

    by Christopher Sharma

    Each year, more than a thousand cases are recorded in the Himalayan country, mostly due to unprotected sex. Migrants are infected abroad, in India and the Middle East. HIV-positive children are denied the right to an education.


    02/12/2016 - AFGHANISTAN

    UN reports more than half a million displaced people in Afghanistan, a record


    Since 2014 the number of internally displaced persons has more than doubled, reaching 518,000. Pakistan has sent back more than 600,000 Afghan refugees. UN agency says it has received only 54 per cent of the US$ 152 million in emergency funding.


    02/12/2016 - NORTH KOREA

    Pyongyang slams new UN sanctions, whose effective application is doubted


    The UN hopes to deprive North Korea of ​​about US$ 700 million a year in export revenues. For North Korean authorities, this is another violation by the US-controlled United Nations. Pyongyang tells Trump that it is a nuclear power.


    02/12/2016 - CHINA - VATICAN

    A "quiet" ordination with an illegitimate bishop in Xichang

    by Wang Xiang

    Again in Xichang, as in Chengdu, police deployed to ensure the participation of the excommunicated Bishop Lei Shiyin. Comment: "Chinese bishops are spineless." The Diocese of Xichang is formed by 35 thousand faithful and 10 priests. Its sisters run a leper colony.


    02/12/2016 - INDONESIA

    President Widodo addresses 200,000 peaceful protesters in Jakarta (Video)

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    Organised to protest against the capital’s governor, who stands accused of blasphemy, the rally turned into a peaceful prayer meeting following the intervention of the authorities and the country’s ulema. Joko Widodo expressed his "appreciation for the large orderly crowd." Police arrested some "provocateurs" who wanted to manipulate the event to criticise the government.


    02/12/2016 - VIETNAM – VATICAN

    For Vietnamese bishop, no progress in religious freedom can be expected from Hanoi

    by Tran Vinh

    Mgr Micae Hoàng Đức Oanh is critical of the recent Vatican meeting between the pope and Vietnam’s president. Official talks have been held in the past without positive results for religious freedom. The new religious law could worsen the situation. Hanoi is caught between communism and red capitalism.


    02/12/2016 - HOLY SEE – ISRAEL

    Vatican and Israel criticise UNESCO: no one can deny biblical history


    The Joint Vatican-Rabbinate Committee slams decision to use only the Arabic name of the holy sites in East Jerusalem, denying the relationship between Jews and Temple Mount.


    02/12/2016 - SRI LANKA - ASIA

    Papal envoy to the Asian Bishops: The tribal families authentic Gospel schools (Photo)

    by Santosh Digal

    Card. Toppo spoke at the Plenary Assembly of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences. "Faith in the family educates its members to be followers of Jesus in spite of the challenges." The example of the family of Nazareth. The tribal families have traditions and culture that reflect the values ​​of Christianity.


     


    02/12/2016 - CHINA

    Peng Ming, Christian ecologist and activist, dies in prison. Three other disappeared "at the risk of torture"

    by Wang Zhicheng

    Peng Ming was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2005. In the past he had a brilliant managerial career. Later he wrote books on democracy and environmental protection against the violent industrialization in the country. He was convicted of "terrorism." Still no word on Christian lawyer Jiang Tianyong. Dissident Xie Yang beaten by prison officers. Lawyer Huang Qi and reporter Liu Fei detained by police.

     


    02/12/2016 - IRAN - USA

    US Senate approves the extension of sanctions against Tehran


    Iran Sanctions Act provides for the extension to 10 years of sanctions. The text approved by 99 votes in favor, 0 votes against. Previously, the Chamber had given the green light to the law. It now needs the signature of outgoing President Obama. The point people of the future Trump administration, include the head of the CIA, ready to cancel the international agreement. Approval in Israel.

     


    02/12/2016 - THAILAND

    Rama X: Thailand has a new king

    by Weena Kowitwanij

    Prince Vajiralongkorn was proclaimed monarch yesterday, making him the tenth ruler of the Chakri dynasty. The new king will be called Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkul, but will be known as Rama X.

     


    01/12/2016 - LEBANON

    Patriarch al-Rahi: Fr Kolvenbach, a witness of Jesuit fidelity to the Church and Lebanon

    by Fady Noun

    The cardinal noted the special bond between the former SJ superior general and Lebanon. Since 1958, he had become an expert on Lebanon, for him a land of study and mission. He was a point of reference for priests and seminarians, young students and seniors.


    01/12/2016 - IRAQ

    Refugees hope to rebuild Mosul together and in harmony (Videos)

    by Samir Youssef

    The heads of four families – one Christian, one Yazidi, one Sabian, and one Arab Muslim – talk about their fears and hopes. All four fled Mosul and region in 2014 when the Islamic state seized them. Now they wish to live together again, and rebuild an atmosphere of togetherness and harmony. No one is exempt from Islamic fanaticism. Only God can heal us and be a source of salvation. Here is second part of the conversation (the first one was published yesterday).






    Editor's choices

    IRAQ
    "Adopt a Christian from Mosul": A Christmas gift to survive winter

    Bernardo Cervellera

    As Iraqi troops advance in the Nineveh Plain and Mosul, a new wave of refugees could overshadow the fate of other refugees who found hospitality in Kurdistan. People need kerosene, winter clothes, aid for children, and money for rent. The campaign AsiaNews launched two years ago is more urgent than ever. Give up a superfluous gift to offer refugees an essential gift for life.


    IRAQ
    Pastor of Amadiya: Mosul’s Christian refugees, torn between emergency aid and the longing to return home

    P. Samir Youssef

    In a letter Fr. Samir Youssef describes the situation of refugees, exiled from their home for more than two years. They are closely following the offensive to retake Mosul, although their homes and churches "are for the most part" burned or destroyed. With the arrival of winter there is a serve lack of heating oil, clothes, food and money to pay for their children’s school bus. An appeal to continue to support the AsiaNews campaign.


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