04/05/2016 - SYRIA
The leaders of the Catholic communities of Aleppo launch an appeal: Masses and prayers around the world on Sunday for an end to violence in the city. Yesterday 17 children died when a hospital in the government sector was hit. The university also targeted with students hiding for hours in the basements to escape the bombs. Father Ibrahim: The situation is dramatic we need compassion and mercy.
04/05/2016 - SOUTH KOREA
Sisters Marianne and Margaret, a life on a mission for lepers, quietly
The two Austrian nuns spent 40 years on Sorok Island as nurses in a sanatorium for Hansen's disease patients. Despite a climate of fear and marginalisation, they treated patients trying to restore their dignity. Old and fearing they might become a burden on their hospital, they left, quietly. After they were invited for a final farewell, many of the children and grandchildren of the 6,000 patients hoped to see them.
04/05/2016 - ISRAEL - PALESTINE
Israeli jailed for life: he kidnapped a young Palestinian and burned him alive
The court sentenced 31 year old Yosef Haim Ben David for the horrible crime. He is the leader of a gang that in 2014 killed the 16 year old Mohammed Abu Khdair. Insanity plea rejected. The father of the young man killed applauds the verdict. Meanwhile, Israel continues to demolish homes of Palestinian youths suspected of violence.
04/05/2016 - CHINA
Chinese government must "work to increase birth rate. Or face system collapse"
Yi Fuxian, one of the best known opponents of the one-child law, said the easing of family control policies are not enough: "Beijing will soon find that it is much more difficult to increase the birth rate than empty cradles". But doctors in Shanghai and the capital foresee a "baby boom" for 2016
04/05/2016 - PHILIPPINES
Abu Sayyaf’s escalating violence due to political strife in Mindanao
Terrorists release a video in which they threaten to kill three more hostages. Source tells AsiaNews that Jihadi group’s greater activity has been facilitated by the election campaign for the governorship in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. Militants are a “tool of political propaganda”. The region has one of the most corrupt governments in the country, and “has dealings with Jihadis”.
04/05/2016 - NEPAL
Against Hindu discrimination, widows wear dress in protestby Christopher Sharma
According to Hindu tradition, when a woman loses her husband she becomes impure, cannot honour the gods, nor sing or dance. She can only wear white. Child widows and women in arranged marriages are also victims. However, Nepal’s new constitution bans violence in the name of religion, traditions, or culture.
04/05/2016 - CHINA
Authorities in Henan warn workers against suicide threats over back wages
Zhengzhou wants to punish migrant workers who threaten suicide to get what is owed to them, a growing practice that has caught the attention of national media. At the same time, the authorities want employers to set up accounts for workers who are not paid on time, and plan a score point system to rank companies.
04/05/2016 - SRI LANKA
Axes, ploughs, and pitchforks at the altar: Sri Lanka workers against forced labour (Video)by Melani Manel Perera
The religious service was held at St Michael's Church in Colombo, with red flags and ornaments everywhere. Workers laid down their tools in front of the altar asking for God’s intercession for an end to the struggle and forced labour.
04/05/2016 - VATICAN
Pope urges Christians to avoid “stink” of herd mentality
God does not know culture of waste, for Jesus the Good Shepherd, "there is no such thing as sheep lost forever”, but only sheep that have yet to be found. "The only way to gather the flock together is to follow the path outlined by the mercy of the shepherd. While searching for the lost sheep, he calls on the ninety-nine to reunite the flock".
04/05/2016 - TURKEY-EU
With many "ifs" and "buts" the European Union set to grant freedom of movement for Turks
The Commission gives the green light, but the agreement must be approved by the European Parliament and member states. Turkey’s many contradictions: violence against freedom of the press, of speech, assembly, and against minorities.
04/05/2016 - SAUDI ARABIA
Saudi giant Binladen Group in crisis, 77 thousand foreign workers laid off
50 thousand workers refuse to leave the country claiming wages in arrears. 12 thousand contracts with Saudi workers and employees also at risk. The Saudi official unemployment rate is 11.5%, but the real figure could be much higher. Government's plan to disengage from the oil economy.
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 - 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 - 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"
03/05/2016 - INDIA - ITALY
Widow of Indian fisherman: Let Italian marines return home
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 - 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 - 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 - 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."
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.
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*
The Chaldean Patriarch sends a tough rebuke against the country’s rulers, who have failed to promote reforms and reconciliation, calling for action against Iraq’s “institutional, economic and security deterioration”. As Green Zone protest ends, government’s wrath begins.
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.
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