Geographical areas
In the foreground
by Pierre Balanian | LEBANON

The toll from yesterday’s blasts now stands at 100 dead and more than 4,000 injured, but many people are still missing under collapsed buildings. Some ships in Beirut harbour have dead and injured on board. Hospitals are full, whilst medicine warehouses have been destroyed. Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab has called for help from the international community. Lebanon’s security chief said that 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate exploded, but remains guarded as to possible causes. Israel has denied responsibility. Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah postponed an address he was supposed to make.

News

The coming election will be a key test for the Southeast Asian country, under military rule for decades. The economy and peace talks with armed groups dominate the campaign. International charges against Myanmar over the Rohingya tragedy weight heavily as well.

| 04/08/2020
| MYANMAR
by Vladimir Rozanskij

The slogans "Russia, wake up!" and, in Belarus, "We are tired!", are signs that the neo-Soviet phase in Russian and Belarusian politics is running out of steam. In Minsk, 60,000 people protested in favour of Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya against Lukashenko’s 26 years in power. In Russia, support for Putin has dropped to 23 per cent. Still, the age of "eternal leaders” might be at an end, censorship and arrests continue.

| 04/08/2020
| RUSSIA
by Pierre Balanian

The international community has no faith in Lebanon. Even France prefers to manage aid for Lebanese schools through its embassy in Beirut. Two more people take their own life because of the economic situation. Many fear Netanyahu will start a war from the south. Others fear war in the north where Sunni extremists armed by Ankara are ready to take revenge for Rafiq Hariri’s assassination. The International Tribunal will release its final verdict on Friday, likely against Hezbollah and Syria.

| 04/08/2020
| LEBANON

Dinayet chief Ali Erbaş led Friday prayers holding a sword (pictured) engraved with a Qurʼānic verse on the blade. He plans to set up a madrassa inside the former Christian basilica to educate a “pious generation". Amid fear and persecution, Turkey’s Christian Orthodox are increasingly concerned and uncertain about their future.

| 04/08/2020
| TURKEY – ISLAM
by Bernardo Cervellera

The book ‘Cina COVID 19. La Chimera che ha cambiato il Mondo’ (Edizioni Cantagalli, Siena, 2020, 272 pages, 20 euros) by scientist Joseph Tritto was released today. China conducted bioengineering experiments with French and US financial and scientific help. The work was meant to develop vaccines, gradually morphing into military research. The Wuhan lab is now run by China’s People's Liberation Army under General Chen Wei, an expert in biochemical weapons and bioterrorism. Vaccines are a commercial venture. Getting China to sign the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention is one objective.

| 04/08/2020
| CHINA - ITALY
by Nirmala Carvalho

Orphaned when she was 10, she was welcomed at Bandra's St Catherine's Home. "I didn't know God, but I came to know Him through Sister Dominic’s love; she loved me as if I were her own daughter.” Brother Joseph “has been a father to me [. . .] a guiding light for my life."

| 04/08/2020
| INDIA

According to a confidential report, the past six nuclear tests have improved North Korea’s technical capabilities. Kim Jong-un wants multiple warhead systems. Sanctions have not stopped Pyongyang.

| 04/08/2020
| NORTH KOREA

Doctors warn that a surge in new cases could push the healthcare system to collapse. Stay-at-home orders are now in place for two weeks in Manila and four surrounding provinces in Luzon. Duterte accuses doctors and health care workers of trying to foment revolution. Many people have found themselves stranded in the capital without transport to travel to their hometowns.

| 04/08/2020
| PHILIPPINES

A new version of the Great Game is unfolding in Afghanistan, the five Central Asia countries, as well as Nepal, India and Pakistan. As Washington and Delhi undertake a rapprochement, Beijing develops closer ties to Iran and Pakistan. Afghanistan too is in China’s sight, but US influence remains strong. COVID-19 becomes part of the diplomatic game.

| 03/08/2020
| ASIA – UNITED STATES
by Fady Noun

Her funeral was held in the Church of Saint-Siméon in Ghosta, her hometown. Leading political and religious figures were present. She went from fighting in the country’s civil war to living the faith in the Risen Christ. Speaking about her, Patriarch al-Rahi praised her path of faith.

| 03/08/2020
| LEBANON

In a message to the young people meeting in Medjugorie, Francis writes that the Mladifest offers them an opportunity to meet the living Jesus Christ. “The Virgin Mary remains the Church’s great model with a young heart, ready to follow Christ with freshness and docility.”

| 03/08/2020
| VATICAN
by Sumon Corraya

Some 605 fruit trees – guava, lemon, quince, gooseberry and grapefruit – were planted yesterday in parish villages. For BCA secretary Hemanto Corraya, during the coronavirus pandemic, people came to realize how badly they behaved towards nature.

| 03/08/2020
| BANGLADESH

Christians are forced to choose between faith and work or enlisting. Universities ban students from Sunday Mass. Party members cannot absolutely practise any religion. These are ways the Party defends itself from the growth of Christianity in China. Fr Domenico, a priest from the north of the country, describes the situation. AsiaNews's investigation into the situation of the Church in China continues two years after the signing of the provisional agreement.

| 03/08/2020
| CHINA - VATICAN
by p. Peter Geremia, PIME

A PIME missionary with 50 years in Mindanao gives his thoughts. Are the parables of Jesus impossible dreams or can they become reality? Killing people and destroying property can be stopped. The money now used for war and revolution can be used to create more jobs and provide everyone with good wages.

 

| 03/08/2020
| PHILIPPINES
Editor's choices
 
by Bernardo Cervellera
A private US company, Recorded Future, detected the espionage operation against the mail servers of the Vatican Secretariat of State, the Diocese of Hong Kong, and the Holy See’s Study Mission in Hong Kong, which acts as a quasi-nunciature. PIME’s ...
| 29/07/2020
| VATICAN – CHINA
 
A few months before the expiration of the Provisional Agreement on appointing new bishops, lay people, priests and bishops wonder about the effects it has had on the life of Christian communities in China. The Vatican is hoping to renew the agreement; ...
| 16/07/2020
| CHINA – VATICAN
 
by Wang Zhicheng
The blackmail of the Jinzhou authorities: you can reopen the churches - after the pandemic - if you ban entry to minors. Mgr. Jia Zhiguo, 83, has been a bishop since 1980 and is responsible for a community of over 150,000 faithful, with a hundred priests ...
| 10/07/2020
| CHINA - VATICAN
 
by Marian Demir
Since yesterday, pro-Erdogan Turkish media are reporting that the Council of State has already "unanimously" decided to transform the Christian basilica into a mosque. But the legal reasons for the "right of the sword" are not "Islamic". Pro-Kurdish ...
| 10/07/2020
| TURKEY
 
National security law “threatens to undermine freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, freedom of the press and academic freedom. Freedom of religion and belief is also under threat. According to many reports, freedom of religion and belief ...
| 06/07/2020
| ASIA - HONG KONG
Beirut blast 2
Beirut blast 1
Vangelo 02 Agosto
Search in AsiaNews archive