28 February 2017
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  • 28/02/2017 - CHINA - VATICAN

    Half an hour with Pope Francis and images of faithful in St. Peter's Square; discussion on possible relations between Beijing and the Holy See. But the vision of religion remains the same as always: a political tool. Emphasis on the Taiwan issue. Chinese expert cites Wenzhou, but not the demolition of crosses in the countryside.


    by Bernardo Cervellera

    28/02/2017 - TURKEY - GERMANY

    Istanbul: German journalist of Turkish origin arrested for investigating government

    Die Welt correspondent Deniz Yücel in pre-trial detention. He was charged with "terrorist propaganda" and "incitement to hatred". In reality he is investigating mail hacking of Turkish Energy Minister and Erdogan’s son-in-law. The texts revealed executive pressure on media and public opinion manipulation strategies.


    28/02/2017 - PAKISTAN

    Lent: Catholic Church to help widows, visit the disabled, offer food baskets to the poor

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    Local parishes are preparing for the period before Easter. In Hyderabad funds have been raised to help widows and their children. In Lahore, buses will take volunteers to visit the sick. In Karachi, catechism students, seniors, and children will take part in activities.

    28/02/2017 - JAPAN

    Unisex bathrooms for the 2020 Tokyo Olympiad

    The Tokyo metropolitan government wants to promote a spirit of inclusivity and diversity. Toilet compartments will accommodate two people, but not those on wheelchairs. LGBT organisations praise the decision.

    28/02/2017 - INDONESIA

    Continuing education programme for diocesan priests in Sumatra

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    "For seven years the plan has been is carried out with different participants,” said Fr Sutapa, a former educator at the St Peter major seminary in Pematang Siantar, with “priests from Palembang with less than five years of service, priests from Tanjungkarang with less than ten years, and priests from Padang with more than ten years."

    28/02/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: those who follow Jesus and "leave everything", "will receive everything"

    "Jesus gives all of himself, because the fullness, the fullness of God is fullness that is annihilated on the Cross." "This is the gift of God: annihilated fullness. And this is the style of the Christian: to seek fullness, to receive the annihilated fullness and follow that road. "


    28/02/2017 - SYRIA – IRAQ

    The Islamic state morphing because of internal strife and a collapsing ideology

    Greater disagreements within the caliphate are marked by recent territorial losses. The jihadist group fed on marketing its strategy of terror online, but has begun to crumble when faced with its first real battles. Yet, far from disappearing, the movement is reorganising to continue the fight. Deadly attacks can be expected as it renews itself.

    28/02/2017 - THAILAND

    Msgr. Chaiyara: "Lent a time of change and acceptance"

    by Mons. Philip Banchong Chaiyara

    "The Pope urges us to commit ourselves with determination to make our lives better, opening our hearts to others, no matter who they are, our neighbor or a stranger, all these are 'a gift' of God."


    28/02/2017 - INDIA

    A carbon fast for Lent in the Archdiocese of Mumbai

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    For two years the local Church proposes initiatives to reduce global warming. Auxiliary Bishop: "The Carbon fast is becoming popular and is also practiced after Lent". Pope Francis has created "a new beatitude: Blessed are those who protect and take care of our common home."

    28/02/2017 - CHINA

    Beijing, factories closed to clean the sky before the National People’s Congress

    The closure order came after secret and night inspections of polluting factories. In Lanfang (Hebei) electricity also cut. A cosmetic operation under the cameras of the world in these two weeks.


    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 - 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 - 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.


    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.


    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 - LEBANON – SYRIA – VATICAN

    Greek Melkite Church: peace reached between Patriarch Gregory III and “rebel” bishops

    by Fady Noun

    The Synod held a few days ago in Rabieh, Lebanon, ends in success. Divisions between the patriarch and a group of dissident prelates over real estate is settled. Communion and fraternal charity prevailed in the community. The presence of the nuncios to Syria and Lebanon, Card Zenari and Mgr Caccia, proved crucial.

    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.

    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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