07/03/2015VATICAN “It is preferable that every service, even in the Church, come to an end,” says pope More than 30,000 people gathered in St Peter's Square for the Convocation of the Renewal in the Holy Spirit. “Jesus, for all of us you asked the Lord the grace of unity in this Church of yours, not ours. History has divided us,” the pope said. "If the enemy unites us in death who are we not to be united in life." Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Today Pope Francis spoke in St Peter’s Square before some 30,000 members of the Renewal in the Holy Spirit Movement. Those present included Card Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Church;...
07/03/2015INDIA Maharashtra: Hindu nationalist government cracks down on madrassas by Nirmala Carvalho State authorities prepare to inspect 1,889 registered madrassas. Those that do not teach English, maths and science will lose their formal status as educational facilities. Critics slam the decision as "unconstitutional", but the government defends himself by saying that it wants to modernise education. Jesuit theologian and Islam scholar tells AsiaNews that the state should not interfere with schools, that its action “threatens democratic values."
07/03/2015BANGLADESH Pope Francis’ Laudato si’ translated into Bangla in record time by Sumon Corraya In a pastoral letter, Mgr D’Rozario highlights the main points of Pope Francis’ “green” encyclical. Catholic priests are called to spread the pope’s message among the faithful. The executive director of Caritas Bangladesh urges Catholics to use less and consume resources moderately. The charity’s projects include environmental protection, and alleviating the suffering of the weakest.
07/03/2015ASIA 2015, young people celebrate anniversaries of Taize and Brother Roger by Frère Ghislain* Over 100 years since birth, 10 years after his death and 75 years after the foundation of the experience of Taizé, Brother Roger's charism is still alive. Gestures of prayer and solidarity across Asia: Philippines, Singapore, Korea, Thailand, Vietnam. In Calcutta, prayer around the tomb of Mother Teresa, who Frere Roger visited in 1976 and 1997. In Japan and throughout the continent an experience of the Church united "in God’s heart".
07/02/2015VATICAN Tourism offers "a billion opportunities" for sustainable development on Earth In its message for World Tourism Day, the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples notes that growth in this sector represents “a challenge to all the sectors involved in this global phenomenon: tourists, businesses, governments and local communities and, of course, the Church too. The billion tourists should necessarily be considered above all in their billion opportunities.”
07/02/2015PAKISTAN Lahore: Christian NGO helping Gypsy women entrepreneurs by Kamran Chaudhry The AIDS Awareness Society announces an empowerment programme for Gypsy women. It will involve at least 500 craftswomen and artisans, enabling them to improve their skills and marketing capabilities. Supporters also set up a centre for the display and sale of their products.
07/01/2015BANGLADESH Mgr Rozario tells Bangladesh’s Catholic physicians to care for patients’ spiritual needs by Sumon Corraya Each year, the Catholic Church organises training workshops for health workers. Catholic clinics have high professional standards but cannot meet the demand for their services. For the bishop of Rajshahi, "Physicians must be honest." The country has some 70 Catholic health facilities, a hundred physicians and a thousand nurses.
07/01/2015INDIA Raipur archbishop: Catholic schools on strike to protest nun’s rape by Nirmala Carvalho Mgr Victor Henry Thakur led today’s demonstration, which involved 30 Christian and some private schools in the state of Chhattisgarh. “Ours is a symbolic shutdown and protest to express our anguish and pain at what happened,” the prelate said.
06/30/2015SRI LANKA For Buddhist environmentalist, ‘Laudato si’’ gives hope for our common home by Melani Manel Perera The Encyclical on environmental protection should inspire all new political projects. The planet’s development must go hand in hand with curbing unbridled economic development. By the end of the century, there will be 250 million "climate refugees". The race for profit, political pressure, and corruption also touches Sri Lankan society.
06/30/2015INDIA Vandals attack Baptist church, damage cross, in Bhiwani by Nirmala Carvalho Four motorcyclists threw stones at the building. After a first incident, they came back half an hour later to carry out a second attack. This is the first act of violence in Bhiwani District. For the church’s pastor, the attack was "an attempt to provoke tensions in the community." According to the president of the Global Council of Indian Christians, it was “intentionally provocative and anti-Christian."