08/30/2014BANGLADESH Bangladesh, no let up in floods: millions of people at risk by Sumon Corraya The torrential rains that are hitting the country have devastated 19 of 64 national districts. Over 20 thousand houses under water, the authorities close schools: if the situation does not change, all of these buildings will have to be demolished. The victims helpless, while the government admits: "We are not able to help everyone." Dhaka (AsiaNews) - The terrible floods that are hitting Bangladesh have devastated 19 of the 64 national
districts, leaving millions of people with little food, no...
08/29/2014PAKISTAN Quetta, three journalists murdered as attacks on Pakistani press mount by Jibran Khan Last night two armed men raided the journalists offices shooting them in cold blood. The assailants fled, police searches so far prove vain. President of Catholic journalists: intimidation against those who seek to "tell the truth". The country is 158th out of 180 for freedom of the press.
08/29/2014NEPAL NGOs "force" Nepali Muslims to use contraceptives and abortion by Christopher Sharma Several Islamic leaders from the poorest areas of the country speak out against non-governmental organizations, which will only provide humanitarian aid if households adopt their methods of family planning: "This is despicable, it goes against our faith and exploits our poverty".
08/28/2014NEPAL Religious festival discriminates against the poor, Hindus should learn from Pope Francis by Christopher Sharma The festival of Teej is dedicated to women and is currently underway across the country. However, people continue to struggle against hunger and poverty as well as the effects of floods and landslides in the poorest districts of the country. Activists slam waste and selfishness among the rich. An expert on Hinduism warns that this way religion is emptied of its beliefs.
08/28/2014IRAQ - ISLAM The barbaric cruelty of the Caliphate puts Islam to the test by Samir Khalil Samir The bloodthirsty and dramatic violence of the Islamic State has met with lukewarm condemnation but above all the silence of the Muslim world. The causes: an education system that rejects critical thought in preference of memorization; a religion that paralyzes reason and intelligence (as Muslims themselves state). The hideous cruelty of the former Isis goes against the Koran and the life of Muhammad. But are the humus in which the violence "in the name of God" appears justified. Islam needs to be profoundly renewed through a radical transformation of the educational method.
08/28/2014INDIA Uttar Pradesh: Hindu radicals "reconvert" Christians, turn church into a temple dedicated to Shiva by Nirmala Carvalho Fundamentalists tore down the building's cross. Celebrating a "purification" ceremony, they put up a large portrait of Shiva. Tribals had converted to Christianity in 1995. For local Hindu leader, "It is not about conversion. They realised their mistake, came back and we welcomed them." A saddened Card Gracias reiterates the Christian mission in favour of the marginalised, whilst Sajan George warns, "violence against minorities goes unpunished in the state".
08/27/2014INDIA Pilar Missionary: Witnessing the Gospel to tribal Mundari, amid poverty and malnutrition by Nirmala Carvalho Fr. Lino Fernandes presides at the funeral of two young men, belonging to the same family, who died from "poverty". Conditions of the tribal community worsened by lack of access to medical facilities. The Indian president praises the work of the Church, but state institutions do not help the priests in their mission. Like Mother Teresa, serving "the poorest of the poor."
08/26/2014INDIA Mumbai's Jewish center re-opens after 2008 terrorist attack by Nirmala Carvalho Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg, his wife Rivky and 4 other people died in the attack: the small Moshe, their son, survived thanks to his Indian nanny. Today the structure has been restored: "This project is a seed of light and hope, reminding us how we can survive even in the most terrible of the challenges. Evil will not prevail".
08/26/2014PAKISTAN Karachi: Population in revolt over water shortages Population growth and aging water system has led to a serious crisis. Some neighborhoods have had no water for over three months. Women and children have to walk miles to nearest water source. Population demand water "at least once a week". Profit to be made from water attracts criminal underworld.
08/25/2014NEPAL Catholics celebrate godparents and Pope Francis on Father's Day by Christopher Sharma Hindus mark the celebration, which is popular in the country, with ceremonies of gratitude and gifts to biological fathers. Catholics choose to spend the day with the "parents in the faith", showing their love for "the father of us all, the pontiff."
08/25/2014BANGLADESH Bangladesh, targeted attacks and social injustices behind the "disappearance" of Hindus by Sumon Corraya In 1947 the Hindus in the then East Pakistan were 28% of the population, they are now below 8.5% and continue to decline day by day. The Prime Minister Hasina launched an appeal in favor of a multi-religious country in which all citizens are equal, but experts argue: "They have no protection and no justice, so they flee".
08/25/2014INDIA Orissa, six years on from pogrom "faith in the crucified Christ never abandons us" by Nirmala Carvalho The Indian State,scene of terrible anti-Christian persecution in 2008, today holds a Day of Remembrance in memory of the victims and to demand justice from the government. The Archbishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneshwar tells AsiaNews: "The testimony of victims has produced fertile seeds, which nourish faith and vocations." Card. Gracias: "The suffering of Christians in India, offered for peace in Iraq".
08/24/2014VATICAN Pope appeals for peace in Ukraine. Peter's blind faith and hearts of "rock" or "sand" At the Angelus, Pope Francis recalls situation of conflict that create "so much suffering among the civilian population". A bishop writes a letter to the pope, "describing this pain." As for Peter, Jesus expects a "reliable", faith on which to build the Church. "What is your faith like? We should all find the answer in our hearts. What does the Lord find in our hearts? A stable heart like stone, or a heart like sand, that is incredulous, doubtful, suspicious?". He makes the pilgrims repeat Peter's profession three times: "You are Christ, the Son of the living God."