28 July 2016
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    27/07/2016 - POLAND – VATICAN

    On the plane taking him to Krakow for the 31st World Youth Day, Pope Francis spoke about the murder of Father Jacques Hamel, the priest killed in Saint Etienne du Rouvray. The issue of migration “requires a supplement of wisdom and mercy to overcome fears and achieve the greatest good.” At the same time, “we must encourage international collaborations and synergies in order to find solutions to conflicts and wars”.




    27/07/2016 - EGYPT-ISLAM-FRANCE

    The Grand Imam of Al Azhar condemns the killing of Fr. Jacques Hamel in France

    by Pierre Balanian

    Ahmad Al Tayyeb offers condolences to the French president, the archbishop of Rouen, the victims' families and to the whole of France. The assailants "devoid of any sense of humanity." In Islam "there is the order to respect the sacred places of worship and the sanctity of non-Muslims”. Counter terrorism means also fighting “extremist thought” in Islam.


    27/07/2016 - MALAYSIA – SINGAPORE

    WYD: 700 young people from Malaysia and Singapore have arrived in Krakow


    Mgr Julian Leow Beng Kim, archbishop of Kuala Lumpur, leads the group. He will walk with them and share their meals. Despite economic difficulties, the faithful have been responded generously. For catechist, "We must all learn that it is not about money, status, popularity, or any other idols in the world”.


    27/07/2016 - MALAYSIA - PHILIPPINES

    Kuala Lumpur sentences nine Filippino Islamist militants


    The men were part of ''royal army of the Sultanate of Sulu "which in 2013 attacked Borneo to demand Islamic rule. After six weeks of guerrilla warfare and 70 deaths, Malaysia managed to drive off the attackers and captured a few. Eight others were sentenced from 10 to 18 years in prison.


    26/07/2016 - POLAND - CHINA - WYD

    Beijing's tricks and violence to stop Chinese youth from reaching WYD

    by Vincenzo Faccioli Pintozzi

    The government yesterday blocked a group of 50 young pilgrims who had already boarded a plane bound for Krakow. Interrogated for hours by immigration, they were "admonished" and sent home with orders not to contact anyone abroad. Meanwhile, "young Chinese Catholics" hang around central World Youth Day locations in groups of five or six, with the task of spying on fellow countrymen. They work for cultural institutes or Chinese companies in Poland.


    26/07/2016 - POLAND – CHINA – WYD

    "Our dream is to bring World Youth Day to China, despite government obstacles”


    The big Chinese delegation in Krakow for 31st World Youth Days has not lost hope. “The government has done so much to discourage us, but they cannot win all the time.” One day the Pope “will celebrate young people in China." Participants express the joy and the wonder of being in Poland. “Religious aspect of this trip aside, the trip is a source of wonder. At home, it is like living in a kind of cultural prison”; what impresses here “the most so far is meeting the world.”


    26/07/2016 - ISLAM - EUROPE

    Fr Samir: Islamic terror in France and Germany a crisis of integration, but above all of politics

    by Samir Khalil Samir

    The kidnapping and murder of a priest near Rouen (France) and the various attacks in Würzburg, Munich, Ansbach (Germany) were carried out by young people, who were indoctrinated with ease. Germany was a model for the integration of refugees. But radical Islam cannot be assimilated. It is supported by Saudi Arabia and Qatar. There is no other road other than integration. But we must tell the truth: the Koran contains elements of war and violence. Western politicians suffer from ignorance and a loss of all moral sentiment.


    26/07/2016 - PHILIPPINES

    PIME missionary thanks God for ceasefire between government and Communist rebels


    Fr Peter Geremia speaks about renewed talks between the government and the New People's Army. About 150,000 people have died in 50 years of guerrilla war. President Duterte announced the ceasefire in his first state of the nation address. “It was high time to end this conflict” that harms “civilians caught between the two sides.”


    26/07/2016 - MYANMAR

    For bishop of Kalay, faith grows in diocese affected by depopulation


    Mgr Felix Lian Khen Thang talks about the life of the Church in Chin State, where Christians are the majority. Catholics are only 6 per cent, but their numbers are growing. “Some people come back from foreign lands” after seeking work abroad. The Holy Year and preparing for WYD have seen a flourishing of works of mercy and a greater awareness of confession and “God’s forgiveness".


    25/07/2016 - VIETNAM

    WYD far from Krakow: faith is “reborn” among Vietnamese youth

    by Thanh Thúy

    Thousands of young people who would have liked to have travelled to Krakow for WYD could not do so for economic reasons. Yet, they are committed to praying for the pope and putting into practice his message of mercy. Many students join charities and save money to donate to the poor.  Young people need to become “protagonists” in the life of the Church.


    24/07/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: Appeals and prayer for Munich and Kabul massacres. The prayer of Our Father


    At the Angelus, Pope Francis makes the pilgrims pray for the victims of terrorist attacks in Germany and Afghanistan, against the "dark security and peace prospects." "The word 'Father' is the 'secret' of the prayer of Jesus, is the key that He gives to us so we too can enter into that confidential relationship of dialogue with the Father who accompanied and supported all his life”. The Pope’s upcoming trip for World Youth Day in Krakow, from 27 July.


    23/07/2016 - POLAND - VATICAN - WYD

    Krakow, young people from all over the world and high alert for WYD


    A few days before the opening of the 13th World Youth Day security levels have been raised at Wawel, in the Market Square and the rest of the historic center. But the "peaceful" invasion of the young people is filling the  streets with colour. The first vocational stands and “street confessionals” are appearing, ready for the events led by the pontiff. A Taiwanese delegation travels 42 hours to reach the cultural capital of Poland: "exhausting but beautiful".


    23/07/2016 - INDONESIA

    West Java, nuns against corruption: a seminar to deepen awareness and initiatives

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    A group of 36 Franciscan Sisters of Sukabumi hold a three-day meeting. The event organized by Bhumiksara Foundation, in collaboration with the Bishops' Conference. Morality, intelligence and awareness against a "rampant" phenomenon.


    22/07/2016 - INDONESIA

    Wives “belong” to husbands, hence Indonesian Ulema against women’s pictures on social media

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    Muslim Cleric Council leader in Palu, central Sulawesi, calls for fines of up to US$ 1,500 for married women who post pictures of themselves online. “Provocative” pictures endanger marriages and are an insult to husbands. In Islam, a woman’s beauty “belongs” to her husband.


    22/07/2016 - ASIA – WYD

    Card Gracias: young Asians bring Asian values to World Youth Day in Krakow

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    "Our Asian pilgrims not only bring the grandeur, the vitality and beauty of Asia, but also the multi-cultural diversity, pluralism as well as Asian values of hospitality and family and, of course, the Church of the young.” Asia youth come to discover Krakow and the charisma of John Paul II, founder of the WYD.


    22/07/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: the Church and the world are still in need of contemplative religious


    Apostolic Constitution "Dei Vultum quaerere – Seeking the Face of God" indicates 12 "themes of reflection and discernment" on women’s contemplative life in general. Yes to social media, but not  as a means of "wasting time or escaping from the demands of fraternal life in community". No to "recruiting" sisters to avoid closing monasteries. Prayer “must enlarge your heart to embrace all humanity, especially those who suffer” and not close monastic life in on itself.


    21/07/2016 - MALAYSIA - USA

    Malaysian prime minister ready to cooperate in investigation of misappropriated funds


    Najib Razak ready to "cooperate across the board" on investigations related to the controversial 1MDB fund. US authorities have seized assets for a billion dollars. A case that has "cheated" population Malaysian on a "large scale". The stolen money also used to finance the film The Wolf of Wall Street. Saudi Arabian influence in elections.


    20/07/2016 - VATICAN - POLAND

    Pope: Estimated 2 million waiting in Krakow for WYD


    Francis will arrive by tram, along with a group of disabled people. He will visit Auschwitz, in silence, and Father Kolbe’s cell. "There are no particular concerns regarding security" and "no groups have withdrawn over security concerns".


    20/07/2016 - INDONESIA

    Indonesia’s most wanted man, terrorist Santoso, killed in Central Sulawesi

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    The Islamic leader killed in shootout with police. Known by the nom de guerre of Abu Wardah, he was the leader of East Indonesian Mujahidin (MIT). He was the first Indonesian Mujahideen to swear allegiance to the Islamic State. Satisfaction among police, soldiers and press for success.


    19/07/2016 - CHINA – VATICAN

    Chinese youth and priests prevented from attending World Youth Day

    by Bernardo Cervellera

    Some 2,000 young people from mainland China are expected in Krakow. However, many would-be participants have no money or sponsors. The authorities have banned official and underground priests from going because they are too friendly with the pope. Police have stopped young people at airports minutes before embarkation. Some fear that once home participants will be subjected to interrogation.


    19/07/2016 - INDONESIA

    Vaccines scandal: doctors and hospitals against Ministry of Health and Drug Agency

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    The story of counterfeit drugs has taken a violent turn. Angry people stormed two hospitals and attacked medical personnel. The ministry blames health care facilities and professionals. Doctors and hospital associations come up with rapid solutions to minimise the crisis.


    19/07/2016 - PHILIPPINES -CHINA

    Manila rejects Beijing proposal to "ignore" the Hague ruling on South China Sea


    Perfecto Yasay says government rejected an offer of talks "outside, and [in] contempt" of the International Court verdict. A proposal, he adds, that "is not in line" with "our national interests". The Philippines priority is to negotiate the return of fishermen to Scarborough Shoal. Beijing wants to continue its expansionist policy in the area.


    18/07/2016 - VIETNAM - CHINA

    Hanoi arrests dozens of activists for protesting against Chinese imperialism on the seas

    by Thanh Nhan

    Patriots and nationalists demonstrated in the capital and in Ho Chi Minh City. The protest  Beijing’s failure to respect the ruling on the disputed territories in the South China Sea. Hanoi fears that the demonstrations may turn against government. Vietnamese broadcaster cancels Chinese TV series: the actors signed a pro-Beijing petition.


    18/07/2016 - INDONESIA

    Islamists stop construction of shrine dedicated to the Virgin Mary near Yogyakarta

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    Catholic leader and shrine promoter Cahyo Binuko receives threats and is the victim of intimidation. Local authorities issued a building permit months ago, but local extremists have tried to stop the construction, accusing Catholics of playing games with local residents’ minds. Now they are putting pressures on the authorities to withdraw the building permit.


    17/07/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: More important than serving are listening and welcoming guests


    Francis spoke today about Jesus’s visit to two sisters, Martha and Mary, one of whom was “busy” and the other was “contemplative”. The right attitude belongs to those who "value the most important thing, i.e. the presence of the guest, Jesus." After the Marian prayer, the pope turned his thoughts to the Nice massacre. “May God, the good Father, welcome all the victims into his peace, support the wounded and comfort the families. May he dissolve every project of terror and death, so that no one dares to spill his brother's blood.” He also greeted “the great Chinese brothers and sisters” in the square.


    16/07/2016 - LAOS

    More and more women used for drug trafficking in Laos


    For drug lords, women blend more easily into crowds and go unnoticed to law enforcement. In the central province of Bolikhamsay alone, police stopped a hundred female couriers, including some who were pregnant. The women are usually aged 30 to 50. More Laotians are ending up in Thai prisons, twice as many as Burmese and Cambodians.


    15/07/2016 - MYANMAR

    Ministry for Ethnic Affairs brings hope for peace to Myanmar’s minorities


    For decades, the country’s minorities have been victims of persecution and violence, after unfulfilled promises of federalism and autonomy. The new NLD-led government is set to start plans for “peace, development and sustainability”. Doubts remain however about minorities’ effective participation in the peace process.


    15/07/2016 - INDONESIA

    Following child’s death, police hold 20 in connection with fake vaccines

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    Counterfeit drug affair sees first death. Police identify 20 people involved, take 16 into custody, and seize 205 phoney vaccines for hepatitis, 15 for tetanus, and others. Children immunised with fake vaccines in East Jakarta.


    15/07/2016 - VATICAN - FRANCE

    Pope condemns "blind violence" of Nice attack


    Solidarity with the French people hit "again" and with the victims' families. The pain of the Asian churches in a statement by Cardinal Gracias.


    15/07/2016 - PHILIPPINES

    For Filipino authorities, extra-judicial killings of alleged drug dealers a success


    President Rodrigo Duterte’s office released a statement hailing the death of almost 200 drug traffickers who were never tried and convicted in the two months since his election. “The fight against crime is apparently becoming a looming state-sanctioned cover for a policy of summary executions and extrajudicial killings,” a congresswoman says.






    Editor's choices

    POLAND - CHINA - WYD
    Beijing's tricks and violence to stop Chinese youth from reaching WYD

    Vincenzo Faccioli Pintozzi

    The government yesterday blocked a group of 50 young pilgrims who had already boarded a plane bound for Krakow. Interrogated for hours by immigration, they were "admonished" and sent home with orders not to contact anyone abroad. Meanwhile, "young Chinese Catholics" hang around central World Youth Day locations in groups of five or six, with the task of spying on fellow countrymen. They work for cultural institutes or Chinese companies in Poland.


    ISLAM - EUROPE
    Fr Samir: Islamic terror in France and Germany a crisis of integration, but above all of politics

    Samir Khalil Samir

    The kidnapping and murder of a priest near Rouen (France) and the various attacks in Würzburg, Munich, Ansbach (Germany) were carried out by young people, who were indoctrinated with ease. Germany was a model for the integration of refugees. But radical Islam cannot be assimilated. It is supported by Saudi Arabia and Qatar. There is no other road other than integration. But we must tell the truth: the Koran contains elements of war and violence. Western politicians suffer from ignorance and a loss of all moral sentiment.


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