08/27/2014VATICAN Pope: Division among Christians is not just schism, but result of idle gossip and the work of the devil At the General audience, Francis recalls Jesus' prayer for the unity of Christians, who are still divided today. “How much we gossip in parishes". "But, this is not the Church! We must not do this! We should not do this! I will not tell you to cut out your tongues, no, no... But, ask the Lord for the grace not to [gossip]”. Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "The
division in a Christian community, be it in a school, a parish or in
an association, wherever, is a grave sin, because it is the devil's
work", said Pope Francis today during his catechesis for the
08/27/2014VIETNAM To please Beijing, Hanoi jails three activists on false charges The blogger Bui Thi Minh Hang, leader of the protests against China's imperialist policies, is sentenced to three years prison. Police arrest dozens of activists outside the courtroom, then they beat them up in the barracks. The convictions coincide with a senior government officials visit to Beijing.
08/26/2014CHINA - JAPAN - VIETNAM Beijing's diplomacy to ease maritime tensions with Tokyo and Hanoi Next month, a senior Chinese government official and a childhood friend of Xi Jinping, will visit Japan. Her goal is to mend relations ahead of the November APEC summit. Beijing wants to overcome disagreements in the name of "common interests." Senior Vietnamese official visits Chinese capital at the invitation of the Chinese Communist Party.
08/26/2014VIETNAM Hanoi resorts to traffic charges to jail dissidents Three activists on trial on charges of having "incited" public disorder and causing a “serious obstruction to traffic". Those on trial include a popular blogger, critic of China, and a Buddhist faithful. They face up to seven years in jail. Pro human rights groups accuse Vietnam of not respecting its international obligations.
08/25/2014INDONESIA - ISLAM In Jakarta, Muslim leaders explain Islamic fundamentalism to Christians by Royani Lim An initiative promoted by the Bishops' Conference was attended by bishops, priests, nuns as well as lay Catholics and Protestants. Speakers included experts in counter-terrorism and scholars of religion and society. Social injustice, poverty and propaganda feed extremism. We need moderate Muslim figures in the foreground, like former President "Gus Dur".
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."
08/23/2014INDONESIA Jakarta, hundreds of students participate in "Live for God, Life for Good" by Mathias Hariyadi With this motto, young Catholicsjoined the initiative promoted by Persink activists. The movement born in the 80's aims to help students of state institutions in their journey of faith and formation. Moments of meditation and spiritual reflection alongside activities and games.
08/22/2014VIETNAM Half a million Vietnamese Catholics on pilgrimage to the Marian shrine of La Vang For the Church in Vietnam, this was a major moment of bearing witness that confirms the devotion of the faithful to the Virgin. The leaders of Vietnam's Bishops Conference and Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli were present at the event. The pilgrimage provided an opportunity to revive the missionary commitment based on the theme "Evangelisation of family life."
08/22/2014MALAYSIA Kuala Lumpur, nation mourns over victims of Flight MH17 shot down in Ukraine Today, the first 20 bodies arrived at the airport in the capital. 43 Malaysians died in the air disaster, 15 of them crew members. Highest authorities present, flags at half-mast and for the first time a national day of mourning declared for civilian casualties. Malaysia Airlines' condolence to family members.
08/21/2014INDONESIA - ISLAM Borobudur, Islamists target Indonesia’s most important Buddhist temple by Mathias Hariyadi The complex, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, risks being destroyed like the Buddhas of Bamiyan. Authorities strengthen security measures. Citizens invited to participate in the defense of "cultural heritage". President Yudhoyono declares jihadist violence "humiliating" for Islam.
08/21/2014THAILAND Army leader Prayuth Chan-ocha is new Prime Minister of Thailand Powers conferred by interim Parliament, with a unanimous vote. He was the only candidate for the leadership of the government. Formal ratification of King Bhumibol Adulyadej needed. The new prime minister will reform the country without a real internal opposition; next elections slated for the end of 2015.