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Mgr Pierbattista Pizzaballa issues a letter calling for prayer. In it, he acknowledges the pain for the blood-soaked Holy Land and slams “all forms of violence, any cynical use of human lives and disproportionate violence.” For Fr Ibrahim, a Palestinian priest, "At this time, our hope rests only in the Lord God, to bring about a change in the hearts of political leaders, so that this bloodshed can end."

| 16/05/2018
| ISRAEL – PALESTINE
by Melani Manel Perera

The first meetings were held in Mannar District on 12 May. The Office must look into the disappearance of more than 20,000 people during almost 30 years of civil war. Meanwhile, families hold protest rallies over the slow pace and modus operandi of the investigation.

| 16/05/2018
| SRI LANKA
by Thanh Thuy

Mgr Joseph Châu Ngọc Tri, bishop of Lạng Sơn and Cao Bằng said, “We offer our lives as if they were flowers to [. . .] Our Lady.” Five colours symbolise the graces the Vietnamese ask from Our Lady. In Ho Chi Minh City, thousands take part in the ceremony organised by the Sisters of the St Thomas Institute.

| 16/05/2018
| VIETNAM
by Lao Gao (老高)

Throughout its history, China’s Communist Party has used well-known Buddhist leaders, Protestant clergymen and bishops to control religious communities and bend them to its will. The stories of Zhao Puchu, Zhao Fusan, Li Chuwen, and Jin Luxian are examples of that. A possible deal over episcopal the appointments between China and the Vatican is now raising fears.

| 16/05/2018
| CHINA – VATICAN
by Anil JT Couto*

Mgr Couto calls on the faithful in every parish to recite the prayer for a year as well as fast and perform the Eucharistic adoration. The secretary of the Bishops’ Conference urges believers to pray so that the country can be guided by pluralism and government wisdom in which the poor, tribals and Dalits are considered and respected with equal dignity. In Karnataka’s elections, surprisingly, the BJP does not get a majority.

| 16/05/2018
| INDIA

Francis receives a Thai Buddhist delegation. Christians and Buddhists "are witnesses in the world of the values ​​of justice, peace and the protection of human dignity". Dialogue and peace in the meeting with a delegation of Dharmic religions.

| 16/05/2018
| VATICAN-THAILAND

Countermeasures voted to penalize imports of products, investments and property of US citizens. Measures also against "traitors": those who fearing sanctions, do not invest in the Crimea or do not trade with companies hit by the US embargo. The experience of Iranian and Cuban "friends".

| 16/05/2018
| RUSSIA-US

Francis expresses concern and pain for "the sharpening of tensions". Concluding catechesis on Baptism, affirms that children have the "right of children" to receive a Christian education which "tends to gradually lead them to know God's plan in Christ: thus they can personally ratify the faith in which they have been baptized.” Greetings to Muslims ahead of Ramadan.

| 16/05/2018
| VATICAN

Zarif: "We are on track", further progress "in the coming weeks". Mogherini: preserving the principles of the agreement. French exports to Iran have tripled since the signing. In 2017, German exports reached three billion.

| 16/05/2018
| IRAN - EU
by Mathias Hariyadi

The terrorists killed one policeman and wounded another. The commando driver arrested. After the Christian minority, victim of a series of attacks in Surabaya, the Indonesian security forces are once again targeted by terrorists.

| 16/05/2018
| INDONESIA

The inter-Korean meeting was to be held today in Panmunjom. Criticism of the joint military exercises between the South and the USA judged as a preparation for the "invasion" of the North. Critics of John Bolton's suggestions of a "Libyan model" to denuclearize the peninsula. Bolton is "repugnant". Rejection of total denuclearization. The influence of China.

| 16/05/2018
| KOREA-US
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