Holy See - Israel: 10 years later, the problems still to be resolved

21/01/2015 MYANMAR
Burmese army rapes, tortures and kills two Christian Kachin teachers
The violence took place in the village of Shabuk-Kaunghka, Shan State. In their 20s, the two teaching volunteers had come to the village to provide education to locals. Revenge for clashes between regular army units and rebels appears to be the reason for the incident. Burma's Churches condemn the crime, noting the work Christian volunteers do in the field of education.
19/01/2015 CHINA - VATICAN
Pope Francis sends telegram to Xi Jinping. Xinhua’s black out on Philippines’ visit
It is still unknown whether there was any response from Xi Jinping. The state agency publishes only bad news-stories related to the Philippines, coinciding with the papal visit. Instead the Global Times instead publishes editorials and extensive photo coverage on yesterday’s Mass.
16/01/2015 INDIA - SRI LANKA
For Indian bishop, we need new missionaries like Saint Joseph Vaz
The bishop of Vasai made a pilgrimage in India to honour the first saint of Sri Lanka. He "personally experienced the love of God within him and took this love to the island of Sri Lanka to pass it on to others". The missionary was "a model of inter-religious peace" and dialogue.
29/12/2014 CHINA
Beijing to publish list of "legal" religious venues to "eradicate" illegal religious activities
The list will be completed within two years. It already includes 16,140 registered Buddhist and Taoist temples and places of worship. For 20 years, the UN has called on Beijing to drop the distinction between "legal" and "illegal" religious activities. A law on religions seems urgent. Taoist and Buddhist monks criticise the use of temples and places of worship as moneymaking tourist destinations.
24/12/2014 JAPAN
Christmas in Japan, studying Evangelii Gaudium to understand the faith better
During Advent, the bishop of Niigata led study sessions dedicated to Pope Francis' apostolic exhortation, which he describes as "a major challenge for Catholics" in Japan. In the New Year, it will be the turn to study Ad Gentes.
17/12/2014 INDONESIA
Central Java, Islamist threat: Scrap Christmas symbols and no celebrations
Dozens of Islamic extremists of the Sukaharjo District attacked three shops in Solo. The group has forced retailers not to allow employees to wear Christmas symbols or to promote celebrations. The Mayor of Banda Aceh issued a public announcement prohibiting Muslims to attend Christian events.
16/12/2014 IRAQ - VATICAN
As 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul' continues, Mosul bishop notes that Jesus is born amid refugee containers
Persecuted by the Islamic state, refugees have lost everything: belongings, home, jobs, school, and their future. Yet, their faith and mission remain strong. For them, almost 900,000 euros have been raised and sent. Pope Francis sends a message of closeness. The campaign continues according to the Patriarch of Baghdad's proposal of fasting and moderation at Christmas and New Year, with the money saved offered to the Christians of Mosul.
16/12/2014 INDONESIA
Java, the Church in the field for flood victims: volunteers and basic needs
The last toll estimates 57 victims; four days from the landslide, rescue teams are still searching for survivors. The Parish of St. Anthony in Banjarnegara has set up two emergency centers. Caritas in Purwokerto has taken action sending dozens of volunteers. Help appreciated by Muslim NGOs.
15/12/2014 CAMBODIA
Christmas for Vuon, a Cambodian who converted and beat illness thanks to Jesus
Vuon is a young man living with polio, who in faith found the strength to "keep walking". During his childhood, he lived among street kids in the capital, in search of work as a source of redemption. His encounter with Jesus allowed him to overcome his alcoholism problem and create a family. A PIME missionary in Cambodia tells his story.
15/12/2014 SRI LANKA - VATICAN
Archbishop of Colombo: Have faith, Pope Francis will bring peace to Sri Lanka
Card. Malcolm Ranjith intervenes in the debate sparked by the proximity of Presidential elections with the apostolic trip next January. Both candidates have assured the Bishops' Conference that "a peaceful atmosphere will prevail."
15/12/2014 JAPAN
Tokyo: as expected, Shinzo Abe wins big
The coalition led by outgoing premier won 325 seats out of 475, or two thirds of seats needed to govern unchallenged. Experts insist the outcome is less a victory for the prime minister than a defeat for the opposition whose leader lost his seat. Now the prime minister has three years to implement his "Abenomics", restart nuclear plants and redesign the armed forces.
15/12/2014 VATICAN
For Pope, Catholics should avoid the "sins of the media: disinformation, slander and defamation"
The "tasks" of those involved in social communication include speaking freely, without submissions to politics or economics; choosing the "path of understanding" the whole of reality; and avoiding attention-grabbing the user. "Genuine communication is not concerned with attention-grabbing. Alternating catastrophic alarmism and consolatory detachment - two extremes that we see continually in today's communication - are not a good service media offer to people."
13/12/2014 CHINA - JAPAN
Xi Jinping solemnly commemorates Nanjing massacre
About 10,000 people attended the state ceremony, which marked three new holidays associated with Japan's invasion and the end of World War Two. For Xi, the commemoration will serve peace, not hatred, between the two peoples. However, governments foster patriotism as a weapon.
13/12/2014 INDIA
Odisha: Catholic missionaries offer "permanent" scholarships to ten poor girls
The Missionary Sisters Servants of the Holy Spirit (SSpS) celebrate the 125th anniversary of their congregation by following the girls from kindergarten to university, until they find a job and become independent.
13/12/2014 VATICAN
Pope tells Union of Blind and Sight-impaired Persons that Saint Lucy teaches courage, community, and self-giving
On the feast day of the patron saint of the blind, Francis Pope stresses the "human" values to which ​​she bore witness, which are important even for a "non-denominational" association. What are needed are courage not to take on an attitude of "victimisation," and a sense of community by way of "supporting one another". Giving oneself to others is the secret of happiness.