21/02/2018 - CHINA-VATICAN
10 priests did not participate at Mass for the late Msgr. Yang Libo. With thousands of faithful they accuse the present bishop, ordained in the underground community, of having sought governmental recognition without sharing this with his community. The authorities forcibly removed the inscription on the tombstone on Msgr. Yang’s grave, which recorded the periods he spent in prison because of the faith (almost 30 years). The difficulties of reconciliation.
by Baifa Yuqiao
21/02/2018 - ISRAEL
Deportation of Migrants: arrest of first seven Eritreans who refuse to leave Israel
Two of them survived torture in the Sinai. Refugees from the Holot detention center launch a hunger strike: "They are throwing our lives away". Israel wants to expel 15-20 thousand refugees, the prisons can only take 1,000.
21/02/2018 - VATICAN-CHINA-RUSSIA
The Ostpolitik of today and the 'outgoing' Church (III)by Stefano Caprio*
The collapse of Soviet communism gave reason to the Vatican political choices in opening up to Russia and Eastern Europe. The new Ostpolitik announces a new world without geographic or confessional delineations. Pope Francis pushes the Church towards the peripheries and towards the high sea, as St. John Paul II had hoped. Part III of an expert analysis.
21/02/2018 - PAKISTAN
Integral ecology: spring tree planting campaign launched in Karachiby Shafique Khokhar
The initiative is part of Caritas’s environment-related development plans inspired by Pope Francis’s Laudato Si’. A "spiritual ecological conversion" is needed to save the environment that surrounds us.
21/02/2018 - INDONESIA
Mass and Muslim solidarity after church attackby Mathias Hariyadi
Four people were wounded in the attack on 11 February. The 23-year-old Islamic extremist Suliyono who attacked the church armed with a sword has been forgiven. The Islamic organisations Muhammadiyah and Gus Durians show solidarity with Catholics.
21/02/2018 - INDIA
Holy Spirit Sisters support women's development in Madhya Pradeshby Purushottam Nayak
The congregation set up the Uday Social Development Society in 2009. "[E]ducation is the key to success in life". The NGO offers sewing, embroidery, cooking and home economics courses. Its goal is to make women independent and "agents of social transformation".
21/02/2018 - THAILAND
Air pollution warning for Bangkokby Weena Kowitwanij
Thammasat University is currently hosting a conference on public health and the environment. With the application of the Euro 4 standard to vehicle emissions, PM2.5 levels dropped by 25 per cent between 2013 and 2017.
21/02/2018 - KOREA – UNITED STATES
Intra-Korean and US-North Korean talks are the “pillars” to denuclearise the Korean Peninsula
A virtuous cycle is needed, South Korean Foreign Ministry says. The White House blames North Korea of cancelling a meeting with a US delegation in South Korea. US VP Pence planned to reiterate the administration’s tough stance face-to-face.
21/02/2018 - MALDIVES - INDIA - CHINA
State of emergency scuppers tourism, Chinese and Indian warships nearby
The Parliament extended the measure for another 30 days. Tour operators cancel hotel and flight reservations. The crisis is part of the regional power struggle between Beijing and Delhi.
21/02/2018 - SYRIA - TURKEY
Syrian army come to aid of Afrin’s Kurdish militias against Turkish offensive
Pro-government forces have reached the autonomous region to the north, where YPJ Kurds are holding off an attack by Turkish forces. Erdogan threatens to besiege the area to bend the Kurdish resistance. International diplomacy fears an escalation of the conflict between Damascus and Ankara. A desperate situation envelopes East Ghouta.
20/02/2018 - TURKEY – GREECE
Seventeen Turkish officials seek political asylum in Greeceby NAT da Polis
The group of civil servants and judges with their families claim they are victims of persecution by the Turkish regime. Tensions between Turkey and Greece are bound to rise as both claim inlets off the coast of Turkey.
20/02/2018 - INDIA
The year 2017 was the worst for Christians in Indiaby Purushottam Nayak
An evangelical group issued a report highlighting 351 cases of violence, but the figure is not exhaustive, as many victims are afraid to come forth to report attacks to police. In three years, attacks against churches and other places of worship increased by 28 per cent.
20/02/2018 - BANGLADESH
Snehonir, the 'house of tenderness' for the disabled (photos)
Founded 25 years ago by Shanti Rani Sisters and PIME missionaries in Rajshahi, the facility is open to the mentally and physically disabled, deaf, blind, orphans, poor, and abandoned. The guiding principle is to start them in life.
20/02/2018 - KOREA
Defeated on ice, but 'first' in history, joint Korean hockey team players hug
After losing to Sweden in their last match, the Korean team ends up in seventh place. Players burst into tears at their imminent separation. "Politicians made that executive decision [to have a joint team]. Our players and staff are the ones that made it work,” said the team’s proud Canadian coach. One South Korean athlete hopes the country is proud of them. "It was bigger than hockey."
20/02/2018 - UZBEKISTAN
Tashkent, 18 thousand removed from the 'blacklist' of extremists
In the Karimov era, with the fight against religious extremism, the secret services justified abuse and were the armed arm against dissent. Mirzyoyev denounces torture of innocent people and promises to bring the guilty to justice.
20/02/2018 - INDONESIA – RUSSIA – UNITED STATES
Indonesia sees no consequence of Russian jet sale on relations with United Statesby Mathias Hariyadi
Half of the US$ 1.14 billion deal will be paid with a barter scheme. In recent years, Indonesia has turned to Russia to upgrade its air force, turning down the offer of US F-16s. Since 2013, the Kremlin has supplied the Indonesian Air Force with five Su-27 and eleven Su-30 aircraft.
20/02/2018 - CHINA-VATICAN
Dear Chinese bishops, where is the measure of your heart?by Joseph*
20/02/2018 - SYRIA
The Syrian army ready for the offensive in Ghouta east. Dozens of civilian victims
At least 100 people died in one day alone yesterday, including 20 children; added to these are 470 wounded. The UN calls for an end to the bombings and talks about an "out of control" situation. Deposits and hospital facilities also affected. The rebels respond by throwing mortars on Damascus.
20/02/2018 - THAILAND-JAPAN
Surrogacy, Japanese man given 'lone custody’ of 13 children
In 2014, the case caused a scandal, prompting the authorities to enact a law that prevents foreigners from seeking services of commercial subrogation in Thailand. Wombs for rent industry first moved to Cambodia and, after a ban there, to Laos.
20/02/2018 - VATICAN-CHINA-RUSSIA
Criticism of Ostpolitik, persecution and dissent (II)by Stefano Caprio*
Paul VI consistently defended Vatican overtures to the USSR, although they scandalized many in the Church. Benevolent politics did not stop persecutions, which instead intensified. But a form of ecumenical and cultural resistance was born and was lived by Catholics, Protestants and Orthodox in the concentration camps. Part Two of an expert analysis.
19/02/2018 - SAUDI ARABIA
Women to open own businesses without the permission of a male guardian
The Saudi Ministry of Commerce made the announcement yesterday. The Saudi public prosecutor’s office has begun to hire women. After the passport department advertised 140 jobs for women, 107,000 applications were received.
19/02/2018 - INDIA – VATICAN
Sr Arina Gonsalves joins Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minorsby Nirmala Carvalho
The Indian nun has a long experience with the Archdiocese of Mumbai. In 2016 Card Gracias chose her as a member of the expert group for child protection. In India, abuses occur “in schools and even in orphanages,” she notes.
19/02/2018 - BANGLADESH
Garo Christians attacked, robbed in Dhaka complain attackers want to ‘steal our land’by Sumon Corraya
Christian tribal organisations organised a protest in the capital, but police prevented them from doing so in front of the National Museum to censor the fact that soldiers raped two sisters.
19/02/2018 - INDONESIA – RUSSIA
Jakarta and Moscow agree on sale of 11 fighter jets
The two countries agree on trading palm oil, coffee and tea for Russian fighter jets. Forced by international sanctions, Russia seeks new markets, whilst Indonesia wants to develop the bilateral partnership in tourism, education, energy, technology and aviation.
19/02/2018 - PHILIPPINES
Church offers prayers and solidarity to Filipino migrants abroadby Santosh Digal
About ten million Filipinos work abroad. From January to November last year, they sent home about 1.4 trillion pesos (US$ 2.6 billion). They often endure abuse and exploitation. The country’s bishops back the government’s "the total ban" on workers going to Kuwait.
19/02/2018 - IRAN - ISRAEL
Netanyahu terms Iran a global threat. Zarif responds: 'Cartoonish circus’
Another battle is taking place between Israel and Iran at the International Security Conference in Munich. The Israeli premier shows the (alleged) fragment of a recently demolished Iranian drone. For Teheran, these are just attempts to distract from internal political problems. Israel's raid in Gaza in response to rocket launches from the Strip.
19/02/2018 - JAPAN – LEBANON
Lebanon’s Adyan Foundation awarded the 35th Niwano Peace Prize
The organisation’s mission is to strengthen coexistence between different groups and create the bases for solidarity between different faiths. To reach this goal, it has developed a Building Resilience and Reconciliation programme for children and educators, which offers a guide for peace and reconciliation for those affected by war in Syria.
19/02/2018 - CHINA-VATICAN
Underground Catholic: We are excluded from dialogue between China and the Holy Seeby John
Catholics of the unofficial Church complain that the "imminent" agreement between Rome and Beijing on the appointment of bishops forgets all the persecutions that the Christian communities are subject to. A criticism also to Msgr. Giuseppe Wei Jingyi, who - according to the author - is "underground” in name but not in nature. The repentant bishops show "repentance" only in private, but continue government policy in public.
19/02/2018 - RUSSIA
Dagestan, Isis attacks an Orthodox church, killing five women
The attack carried out by a 22 year-old. Faithful targeted at the end of the Maslenitsa festival. Dagestan is a Muslim majority republic. In 2015 ISIS created the "Caucasian province" of the fundamentalist group.
19/02/2018 - VATICAN-RUSSIA-CHINA
The old and new Ostpolitik of the Holy See (I)by Stefano Caprio*
The Vatican’s latest openings to China resemble the path traced by the old Ostpolitik of Card. Agostino Casaroli. Then as now, the Holy See’s moves have provoked and provoke disagreements, criticism and charges of forgetting the persecuted Church and human rights violations. Casaroli himself had doubts about his effectiveness, although he was eager to implement the dimension of dialogue, rediscovered with the Second Vatican Council. Part One.
18/02/2018 - VATICAN
Pope: Lent: temptation, conversion and good news
At the Angelus, Pope Francis emphasizes that Lent is a time of "spiritual training" to overcome evil in us and around us. "In our life we always need conversion, and the Church makes us pray for this". "Only God can give us true happiness: it is useless to waste our time looking for it elsewhere, in riches, in pleasures, in power, in careers". The invitation to young people to participate - even online – in the meeting in preparation for the October Synod. Message of affection to prisoners. A remembrance in prayer for the beginning of the Roman Curia’s spiritual exercises.
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