19 August 2017
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  • 18/08/2017 - PHILIPPINES

    The killings are the “epitome of the aggressive campaign of the present government against illegal drugs,” Fr Gariguez said. The “President is determined to push for his violent and barbaric method in waging the war on drugs. He cannot be swayed, even by the moral admonitions of the Church which he admittedly despises.”




    18/08/2017 - INDONESIA

    Jakarta, Widodo defends multiculturalism on Independence Day

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    Indonesia’s president and vice president wear traditional clothes in parliament. With this gesture, Widodo and Kalla put aside the political disagreements that marked their relationship because of the court case involving Jakarta’s former Christian governor, Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama. The country’s “new nationalism" has found momentum in recent official ceremonies.


    18/08/2017 - INDIA

    Kolkata, Muslim students promote respect for human dignity


    The Students Islamic Organisation of India is behind the initiative. Over two weeks, young people will promote respect for life throughout the country. This comes after a series of violent actions against Dalit and Muslims. Symposia, seminars and public lectures are on the agenda. The campaign is meant to glorify “the very tenets of humankind”.


    18/08/2017 - CHINA-VATICAN

    Chinese Priest: The differences between the funeral of Msgr. Xie and Msgr. Li

    by Shan Ren Shen Fu (山人神父)

    For the first, the bishop of Urumqi, priests and faithful were banned from taking part in the funeral mass; there was no episcopal insignia in the photos; only half an hour for the ceremony. The other, bishop of Taiyuan, was surrounded by the affection and  esteem of thousands of his priests and faithful. But "the saints who welcome the two bishops to the door of Paradise are equally numerous."


    18/08/2017 - HONG KONG

    Stiffer sentences for Joshua Wong and two other pro-democracy activists


    Last year the court sentenced Joshua Wong, Nathan Law and Alex Chow to community service, but the decision was deemed too lenient for the Hong Kong government. A prison sentence of more than three months bars people from taking part in elections for five years. For human rights activists, the court decision was politically motivated in order to silence the three and deter further protests.


    18/08/2017 - VATICAN – SPAIN – ASIA

    Pope prays for Barcelona victims. Asian nations express their condolences


    Papal telegram is sent to the archbishop of Barcelona. Victims come from 20 countries, including some in Asia: China, Pakistan, the Philippines, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Putin and Xi Jinping call for greater unity and coordination to fight terrorism. Arab countries express their closeness.


    18/08/2017 - INDIA - SPAIN

    Indian bishop condemns Spain terrorist attacks

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    Archbishop Machado chairs the Office for Ecumenism and Interreligious Dialogue of the Federation of Asian Episcopal Conferences. "It seems that humanity has abandoned the dream of living a happy life." Encourage encounter between religious leaders who want peace.


    18/08/2017 - SPAIN - ISLAM

    Islamic terrorism in Spain: 13 people die in Barcelona, attack foiled in Cambrils


    Isis has claimed the attack on Barcelona. The author of the terrorist attack is at large. The Catalan police arrest two people. A white Fiat van crashed into people on the Rambla pedestrian boulevard. The confirmed dead are 13, hundreds injured. In Cambrils (Tarragona), five terrorists shot dead by the police.


    18/08/2017 - YEMEN - SAUDI ARABIA - UN

    UN: Over half of the children killed in Yemen conflict killed by Saudi bombs


    A United Nations draft report document’s an indictment against Riyadh. The attacks of the Arab coalition in 2016 killed 683 children on a total of 1340. Damage to schools and hospitals caused by Saudi raids (38 out of 52). Cholera emergency continues: cases exceed half a million.


    18/08/2017 - IRAN

    Mehdi Kharroubi halts hunger strike


    The authorities have agreed to remove guards from the house where he has been detained under house arrest since 2011. Kharroubi called for a public trial. His son: "Officials have promised they will take action on it."


    17/08/2017 - ISRAEL – PALESTINE

    Suicide bomber kills Hamas militant in Rafah


    He was stopped a few hundred metres from the border with Egypt. The blast killed one and wounded four, one seriously. According to the Interior Ministry in Gaza, an Islamic State militant is responsible. Salafi threats rise in the Strip.


    17/08/2017 - INDIA

    For Jesuit activist, India is still ruled by tyrants after 70 years of independence


    Fr Cedrik Prakash, who works for the Refugee Service in Lebanon, speaks on the 70th anniversary of India’s independence. The country has fallen into the hands of Hindu nationalists, and religious minorities, the education system, and freedom of expression are its victims. He cites the poem ‘Where the Mind does not Fear’.


    17/08/2017 - VIETNAM

    Church against the pollution of Montagnard water resources in Kon Tum

    by Nguyen Hung

    Unfettered industrial development and the lack of government enforcement of environmental protection threaten the existence of local tribal communities. "Many children have contracted scabies. Adults are pale," said the local diocese’s charity and social committee. Local authorities confirm that "about 80 per cent of the poor are affected by illnesses due to contaminated water." Local clergymen and nuns are very aware of the importance of environmental protection for the health of local communities. Water contamination is a growing problem in the region.


    17/08/2017 - CHINA – VATICAN

    The funerals of Mgr Xie Tingzhe and Mgr Li Jiantang show the government’s double standards

    by Bernardo Cervellera

    The first, an underground bishop not recognised by the government, was cremated and hurriedly buried. The faithful and priests were forbidden to attend the funeral Mass, and taking pictures at the service was banned. The second, a bishop with the official Church and a political advisor to the Chinese parliament, was exposed for several days honoured and his funeral was open to concelebrants and the faithful.


    17/08/2017 - CHINA – SOUTH ASIA

    As China inks deals with Nepal and Pakistan confrontation with India continues


    For the past three months, Indian and Chinese troops have faced off near Bhutan. China’s deputy prime minister signs a humanitarian aid package and an agreement for oil and gas exploration with Nepal. Beijing is set to build a US$ 4 billion refinery and petrochemical complex near Karachi.


    17/08/2017 - IRAN

    Kharroubi hospitalized: on hunger strike to demand public trial


    He would accept the verdict even if he would not expect a "fair trial". His health conditions, worsening since July, deteriorated after a day of fasting from food and water. The Reformist leader has been under house arrest and 24 hour surveillance since 2011 without any formal charges.


    17/08/2017 - RUSSIA

    The Feast of the Assumption at the Kremlin

    by Vladimir Rozanskij

    The cathedral of the Dormition of the Mother of God, consecrated on August 15, 1327, is erected in the historic center of Moscow. The building that is seen today is the work of a Venetian architect who has integrated Italian, Byzantine and Russian styles. The church, still functional, but more like a museum of icons, is witness to the greatest events in Russian history.


    17/08/2017 - KOREA - USA

    Moon: There will be no new war on the Korean peninsula


    100 days since the beginning of his mandate, the South Korean President reiterated his approach to North Korea: openness to dialogue and sanctions. Any military option (of the US) will need Seoul's consent. Pyongyang has to stop the production of nuclear weapons. Relations with Japan.


    16/08/2017 - TURKEY – IRAN

    Kurds and Islamic State at the centre of the historic visit by Iranian General Bagheri to Turkey


    For Iran’s official news agency, the visit is "unprecedented". Turkish media consider it a "milestone" in relations between Tehran and Ankara. Iran’s top Revolutionary Guards official will meet Turkey’s president and defence minister. For analysts and experts, despite its defeats the Islamic state is still a threat to the future of Syria and Iraq.


    16/08/2017 - PAKISTAN

    Christian prisoner who refused to reject his faith dies in custody in Lahore


    Indaryas Ghulam died under mysterious circumstances in police custody. He had burns and cuts on his body. He was one the 42 people arrested for lynching two Muslims after the Youhanabad church attacks. The prisoner could have saved his life had he denied Christ.


    16/08/2017 - KAZAKHSTAN

    Orthodox priest put on trial for praying with children at a summer camp in the mountains


    Officials inspected the camp and tried to interrogate the children. This is the first time an Orthodox clergyman I charged with breaking the ‘Law on Religious Activities and Religious Associations’.


    16/08/2017 - KOREA – UNITED STATES

    Rhetoric between Pyongyang and Washington toned down


    Kim Jong-un holds off on his threats against Guam. Tillerson says the US is open to talks with North Korea. South Korea, China and Russia continue to urge calm and demand no military action.


    16/08/2017 - INDONESIA

    Indonesian Church: Pancasilia is the nation's philosophical and political platform

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    The basic principles of the nation reiterated in a Catholic national conference. The "Five pillars" must be protected and defended in critical situations, including intolerance and secularism.


    16/08/2017 - VIETNAM - TAIWAN

    Vietnamese Church brings Formosa victims' protests to Taiwan


    "Going abroad to be heard." Bishop Paul Nguyên Thai Hopof the diocese of Vinh, visitsTaipei with the Victim Support Committee. Protests fueled by compensation criteria set by Vietnamese government and Formosa. The province of Nghệ An is excluded from the list of the four provinces affected under remuneration scheme.


    16/08/2017 - INDIA

    Indian Associations: On 25 August we remember the Christian victims of Kandhamal

    by Purushottam Nayak

    The National Solidarity Forum includes over 70 organizations and was born following the 2008 pogroms against Christians. "Kandhamal Day" not to forget the victims and give them justice. "Your solidarity will inspire those still struggling." The Forum's demands.


    16/08/2017 - LEBANON - BURKINA FASO

    Three Lebanese among the 18 victims of the terrorist attack on Turkish restaurant in Ouagadougou


    Nabih Berri condemns the attack and expresses "condolences and sorrow" to the relatives of the victims. The attack is latest in a long streak of blood to hit West Africa. Terrorists target economic interests and activities of foreigners operating in the region.


    16/08/2017 - HONG KONG - CHINA

    Activist 'kidnapped' and 'tortured by Chinese' arrested: the police doubt his version

    by Paul Wang

    Security Cameras at Yau Ma Tei picture Howard Lam always alone, wearing a hat, a surgical mask and sunglasses. He states he is not the man in the film. Doctors doubt his mental health. But the Democratic Party demands more evidence from the police and still defends Lam's version. chief of the executive Carrie Lam remains prudent .


    15/08/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: May the Blessed Mary bring the grace that is Jesus Christ to our families


    During the Angelus of the Assumption, Pope Francis entrusted to Mary "the anxieties and sorrows of the populations who suffer in many parts of the world from natural calamities, social tensions or conflicts." God “works great things through humble people, unknown to the world, like Mary herself,” whilst “Our Lady also brought to us a new joy full of meaning”.


    14/08/2017 - HOLY LAND

    Theophilos III slams Israeli court over illegally obtained Greek Orthodox properties


    In 2004, the previous patriarch sold Church property in the Old City to an organisation of Jewish settlers. The current patriarch opposed the authorised sale, starting a legal battle. On 1 August, the Israeli court confirmed the sale agreement. Theophilos III will appeal to the Supreme Court against the “politically motivated” ruling, which will “have the most negative effect on the Christian presence in the Holy Land”.


    14/08/2017 - PAKISTAN

    For Muslims and Christians remember, Sister Ruth Pfau was “shining icon”

    by Shafique Khokhar

    Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi orders a state funeral for the nun, deemed a national hero. Muslims express their condolences. For writer and researcher Kakkazai Aamir, “we must pray to earn a small place” next to her. Hamza Arshad, a Muslim educator, calls Ruth Pfau “an angel of mercy for Pakistan." Inam Rana, lawyer and editor at the online Mukaalma newspaper, describes the nun as “a symbol of love, humanity and sacrifice." For the Justice and Peace Commission of the Pakistani Bishops' Conference, "her services to humanity were a pure manifestation of God's divine love".






    Editor's choices

    LEBANON – MIDDLE EAST – VATICAN
    For Eastern Catholic patriarchs, the genocide of Christians is an affront to all humanity

    Fady Noun

    Afflicted by wars, emigration and insecurity, Christian communities have now become "a small flock" amid the indifference of the international community. Patriarchs appeal to Pope Francis and the international community. Catholics and Orthodox share the same problems. The end of Christians in the East would be "a shameful stigma for the whole 21st century".


    KOREA
    Korean Bishops say no to “unreasonable provocations', call for a stop to the nuclear escalation by working for the “coexistence of humanity”



    Korean bishops issued an Exhortation today on the rising tensions around the Korean peninsula. North Korea but also "neighbouring countries" are at risk of "hasty unrestrained action" that could lead to the "death of innumerable people" and "deep wounds for the whole of humanity." They call for reduced military budgets and more spending on human and cultural development. They urge using "conscience, intelligence, solidarity, piety and mutual respect". A prayer is set for the feast day of the Assumption, which is also Korean Independence Day.


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