30 March 2017
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  • 29/03/2017 - CHINA

    The people's court refuses to publish the final sentence against Fr. Fei Jisheng, a priest of the diocese of Shenyang. Local Catholics: "The judges recognize his innocence, but the court wants him convicted." The arrest took place on October 18 last year on suspicion of embezzlement of a sum of money which, however, belonged to the priest. Charges hide authorities’ attempts to stop his work of evangelization.




    29/03/2017 - INDIA

    I, a Hindu Brahmin convert to Christianity, even though everyone thought I was already a Catholic

    by Rajesh Nayak

    Rajesh Nayak waited 20 years for his baptism, which will take place on Easter. He met the faith when he was very young, but his parents’ opposition prevented him from converting. Through Christian adult initiation he really learnt to pray. "Before I did not know which god I was addressing,” he said.


    29/03/2017 - ISRAEL – FRANCE

    French-based NGO slams the "dangerous relationship" between French banks and Israeli settlements


    Four French banks and the Axa insurance company finance Israeli businesses and banks involved in settlements. French NGOs call for disinvestment.


    29/03/2017 - NEPAL

    Non-Catholics to join hundreds of young people on Lent march


    On 1st April, participants will leave Lamidanda at 8 am and travel to Lakure Bhanjyang, ending with a large Mass.


    29/03/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: An "imperative and urgent obligation" to protect civilians trapped in Mosul


    Our "great hope" that is founded in faith and promise "not to just of anyone, but of God." "We call today to the Lord for the grace to count not so much on our safety, on our own strength, but on the hope drawn by the promise of God."


    29/03/2017 - PAKISTAN -AFGHANISTAN

    Pakistani Church: the wall with Afghanistan will not stop infiltration of terrorists

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    Islamabad begins fortification of the colonial era "Durand Line". The border is not recognized by the Kabul authorities. Whole villages are located in between the two states. The blurred boundaries have facilitated the entry of militants, but also the passage of missionaries, sick and goods.


    29/03/2017 - RUSSIA – IRAN – SYRIA

    Business and Syria dominate Rouhani’s visit to Moscow


    The Iranian president met with his Russian counterpart, Putin, and Prime Minister Medvedev. The two sides signed 14 documents on political, economic, scientific and cultural cooperation. The partnership between Tehran and Moscow has had a positive impact in terms of stability and security. For Putin, Iran is “stable and reliable partner". In Iran, the presidential election looms.


    29/03/2017 - HONG KONG

    Chit Wai John Mok analyses the election of Hong Kong’s chief executive


    Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-Ngor won with 777 votes thanks to Chinese government meddling. "Beijing intervened in the ‘election’ unreservedly,” Chit Wai writes. “There will be no return to the original practice of the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ principle.”


    29/03/2017 - CHINA - TAIWAN

    Beijing admits holding Taiwanese rights activist


    Lee Ming-che supports rights in mainland China. He was reported missing. Now that she knows that he is in jail, his wife has asked for the help of international organisations.


    29/03/2017 - JORDAN

    Terrorism, regional wars and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at the Arab League summit


    On the program today in Jordan, the annual meeting of Heads of State and Government of Arab nations. Also present were leaders and UN special envoy for Syria. For experts the summit will not provide "key solutions" to real problems in the region. The political system of the Arab world is "weak, divided" and "corroded by years of" vices.


    29/03/2017 - RUSSIA

    Moscow, something new in youth protests

    by Vladimir Rozanskij

    What is new is not Alexei Navalny, but the protests of young people. Medvedev and his jogging "shoes" fetish. Putin's nationalism losing support, partly because of the economic crisis. Russia, like the rest of the world, seeing the impoverishment of the middle class.


    28/03/2017 - ISRAEL – PALESTINE

    Tensions rise as Israeli settlers visit daily the Temple Mount


    In 2016, more than 14,000 settlers visited the Muslim holy site (where the ancient Jewish temple once stood). The visits of Jewish extremists have sparked clashes between Muslims and police.


    28/03/2017 - CHINA

    Suzhou, 9 human rights activists detained in secret since September


    On 8 September 2016, the police seized the protesters outside of the people's court in Suzhou. Eight are under "residential surveillance at a designated place" (RSDL), while another has been formally arrested. Those arrested were protesting the conviction of Fan Mugen. Some of the detainees are accused of having sent "politically sensitive" online messages. In November, other police arrests. The UN Committee against Torture: "The extent to which RSDL is widely abused illicit and open to interpretation and application." Eleven countries have called for an end to the practice.


    28/03/2017 - PAKISTAN

    For Mgr Arshad, Lent is a time to embrace our daily crosses

    by Shafique Khokhar

    The bishop of Faisalabad issues a message on our preparation for Easter. He addresses young people who are hardest pressed in finding jobs, facing the economic crisis, and integrating into society. He calls on people to follow Christ’s example: his death and resurrection gave meaning to "our daily crosses".


    28/03/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: follow Jesus by accepting the life we have, without being paralyzed by sloth


    Sloth is a "bad sin", it means living just because “oxygen is free," is "by watching others who are happier than me"; it is full of "sadness", it makes you forget joy. "Sloth - said the Pope - is a shame that paralyzes us, we become paralytics. It stops us from walking. Even today the Lord looks at each of us, we all sin, we are all sinners but he is watching this sin, "he says," Get up. "


    28/03/2017 - CHINA

    Former judge detained for helping farmers in complaints against the government


    Huang Yunmin was to set to accompany farmers to Beijing to file petitions. He could get up to ten years in prison. He had criticised the judicial bureaucracy and exposed court corruption. Because of this, he was forced out of his job.


    28/03/2017 - INDIA

    Karnataka Catholic Organization appeals for prison ministry volunteers

    by Purushottam Nayak

    Prison Ministry India has worked with detainees for over 30 years. Now it is running a recruitment campaign to bring relief to 1,382 in Indian jails. "Nearly 400 thousand people languish without love, hope and help." Membership is open to all; training will last two weeks from May 8 to 23. 


    28/03/2017 - LEBANON

    Beirut: World Day of dialogue between religions and cultures

    by Fady Noun

    Lebanese political and religious leaders call for such a feast. The Islamic-Christian celebration can be a model for meeting and exchange. An international Marian centre dedicated to dialogue will be set up in the capital. A garden dedicated to Mary, a beloved figure revered by both monotheistic religions, will also be established.


    28/03/2017 - EGYPT - ISLAM

    Secularism and citizenship: how Al Azhar could influence Arab-Islamic countries

    by Luca Galantini

    The Cairo conference studies proposals for equal rights for Christians and Muslims, and for a State separation from religion. Regional constitutions and especially the Arab League and Organization of the Islamic Conference Human Rights Charter need to be addressed. All this just one month before Pope Francis’ visit to Egypt.


    28/03/2017 - VATICAN – UNITED NATIONS

    Pope: peace cannot be based on the fear of nuclear war


    In a message to the ‘United Nations Conference to Negotiate a Legally Binding Instrument to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons, leading towards their Total Elimination’, Francis said that dialogue must boost trust. “Humanity has the ability to work together in building up our common home; we have the freedom, intelligence and capacity to lead and direct technology, to place limits on our power, and to put all this at the service of another type of progress.”


    28/03/2017 - HONG KONG – CHINA

    Carrie Lam to visit mainland bodies in Hong Kong

    by Paul Wang

    Hong Kong’s new chief executive will make a courtesy call, not a visit of gratitude for the mainland’s support. She pledged to uphold the principle of "one country, two systems". Beijing's influence is “worrisome”.


    28/03/2017 - IRAN

    The Islamic State threatens Tehran and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei


    In a video in Farsi faction of the "province of Diyala" threatens Tehran over its involvement in ongoing regional conflicts. Iran's support for Iraqi government and Syrian leadership targeted. Its openness and tolerance towards Jews also criticized.


    27/03/2017 - VIETNAM

    Youth evangelisation is an urgent priority for the Church in Vietnam


    Vietnam’s Catholic community is not growing. Young people and their testimony can help evangelise society. Youth need to interact with one another and share their experiences. Moving to the city comes with many difficulties.


    27/03/2017 - INDIA

    Mumbai, 25 thousand people make a pilgrimage for peace


    Great participation of Catholics and non-Catholics in the annual Lenten march for peace 20 km. The pilgrims walked through the night for 7 hours until the Mass in the Basilica of Mount Mary. Card. Gracias: "Peace, harmony and brotherhood will prevail." Large presence of young people.


    27/03/2017 - PAKISTAN

    Pakistani Christians caught between the sacrament of marriage and domestic violence

    by Shafique Khokhar-Ata-ur-Rehman Saman

    Christians have begun to analyse in depth the institution of marriage. Abuse and violence among married people is the main spark. For decades, the only way of separating from a violent spouse was through conversion to Islam. Maria is one of the victims.


    27/03/2017 - SOUTH KOREA

    Prosecutors ask Seoul court to arrest former President Park Geun-hye


    If the Seoul District Court agrees with the request and issues the arrest warrant, Park will be the first former South Korean president to be arrested since 1995. The charges against her include abuse of office, bribery and leaking government documents.


    27/03/2017 - CHINA

    Beijing to get its first driverless unerground train line, all 'Made in China'


    Concern remain over possible accidents and job losses. The nine-station Yanfang line will cover 15 km.


    27/03/2017 - IRAQ

    Chaldean patriarch’s sorrow over Mosul’s tragedy, ready to help thousands of displaced people


    Mar Sako tells of west Mosul "difficult but necessary" liberation. Jihadis "use people" as human shields amid narrow streets and houses. Thousands have died and more than 10,000 homes have been destroyed. Controversy continues over an air strike by the US-led coalition that killed more than a hundred people. The Chaldean Church provides food aid to Muslim refugees.


    27/03/2017 - HONG KONG – CHINA

    On Carrie Lam’s first day, prosecution awaits Occupy Central leaders

    by Paul Wang

    Lam is elected chief executive with 777 votes. Viewed as Beijing candidate, she also seen as CY 2.0, heir to Leung Chun-ying (CY 1.0) who is against democratic demands. The formal transfer of power will take place on 1 July, the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to China.


    27/03/2017 - INDIA

    Uttar Pradesh: Christian graves vandalized; (False) accusations of forced conversions (VIDEO)

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    Crosses taken down; tombstones smashed. State led by Hindu nationalist party. Growing violence against Christians in the region. The Hindu Yuva Vahini organization, founded by the Chief Minister, for the return of the Dalits to Hinduism.






    Editor's choices

    VATICAN
    Pope tells young people to remember the past, to have courage in the present and hope for the future



    The Message for the 32nd World Youth Day was issued today centred on “The ‘great things’ that the Almighty accomplished’.” In her meeting with Elizabeth, Mary becomes a model. The pontiff calls on young people to avoid being couch potatoes, safe and cosy, urges them to rediscover the relationship with seniors. The Church experience is not a flash mob. The future should be experienced in a constructive way, and “the institutions of marriage, consecrated life and priestly mission” should not be devalued.


    AFGHANISTAN
    Fr. Moretti: The Little Sisters of Jesus, for 60 years " Afghan among Afghans"



    They have lived for 60 years at the service of the needy. They remained in Kabul under Soviet occupation, the Taliban control and the NATO bombing. Respected by all, even by the Taliban. This February their experience will end, according to Fr. Moretti "an example for us all."


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