26 September 2016
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    26/09/2016 - CHINA – VATICAN

    Mgr Antony Xu Jiwei, 81, died of illness. He had entered the seminary in 1948 but was not ordained due to China’s "political events" until 1985. He spent several years in prison and hard labour. "The period of imprisonment has strengthened my faith,” Bishop Xu once said, “every day.” Since the diocese was founded, it has had only two bishops. Xu’s predecessor, Mgr Jou Hou-shan, was one of the first six Chinese bishops ordained by Pius XII.


    by Zhen Yuan

    26/09/2016 - BANGLADESH

    Dhaka, Islamic-Christian couple: "Coexistence is possible"

    by Sumon Corraya

    Ashim Gomes, Christian, and Munira Islam, Muslim, have been married for 11 years. They have an eight year old daughter, and have chosen to baptize her. The couple speak of their joys and their sorrows at a pastoral meeting organized by the archdiocese. The major disagreements arise when both try to convince the other that their religion is the best.

     


    26/09/2016 - JORDAN

    Amman, Jordanian intellectual and journalist killed over anti-jihadist cartoon


    Nahed Hattar was gunned down at the court entrance. He was on trial after spending two weeks in jail. His assassin is a well-known local imam, and he acted to "avenge the insult to God", already known to security forces as an extremist element. Muslim intellectual: "Terrorism is genetic in most of the Arab-Muslims".


    26/09/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: from Friday on a "journey of peace" to Georgia and Azerbaijan


    A difficult journey to two countries where Catholics are a small minority. In Tbilisi, for the first time a delegation from the "intransigent" Georgian Orthodox Church will participate in a Papal liturgy. In Baku the meeting with the Sheikh of Caucasus Muslims.


    26/09/2016 - INDIA

    Ranchi, 3 thousand activists against hunger in India

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    From September 23 to 25 a national assembly of the Right to Food campaign. 3 thousand children die every day of hunger in India; 15.2% of the population is malnourished; 194.6 million do not have enough food. Indian Jesuit: "Continue the training of activists”. Participants include  "Asian Nobel" Bezwada Wilson.


    26/09/2016 - NEPAL

    As Nepali Catholic Society renews its leadership, “interest in the faith is growing"

    by Christopher Sharma

    The Catholic organisation was founded 25 years ago to defend the rights of Catholics in the country. "In the past we could not evangelise, but now we are allowed to bring Jesus and the pope’s precious words to everyone,” says new president. More and more Nepalis are asking to convert.


    26/09/2016 - INDIA

    India ratifies the Paris climate agreement: Modi seeks space among global powers


    The premier also announced the date, scheduled for October 2, the day Mahatma Gandhi was born. India is among the countries that emit the most greenhouse gases in the world. The agreement will enter into force upon ratification by 55 countries representing at least 55% of the emissions.


    26/09/2016 - THAILAND

    Prime Minister Chan-o-cha "covering for corrupt brother"


    The relative of the prime minister, who is also an army general, won lucrative construction contracts for personal purposes. The prosecution of former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra: "The Prime Minister should apply same justice to friends that he reserves for his political opponents."


    25/09/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope at the Jubilee of catechists says that it is by loving that God-who-is-Love is proclaimed


    Speaking before thousands of catechists from around the world during the Jubilee Mass, Pope Francis highlighted "the centre" of the faith that is to be proclaimed: "the Lord Jesus is risen, [. . .] and he has given his life for you”. He also focused on the quality of the messenger, who proclaims “not by the power of convincing, never by imposing the truth, no less by growing fixated on some religious or moral obligation.” The rich man is blind because he does not see the poor. He squints because “he looks with adulation at famous people, of high rank, admired by the world, yet turns his gaze away from the many Lazaruses of today”. Nowadays, “we have fallen into this abyss of indifference, worldliness, selfishness". Francis expressed solidarity with Mexican bishops committed to the family against gender ideology. He mentioned the beatification of Fr Engelmar Unzeitig, killed in Dachau as well as the Day of the Deaf.


    24/09/2016 - VATICAN – FRANCE

    For pope, interreligious relations can alleviate the wounds of the Nice attack


    In his meeting victims of the terrorist attack in Nice on 14 July and their relatives, Pope Francis encouraged religious groups to entertain fraternal relations and refuse hatred. As a token of the who were killed, the pope received the gift of 86 flowers. Some secularists and environmentalists criticised the meeting. Muslim and Jewish leaders express their appreciation.


    24/09/2016 - PAKISTAN – INDIA

    Lahore: Christians and Muslims stand for peace in Kashmir, against India-Pakistan skirmishes

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    Activists appeal to the governments of the two countries to an end the war of words and solve peacefully the dispute. For the bishop of Faisalabad, war is no solution for culturally close countries. It is necessary to foster human rights and social justice to counter belligerent slogans.


    24/09/2016 - SRI LANKA

    Colombo students’ practical advice to protect the environment by eliminating plastic bags

    by Melani Manel Perera

    About 2,000 women and girls took part in a six-kilometre march to back Pope Francis’s Laudato si’ encyclical, which speaks about social justice. Sri Lanka is among the five countries that pollute oceans the most. Developing best practices in school can be passed on in the family.


    24/09/2016 - INDONESIA

    Jakarta’s Christian governor is Islamists’ "common enemy" in upcoming elections

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    Campaigning for the post of Jakarta’s governor starts today. Election is set for July 2017. Outgoing Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama, an ethnic Christian Chinese is seeking re-election. He is backed by the country’s second largest party, but opposed by radical Islamic parties because of his faith and for his fight against corruption.


    24/09/2016 - UNITED STATES – SAUDI ARABIA

    Obama vetoes law that would allow legal action against Saudi Arabia over the 9/11 attacks


    The US president expressed "deep sympathy" for the victims’ families, but reiterated his opposition to a law that is "detrimental to US national interests." Riyadh threatens to break off economic agreements with Washington. Law sponsors pledge to overturn the veto with a two-thirds vote in Congress. Hillary Clinton is in favour of the law.


    24/09/2016 - CHINA

    FAST: China inaugurates the world’s biggest telescope


    With a 500-metre diameter, the new facility will help study the structure of galaxies and the formation of stars. There is no competition with the United States.


    23/09/2016 - INDONESIA

    Islamic radicals in Makassar tell Protestant church it does not have the right to a building permit

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    Ethnic Toraja attend the parish church. Pastor says it has “proper papers” and saw the mayor visit.


    23/09/2016 - LEBANON – SYRIA

    Caritas: as poverty creates tensions between the Lebanese and Syrian refugees, there is risk of conflict


    Caritas Lebanon director Fr Paul Karam warns of great potential "social conflict" between locals and refugees. He will talk to Pope Francis about the “tragic situation”. The local Church is involved in mediation and tensions reduction. Those “who make weapons also run the war and manoeuvre it to make it go on”


    23/09/2016 - VATICAN – UNITED NATIONS

    Card Parolin tells UN that Mideast shows that development is impossible without peace


    The most effective way to safeguard the dignity of all in the Middle East is a renewed commitment to the rule of law and freedom of religion and conscience. The Holy See and the Vatican State become parties to the UN Convention against Corruption.


    23/09/2016 - CUBA – JAPAN

    Shinzo Abe in Cuba to open new markets and stop Pyongyang’s nuclear plans


    This is the first state visit to Havana by a Japanese head of government. Medical aid, debt relief, and investments dominate talks. In return, Castro will use his good offices to curb North Korea, Cuba’s old ally. China’s Li Keqiang will follow Abe, a sign that East Asia is increasingly interested in the Caribbean.


    23/09/2016 - INDIA - PHILIPPINES

    "Couples for Christ", from the Philippines to Odisha give strength to Catholic families

    by p. Purushottam Nayak*

    A retreat for the enrichment of marriage was held in Bhubaneshwar. Five members of ‘Couples for Christ from the Philippines and two from Bangalore, Karnataka, led the event. The lay movement was established in Manila in 1981. It obtained Vatican recognition in 2005 as a private international association for lay faithful.


    23/09/2016 - SYRIA

    Aleppo: al Nusra Front leader calls for jihadi unity ahead of decisive battle


    Mufti Al Muhaysini addresses jihadi fighters across Syria, calling for "unity, organisation and rapprochement" based on the "general fundamentals of Islam." A sworn enemy of the Islamic State, the qur‘anic judge has tried to ingratiate himself with the likes of Shia Hezbollah. However, his unifying language has not convinced any jihadi groups.


    23/09/2016 - ASIANEWS SYMPOSIUM

    Mother Teresa, Mercy for Asia and for the world (VIDEO)


    We publish the video recordings of the presentations made at the international symposium organised by AsiaNews on 2 September. In order of appearance: Fr Ferruccio Brambillasca, PIME Superior General; Card Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation of Propaganda Fide; Sr Mary Prema, Superior General of the Missionaries of Charity; Father Brian Kolodiejchuk, postulator of the Cause of Mother Teresa; Card Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Mumbai; Fr John A. Worthley, on the influence of Mother Teresa in China; a witness to the influence of Mother Teresa in the Islamic world; and Mgr Paul Hinder, Apostolic Vicar of Southern Arabia.


    23/09/2016 - CHINA-VATICAN

    Beijing issues new, harsh draft regulations on religious activities

    by Bernardo Cervellera

    Fines of up to 200 thousand yuan (27 thousand euro) for "illegal religious activities" by Catholic or other members of underground communities. "Illegal activities" include "dependence from abroad" (such as the relationship with the Vatican). The regulations preach non-discrimination, but party members are forbidden to practice their religion, even in private. Strict control of buildings, statues, crosses. Clampdown on the internet. It could be the end of the underground community.
     


    23/09/2016 - BANGLADESH

    Dhaka massacre terrorists buried after three months

    by Sumon Corraya

    None of the family members of the five bombers and cook, accused of complicity, asked for their bodies. The funeral was entrusted to a charitable organization. The coordinator of the attack remains at large as well as the financiers.

     


    23/09/2016 - VIETNAM

    Hanoi, Catholic blogger Nguyen Huu Vinh back in prison


    He must serve five years in prison. He was sentenced along with his assistant for having "violated the interests of the state" by publishing articles online. The defense lawyers argue that the trial was not democratic: "The accusation is based on false evidence, and under the current Penal Code Vinh is innocent."

     


    23/09/2016 - CHINA

    China, 12 years in prison for Ai Weiwei’s lawyer: He fought for human rights


    Xia Lin defended some of the most important dissidents in the country. A court found him guilty of tax fraud for about 500 thousand Euros. Leaving the courtroom he shouted: "This is revenge for the cases that I defended in court." The "battle against lawyers" launched by the leadership led by Xi Jinping continues and grows harsher.

     


    22/09/2016 - LEBANON

    Christian and Muslim religious leaders pray for peace in the name of Mary in Beirut

    by Fady Noun

    Heeding Pope Francis’s call, the Lebanese Church organised a meeting for peace at the Marian shrine of Harissa. Card al-Rahi stressed the value of reconciliation. For Sunni leader, "terrorism in the name of Islam” is “a sign of the end times". Shia dignitary slammed politicians for holding the country "hostage". Courage is needed to ask for forgiveness for one’s mistakes.


    22/09/2016 - HONG KONG

    Eddie Chu attacks town planning, says Hong Kong should stand with the weak


    The youngest lawmaker elected to Hong Kong’s Legislative Council has not yet been sworn in, but he has already said that he will stand with the poor, not with the lobbies for the rich. The bone of contention is the Wang Chau housing project, which would come at the expense of three villages. He warns Hong Kongers not to be distracted by the chief executive’s “tears”.


    22/09/2016 - CHINA - VATICAN

    Wenzhou underground priests pay homage to the late (official) bishop

    by Victoria Ma

    A group of 16 priests from the underground Church held a "simple but solemn" ceremony of prayer in memory of the late Mgr Vincent Zhu Weifang. Fr Paul Jiang, who led the group, was given “a vacation" this morning. Bishop Shao Zhumin, who succeeds the late prelate as ordinary, is still outside the diocese. Wenzhou Catholics thank the Holy See for this decision.


    22/09/2016 - INDIA

    Some 10,000 students celebrate Mother Teresa with a "peace march" in Guwahati


    The students, including many non-Christians, come from 30 schools. The event was enlivened with posters, as well as white and blue balloons. About a thousand teachers took part in a seminar on the ‘Joy of giving’. People are “mostly non-Christian,” but everyone is “grateful for the work of the Missionaries of Charity,” archbishop says.






    Editor's choices

    ASIANEWS SYMPOSIUM
    Mother Teresa, Mercy for Asia and for the world (VIDEO)



    We publish the video recordings of the presentations made at the international symposium organised by AsiaNews on 2 September. In order of appearance: Fr Ferruccio Brambillasca, PIME Superior General; Card Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation of Propaganda Fide; Sr Mary Prema, Superior General of the Missionaries of Charity; Father Brian Kolodiejchuk, postulator of the Cause of Mother Teresa; Card Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Mumbai; Fr John A. Worthley, on the influence of Mother Teresa in China; a witness to the influence of Mother Teresa in the Islamic world; and Mgr Paul Hinder, Apostolic Vicar of Southern Arabia.


    CHINA-VATICAN
    Beijing issues new, harsh draft regulations on religious activities

    Bernardo Cervellera

    Fines of up to 200 thousand yuan (27 thousand euro) for "illegal religious activities" by Catholic or other members of underground communities. "Illegal activities" include "dependence from abroad" (such as the relationship with the Vatican). The regulations preach non-discrimination, but party members are forbidden to practice their religion, even in private. Strict control of buildings, statues, crosses. Clampdown on the internet. It could be the end of the underground community.
     


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