30 March 2017
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  • 30/03/2017 - PAKISTAN

    The accused are asked to change religion in exchange for their release. The latest case sparks protest among Christians. Girls are converted by force to marry Muslims whilst Christians men who marry Muslim are beaten and their homes torched. Even Asia Bibi was offered to convert to Islam.


    by Kamran Chaudhry

    30/03/2017 - HONG KONG – CHINA

    Card Tong tells Carrie Lam that the Church stands for full democracy and religious freedom in Hong Kong


    In a letter to Beijing’s candidate, the bishop of Hong Kong promises a frank and honest relationship with the new government from "a friend who will give forthright admonition" to people in power.


    30/03/2017 - RUSSIA

    The Russian Orthodox Church wants the total abolition of surrogacy

    by Vladimir Rozanskij

    The Duma set to discuss a regulation on the matter. The Moscow Patriarchate says it "offends human dignity" and should be banned both on a commercial and voluntary basis. Children of "surrogates" will be baptized only after the period of parental penance. The proposed adoption by infertile couples. Russia passes from atheism to religion, while the West goes in the opposite direction.

     


    30/03/2017 - INDIA – VATICAN

    Vatican calls on Jains to work together for peace and non-violence, starting with families

    by Purushottam Nayak

    The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue issued a message for the Jain festival of Mahavir Jayanti, which marks the 2,615th anniversary of the birth of the Tirthankar Mahāvīra. In India Jains number 4,5 million or 0.4 per cent of the population.


    30/03/2017 - JORDAN

    Usual rhetoric aside, Arab League summit has few ideas to solve regional problems


    At their annual meeting, leaders condemn "foreign interference" in Mideast conflicts. Lebanese President highlights the refugee crisis, calling for an end to "wars between brothers”. Final communiqué reiterates the two-state solution as the only solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


    30/03/2017 - INDIA

    Abattoirs shut down in Uttar Pradesh to protect cows, putting at risk the poor, Muslims, Christians


    The state’s new chief minister Yogi Adityanath promised to close illegal slaughterhouses in the recent election. Sellers complain that the authorities have also shut down legal ones. Sacred in Hinduism, cows are a major source of revenue for minorities. India’s meat exports are worth US $ 4 billion a year, employing 2.5 million people in Uttar Pradesh alone.


    30/03/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: "God’s delusion" when His people abandoned Him to follow "idols"


    "How many idols that am unable to rid myself of, which enslave me? That idolatry that we have inside ... And God weeps for me. " "Today we should think about this disappointment, of God who made us for love and we go to look for love, health, wellbeing in other places and do not love Him. We move away from this God who raised us. And this is a thought for Lent. "

     


    30/03/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: the Christian family, place and witness of mercy


    In a letter ahead of the world meeting of families in 2018, Francis expresses "the desire that families have the opportunity to deepen their reflection of the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris laetitia".


     


    30/03/2017 - MYANMAR

    The memory of Fr. Noe, the last patriarch of the PIME mission in Myanmar

    by Yaung Ni Oo

    A teacher traces the life story of the priest, who died in March 2007, ten years after his death. He fulfilled his vocation "until the last day". He shared everything, the food and movements and lives of the faithful. His dedication to the people and to the emerging mission "began with these simple gestures."

     


    30/03/2017 - TURKEY - SYRIA

    Ankara, 'theoretical' end military operations in Syria: no withdrawal of troops


    The Turkish leadership claims the success of the campaign "Euphrates Shield ". The Prime Minister Binali Yildirim does not rule out "new measures" for the future. Silence on the permanence of troops across the border, in Syria. Ankara wants to join the offensive against Raqqa, a stronghold of the Islamic state, but without the Kurds.

     


    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 - 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.


    29/03/2017 - CHINA

    Liaoning, a priest held for months without charge. Embarrassment for authorities


    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.


    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 - RUSSIA

    A fine and 15 days in prison for Alexei Navalny. Criticism from Europe and the US


    Moscow  claims many young people were paid to take part in the demonstrations. Navalny: "More than a thousand people were arrested yesterday, but it is impossible to stop millions." For EU and the US: an "affront to democracy."


    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.”






    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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