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In the foreground
| MIDDLE EAST

By “Highlighting and musically enhancing the liturgical texts of the Greek Orthodox Church,” Byzantine chant “is inextricably linked with spiritual life and religious worship,” writes the UN agency. Thanks to oral transmission and use in churches and monasteries, this musical genre withstood the fall of Byzantium and the rise of the Ottoman Empire, influencing eastern popular music.

News

Traffic Department Commissioner hopes “the public will use the opportunity to settle any outstanding summonses.” The day before and after Christmas, people can visit traffic police headquarters. Such discounts were also offered earlier this year for Chinese New Year celebrations.

 

| 14/12/2019
| MALAYSIA

The prisoners were set for execution in late October, outgoing President Sirisena’s last act as head of state. Justices heard petitions saying the death penalty violates the equality provision of the constitution.

| 13/12/2019
| SRI LANKA

Religious Affairs Ministry released survey data indicating that the best provinces are Christian majority West Papua and East Nusa Tenggara. The worse is Aceh, a "special territory" on Sumatra ruled by Sharia. Jakarta Metro Police announced a security plan for Christmas and New Year celebrations.

| 13/12/2019
| INDONESIA

India’s president signs citizenship bill into law. Police imposed curfew in Guwahati following yesterday’s protests. For Catholic activist, the law “brings terror to the national level”. Muslim leader says, “We will continue to protest even with civil disobedience.”

| 13/12/2019
| INDIA

The 14th session of the Intergovernmental Committee currently underway in Bogotá (Colombia) announced additions, like the Celestinian Forgiveness, an annual Catholic religious tradition in Abruzzo that goes back 725 years. Islam is also included with the festival of Arba'in in Iraq.

| 13/12/2019
| ASIA

In a video, the Chaldean primate praises the document signed by the Pope and the Grand Imam of al-Azhar at a conference sponsored by the French Senate. In Iraq, protesters make unprecedented demands. Confessional conflicts are a "scandal". Constitution, citizenship and infrastructure are needed to revive the country.

 

| 13/12/2019
| IRAQ – FRANCE

"It is decisive for the Church and for the credibility of her proclamation that she be a living firsthand witness to mercy. Her language and gestures must convey mercy to penetrate the hearts of people and spur them on to find their way back to the Father ".

| 13/12/2019
| VATICAN
by Vladimir Rozanskij

The Orthodox Church speaks out in defense of the embryo as a fundamental right of the person. The topic has been hotly debated in the country for weeks.

| 13/12/2019
| RUSSIA
by Pierre Balanian

The young man complained about protesters burning tires in the street near his home. The crowd stirred up violence against the young man and took selfies. The body was desecrated. Shia religious authorities and the government condemn the incident. Videos posted on Twitter.

 

| 13/12/2019
| IRAQ

The faithful will be able to go abroad, but not visit the holy places and holy cities in Israel and the West Bank. Military sources speak of "security issues" behind the decision. The disappointment of the Christians of the Strip. Christian leaders announce an appeal. Israeli activist: strengthening of the "separation" policy between the two Palestinian areas.

| 13/12/2019
| ISRAEL - PALESTINE

British Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson's party won a large majority in Parliament in yesterday's elections. The spokesman of the Japanese government: "We have asked the United Kingdom and the European Union to avoid a no-deal Brexit ". In 2018, trade between London and Tokyo for 35.47 billion euros.

| 13/12/2019
| JAPAN - UNITED KINGDOM
by Shafique Khokhar

The lawyers ransacked the Punjab Institute of Cardiology to avenge the alleged maltreatment of colleagues by healthcare personnel. The doctors are on strike and the sick are not receiving medicines. They "believe they are above the law".

| 13/12/2019
| PAKISTAN

The role of women in the Church should not be reduced to the functions they perform because such an attitude belittles their nature and calling.

| 12/12/2019
| VATICAN
by Shafique Khokhar

To celebrate the 54th Caritas Pakistan Day, the Catholic charity gave farmers in Gadap, one of the poorest areas in the country, 50 kilograms of wheat seeds each. For Caritas’s executive director, “Hunger does not only weigh heavily on the individual, but also imposes a crushing economic burden on the developing world.”

| 12/12/2019
| PAKISTAN
Denise Ho Thanksgiving (credits to Guardians of Hong Kong)
Pope Francis celebrates mass with young people 3of3
Pope Francis celebrates mass with young people 2of3
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