The Civicus Monitor annual report shows that 95% of the population of Asia lives in a country where civic spaces are closed, repressed or blocked. The most used tools: censorship and the use of restrictive laws to strike democratic and political rights. The lie about "Confucian" nations that are "unfit for democracy".
The faithful are accused of insulting Hindu gods. For Sajan K George, "going from house to house, singing Christmas hymns and announcing the birth of the Son of God is not a conversion activity".
The National Statistics Office released latest economic data. Pork is China’s most widely consumed meat but an African swine fever outbreak cut local supply by 41.4 per cent. The consumer price Index was up 4.5 per cent compared to November 2018, the biggest jump since October 2011.
Caritas Colombo and the Negombo interreligious committee are behind the initiative. Sinhalese, Catholics and Buddhists remain suspicious of Muslims. Visit includes exams for blood pressure and breast cancer, as well as free medicines.
"How often do we complain, do we lament and think that our sins, our limits cannot be forgiven. And there, the voice of the Lord comes and says: "I console you, I am near you", and takes us with tenderness. The powerful God who created the heavens and the earth, the God-hero, to put it this way, our brother, who let himself be led to the cross to die for us, is able to caress us and say: "Don't cry".
The priest, who studied under the Jesuits, was baptised in secret. He covertly nurtured his vocation until a chance meeting on a plane with the Saint from Kolkata. He dreams of opening a facility for needy children and serve as an example for the vocation of other priests.
The faithful try to defend the sacred representation but three end up detained for inciting a “mass gathering to disrupt social order". In January, the local government deployed security forces and bulldozers to tear down local housing to seize land.
The aid worker and his staff were travelling in the eastern province of Nangarhar where they were ambushed on 4 December. Seven to eight assailants took part in the attack, three of them armed with automatic guns and other firearms. The attack had been planned for some time.
Msgr. Thomas Menamparamil, 83, is the emeritus of Guwahati, in Assam. Sr. Rose Tom is a gynecologist who has left a prominent place in a large Kerala hospital to serve the sick and the Church in Arunachal Pradesh. The prizes are for "the collaborators who work behind the scenes".
In the beginning, the demonstrations in the former British colony were against the extradition bill (now withdrawn); now they call for democracy and an independent investigation into police abuses. 4,474 men and 1,548 women were arrested, aged between 11 and 84 years. The Office for Internal Complaints Against the Police has received over 1,300 complaints.
The Syrian lira is exchanged one to one to the dollar, never so low. In the past Lebanese institutions were the only entry channel for foreign currency. Transition restrictions block its circulation. Capital of wealthy Syrian businessmen frozen. And the population is increasingly worried. Maronite Archbishop of Damascus: "Pray for us".
Tomorrow evening the deadline for the formation of a majority in the Knesset expires. The possibilities for agreements are practically nil. The country is heading towards the third election in less than a year, in a climate of persistent uncertainty. Netanyahu gives the green light for the party primaries ahead of the vote.
Murager Alimuly and Qaster Musakhanuly have been granted political asylum but risk being sent back to China. The Kazakhs are the second largest Turkic and Muslim ethnic group in the Chinese autonomous region.
For Advent, Card Sako calls on people to pray for Iraq and its northern region, the cradle of the country's Christians. He appeals to those who have fled in recent years to come back and rebuild in order to "live happily and peacefully”. He stresses the need for an overall development plan, starting from health.
The sick need only one language: love. Christmas “reminds us that we are a family”. For missionary, “if we allow the light of God to penetrate our hearts and see the other in the divine light - it is Christmas.”