Geographical areas
In the foreground
| LEBANON

Second night of clashes between protesters and security forces.  At least 46 injured, another 14 people hospitalized.  The protesters denounce a disproportionate use of force;  elements infiltrated among the crowd to "de-legitimize" the popular initiative.  The Ministry of Interior announces the opening of an investigation.  In the streets less army and more brigades and militias to manage the protest.

 

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Thousands of children brought statues of the Baby Jesus to be blessed by the Pope during the Angelus. Francis announced that “in less than a year, the 52nd International Eucharistic Congress will be held in Budapest from 13 to 20 September 2020.”

| 15/12/2019
| VATICAN

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.

| 14/12/2019
| MIDDLE EAST
by Bernardo Cervellera

In Europe, some school and civic authorities have banned crèches, Christmas carols, nativity recitals in order not to offend other religions. However, contempt for every religion, especially Catholicism, not respect for other religions, is the motive. People far from the faith make the crèche in an unacknowledged nostalgia for God. Crèches from Africa, from China, from Vietnam, from Peru tell something about missionaries. They too lived like Jesus: incarnation, patience, cultural immersion, tenderness and giving oneself.

 

| 14/12/2019
| VATICAN – ASIA
by Wang Zhicheng

The United States will not impose a 15 per cent duty on US6 billion of Chinese imports and will reduce tariffs to 7.5 per cent on US$ 120 billion worth of Chinese products. China agrees to buy US$ 40-50 billion in US agricultural products in 2020, twice as much as in 2017, before the trade war. The deal protects intellectual property and adds enforcement mechanisms. Shanghai, Shenzhen and Hong Kong stock markets are up.

| 14/12/2019
| CHINA – UNITED STATES

Caritas Philippines opens a social action academy in Tagaytay City to provide technical training and improve diocesan preparedness. The Archbishop of Manila hopes the centre “will not only contribute to the Philippines and to Asia but to the growth of wisdom and professionalism to the Church.”

| 14/12/2019
| PHILIPPINES
by Nirmala Carvalho

The Catholic Bishops' Conference of India is calling on dioceses to offer courses to help families. In-Laws intrusiveness is among the first causes of divorce. Feeling alone, elderly parents try to build extended families in search of company.

| 14/12/2019
| INDIA

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
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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