12/26/2014VATICAN Pope: like Saint Stephen, in the trials accepted because of one's faith, violence is defeated by love During the Angelus, Pope Francis notes that the festivity of the first martyr continues "the celebration of Christmas", stripping it of "that false sugar-coating that does not belong to it." He mentions "those who are discriminated against, persecuted and killed for bearing witness to Christ." Religious freedom is "an inalienable right of every human person." Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "In the trials accepted because of one's
faith, violence is defeated by love, death by life," said Pope Francis on
the day the Church remembers the first martyr of its history, Saint Stephen. The
pontiff's teaching came as...
12/24/2014INDIA As India shifts towards fundamentalism, Indian priest urges Christmas prayers for religious freedom by Dominic Emmanuel* As Hindu nationalist parties and movements come to power, a nationalist and extremist definition of the nation is taking hold. Attacks against minorities, particularly Christians, continue. By his silence, the prime minister takes sides. India is now likely to become another Pakistan. A public relations officer at the Archdiocese of Delhi shares his thoughts.
12/24/2014ASIA Tears (and Best Wishes) for Christmas by Bernardo Cervellera At Christmas God shows us that he has not tired of us. Despite so many wars, injustice, torture, persecution, God has not stopped trusting in man and comes to his aid. The world lives of sterile immobility and apocalyptic terror. With Jesus' birth the world began to change and there are witnesses of hope in Iraq, in Hong Kong, in the Middle East. The revolution of solidarity.
12/23/2014INDIA Church prepared to use "any means" to stop laws that violate religious freedom, says Card Gracias The prelate issues a stinging statement against recent anti-Christian attacks and any plan to legislate in the matter of conversion. He said he would take "court action" to stop any draft bill of this kind. Instead, he insisted on the need to protect the rights guaranteed by the constitution, and defended the role of Christian schools, which are centres of excellence where no faith is imposed.
12/22/2014INDIA For Mgr Dabre, India should ensure respect for the rights and freedoms of all citizens by Thomas Dabre * In a country with different cultures, religions, and states, "cultural nationalism" is wrong. The same is true for attempts to impose the Hindu majority's culture, sacred books, festivities and even terminology on believers of other religions. Christians do not practice forced conversions, but uphold the right to change religion as guaranteed by the Constitution.
12/18/2014INDIA Clergy tunes "in to God's message" to mark Christmas in Vijayawada by Benigna Menezes* Priests and nuns from the diocese gathered for their annual Christmas meeting, which this time also included the inauguration of the Year of Consecrated Life. The variety of orders and congregations is "a gift from God that enriches the Church."
12/18/2014INDIA Radical Hindus' Christmas reconversions postponed, not cancelled The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) takes a step back to let parliament's winter session to end. It pledges however to reconvert 5,000 Christian and Muslim families "before the end of the year". Opposition call on the prime minister to speak on the matter, but the ruling party says no.
12/17/2014INDIA Christmas in Mumbai, bringing Jesus to the lepers of Heaven's Gate About 300 people - including Hindus, Muslims and some Christians - will celebrate the birth of Christ at Swarga Dwar, Mumbai, an ashram founded by PIME. The days leading up to the celebration are special for its children who play cricket, football and other games. "The kids wait for this festival with joy. They like to prepare the tree and put the star on the crèche," the facility's head said.
12/17/2014INDIA Radical Hindus attack Christians singing Christmas carols by Nirmala Carvalho About 30 people assaulted the Pastor and the faithful of a Pentecostal community, including women and children, with sticks and clubs. The fundamentalists accuse the Christians of promising money to convert tribal people in the area. Police deny the allegations: "No forced conversion in the area, the Christians are innocent."
12/16/2014INDIA Catholic activist against handing education over to Hindu fundamentalists by Santosh Digal
AsiaNews interviews John Dayal, member of the National Integration Council who looks at the influence of radical Hindu Sangh Parivar groups on the educational policy of India's new Union government. "To demonize western and Islamic contribution to the evolution of the India we know today, is an exercise in futility, and very fraught with dangers."
12/16/2014IRAQ - VATICAN As 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul' continues, Mosul bishop notes that Jesus is born amid refugee containers by Amel Nona Persecuted by the Islamic state, refugees have lost everything: belongings, home, jobs, school, and their future. Yet, their faith and mission remain strong. For them, almost 900,000 euros have been raised and sent. Pope Francis sends a message of closeness. The campaign continues according to the Patriarch of Baghdad's proposal of fasting and moderation at Christmas and New Year, with the money saved offered to the Christians of Mosul.