02/26/2015SYRIA IS holding more than 250 Christians, for vicar to Aleppo, pope's prayers are a source of courage Pope Francis is closely monitoring the situation in Syria and praying for the Christian minority. For Mgr Georges Abou Khazen, the pope's closeness is a source "of great consolation and help." The road to peace "is long, but the only one possible." At least 5,000 Christians fled from the Islamists. The UN Security Council condemns the abductions. Aleppo (AsiaNews) - "Pope Francis words are a source of great
consolation, help and courage for us Syrian Christians, in this period of
crisis and difficulties. The pope knows the situation well. He is praying and
02/25/2015SYRIA IS abducts 150 Christians, rapes and kills women, a "tragic situation" for vicar to Aleppo A steady stream of horrific stories is coming out of jihadist-held areas. Terrorists hold hundreds of Christians, including seniors and children. For apostolic nuncio to Damascus, "Christians feel abandoned". There is "blood everywhere" and everyone is suffering. He believes that the war on terrorism is pointless but oil, "financial and military supplies" should be cut off.
02/25/2015ISRAEL - PALESTINE Bethlehem, Israeli extremists torch and profane mosque The latest act of vandalism committed by young settlers against Muslims (and Christians) according to the logic of the "price tag", the "price to pay for the land occupied”. Graffiti in Hebrew on the walls of the place of worship. The police open an investigation. New details about the death yesterday of young Palestinian: according to a coroner it was an "execution".
02/24/2015EGYPT - ISLAM What Tayeb and Sisi said is big step towards a revolution in Islam by Samir Khalil Samir The grand imam of Al-Azhar slammed literalist interpretations of the Qur'an and the Sunnah, as fundamentalists and Islamic terrorists do. He supports the urgent need for Islam's reform, especially in terms of teaching lay people and clerics. He also calls for an end to mutual excommunication (takfir) between Sunnis and Shias. Egyptian President al-Sisi chose to fight the Islamic state group after it beheaded 21 Coptic Christians, whom he called "Egyptian citizens" with full rights.
02/24/2015INDONESIA West Sumatra: Police attacks a group of elderly communist veterans by Mathias Hariyadi About 200 people attended celebratory event for the victims of the 1965 violence. Police and thugs disrupt the meeting and attack participants. Indonesian activist: "one person left unconscious ". Criticism of President Jokowi’s failure to defend freedom of thought and speech.
02/24/2015SYRIA IS attacks Christian villages in northeast Syria, kidnaps scores of people Sources in the Apostolic Nunciature told AsiaNews that they "were checking the reports". Scores of IS pick-ups flying the group's black flag raided villages, destroyed churches, and abducted men, women and children. IS wants to exchange civilian hostages for their fighters held by Kurdish troops.
02/24/2015EGYPT - ISLAM An Egypt in mourning prays for its martyrs beheaded in Libya by André Azzam Patriarch Tawadros has enrolled the names of the 21 young men killed by the Islamic State in the Coptic Synaxis, a sort of canonization. Their memory will be celebrated every year on 15 February. Even for the State authorities, the 21 beheaded men are martyrs. A church will be built in the village where most of the victims hailed from. The strong solidarity of Muslims.
02/23/2015SAUDI ARABIA - ISLAM For head of Al-Azhar, religious education reform is needed to stop Islamic extremism For Ahmed al-Tayeb, it is urgent to come up with new educational programmes to avoid "corrupt interpretations" of the Qur'an and Sunnah. Islamic terrorism undermines the unity of the Muslim world. He blames Mideast tensions on a "new global colonialism allied to world Zionism". a speech by the Saudi king is read at the conference.
02/23/2015EGYPT-LIBYA Escape from Libyan hell: Egyptian migrants tell of ordeal and Islamic State torture by André Azzam Over 10 thousand Egyptians have returned. Many of them, kidnapped by Muslim gangs, were forced to work without food and water. Several were marked on the scalp with an "S" out of contempt for al-Sisi, the Egyptian president. At least 45 of the returnees need medical and psychological care to help them deal with shock.
02/23/2015INDIA - AFGHANISTAN Afghanistan, Indian Jesuit freed after eight months in captivity by Nirmala Carvalho Fr. Alexis Prem Kumar, head of the Afghan section of the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) is back in Delhi. The organization expresses "immense gratitude" to the Indian government. Former regional director for South Asia: "Positive sign for the volunteers who work in Afghanistan."
02/22/2015VATICAN Pope gifts "Guard your heart" booklet as an aid to conversion in Lent At today's Angelus Pope Francis gave away booklets containing "the wealth of our doctrine," the essentials of the faith: "the seven sacraments, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the Ten Commandments, the virtues, works of mercy. .. ". The booklet was distributed by volunteers and homeless people. "Those who are in need are also the ones who give us this great wealth." Lent is a time "for spiritual battle against the spirit of evil", already won by Jesus in the desert. "We go into the desert without fear, because we are not alone, we are with Jesus." This afternoon, the Pope goes to Ariccia on retreat with the Curia: "Pray so that in this desert we can hear the voice of Jesus and correct our many defects".
02/21/2015EGYPT-LIBYA-ISLAM Copts beheaded in Libya: the families’ Calvary, the pain of Muslims by André Azzam The young men murdered by the Islamic State, where in Libya for work, many of them had waited to get married and were helping their relatives at home. The fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters and wives of those killed are in shock. Many, unable to bear the news of the tragedy, have been hospitalized. The solidarity of the villages, of the Churches and the nation, which is increasingly united. The list of those killed. From our AsiaNews correspondent in Egypt. Part I.
02/20/2015LIBYA Three car bombs kill 40, wound 70 in the Libyan town of Qubbah The multiple bomb attack hit the city eastern city, which is not far from areas under the control of the terrorists of the Islamic State (IS) group. According to Libya's parliamentary speaker Saleh, the bombings are retaliation for Egyptian air force strikes against Derna, an IS stronghold. The international community is looking for a solution to the crisis that has split the country.