10/21/2014PAKISTAN - ISLAM Pakistan: Forced to marry and convert to Islam by force, a young Christian girl’s struggle for justice by Shafique Khokhar In August, the 19-year old Maria Bibi was abducted and forced to marry Mohammad Zohaib, a neighbor and classmate. Now the matter is in the hands of a court. Meanwhile, the Church of Pakistan celebrates a day of fasting and prayer for Asia Bibi. Muslim leader: no innocent person should be made a victim "in the name of religion." Faisalabad (AsiaNews) - " I am not married with Mohammad Zohaib, he is telling a lie in court, he
tried to convert me forcefully to Islam and got married with me in mosque
against my will, and this marriage I do not...
10/21/2014MALAYSIA Islamic authorities slam "I want to touch a dog" Hundreds of people participated in an event which, according to the organizers, wanted to help people overcome their fear of the animals considered "unclean" by Muslims. For those who touched the dogs, volunteers explained how to perform purifying ritual.
10/21/2014IRAN - IRAQ United Nations admits Tehran "meeting its commitment" on nuclear programme A report by the UN atomic energy agency confirms that the Iranian government is meeting its commitments under a 2013 interim agreement. The document could be a prelude to an historic deal ahead of the deadline of 24 November. Iraqi Prime Minister is in Tehran on an official visit to find ways to fight the Islamic State. The Vatican calls for greater involvement of Iran on the international stage.
10/20/2014VATICAN Pope: We cannot resign ourselves to thinking of a Middle East without Christians Many of our brothers and sisters are being persecuted and have had to leave their homes in a brutal way" and "in the general indifference of so many". Cardinal Pietro Parolin: international community must respond to the terrorism of the Islamic State with a negotiated solution to all the problems in the Middle East, starting from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
10/20/2014PAKISTAN - ISLAM Lahore: Christian activists ask Supreme Court to deliver speedy justice for Asia Bibi by Shafique Khokhar Christian Solidarity Worldwide calls on Pakistan's highest court to guarantee her safety as well as a speedy trial to secure her release. Her conviction is evidence of the poor status of the country's justice system, plagued by bias and corruption in blasphemy cases. Michelle Chaudhry is hopeful and optimistic about an acquittal.
10/20/2014INDONESIA Jakarta, Jokowi takes office: peace, unity and development key steps of mandate by Mathias Hariyadi The 53 year old carpenter's son, a former governor of the capital, is now the 7th President of Indonesia. He intends to revive sea trade and preserve the principle of "neutrality" in foreign policy. Thousands of people celebrate the swearing in ceremony. For the first lady he remains a "simple and hardworking man."
10/18/2014VATICAN Synod Message: Admiration and gratitude to the families who follow Christ, Way, Truth and Life The Message (which we publish in full) is addressed to "ordinary" families and speaks of the beauty of the love between a man and a woman. Little or no space to the issues discussed in the media: communion to remarried; gay families. A prayer to the Father, in union "with the family of Nazareth," which shows the family as the transforming cell of society and the world.
10/18/2014NEPAL Nepal, Muslim women defy tradition and pray in public by Christopher Sharma Sexual discrimination within the Islamic community is a big problem in the country. Human rights activists denounce: "This leads to a lack of education and poverty." The first signs of rebellion on the occasion of Friday prayers: dozens of women leave home and go to the mosque.
10/17/2014VATICAN - IRAQ Baghdad patriarch: pope to write a letter of hope for Iraqi Christians
This morning, the pope received Mar Sako in audience. At the request of the patriarch, Francis said he would write a special message addressed to the Iraqi Christian community. He also expressed a wish to carry out an apostolic visit to Iraq, to "eliminate the distance" and "show support of the whole Church." From the Pope prayers for the country and its people.
10/16/2014PAKISTAN Asia Bibi's sentence is heart breaking, may the world pray for her, says Islamabad bishop by Jibran Khan After five postponements, the High Court upholds the death penalty for the Christian woman, who has become a symbol of the fight against blasphemy. Her lawyers vow to take her case to the Supreme Court. Heartbroken by the sentence, Islamabad bishop calls for prayers. On Sunday, events are being organised across the country to show solidarity towards Asia Bibi.
10/16/2014Middle East Blind Arab-American policy of bombing boosting Islamic state by Olivier Hanne e Thomas Flichy* More than a month of air strikes have not weakened militants. A ground operation is needed. Maps published in the media underestimate the real achievements of the Islamists. World leaders focus on Kobane, in Syria, where the true target is Assad. In the meantime, Iraq is ready to fall without much of a whisper. Two scholars provide their analysis, courtesy of L'Orient-Le Jour, translated by AsiaNews.
10/16/2014ITALY With Pope Francis, the mission ad gentes renews the Church by Piero Gheddo The pontiff begins with the proclamation of Christ and with young churches in order to give new impetus to the older ones that are perhaps moored too much to old patterns. The missionary spirit can teach a lot even to those who, like us, are rich in spirituality, theology, law, liturgical rites, and pastoral experiences. . . . The apostles themselves did not remain in Jerusalem, but gave breath and universal consistency to Catholicism by "going into the whole world."