07/05/2015ECUADOR – VATICAN In Ecuador, pope says that the Gospel holds the key to solving current challenges, excluding no one Francis began his pastoral visit to Latin America in Quito. After Ecuador, he will travel to Bolivia and Paraguay. At the airport, Ecuadorian President Correa, the country’s bishops and a group of faithful met him. “I thank God for having allowed me to return to Latin America [. . .] the point closest to outer space” is in Ecuador. “No one, save Jesus Christ, possesses his or her own light”. If the Church turns away from Christ, it no longer bears witness. Quito (AsiaNews) – “May you,” the people of Ecuador “never lose the ability to protect what is small and simple, to care for your children and your elderly, to have confidence in the young, and to be constantly struck by the nobility of your people and the singular beauty of your country,” said Pope Francis today after his arrival in the Latin American country, the first stage of his trip, which will take him...
07/04/2015TIBET Tibetans around the world mark the Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday The Buddhist leader was born on 6 July, but the event was marked in late June following the traditional calendar. Top officials from Arunachal Pradesh, the Tibetan government in exile and the four traditions of Tibetan Buddhism were present. The Dalai Lama received a statue of the Buddha and a traditional Mandala. “The more you care for the happiness of others,” he said, “the greater your own sense of wellbeing becomes and without a doubt, cultivating this sense will help everyone”.
07/03/2015INDIA Maharashtra: Hindu nationalist government cracks down on madrassas by Nirmala Carvalho State authorities prepare to inspect 1,889 registered madrassas. Those that do not teach English, maths and science will lose their formal status as educational facilities. Critics slam the decision as "unconstitutional", but the government defends himself by saying that it wants to modernise education. Jesuit theologian and Islam scholar tells AsiaNews that the state should not interfere with schools, that its action “threatens democratic values."
07/03/2015BANGLADESH Pope Francis’ Laudato si’ translated into Bangla in record time by Sumon Corraya In a pastoral letter, Mgr D’Rozario highlights the main points of Pope Francis’ “green” encyclical. Catholic priests are called to spread the pope’s message among the faithful. The executive director of Caritas Bangladesh urges Catholics to use less and consume resources moderately. The charity’s projects include environmental protection, and alleviating the suffering of the weakest.
07/03/2015ASIA 2015, young people celebrate anniversaries of Taize and Brother Roger by Frère Ghislain* Over 100 years since birth, 10 years after his death and 75 years after the foundation of the experience of Taizé, Brother Roger's charism is still alive. Gestures of prayer and solidarity across Asia: Philippines, Singapore, Korea, Thailand, Vietnam. In Calcutta, prayer around the tomb of Mother Teresa, who Frere Roger visited in 1976 and 1997. In Japan and throughout the continent an experience of the Church united "in God’s heart".
07/01/2015BANGLADESH Mgr Rozario tells Bangladesh’s Catholic physicians to care for patients’ spiritual needs by Sumon Corraya Each year, the Catholic Church organises training workshops for health workers. Catholic clinics have high professional standards but cannot meet the demand for their services. For the bishop of Rajshahi, "Physicians must be honest." The country has some 70 Catholic health facilities, a hundred physicians and a thousand nurses.
07/01/2015INDIA Raipur archbishop: Catholic schools on strike to protest nun’s rape by Nirmala Carvalho Mgr Victor Henry Thakur led today’s demonstration, which involved 30 Christian and some private schools in the state of Chhattisgarh. “Ours is a symbolic shutdown and protest to express our anguish and pain at what happened,” the prelate said.
07/01/2015CHINA Beijing, a new law on national security to "protect" sovereignty The law was adopted almost unanimously. It envisages a strengthening of the power of the central government on sensitive issues such as information and internet. Analysts report a possible tightening of the control of the Communist Party. The new rule officially does not apply directly to Hong Kong and Macau.
06/30/2015SRI LANKA For Buddhist environmentalist, ‘Laudato si’’ gives hope for our common home by Melani Manel Perera The Encyclical on environmental protection should inspire all new political projects. The planet’s development must go hand in hand with curbing unbridled economic development. By the end of the century, there will be 250 million "climate refugees". The race for profit, political pressure, and corruption also touches Sri Lankan society.