14 December 2017
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  • 14/12/2017 - INDIA

    He calls for putting Pope Francis's call into practice, namely "Let us love, not with words but with deeds". The example is that of the four nuns killed by extremists in Aden, Yemen. Speaking about one of the nuns, he writes that she had “faith and trust that God's love is stronger than all the aggressive powers of the world and it transformed her from victim of darkness into a daughter of light.”

    by Yesudas*

    14/12/2017 - MYANMAR

    For MSF, some 6,700 Rohingya have been killed, but for Rakhine Buddhist, the outrage is one-sided

    About 69 per cent have died from gunshots, 9 per cent burnt to death, 5 per cent beaten to death, including 730 children under the age of five. According to the Red Cross, some 300,000 Rohingya are left in Myanmar. For a young Buddhist native of Rakhine, the international media coverage is one-sided.

    14/12/2017 - JORDAN

    Amman, Churches march against Trump's decision on Jerusalem

    About 2 thousand people marched in silence, carrying candles, photos of the king and flags. The opposition against Trump's choice to recognize the capital of Israel. Jerusalem is in the heart of all Muslims; and it is also rooted in those of Christians.

    13/12/2017 - IRAQ

    Chaldean priest sees Christmas as a time for the rebirth of the Nineveh Plain freed from the Islamic State

    Fr Paul describes the expectations of 270 families who are back home in Karemlash. The priority is to rebuild houses and clear the land for planting and sowing. He appeals to those who have fled to come back to breathe new life into the area. A football match with young Christians and Muslims marks the difficult return to normal life.

    13/12/2017 - INDIA

    Four Pentecostals arrested in Madhya Pradesh, they were praying for Christmas

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    Rev Karan was among those detained. Police broke into Bethel Church and stopped Advent prayers. For Sajan K George, "In small remote areas, Jesus is the only refuge".

    13/12/2017 - CHINA-VATICAN

    Msgr. Matthias Yu Chengxin, underground bishop of Hanzhong, has died

    by Li Yuan

    He spent several years under house arrest and then in forced labor. He was appointed coadjutor bishop of Hanzhong, when his brother, Msgr. Bartolomeo Yu, was arrested in 1989. Hit by a stroke, he retired, also to safeguard the new found unity of the diocese between official and underground.

    13/12/2017 - INDIA

    Indian Vice President praises Christians: they build the nation

    Venkaiah Naidu was the guest of honor at the Christmas greetings ceremony. Catholics "manage the best educational institutions in the country". "Continue your service with special attention to the disadvantaged sectors of society".

    13/12/2017 - TURKEY - ISRAEL - PALESTINE

    Jerusalem capital, Erdogan leads the Islamic uprising against Israel

    An extraordinary OIC summit is scheduled today in Istanbul, at the request of current president Turkey. Ankara's goal is to promote a common front in response to the controversial US decision. The Turkish leader stands as a new "defender of the Palestinian cause". But divisions and contrasts remain within the organization.

    12/12/2017 - INDONESIA

    Authorities defend the religious freedom of non-Muslims in Java

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    Regulations by some Muslim community leaders had banned gatherings by minority religious groups and the use of loudspeakers. They were issued days after members of the Indonesia Bethel Church had held a ceremony. For the local police chief, national values ​​of pluralism “are not negotiable".

    12/12/2017 - BANGLADESH - USA

    The Times Square bomber, a Bengali radicalized in the US

    Akayed Ullah is 27 years old and comes from the Chittagong district. He entered the United States seven years ago and worked as a taxi driver. "He was radicalized by watching Islamic propaganda videos on the internet".

    12/12/2017 - RUSSIA - SYRIA

    Russia's victory in Syria; Hilarion calls for return of Christian refugees

    by Vladimir Rozanskij

    Putin announces end to fight against ISIS and orders withdrawal of a part of the troops. Western powers criticisms of Russian intervention. The unity of Orthodox, Protestant and Catholic Christians for the return of refugees to their homeland. Also the Russian Muslims mobilize for reconstruction and aid.

    11/12/2017 - MIDDLE EAST – UNITED STATES

    Mideast Christians against Trump over Jerusalem capital, a decision that destroys hope for peace

    The Chaldean patriarchate criticises a choice that complicates the situation and fuels conflicts and wars. Card al-Rahi calls the decision “destructive” and a violation of international resolutions. Coptic pope Tawadros II cancels a meeting with US Vice President Pence. Somewhat resigned, Palestinians continue their protest. For Israeli peace group, the US has abdicated its role of mediator in the region.

    11/12/2017 - INDIA

    Fr Tom Uzhunnalil receives the Mother Teresa Award 2017

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    The ceremony took place yesterday in Mumbai. The Salesian abducted in Yemen was recognised for his “dedication and commitment" and his work in "a location of great danger". For Fr Tom, "Wars are not the solution".

    11/12/2017 - INDONESIA

    Indonesian authorities on maximum terror alert over Christmas

    More than 20,000 agents will be deployed in Jakarta from 23 December to 1 January. Terrorists target Christian places of worship and government buildings. In 2000, attacks against 11 churches left 13 people dead and 100 wounded. The country’s two main moderate Islamic organisations provide security to Christians.

    11/12/2017 - IRAQ

    The Iraqi premier announces end of war against ISIS. But the jihadist ideology remains

    Al-Abadi confirms that the Iraqi forces "have taken complete control" of the Iraqi-Syrian border. He speaks of victory as the fruit of "unity and determination" and obtained "in a short time". Previously Russia had described the mission in Syria against the Caliphate as "complete". However, a military victory does not imply the eradication of fundamentalist doctrine.

    11/12/2017 - BANGLADESH - USA

    Bangladeshi Muslims rage over Jerusalem capital

    by Sumon Corraya

    Imams opposed to Trump's decision to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. A protest on the streets of Dhaka. Muslim leaders: "Trump destroys world peace".


    Holy See: attention and concern for Jerusalem and peace in the Middle East

    A press release from the Vatican press office reaffirms the position of the Holy See on respect for the status quo of Jerusalem. The invitation to a negotiated solution between Israelis and Palestinians.

    09/12/2017 - PAKISTAN

    Lahore, pastor accused of blasphemy released. He is innocent

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    The Rev. Babu Shahbaz had been in prison for a year. A group of Muslims accused him of having torn pages from the Koran. The judge: "The evidence is not valid". Lawyer: "He can celebrate Christmas with his family".

    09/12/2017 - RUSSIA

    The Russian parliament wages war on magicians, shamans, healers

    by Vladimir Rozanskij

    Over 10 thousand Russian sites offer miracle cures for a fee. Black magic, curses, removal of evil eye and other services related to spells and magical protections. One in five Russian citizens turn to fortune tellers or tarot card readers at least once in their lifetime. A draft law proposes sentences of one to three years for fraudsters. The condemnation of the Orthodox Church. Superstition and post-communism.

    09/12/2017 - MALAYSIA

    Kuala Lumpur, religious leaders unite to combat violence against women and children

    A 16-day campaign of activism launched. President of the Inter-religious Advisory Council: "Overcoming indifference and ignorance, to safeguard respect for human life". The Sisters of the Good Shepherd for awareness, reflection and action. Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur: "In order to fulfill its prophetic role, the Church needs to rise up in unity to comfort the afflicted".

    07/12/2017 - BANGLADESH

    Mirpur’s Mary Queen of the Apostles parish an 'oasis of peace for children' (Photos)

    by Anna Chiara Filice

    The church was founded in 1994 by PIME missionary Fr. Gianantonio Baio. Today the parish priest is Fr. Quirico Martinelli. There are playgrounds for children and swings. In the school of St. Theresa, 495 children study: "a concrete example of inter-religious harmony". From our correspondent on the ground.

    07/12/2017 - INDIA

    Hindu nationalists attack a Christian prayer meeting in Chhattisgarh

    The attack took place yesterday in the village of Tarra. Dozens of cars, bicycles and other private property were targeted with damages estimated at more than US$ 6,000. The attackers also harassed women and beat up men.

    07/12/2017 - MYANMAR

    Authorities against ultranationalist Buddhist party

    The Ma Ba Tha, or Association for the Protection of Race and Religion, applied to register a party. Banned by the government in the past, the movement is pro-military, and accuses Myanmar’s civilian government of not protecting Buddhism. The worst incidents of religious intolerance have occurred in its strongholds. It claims ten million members in almost 300 townships.

    06/12/2017 - INDIA

    Archdiocese of Mumbai organises a fundraiser for Advent against hunger and for jobs

    by Oswald Gracias*

    This year's goal is to improve livelihoods in order to achieve sustainable income, connecting donors with our beneficiaries”. Children and youth are asked “to save part of their pocket money to contribute to this cause.”

    06/12/2017 - UN-MYANMAR

    Rohingya, UN: the Burmese army guilty of 'probable crimes against humanity'

    The charge for operations in October 2016 and last August. "Credible reports" on widespread, systematic and brutal attacks in Rakhine. The resolution requested by Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia approved by 33 votes, Beijing opposed. The Burmese government and army reject the accusations.

    06/12/2017 - PHILIPPINES

    For Silsilah, Advent is a “time for reconciliation” in Mindanao

    Christians and Muslims are urged to persevere in meeting, despite the differences. Initiatives of dialogue, signs of solidarity and stories of friendship between the two communities should be a source of inspiration.

    06/12/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: in Myanmar and Bangladesh I encouraged dialogue and witness

    Looking back over his recent trip, Francis recalls that in Myanmar he hoped "that all the different components of the nation, no one excluded, can cooperate" and in Bangladesh solidarity for the help of Rohingya and "the need" that " religious freedom always be protected ".

    06/12/2017 - INDIA

    Seven Pentecostal Christians arrested for “forced conversions” in Uttar Pradesh

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    The accused were remanded into custody for 14 days for allegedly insulting Hindu deities. For Sajan K George, "The growing suspicion against the vulnerable miniscule Christian community, especially the Pentecostals, is alarming.”

    06/12/2017 - ISRAEL-USA

    Ex-Israeli ambassadors to Trump: do not recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel

    The situation in Jerusalem must be dealt with in the global resolution process. Arab leaders and not only warn about the dangers of the decision. Trump will announce the decision today. Peace in the region is at risk. 

    06/12/2017 - PALESTINE-USA

    Palestinian Christians burn photos of Donald Trump: 'Jerusalem, our land'

    On the photos, some slogans: "Move the embassy to your country, not ours". Trump has reportedly telephoned the King of Jordan and Mahmoud Abbas to communicate his intention to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

    Editor's choices

    Mideast Christians against Trump over Jerusalem capital, a decision that destroys hope for peace

    The Chaldean patriarchate criticises a choice that complicates the situation and fuels conflicts and wars. Card al-Rahi calls the decision “destructive” and a violation of international resolutions. Coptic pope Tawadros II cancels a meeting with US Vice President Pence. Somewhat resigned, Palestinians continue their protest. For Israeli peace group, the US has abdicated its role of mediator in the region.

    Xi Jinping’s false promises and the expulsion of the “low-end population” from Beijing

    Willy Wo-Lap Lam

    Tens of thousands of migrants and their families have been expelled and sent away from the capital. Yet, at the recent Party Congress, President Xi had promised to provide support and help against poverty. There is no reward nor legal or charity for displaced persons. The country’s "social Darwinism" condemns the rural people to marginalisation and allows urban classes to enjoy privileges and advantages. Courtesy of the Jamestown Foundation.


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