25 October 2016
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    25/10/2016 - ISRAEL – PALESTINE

    Overnight on 23-24 October, someone broke into the holy place on Mount Tabor. Icons were damaged, a statue was taken, communion bread was desecrated and offerings were stolen. Petty thieves might be responsible. For Mgr Marcuzzo, the “serious incident” shows a "lack of the sense of the sacred". Shortly, an act of reparation will be undertaken by the whole community.

    25/10/2016 - SRI LANKA

    Petition for the release of all political prisoners in Sri Lanka

    by Melani Manel Perera

    The National Movement for the Release of Political Prisoners backs the campaign. Tamil rebels captured before and during the civil war, but also some Sinhalese are in jail. Activists criticise prison treatment and confessions extracted under torture.

    25/10/2016 - NEPAL

    Nepal’s religious minorities slam president for “promoting” Hinduism

    by Christopher Sharma

    Biddhya Devi Bhandari took part in a number of public Hindu celebrations, promoting Vedic values. Christians, Buddhists and Muslims note that Nepal is a secular state and that the government should not be in favour of any one creed.

    25/10/2016 - INDIA

    Church slams lazy student who assaulted a priest in Mangalore

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    Fr Michael Santhumayor is Milagres College administrator. He had reprimanded the student for skipping classes, warning he might have to repeat courses. The priest was taken to hospital whilst the assailant was arrested. Student protests, calling for greater security.

    25/10/2016 - IRAQ – ISLAM

    For Christian lawmaker, anti-alcohol law "Islamises” Iraq

    A ban on the sale, importation and production of alcohol is included in a law under pressure from extremist lawmakers. Iraqi Kurdistan will not enforce the law. For Christian leader, the law violates minority rights and is contrary to the Constitution.

    24/10/2016 - INDIA

    March for Life ends symposium in defence of the familym (PHOTOS)

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    The National Symposium ‘A call to freedom and justice in the family and society: ethical concerns and pastoral approaches’ ends with a march for life in Bandra, from St Andrew’s Church to Our Lady of the Mount Basilica. For Bishop Agnelo Gracias, “Today, human life is threatened on many fronts.”

    24/10/2016 - VATICAN - CHINA

    The new bishop of Changzhi and the many voices on China-Vatican dialogue

    by Bernardo Cervellera

    The ordination will take place on November 10 in the Cathedral. The bishop had been appointed by the Holy See at least two years ago. But he was waiting for the green light from Beijing. Similar situation in Chengdu. Fears for the presence of excommunicated bishops. Reconciliation between illegitimate and official bishops is not brought about by political gestures, but depends on personal and canonical procedures. A meeting between the Chinese delegation and the Vatican is not "imminent".


    24/10/2016 - INDIA

    Vijayawada: Missionary mandate and vows for Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate

    by Benigna Menezes*

    In October five received their Missionary assignment: two will go to Papua New Guinea; the other three respectively to Guinea Bissau, Bangladesh and Hong Kong. Two other religious have perpetual vows. The crucifix, the symbol of the mission; the Bible, to spread the Good News.


    24/10/2016 - BANGLADESH

    PIME Superior in Bangladesh: The joy of my mission among the tribal, where entire villages convert

    Fr. Michele Brambilla speaks of his 10-year mission among the local tribal. In the north of the country, the Church "had to be built from the ground up". In 2013 he became the first pastor of Kodbir. Mission in various fields: proclamation of the Gospel; education; care for the sick; economic aid. Since 2015 he directs the diocesan hospital in Dinajpur. "Even Muslims and Hindus need a word of comfort."

    21/10/2016 - INDIA

    Gujarat: 14 defendants acquitted in Muslim massacre

    The court granted 11 defendants the benefit of the doubt, and found no clear evidence in the case of the three others. In all, 31 people had been convicted in connection with the death of 33 Muslims burnt to death in a house where they had sought shelter during a riot by Hindus.

    21/10/2016 - LEBANON

    Saad Hariri to back Michel Aoun for presidency

    This is a last resort “to protect Lebanon, the political system, the State and people” on the condition of dissociating Lebanon “from the Syrian crisis”. Some Sunni lawmakers are against the deal, but Nabih Berri (Amal) is the most critical. Still, chances are good for an election on 31 October.

    21/10/2016 - PAKISTAN

    Pakistan vetting two bills in favour of minorities and against forced conversions

    by Peter Jacob

    One bill would establish a ‘Pakistan Minority Rights Commission’; the other, the ‘Protection of Minorities Bill 2016’, would make forced conversion an offence. Promoters are aware of social problems like the conversions of Hindu and Christian women abducted, raped and enslaved by Muslims.

    20/10/2016 - INDIA

    In northeastern India, the Church is growing in terms of members and vocations

    by mons. Thomas Menamparampil*

    Mgr Thomas Menamparampil draws a picture of 120 years of the mission. In the northeast, the “young Catholic community" has almost two million members. Christians across the country are 27.8 million, 2.3 per cent of the population. The Church leadership "has moved from foreign hands to Indian hands, from Indian hands to indigenous hands". Catholics "are proud of their faith and are not ashamed to share it with others.”

    20/10/2016 - CHINA

    Anyang Nuns and priests demonstrate in Tianjin against government plans to demolish Church building

    by Wang Zhicheng

    The central government recognizes the Church's right to the property, but the local government refuses to hand it over and wants to profit from speculation. An appeal to Xi Jinping to enforce the rule of law.

    20/10/2016 - INDIA

    Indian Hindu nationalist minister pays tribute to Mother Teresa

    Home Affairs Minister Rajnath Singh was the guest of honour at a commemoration ceremony organised by the Bishops’ Conference. Several times, BJP members have tried to belittle the character of the Saint of Kolkata.

    19/10/2016 - INDIA

    The world’s tallest religious building, a temple dedicated to Lord Krishna, under construction

    The structure includes a 213-metre skyscraper-temple, a theme park and facilities for social programmes. The construction, financed by the Hare Krishna movement, is being carried out by a US firm already known for breaking records in structural engineering.

    19/10/2016 - HONG KONG – CHINA – VATICAN

    On “Hong Kong sectors” supposedly "against Francis"

    by John Mok Chit Wai

    19/10/2016 - IRAN - UNITED STATES

    Tehran frees Protestant pastor sentenced for crimes against the state

    Behnam Irani served a six year sentence in prison. While in jail he suffered abuse and mistreatment. An American entrepreneur of Iranian origin sentenced to 10 years. According to the indictment he "collaborated" with Washington.

    19/10/2016 - IRAQ

    Anti-Isis Iraqis marked and executed in Mosul

    To express their opposition, some Mosul residents wrote word "M" ( "Muqawamah", resistance) on the city’s walls.  Those discovered were immediately sentenced to death without trial. The militiamen fleeing the besieged city, are headed to Raqqa and Deir Ez Zor in Syria, thanks to the Turkish army protection. A new map of Turkey encompasses the northern Syria, Mosul, Erbil, Kirkuk and part of Armenia. From Saudi Arabia and Qatar a hashtag: "Mosul is annihilated". The hashtag of the Iraqi government: "Mosul is liberated”.


    19/10/2016 - IRAQ

    Chaldean Patriarch: May Iraq find peace and unity with the liberation of Mosul

    by Louis Raphael Sako*

    The Christians of Qaraqosh, on the Nineveh Plain, celebrate the liberation of their town with Masses of thanksgiving, dancing and singing. Now in its third day, the Iraqi army and Peshmerga continues the offensive towards Mosul. The Islamic State use civilians as human shields. Mar Sako urges Iraqis to work for the birth of a "genuine and civil democracy".


    18/10/2016 - VATICAN-ASIA

    The "enemies" of Pope Francis

    by Bernardo Cervellera

    The charge made against AsiaNews that we are against the Pope and in favor of Putin, is an opportunity to outline what motivates our commitment to evangelization. And also to ask for greater professionalism from those who write about the Pope. The Pope does not need public defenders. Facilitating dialogue between "conservatives" and "progressives" to realize the Council and concern ourselves with the world so that it encounters Jesus Christ. Christ’s “enemies” were also his "friends."

    18/10/2016 - ISLAM – FRANCE

    How to stop radical Islam in France

    by Hocine Drouiche

    As terror attacks multiply, it is no longer enough to say that “they have nothing to do with Islam” or that “Islam is peace". What is needed is reform within Islam to reconcile faith and reason, spirituality and the values of secularism, freedom, and equality. The imam of Nîmes, vice president of the Conference of Imams of France has some proposals to erase fear and establish the coexistence of Muslims in Europe.

    17/10/2016 - INDIA

    Mumbai: Christian, Hindu and Muslim experts discuss Laudato si’

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    An international seminar took place today under the auspices of the Consulate General of Argentina. Leading figures from three major religions spoke at the event, which provided an “opportunity to bring together some of the values” of the Argentinian government “with a social document of Pope Francis” and “the richness of Indian thought and the long tradition of India”.

    17/10/2016 - INDIA

    Karnataka: six Jehovah's Witnesses arrested on charges of forced conversions

    Two far-right Hindu groups filed a complaint against the Witnesses. Leaflets encouraging conversions to their beliefs were found in a car. For Christian leader, "India is a secular nation” and “the Constitution guarantees freedom of religion."

    17/10/2016 - JORDAN – VATICAN

    For Card Sandri, Moses Memorial in Jordan is a place of mercy and interreligious dialogue

    The pope’s special envoy led the reopening ceremony at the Mount Nebo site. He expressed hope for peace for young generations in the Middle East through “reciprocal competition of charity”. The shrine is a place to experience peace and coexistence. He appealed for an “ecumenical journey among the Churches" in the East where " schisms took place”.

    17/10/2016 - CHINA - VATICAN

    Chinese priest: In reigning confusion, standing with our “captain" Pope Francis

    by Shan Ren Shen Fu

    The illegitimate ordination of underground priest Dong Guanhua (condemned by Bishop Jia Zhiguo) is shaking the Church in China and is creating multiple, painful fractures. A priest from the official Church expresses his weariness: too many divisions threaten to kill the Church. He asks everyone to follow the Pope in his efforts towards greater openness and mercy.

    17/10/2016 - BANGLADESH

    PIME sisters mark 50 years in Bonpara treating Muslims, Hindus, and Catholics

    by Sumon Corraya

    The Missionaries of the Immaculate, a female congregation associated with the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions, run a medical dispensary whose staff provide medical care and a smile to the poor. Some 75 sisters work across the country in schools, health facilities and parishes.

    17/10/2016 - VIETNAM

    Fr Đặng Hữu Nam, the "voice of justice" against the environmental disaster, receives threats, risks arrest

    by Tran Viet

    A Nghệ An provincial leader writes a letter calling for the clergyman’s removal. For some, this is a plot. The bishop refuses, insisting that “Fr Nam will serve” in his parish. For months he has helped people affected by pollution caused by the Formosa Plastics Group.

    15/10/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope to elderly: Society needs your smile and the beautiful brightness of your eyes

    Pope Francis meets with members of the National Older Workers Union and the Italian Seniors Federation, in the context of the national  Day of the Elderly. "Maturity and wisdom accumulated over the years" are vital to the Church and to society. Elderly should not be marginalized or considered “unproductive". "In countries that have suffered a severe religious persecution, the grandparents passed on the faith to new generations." Pray to "the grandmother of Jesus, Saint Anne" to be "good and wise grandparents."

    15/10/2016 - PAKISTAN

    Pakistan, Islamic extremists demand hanging of "blasphemous" Asia Bibi

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    Demonstrations in Lahore, Islamabad, Karachi and other parts of the country. Chanting the slogan #HangAsia,  they demand the Christian woman and mother of five be executed. The anger and frustration of Christians entrusted to social networks. Pakistan "does not guarantee security and justice for minorities".

    15/10/2016 - INDONESIA

    Jakarta, thousands of Islamic fundamentalists take to streets against Christian governor

    Protest organized by the Islamic Defenders Front: "The Koran calls for all the country's leaders to be Muslims." Basuki Tjahaja Purnama,known as "Ahok" is accused of blasphemy for having quoted the sacred text during a rally. Moderate Muslims distance themselves: "We do not agree with this initiative. The governor apologized. "

    Editor's choices

    The new bishop of Changzhi and the many voices on China-Vatican dialogue

    Bernardo Cervellera

    The ordination will take place on November 10 in the Cathedral. The bishop had been appointed by the Holy See at least two years ago. But he was waiting for the green light from Beijing. Similar situation in Chengdu. Fears for the presence of excommunicated bishops. Reconciliation between illegitimate and official bishops is not brought about by political gestures, but depends on personal and canonical procedures. A meeting between the Chinese delegation and the Vatican is not "imminent".


    Pope: the cruelty of those who kill children in Iraq “makes us weep”

    "Our hearts are shocked by the heinous acts of violence that have been committed for far too long against innocent citizens, be they Muslim, Christian or members of other ethnic groups and religions."  World Mission Day “is time of courage”.


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