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...
10/21/2014HONG KONG - CHINA As Occupy Central waits for talks with the government, High Court bars protesters from Mong Kok and Admiralty by Paul Wang A bus company and Citic Tower obtain a High Court injunction. One protester challenges the decision as a violation of freedom of expression. The meeting between the Federation of Students and the government is set for 6 pm today. For Hong Kong's chief executive, full democracy would hurt business by giving power to the poor. For the Catholic Church, the Occupy movement has already achieved a great result by raising political awareness and increasing the visibility of certain ideals among Hong Kongers.
10/21/2014INDIA India, Catholics and Hindus "working together against the globalization of indifference" by Nirmala Carvalho The President of the Office for Inter-religious Dialogue and Ecumenism of the Indian Catholic Bishops Conference, Msgr. Felix Machado, speaks to AsiaNews about the Vatican’s message for the Hindu festival of Diwali: "We must not ignore the differences that separate us, but understand them and accept them. In the footsteps of Pope Francis, we must strive for the common good".
10/20/2014HONG KONG - CHINA Justice and Peace: Occupy Central increases the dignity and political consciousness of Hong Kong by Mary Yuen Mee-yin* Mary Yuen, a member of the Vatican Council for Justice and Peace, shows the reasons and the strength of the pro-democracy movement that has occupied for weeks some streets in central Hong Kong. The inspiration is obviously nonviolent and Christian. The sit-in is a meeting place, study, and debate. For Hong Kong, it is a new era of political consciousness, solidarity, and commitment to social justice. Protesters are willing to dialogue, not to overthrow the authority.
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.
10/20/2014HONG KONG - CHINA Beijing and the Hong Kong government spread smear campaign and threats against Occupy by Paul Wang The police threaten: Do not allow your children (students) go to Mong Kok. Fears of violent clamp down. China and Leung accuse Occupy of being in the pay of foreign organizations that want Hong Kong "independence": these allegations could be a foretaste of Chinese military intervention. Government and students to meet tomorrow.
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.
10/18/2014HONG KONG - CHINA Police assault Occupy Central in Mong Kok. Students rebuild barricades by Paul Wang Police clash with thousands of demonstrators overnight. Over 60 injured; 15 policemen. The young people of Occupy were "armed" with umbrellas; Police in riot gear used batons and pepper spray. Possibility of dialogue and confidence in the police evaporates. A new wave of occupations likely.
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.
10/17/2014INDIA Karnataka's state government rejects (false) report on 2008 attacks on churches by Nirmala Carvalho The report by Judge BK Somasekhar exonerated Hindu radicals, despite overwhelming evidence and testimonies against them. For Christian leader, it "is good news, which we hope will soon bring justice and reparations to the victims". During their attacks, fundamentalists destroyed more than 20 churches and Christian places of worship.
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.