28 February 2017
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  • 28/02/2017 - INDONESIA

    "For seven years the plan has been is carried out with different participants,” said Fr Sutapa, a former educator at the St Peter major seminary in Pematang Siantar, with “priests from Palembang with less than five years of service, priests from Tanjungkarang with less than ten years, and priests from Padang with more than ten years."


    by Mathias Hariyadi

    28/02/2017 - THAILAND

    Msgr. Chaiyara: "Lent a time of change and acceptance"

    by Mons. Philip Banchong Chaiyara

    "The Pope urges us to commit ourselves with determination to make our lives better, opening our hearts to others, no matter who they are, our neighbor or a stranger, all these are 'a gift' of God."

     


    28/02/2017 - INDIA

    A carbon fast for Lent in the Archdiocese of Mumbai

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    For two years the local Church proposes initiatives to reduce global warming. Auxiliary Bishop: "The Carbon fast is becoming popular and is also practiced after Lent". Pope Francis has created "a new beatitude: Blessed are those who protect and take care of our common home."


    28/02/2017 - CHINA - VATICAN

    Beijing: TV show about the Pope, a "lunar" program

    by Bernardo Cervellera

    Half an hour with Pope Francis and images of faithful in St. Peter's Square; discussion on possible relations between Beijing and the Holy See. But the vision of religion remains the same as always: a political tool. Emphasis on the Taiwan issue. Chinese expert cites Wenzhou, but not the demolition of crosses in the countryside.

     


    27/02/2017 - CHINA

    Beijing’s new scorched earth policy towards Uighurs

    by Willy Lam

    China’s crackdown intensifies through more police surveillance. Chen wants fewer mosques and tighter controls over the young. For him, the ethnic conflict can be settled through greater development in agriculture and textile manufacturing. The authorities intensify their efforts against terrorism, but attacks continue unabated. (Courtesy of the Jamestown Foundation)


    27/02/2017 - EGYPT – ISLAM

    Fleeing the Sinai, Christian families speak about the terror they experienced

    by Loula Lahham

    Copts who fled El Arīsh tell harrowing stories of point-blank shootings, robberies and fires. Some of those who fought in the Sinai War in 1973 are now branded "Crusaders" by Daesh. Death threats have appeared on homes, or just the word “Go”. Some refugees sleep in several cars to ensure that some at least survive in case of an attack. Muslims in Ismailia show friendship.


    27/02/2017 - EGYPT – ISLAM

    Christians flee Islamic State violence in North Sinai

    by Loula Lahham

    In only ten days, seven people have been shot, beheaded or burnt to death. Refugees have been welcomed in Ismailia, Suez, and Cairo. Christians are Daesh’s new target.


    27/02/2017 - INDIA

    Gujarat, Isis lone wolves arrested: they planned an attack on a Hindu temple


    They are the brothers Wasim and Naeem Ramodiya, both computer scientists. Within "one or two days" they would have hit the famous temple of Chamunda, in Surendranagar district. A military arsenal and Islamic propaganda material found in their apartment.

     


    25/02/2017 - CHINA

    Shaolin abbot Shi Yongxin cleared of all charges

    by Wang Zhicheng

    Monks, former monks and monastery employees had accused him of extortion, having mistresses with children, and leading a lifestyle devoid of religion and spirituality. Henan authorities and the State Administration for Religious Affairs cleared him of all charges. Thanks to him, Shaolin has become a successful brand.


    25/02/2017 - NEPAL

    Hindu parents forbid their children from attending Shia celebrations because of drug use

    by Christopher Sharma

    During the festival, Hindu holy men sell drugs and invite young people to smoke hashish and cannabis. Hundreds of young people have become addicts. The Hindu festival accused of driving many to crime. Attendance at the Pashupatinath Temple drops from 500,000 to 200,000.


    24/02/2017 - EGYPT – VATICAN – ISLAM

    Al Azhar and the Vatican renew inter-faith dialogue against fundamentalism


    A symposium sponsored by the Al Azhar Centre for Dialogue and the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue ended yesterday in Cairo. Participants called for action against the root causes of extremism like "violence and poverty". Protecting young people, who are the most vulnerable to extremist ideologies, is a priority. Cutting funding and weapons to terrorist groups is another.


    24/02/2017 - INDIA

    Bangalore archbishop inaugurates first family counselling service

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    The goal is to solve the crisis of the family, and emphasise again the sanctity of the institution of marriage. The archdiocese will rely on the expertise of 20 Holy Cross priests. The disintegration of families is evident in the rise in marriage annulments.


    24/02/2017 - INDIA

    Mumbai fishermen furious over plans for worlds tallest Shivaji statue


    The equestrian statue of the god warrior will measure 190 meters; its construction will cost almost 510 million euro. It  is expected to be completed in 2021. It will attract 10 thousand visitors a day. The fishing community complains that the money could be spent on improving health, education and infrastructure. Activist: "The fascist forces use the god's statue as a symbol of Hindutva".

     


    24/02/2017 - EGYPT

    Sinai, Coptic Christian killed with a bullet to the neck, third victim in two days


    The Coptic minority is being targeted by local cells of the Islamic state. The murder took place yesterday in Al-Arich. The man's house was set on fire. Previously a 60 year old Christian and son were killed; the young man was burnt alive. Daesh announces new attacks on social networks.


     


    23/02/2017 - SOUTH KOREA

    The testimony of Fr Lee Tae-seok in South Sudanese school books


    The South Korean missionary and doctor will be remembered in elementary and high school textbooks. He served as priest, doctor, teacher and architect in the small village of Tonj in a country devastated by war. For Education minister, he is an example for new generations.


    23/02/2017 - IRAQ

    Christians and Muslims on a peace march from Erbil to Alqōsh


    The Chaldean Patriarch spearheads action to end violence in Iraq and the Middle East on Palm Sunday. During Lent, Nineveh towns liberated from the Islamic State will be the stations of the Cross. Some 50 families came together in Tall Usquf for Mass and the raising of a large Chaldean cross on a hill. Mar Sako calls for "conversion" among regional and world leaders. Bridges, not walls, are needed.


    23/02/2017 - PAKISTAN

    "We are lying to ourselves,” says former Christian general after another bomb kills nine in Lahore

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    The latest is the eighth incident of violence in ten days. The bomb exploded in the city's commercial district, inside a building under construction. There are fears that some workers are still trapped under the rubble. A number of shops, banks and restaurants were also damaged. No one has yet claimed responsibility. There is little hope for a new military operation against the extremists.


    23/02/2017 - INDIA

    India, Franciscan nuns promote inter-religious dialogue: An experience of deliverance

    by Santosh Digal

    In 1986 the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary created groups for Interreligious Dialogue. Their work is developed in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and other parts of India. They created a network of collaboration with other organizations that support friendly relations between religious communities. Thanks to mutual understanding, conflicts between Christians and Muslims defused.

     


    22/02/2017 - LEBANON

    Trump, Marine Le Pen and the Middle East: Lebanon against walls and divisions

    by Fady Noun

    The beginning of the Trump presidency has been characterised by the "babelisation" of American society. Each country pours out his hatred against an external enemy. The current global crisis has religious roots. At the heart of the chaos there is the Jihadi threat. The third world war cannot be won with drones, but with moderation and promoting rapprochement and discussions.


    22/02/2017 - INDIA

    A law faculty at a Catholic college proposes an amendment to the Civil Code

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    Marriage law is at the centre of discussions in a country with many religious communities following different rules. The law that allows quick Muslim divorce is one of the main bones of contention. The Catholic Church supports all proposals that support “equality, fraternity and freedom".


    22/02/2017 - PAKISTAN

    Charsadda, new Taliban attack on a court: 7 dead


    Three suicide bombers mingled among a crowd of lawyers. The timely intervention of the agents avoided a worse toll. It is the seventh attack in just over a week. The Taliban group attack in retaliation against the killing of one of its radical leaders.

     


    21/02/2017 - INDONESIA

    Taizé meeting for youth in Jambi to learn the true love of Jesus in their lives

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    Kristopel House in Jambi held a meeting to strengthen Catholic morality and raise awareness of the true love of Jesus. About 250 young people from many parishes in the province took part in the event. Fr Christopher Wahyu Triharyardi told AsiaNews that spiritually participants were made aware of the real presence of God as well as love for family and neighbours in everyday life.


    21/02/2017 - INDIA

    The passion of Jesus drove Franciscan Sister to build 54 houses for the poor in Kerala

    by Santosh Digal

    Sister Lizzy Chakkalakal heads Our Lady's Convent Girls Higher Secondary School in Kochi. In 2012 she provided the first house to a needy family. For her, “the birth of a culture of sharing and mutual care among local people" is more important than just providing housing.


    21/02/2017 - RUSSIA

    Thousands in procession for the return of St. Isaac's Church to the Moscow Patriarchate


    The building had been seized in 1917 and used as a museum. Spokesman for Patriarch Kirill: The church "should first of all be a place of prayer." Opponents: Giving the management to the Church risks opening the path to "wild provincialism". Putin among the opponents. Kirill: A sign of reconciliation.


     


    21/02/2017 - BANGLADESH

    Khulna, Islamic leader promises protection to Christians and Hindus

    by Sumon Corraya

    The Commission for Dialogue and Ecumenism organized a workshop, attended by Catholics, Hindus and Muslims. "Politicians often work only for their own benefit." "Christians must create more interfaith seminars to reduce religious fanaticism in Bangladesh"


     


    20/02/2017 - SRI LANKA

    Boat tragedy in Sri Lanka: vessel carrying Catholic believers capsizes with 11 dead and 18 injured

    by Melani Manel Perera

    The victims were taking part in a sea procession yesterday, feast day of Our Lady of Good Voyage, protectress of local fishermen. Buddhists also took part in the celebration. Overcrowding is the main cause of the incident.


    20/02/2017 - Vietnam

    Vietnam remembers Father Malo, a missionary who loved Asia very much

    by Thanh Thuy

    A Mass was celebrated in Vinh, but Mgr Girelli was not allowed to lead the service. Still, "love always leads us to victory. It is the reality that is needed to build our future in a climate of peace."


    20/02/2017 - CHINA – VATICAN

    Funeral of Mgr Casimir Wang Milu: full of love for God and the poor

    by Elizabeth Li

    Thousands of people, along with scores of priests and some underground bishops, took part in the funeral. He had spent ten years in prison.


    20/02/2017 - EGYPT - ISLAM

    Al Azhar under the influence of Daesh Islamism

    by Kamel Abderrahmani

    The official religious institutions and so-called Islamic universities are the cause of the immobility of the Muslim world. The programs taught and literature used at Al Azhar are the same that are applied on the ground by all armed terrorists. No comparison possible between Al Azhar and the Vatican. The Vatican has hosted Iraqi Muslims and Syrians fleeing the war. Al Azhar has never done anything for Christians and Yazidis. The persecution of Nasr Mohamed Abdellah, eager to modernize Islam. The comment of one Muslim student.


     


    20/02/2017 - LEBANON – EGYPT

    Cairo, freedom of religion and state secularism at Muslim-Christian conference in al-Azhar

    by Fady Noun

    At the initiative of the Grand Imam Ahmed el-Tayeb, the Sunni University will host an interfaith meeting on 27-28 February. Lay people and clergy, academic and scientific figures, Christian and Muslim leaders will be present. Lebanese President Aoun, the only Christian head of state of an Arab country, has been invited.






    Editor's choices

    LEBANON
    Trump, Marine Le Pen and the Middle East: Lebanon against walls and divisions

    Fady Noun

    The beginning of the Trump presidency has been characterised by the "babelisation" of American society. Each country pours out his hatred against an external enemy. The current global crisis has religious roots. At the heart of the chaos there is the Jihadi threat. The third world war cannot be won with drones, but with moderation and promoting rapprochement and discussions.


    EGYPT - ISLAM
    Al Azhar under the influence of Daesh Islamism

    Kamel Abderrahmani

    The official religious institutions and so-called Islamic universities are the cause of the immobility of the Muslim world. The programs taught and literature used at Al Azhar are the same that are applied on the ground by all armed terrorists. No comparison possible between Al Azhar and the Vatican. The Vatican has hosted Iraqi Muslims and Syrians fleeing the war. Al Azhar has never done anything for Christians and Yazidis. The persecution of Nasr Mohamed Abdellah, eager to modernize Islam. The comment of one Muslim student.


     


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