30 July 2016
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    29/07/2016 - PAKISTAN

    The Episcopal Commission presents a comprehensive study on violent content in curriculum. Many references to hatred and intolerance fuel an atmosphere of violence, religious fanaticism and extremism. Over the years, textbooks have been cleansed of references to non-Muslim heroes, whilst “weapon-wielding warriors” have been chosen as heroes.


    by Kamran Chaudhry

    29/07/2016 - PHILIPPINES

    Fr D'Ambra: Christian lives are in danger in Jolo because jihadists want to kill them


    The PIME missionary, who heads the Silsilah group for interreligious dialogue, calls on the authorities to “find proper solutions" to stop “the agony of the Christian community". A few days ago, a man was killed and 20 others were threatened with death by fundamentalists. Moderate Muslims, who are also at risk, ought not to be “silent witnesses” to this persecution.


    29/07/2016 - INDIA

    Foreign Minister will lead Indian delegation at Mother Teresa's canonization

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    The rest of the delegation names have not yet been revealed. Chief Minister of Delhi and West Bengal set to attend, perhaps privately. The first, Arvind Kejriwal, has been working with the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta, at the direct request of the Blessed.


    28/07/2016 - FRANCE-ISLAM

    Second terrorist who murdered Fr. Jacques Hamel identified: a 19 year old youth


    The young man had tried to go to Syria to fight with the Islamic State. In a video, Abdel Malik Nabil Petitjean and Adel Kermiche, the two terrorists, swear allegiance to the "Caliph" Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Religious representatives in France: No to religious war. Muslim thinkers: To defeat Isis, guarantee religious freedom for non-Muslim communities in Islamic countries. Others ask for the revision of alliances with Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Turkey, supporters of the Wahabi jihadism and indirect supporters of the Islamic State.


    28/07/2016 - MYANMAR

    Card Bo calls on leaders to allow all religions to advise the government


    The archbishop met with Aung San Suu Kyi on Martyrs’ Day. He calls for Christians and Muslims to have the same access to ministers. Muslim leader welcomes the idea, but government official declines to comment.


    28/07/2016 - BANGLADESH

    In wake of Dhaka massacre British Council closes offices over security concerns

    by Sumon Corraya

    The language organization has to update security procedures in all schools. Smooth running of English exams guaranteed, for high schools.


    27/07/2016 - POLAND – VATICAN

    Pope says "the world is at war”, a “war for real” but “not a war of religions”


    On the plane taking him to Krakow for the 31st World Youth Day, Pope Francis spoke about the murder of Father Jacques Hamel, the priest killed in Saint Etienne du Rouvray. The issue of migration “requires a supplement of wisdom and mercy to overcome fears and achieve the greatest good.” At the same time, “we must encourage international collaborations and synergies in order to find solutions to conflicts and wars”.


    27/07/2016 - POLAND - IRAQ - WYD

    "Do not give in to fear": Young Iraqis appeal to France

    by Vincenzo Faccioli Pintozzi

    There are numerous Middle Eastern delegations in Krakow: Flags from Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan and even an Iranian flag. Iraqis are mostly from Baghdad and Erbil: They read of the attacks in Rouen and Nice "with sorrow and solidarity". But the World Youth Day is "the right setting to send a message of hope: do not be overwhelmed by hatred." Also in the Iraqi capital today, "the attacks are more and more often the work of marginalized and antisocial, lone wolves,who only want chaos."


    27/07/2016 - EGYPT-ISLAM-FRANCE

    The Grand Imam of Al Azhar condemns the killing of Fr. Jacques Hamel in France

    by Pierre Balanian

    Ahmad Al Tayyeb offers condolences to the French president, the archbishop of Rouen, the victims' families and to the whole of France. The assailants "devoid of any sense of humanity." In Islam "there is the order to respect the sacred places of worship and the sanctity of non-Muslims”. Counter terrorism means also fighting “extremist thought” in Islam.


    27/07/2016 - FRANCE - ISLAM

    Muslims grieve murder of Fr. Jacques Hamel, denounce "disease of Islamism”

    by K.Abderrahmani - H. Drouiche

    French Muslims condemn the "cowardly and barbaric" murder of the priest of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, and call for vigilance so that Islam is not taken "hostage" of Islamism. Daesh have long preached the destruction of those "gray areas" where Muslims encounter Westerners, denying the possibility of any dialogue and coexistence between Islam and the West and between Islam and Christians.


    27/07/2016 - BANGLADESH

    Killed militants linked to Dhaka massacre terrorists


    The capital's police chief said that the two terrorist groups have many similarities. They were all young and belonging to good families. University cards found in the apartment of the nine militants killed yesterday. Photos of young people spread on social media to facilitate recognition.


    27/07/2016 - CHINA - HONG KONG

    Two Hong Kong journalists sentenced in Shenzhen for publishing gossip about Chinese leaders


    The publisher Wang Jianming and editor Guo Zhongxiao sentenced to five years and three months and two years and three months. The episode brings to mind the disappearances and detentions of the five book publishers. Beijing fears Hong Kong freedoms can "pollute" Chinese society. The principle "one nation, two systems" belittled.


    26/07/2016 - POLAND - CHINA - WYD

    Beijing's tricks and violence to stop Chinese youth from reaching WYD

    by Vincenzo Faccioli Pintozzi

    The government yesterday blocked a group of 50 young pilgrims who had already boarded a plane bound for Krakow. Interrogated for hours by immigration, they were "admonished" and sent home with orders not to contact anyone abroad. Meanwhile, "young Chinese Catholics" hang around central World Youth Day locations in groups of five or six, with the task of spying on fellow countrymen. They work for cultural institutes or Chinese companies in Poland.


    26/07/2016 - POLAND – CHINA – WYD

    "Our dream is to bring World Youth Day to China, despite government obstacles”


    The big Chinese delegation in Krakow for 31st World Youth Days has not lost hope. “The government has done so much to discourage us, but they cannot win all the time.” One day the Pope “will celebrate young people in China." Participants express the joy and the wonder of being in Poland. “Religious aspect of this trip aside, the trip is a source of wonder. At home, it is like living in a kind of cultural prison”; what impresses here “the most so far is meeting the world.”


    26/07/2016 - ISLAM - EUROPE

    Fr Samir: Islamic terror in France and Germany a crisis of integration, but above all of politics

    by Samir Khalil Samir

    The kidnapping and murder of a priest near Rouen (France) and the various attacks in Würzburg, Munich, Ansbach (Germany) were carried out by young people, who were indoctrinated with ease. Germany was a model for the integration of refugees. But radical Islam cannot be assimilated. It is supported by Saudi Arabia and Qatar. There is no other road other than integration. But we must tell the truth: the Koran contains elements of war and violence. Western politicians suffer from ignorance and a loss of all moral sentiment.


    26/07/2016 - INDIA

    Madhya Pradesh: abducted and beaten, two Christians are arrested by police for "forced conversions"

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    Rev Ramlal Kori, a Pentecostal minister, and a friend named Nandalal were abducted by Hindu radicals in the village of Gadra, dragged into the forest and beaten with sticks. The police found them eight hours later tied to a tree. Instead of arresting the criminals, the authorities detained the Christians on the basis of the state’s anti-conversion law.


    26/07/2016 - BANGLADESH

    Dhaka, nine Islamic militants killed by police

    by Sumon Corraya

    The "Storm 26" operation lasted about an hour. It involves special forces, police and anti-terrorism agents. Yesterday evening the police were attacked by grenades by militants shouting "Allahu Akbar" and returned fire in a blitz. It is the first anti-terrorist operation since Dhaka massacre.


    25/07/2016 - POLAND – VATICAN – WYD

    WYD in Krakow, a “bridge of love and closeness for the Catholics in mainland China”

    by Vincenzo Faccioli Pintozzi

    A small informal delegation from Taiwan came to Poland to meet with mainland Chinese Catholics.  For its members, “it is very difficult for us to show our love and support to our brothers and sisters” in the mainland. Teresa Wang, from Kaohsiung’s Rosary Cathedral wants to work with disabled people in the mainland, “But political tensions between Beijing and Taipei make this wish almost impossible." An appeal is made to bishops not to forget religious freedom in Asia.


    25/07/2016 - ISRAEL – PALESTINE

    Restoration on Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem reveals new findings and splendid mosaics (photos)


    Work on transepts reveals mosaics hidden for centuries: Ascension of Christ with Mary, the apostles and angels, the incredulity of Saint Thomas, Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, and fragments of the transfiguration scene. Artist’s name appears on a 12th century mosaic.


    24/07/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: Appeals and prayer for Munich and Kabul massacres. The prayer of Our Father


    At the Angelus, Pope Francis makes the pilgrims pray for the victims of terrorist attacks in Germany and Afghanistan, against the "dark security and peace prospects." "The word 'Father' is the 'secret' of the prayer of Jesus, is the key that He gives to us so we too can enter into that confidential relationship of dialogue with the Father who accompanied and supported all his life”. The Pope’s upcoming trip for World Youth Day in Krakow, from 27 July.


    23/07/2016 - INDIA - AFGHANISTAN

    Judith D'Souza, Indian Catholic worker kidnapped in Afghanistan, is freed

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    She was kidnapped on June 9. It is not known whether a ransom was paid. She worked in Afghanistan in an Aga Khan NGO to raise awareness of women’s rights. The family overjoyed.


    23/07/2016 - INDONESIA

    West Java, nuns against corruption: a seminar to deepen awareness and initiatives

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    A group of 36 Franciscan Sisters of Sukabumi hold a three-day meeting. The event organized by Bhumiksara Foundation, in collaboration with the Bishops' Conference. Morality, intelligence and awareness against a "rampant" phenomenon.


    22/07/2016 - CHINA - TIBET

    Chinese authorities bring demolition of Buddhist Larung Gar center forward


    The center houses up to 10 thousand Tibetan and Chinese people. The authorities want to reduce the number of monks and nuns. They suspect that the monastery has ties with "separatist forces in exile". Religious freedom shrinking since Xi Jinping became president. Similar to case of Zhejiang’s crosses and churches.


    22/07/2016 - PAKISTAN – WYD

    Young Pakistanis to meet pope in Krakow

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    A delegation of 11 people will come from Pakistan, including five youth leaders, like Viviana Natalie Rodrigues, 26, and Zeeshan Bais, 25. The first set up her parish’s Facebook page and will post pictures and comments from Poland during the whole week. The second is making a spiritual journey in preparation for the trip.


    22/07/2016 - INDIA

    Charged with recruiting terrorists in Kerala, under influence of preacher who instigated Dhaka massacre


    Arshid Qureshi is the public relations manager with the Islamic Research Foundation. He is accused of having converted 15 young people of Kerala to Islam, who then disappeared from home to fight with the Islamic State. Circle tightening around Salafi preacher Zakir Naik, after ban on his television programs in Bangladesh.


    21/07/2016 - SRI LANKA

    Young Sri Lankan Catholics and Anglicans seeking unity

    by Melani Manel Perera

    An Anglican and Roman Catholic Joint Youth Conference is held on “so that they may be one” (Jn, 17-22). Young Catholic and Anglican leaders meet to learn “how to become a true disciple of God” and put it in practice in the future.


    21/07/2016 - PAKISTAN

    Church and Pakistani activists call for swift law against ‘honour killings’

    by Shafique Khokhar

    Prime Minister Sharif’s daughter calls on parliament to legislate after the murder of Qandeel Baloch, a famous model and blogger who was killed by her brother to cleanse the family’s lost honour. A bill against honour killings has been languishing in parliament for years. However, for Muslim teacher, such a law would “make an already complicated issue even more complicated.”


    21/07/2016 - INDIA

    Attack against four Dalits for skinning cow sparks mass protests in Gujarat


    A group of cow vigilantes brutally beat four men for harming sacred animal. Prime Minister Modi’s home state is now in turmoil and voters’ dissatisfaction might negative impact the BJP's campaign among low caste voters.


    21/07/2016 - TURKEY

    Erdogan declares state of emergency to eradicate terrorist "virus" behind failed coup


    During the three-month state of emergency, the rights of assembly, publishing, broadcasting and movement will be suspended. Some 20,000 teachers have been fired. According to Erdogan, Fethullah Gülen and "other states" are behind the coup.


    21/07/2016 - BANGLADESH

    Dhaka government says at least 11 NGOs fund terrorist groups

    by Sumon Corraya

    The organizations receive money since 2012. The funds come from the Middle East countries - such as Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia - and the UK. Islamist groups have opened schools, madrassas, hospitals and training centers. At least 231 associations bankrolled terrorism, with 500 thousand employees throughout the country.






    Editor's choices

    POLAND - CHINA - WYD
    Beijing's tricks and violence to stop Chinese youth from reaching WYD

    Vincenzo Faccioli Pintozzi

    The government yesterday blocked a group of 50 young pilgrims who had already boarded a plane bound for Krakow. Interrogated for hours by immigration, they were "admonished" and sent home with orders not to contact anyone abroad. Meanwhile, "young Chinese Catholics" hang around central World Youth Day locations in groups of five or six, with the task of spying on fellow countrymen. They work for cultural institutes or Chinese companies in Poland.


    ISLAM - EUROPE
    Fr Samir: Islamic terror in France and Germany a crisis of integration, but above all of politics

    Samir Khalil Samir

    The kidnapping and murder of a priest near Rouen (France) and the various attacks in Würzburg, Munich, Ansbach (Germany) were carried out by young people, who were indoctrinated with ease. Germany was a model for the integration of refugees. But radical Islam cannot be assimilated. It is supported by Saudi Arabia and Qatar. There is no other road other than integration. But we must tell the truth: the Koran contains elements of war and violence. Western politicians suffer from ignorance and a loss of all moral sentiment.


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