08/28/2015VATICAN - IRAQ Fr. Samir of Amadiya: The Pope is the voice of Iraqi refugees by Bernardo Cervellera The Chaldean priest met Pope Francis, asking him to keep the world’s focus on Christian refugees from Mosul and the Nineveh Plain. His diocese is home to 3500 Christian families and almost half a million Yazidis who fled Islamic State violence. ISIS is not all Islam and there are Muslims who want an Iraq of coexistence. Christians might not emigrate, but remain in their own land. Aid projects for refugees: school for children, work for adults, a home for every family. An appeal to AsiaNews. Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Still deeply moved and emotional at having been able to meet and speak with Pope Francis for at least three minutes, at the end of the general audience two days ago, Fr. Samir says "it was a...
08/28/2015CHINA Christian lawyer arrested over his involvement against cross removals in Zhejiang Zhang Kai has been in police custody since Tuesday. He has led the legal fight to defend Christian rights in the province. His law firm of Beijing issued a note of protest against his detention. In recent days, scores of clergymen have been detained and interrogated. Government censorship against activists and religions is tightening.
08/27/2015HONG KONG – CHINA Hong Kong government’s vendetta against students and Occupy Central founders by Paul Wang Three student leaders - Joshua Wong, Nathan Law, and Alex Chow – have been accused of unlawful assembly and inciting others to take part in. Benny Tai, Robert Chung, and Daniel Chua have been accused of receiving anonymous donations to promote pro-democracy referendum, and conducting public opinion studies on the matter.
08/26/2015INDIA India census: Muslims grew faster than Hindus but less than Christians Census data covering 2001-2011 show Muslims increased by 0.8 per cent whilst Hindus rose 0.7 per cent. Muslims and Hindus are 172 million and 966 million respectively out of a total of a population of 1.2 billion. Christians make up 2.3 per cent of the population, but grew by 15.5 per cent.
08/26/2015SRI LANKA President Sirisena returns land to 300 Tamil families by Melani Manel Perera Land was expropriated from Sampoor villagers by former President Rajapaksa. About 825 families were forced to live as displaced persons in refugee camps. A Tamil: "We are happy, even if we have to start all over again." EU, India, UNHCR and UNICEF finance the construction of new homes. Sirisena appeals: "Let us live together as brothers and sisters, without fear."
08/26/2015VATICAN Pope on prayer: God is "the caress that keeps us alive" At the general audience, Pope Francis explains the value of prayer in family life. Rediscovering our love for God. He is not only "the great Being, the Almighty, who created all things, the judge who controls every action." "There are mothers and fathers who could win the Nobel Prize" because in 24 hours they do things that they would need 48 hours for. "The Gospel read and pondered in the family is like a good bread that nourishes everyone’s heart". Appointment for September 1 at 17 in St. Peter for a Liturgy of the Word on the World Day of Prayer for the care of creation, together with the Orthodox.
08/25/2015LEBANON Muslims defend Christians’ freedom in Beirut Declaration Freedom of religion, education and opinion are defended by quoting the Qur’ān, which is the basis for the rule of law, not a religious state. Lebanese Sunnis slam violence committed in the name of God. The full declaration is reprinted here.
08/25/2015INDIA For Mgr Barwa, Kandhamal Christians are witnesses of Christ, at peace in the face of persecution The archbishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar remembers the anti-Christian pogrom of August 2008, when some 55,000 Christians were forced out of their homes. Some 300 churches, as well as convents, hostels and welfare facilities were destroyed. Several women were raped. At least 91 people died (38 according to government figures). Christians say that one thing “persecutors could not do: they could not separate Jesus from us,” said the archbishop.
08/25/2015PAKISTAN Faisalabad: Christian family forced to flee from place to place after wife converts from Islam by Stephen Masih Khurram Naveed, 33, a Christian man, and Sobia, 25, a Muslim woman, taught at the same school. Aided by Khurram, Sobia discovered Christianity and decided to be baptised. Since they got married and had two daughters, her parents, Muslim neighbours and imams have tried to convert them to Islam or face the consequences. The two are hoping to emigrate abroad.