22/02/2018 - CHINA – VATICAN
Some media in favour of a deal speak in "disgusting" ways. Those who oppose it are not against an agreement or against diplomatic relations, but are against reaching one at any cost. "[W]here does the Church truly exercise her rights?" The author is a priest in the underground Church in eastern China.
by Cheng Zhi
22/02/2018 - BANGLADESH
Pupils in Dhaka Catholic school remember 'mother tongue martyrs' (photos)
The students of the Saint Teresa School in Mirpur-2 marched, sang, danced, and read poems to reaffirm the right to express themselves in their own language. Celebrations highlighted the sacrifice of students who gave their lives and the need for “harmony among all religions".
22/02/2018 - SRI LANKA - EU
European Union calls on Sri Lanka to activate Office for Missing Personsby Melani Manel Perera
In a tweet the government is invited to give answers to the families of the victims. The Kilinochchi protesters recall a year of protests, during which seven elderly parents died.
21/02/2018 - PAKISTAN
Integral ecology: spring tree planting campaign launched in Karachiby Shafique Khokhar
The initiative is part of Caritas’s environment-related development plans inspired by Pope Francis’s Laudato Si’. A "spiritual ecological conversion" is needed to save the environment that surrounds us.
21/02/2018 - INDONESIA
Mass and Muslim solidarity after church attackby Mathias Hariyadi
Four people were wounded in the attack on 11 February. The 23-year-old Islamic extremist Suliyono who attacked the church armed with a sword has been forgiven. The Islamic organisations Muhammadiyah and Gus Durians show solidarity with Catholics.
21/02/2018 - INDIA
Holy Spirit Sisters support women's development in Madhya Pradeshby Purushottam Nayak
The congregation set up the Uday Social Development Society in 2009. "[E]ducation is the key to success in life". The NGO offers sewing, embroidery, cooking and home economics courses. Its goal is to make women independent and "agents of social transformation".
21/02/2018 - CHINA-VATICAN
Lanzhou, official bishop commemorates his underground predecessor. With some difficulty (Video)by Baifa Yuqiao
10 priests did not participate at Mass for the late Msgr. Yang Libo. With thousands of faithful they accuse the present bishop, ordained in the underground community, of having sought governmental recognition without sharing this with his community. The authorities forcibly removed the inscription on the tombstone on Msgr. Yang’s grave, which recorded the periods he spent in prison because of the faith (almost 30 years). The difficulties of reconciliation.
21/02/2018 - VATICAN-CHINA-RUSSIA
The Ostpolitik of today and the 'outgoing' Church (III)by Stefano Caprio*
The collapse of Soviet communism gave reason to the Vatican political choices in opening up to Russia and Eastern Europe. The new Ostpolitik announces a new world without geographic or confessional delineations. Pope Francis pushes the Church towards the peripheries and towards the high sea, as St. John Paul II had hoped. Part III of an expert analysis.
20/02/2018 - INDIA
The year 2017 was the worst for Christians in Indiaby Purushottam Nayak
An evangelical group issued a report highlighting 351 cases of violence, but the figure is not exhaustive, as many victims are afraid to come forth to report attacks to police. In three years, attacks against churches and other places of worship increased by 28 per cent.
20/02/2018 - BANGLADESH
Snehonir, the 'house of tenderness' for the disabled (photos)
Founded 25 years ago by Shanti Rani Sisters and PIME missionaries in Rajshahi, the facility is open to the mentally and physically disabled, deaf, blind, orphans, poor, and abandoned. The guiding principle is to start them in life.
20/02/2018 - UZBEKISTAN
Tashkent, 18 thousand removed from the 'blacklist' of extremists
In the Karimov era, with the fight against religious extremism, the secret services justified abuse and were the armed arm against dissent. Mirzyoyev denounces torture of innocent people and promises to bring the guilty to justice.
20/02/2018 - CHINA-VATICAN
Dear Chinese bishops, where is the measure of your heart?by Joseph*
A young Catholic from the official community, appreciates the lucidity and the realism of Msgr. Guo Xijin (underground bishop), and doubts the style of other underground or official bishops, such as Msgr. Han Zhihai and Wei Jingyi. A meditation on the joys and sorrows of the Chinese faithful in front of the so-called "imminent" agreement between China and the Vatican.
20/02/2018 - VATICAN-CHINA-RUSSIA
Criticism of Ostpolitik, persecution and dissent (II)by Stefano Caprio*
Paul VI consistently defended Vatican overtures to the USSR, although they scandalized many in the Church. Benevolent politics did not stop persecutions, which instead intensified. But a form of ecumenical and cultural resistance was born and was lived by Catholics, Protestants and Orthodox in the concentration camps. Part Two of an expert analysis.
19/02/2018 - INDIA – VATICAN
Sr Arina Gonsalves joins Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minorsby Nirmala Carvalho
The Indian nun has a long experience with the Archdiocese of Mumbai. In 2016 Card Gracias chose her as a member of the expert group for child protection. In India, abuses occur “in schools and even in orphanages,” she notes.
19/02/2018 - BANGLADESH
Garo Christians attacked, robbed in Dhaka complain attackers want to ‘steal our land’by Sumon Corraya
Christian tribal organisations organised a protest in the capital, but police prevented them from doing so in front of the National Museum to censor the fact that soldiers raped two sisters.
19/02/2018 - CHINA-VATICAN
Underground Catholic: We are excluded from dialogue between China and the Holy Seeby John
Catholics of the unofficial Church complain that the "imminent" agreement between Rome and Beijing on the appointment of bishops forgets all the persecutions that the Christian communities are subject to. A criticism also to Msgr. Giuseppe Wei Jingyi, who - according to the author - is "underground” in name but not in nature. The repentant bishops show "repentance" only in private, but continue government policy in public.
19/02/2018 - RUSSIA
Dagestan, Isis attacks an Orthodox church, killing five women
19/02/2018 - VATICAN-RUSSIA-CHINA
The old and new Ostpolitik of the Holy See (I)by Stefano Caprio*
The Vatican’s latest openings to China resemble the path traced by the old Ostpolitik of Card. Agostino Casaroli. Then as now, the Holy See’s moves have provoked and provoke disagreements, criticism and charges of forgetting the persecuted Church and human rights violations. Casaroli himself had doubts about his effectiveness, although he was eager to implement the dimension of dialogue, rediscovered with the Second Vatican Council. Part One.
17/02/2018 - BANGLADESH
Lima Chisim, first woman Christian sergeant of Bangladesh (Video)by Sumon Corraya
The policewoman comes from a poor family from the diocese of Mymensingh. The local Church and the priests helped her to pay for her studies. "My dream is to help other poor students who do not have the money to pay for school".
17/02/2018 - HONG KONG - CHINA - VATICAN
The Church 'doesn't care about politics and human rights' ... Wrong!by John Mok Cit Wai
In an attempt to please China, several commentators dare to conceal or manipulate the teaching of the Church. The Church's mission is linked to support for human rights and commitment to society. Jesus never challenged the Roman Empire, but created a revolution. Msgr Romero defending the poor and the Church, had to face the military junta. A comment by John Mok Cit Wai.
17/02/2018 - AFGHANISTAN
Like Metallica, Ennio Morricone and Paul McCartney: Afghan Institute wins the Polar award
Anim was founded in 2010 to give hope to young Afghans and save the country's musical tradition. The focus on the most disadvantaged children and girls in particular. Between 1996 and 2001 the Taliban banished all forms of music. Founder: such a prestigious award "is not just an honor for me, but a great achievement for the whole country".
17/02/2018 - EGYPT
A cathedral dedicated to the Egyptian martyrs beheaded in Libyaby Loula Lahham
Three years after the massacre of the 21 young Copts, a cathedral for the "martyrs of the faith" was built and consecrated in Al Ur, in Upper Egypt. The remains of the victims, found in a cave in Sirte, after DNA testing, will be on display on the ground floor of the building. The words of the martyrs' families.
16/02/2018 - INDONESIA
Thirteen priests and three deacons ordained in Sumatera and Kalimantan (Photos)by Mathias Hariyadi
Four of them are ethnic Dayak, a mostly Christian ethnic group on Borneo. The Order of Capuchins welcomed eight confreres. The Sacred Heart of Jesus has five new priests. Catholics are a small minority in Riau province, and for them even a diaconal ordination becomes a historic moment.
16/02/2018 - TAIWAN - CHINA
Tsai Ing-wen and Xi Jinping celebrate Lunar New Year differentlyby Wang Zhicheng
The Taiwanese president prayed in a Buddhist ceremony for quake victims and visited Taoist temples, greeting the population and handing out red envelopes. The Chinese president welcomed the New Year with 2,000 guests, business people and Party officials, in the Great Hall of the People. Taiwan’s vice president met with earthquake victims in Hualien.
16/02/2018 - VIETNAM
Lunar New Year: Redemptorists for homeless veteransby Hung Quoc
Lộc Hưng parish set up a shelter for 13 war veterans. Since 2013, priests have organized initiatives for health care and spiritual support for over 6,000 veterans, 3,500 since 2017. Most are Buddhist or follow ancestral worship, but some of them have become Catholics.
16/02/2018 - INDIA
Madhya Pradesh, Pentecostals sentenced to 6 months in prison for 'forced conversions'by Nirmala Carvalho
13 convicted include a vision impaired couple. Most Pentecostals are day laborers. The government led by Hindu nationalists "arrests Pentecostal Christians with groundless imputations".
15/02/2018 - SRI LANKA
Colombo: Preventing Rajapaksa’s return to avoid another civil warby Jehan Perera*
Local elections results could reverse the process of national reconciliation. Under President Sirisena, relations between the government and ethnic minorities has improved. Now “The danger is [. . .] a vicious cycle in which Sinhalese nationalism in the South feeds and sustains the rise of Tamil nationalism in the North.”
15/02/2018 - INDIA
Nagaland, BJP offers Christians free pilgrimages to Jerusalem: 'Political opportunism'
On February 27, the states of Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura will vote. In Nagaland, 88% of the population is Christian. The Council of Baptist Churches in Nagaland boycotts the nationalist parties and denounces violence against Christians.
14/02/2018 - KUWAIT - IRAQ
As Iraq’s reconstruction is discussed in Kuwait, Mar Sako bemoans promises, demands action
Some US$ 88 billion will be needed to repair the damage caused by Iraq’s wars, including the one with the Islamic State group. The UN secretary general calls on the world to support the country’s recovery. The Chaldean patriarch voices scepticism. He noted that discussions did not mention minorities whilst money could fuel corruption and terrorism. Education and jobs are the bases for national rebirth.
14/02/2018 - INDIA
For Card Gracias, Lent is a time of fasting and works of mercyby Oswald Gracias*
About 500 Catholics took part in Ash Wednesday Mass in the cathedral of the Archdiocese of Mumbai. They heard practical indications for the Lenten period. In lieu of abstinence, people can perform works of charity and exercises of piety. They can also benefit from the sacrament of reconciliation.
14/02/2018 - PAKISTAN
Christians pay tribute to Asma Jahangir at her funeral in Lahoreby Kamran Chaudhry
The funeral ceremony of the late activist took place at Gaddafi Stadium amid tight security. Pauline sisters carried a placard that said ‘Asma, the true spirit of humanity’. For the National Commission for Justice and Peace, she was the voice of the “oppressed and marginalised".
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