26 September 2016
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    24/09/2016 - INDONESIA

    Campaigning for the post of Jakarta’s governor starts today. Election is set for July 2017. Outgoing Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama, an ethnic Christian Chinese is seeking re-election. He is backed by the country’s second largest party, but opposed by radical Islamic parties because of his faith and for his fight against corruption.


    by Mathias Hariyadi

    23/09/2016 - INDONESIA

    Islamic radicals in Makassar tell Protestant church it does not have the right to a building permit

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    Ethnic Toraja attend the parish church. Pastor says it has “proper papers” and saw the mayor visit.


    23/09/2016 - VATICAN – UNITED NATIONS

    Card Parolin tells UN that Mideast shows that development is impossible without peace


    The most effective way to safeguard the dignity of all in the Middle East is a renewed commitment to the rule of law and freedom of religion and conscience. The Holy See and the Vatican State become parties to the UN Convention against Corruption.


    23/09/2016 - INDIA - PHILIPPINES

    "Couples for Christ", from the Philippines to Odisha give strength to Catholic families

    by p. Purushottam Nayak*

    A retreat for the enrichment of marriage was held in Bhubaneshwar. Five members of ‘Couples for Christ from the Philippines and two from Bangalore, Karnataka, led the event. The lay movement was established in Manila in 1981. It obtained Vatican recognition in 2005 as a private international association for lay faithful.


    23/09/2016 - ASIANEWS SYMPOSIUM

    Mother Teresa, Mercy for Asia and for the world (VIDEO)


    We publish the video recordings of the presentations made at the international symposium organised by AsiaNews on 2 September. In order of appearance: Fr Ferruccio Brambillasca, PIME Superior General; Card Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation of Propaganda Fide; Sr Mary Prema, Superior General of the Missionaries of Charity; Father Brian Kolodiejchuk, postulator of the Cause of Mother Teresa; Card Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Mumbai; Fr John A. Worthley, on the influence of Mother Teresa in China; a witness to the influence of Mother Teresa in the Islamic world; and Mgr Paul Hinder, Apostolic Vicar of Southern Arabia.


    23/09/2016 - CHINA-VATICAN

    Beijing issues new, harsh draft regulations on religious activities

    by Bernardo Cervellera

    Fines of up to 200 thousand yuan (27 thousand euro) for "illegal religious activities" by Catholic or other members of underground communities. "Illegal activities" include "dependence from abroad" (such as the relationship with the Vatican). The regulations preach non-discrimination, but party members are forbidden to practice their religion, even in private. Strict control of buildings, statues, crosses. Clampdown on the internet. It could be the end of the underground community.
     


    22/09/2016 - LEBANON

    Christian and Muslim religious leaders pray for peace in the name of Mary in Beirut

    by Fady Noun

    Heeding Pope Francis’s call, the Lebanese Church organised a meeting for peace at the Marian shrine of Harissa. Card al-Rahi stressed the value of reconciliation. For Sunni leader, "terrorism in the name of Islam” is “a sign of the end times". Shia dignitary slammed politicians for holding the country "hostage". Courage is needed to ask for forgiveness for one’s mistakes.


    22/09/2016 - CHINA - VATICAN

    Wenzhou underground priests pay homage to the late (official) bishop

    by Victoria Ma

    A group of 16 priests from the underground Church held a "simple but solemn" ceremony of prayer in memory of the late Mgr Vincent Zhu Weifang. Fr Paul Jiang, who led the group, was given “a vacation" this morning. Bishop Shao Zhumin, who succeeds the late prelate as ordinary, is still outside the diocese. Wenzhou Catholics thank the Holy See for this decision.


    22/09/2016 - INDIA

    Some 10,000 students celebrate Mother Teresa with a "peace march" in Guwahati


    The students, including many non-Christians, come from 30 schools. The event was enlivened with posters, as well as white and blue balloons. About a thousand teachers took part in a seminar on the ‘Joy of giving’. People are “mostly non-Christian,” but everyone is “grateful for the work of the Missionaries of Charity,” archbishop says.


    22/09/2016 - CHINA - HONG KONG

    Permanent deacons: a novelty for the Chinese Church

    by Lucia Leung

    A seminar in Beijing "plants a seed" to begin the implementation of this service. The help of the diocese of Hong Kong, where the permanent diaconate began in 1993, for the first time in Asia.

     


    21/09/2016 - INDIA

    Pentecostal pastor and his wife beaten by Hindu extremists in Maharashtra

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    Rev Prashant Bhatnagar was abducted, beaten, and threatened with death. One attacker urinated on his wounds. Unconscious, he was dumped on a road. His wife too endured physical and verbal abuse. Their “fault” was handing out leaflets about a religious service. A case has been filed against the attackers.


    21/09/2016 - SYRIA

    For Caritas, Syria has become a football field where big powers use the innocent as a ball

    by Sandra Awad*

    Fighters are destroying infrastructure, factories and buildings with their "big shoes". Displaced people, food shortages, education, migration, abandoned seniors and children playing at war are the consequences of the conflict. More than aid, people just want peace. The spokeswoman of the Catholic charity sends a letter for International Day of Peace.


    20/09/2016 - ITALY – VATICAN

    Pope in Assisi says "Peace alone, and not war, is holy"


    "In war, everyone loses, including the victors" is the message that ended the day in Assisi where religious leaders of most of the world prayed again for peace. “We do not have weapons. We believe, however, in the meek and humble strength of prayer.” In the appeal for peace 2016, men and women of various religions called for “encounters through dialogue, [. . .] to oppose every form of violence and abuse of religion which seeks to justify war and terrorism


    20/09/2016 - IRAQ

    Erbil: to rebellious priests and monks, the Chaldean Church responds with unity, says Patriarch Sako


    The upcoming Chaldean synod will focus on a new bishop for the Diocese of San Diego, liturgy renewal, help for Mosul refugees, and beatification of Chaldean martyrs. For the Chaldean primate, “closer and more effective action among bishops” and a united position on the country’s political future and the role of Christians are needed.


    20/09/2016 - PHILIPPINES

    For Card Quevedo, terrorism has no God, a new evangelisation is needed


    The Archbishop of Cotabato, in the heart of the predominantly Muslim Mindanao, condemns the actions of Abu Sayyaf, calling its members “practical atheists” who have “inadequate knowledge” of their own religion. Many Christians also “do not know the Bible very well”. They say they know “Christ and his teachings” but show “a stark dichotomy between belief and practice”.


    20/09/2016 - INDIA

    Card. Gracias: United with the Pope in prayer for peace, in India and around the world

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    Today the universal Church is united with the Pope, who has asked that September 20 become a "world day of prayer for peace". The archbishop of Mumbai is in Bangalore for a meeting of the Episcopal Conference of Bishops of the Latin rite, which he chairs. The Church in India "welcomes everyone, without discrimination." The work of Catholic health care facilities and education of young people.

     


    19/09/2016 - CHINA - EUROPEAN UNION

    Uighur academic, Ilham Tohti, nominated Sakharov Prize


    The European Parliament confirms that the professor, known for his criticism of Chinese policy in Xinjiang Province, is among the five finalists. In September 2014 he was sentenced to life in prison by Beijing for "terrorism" and "inciting subversion": his supporters believe the allegations are "completely false".


     


    17/09/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: Nuncios are "three way" missionaries


    Francis celebrates Mass in Santa Marta in the presence of the papal representatives from around the world, in Rome for the Jubilee. Their’s "is a vagabond’s life , constantly on the move. But you must remember three ways of going out: physically, culturally and spiritually. Never forget this ."


    17/09/2016 - NEPAL - INDIA

    Buddhist nuns pedal for 4 thousand kilometers against human trafficking


    The sisters belong to the Drukpa order and are experts in martial arts. This is why they are called "Kung Fu nuns". They crossed the Himalayas cycling and arrived in India. After the earthquake of 2015, the exploitation of women and children has increased. On their journey the nuns distributed food and medical care. 


    16/09/2016 - ISRAEL – PALESTINE

    Israeli authorities cut funding whilst recognising the excellence of Christian schools


    Fr Abdel-Massih Fahim said that the Israeli government has not yet transferred the funds pledged last year. On the one hand, the Education Ministry praises Christian schools as some of the best in the country; on the other, it constrains their activities. Students are enthusiastic about going back to school. Multiculturalism and religious pluralism are stronger that any obstacles. “We are actors, not mere spectators.”


    16/09/2016 - CHINA

    Lawyers trial wrecks Xi Jinping’s pledge of ‘rule of law’

    by Willy Lam

    Show trials, televised confessions extorted under duress, and facile patriotism are a throwback to the Cultural Revolution. The United States and the West are accused of using human rights to "bring chaos" to China. Lawyers, activists, liberal editors are fired and arrested. Xi Jinping goes back on his promises and factional war in the party continues. Courtesy of the Jamestown Foundation.


    16/09/2016 - INDIA

    Goa, Christians against tourism plan that "destroys people and resources"


    The local government has approved the "Goa Tourism Master Plan and Policy 2016". It will beach resorts for daytime leisure and nighttime entertainment for holidaymakers. "The plan only considers the promotion of trade and profits." Unbridled tourism has already caused river pollution, poisoning fish. "The casino culture has destroyed families".

     


    16/09/2016 - INDIA

    The Indian Church "committed to strengthening the family"

    by Santosh Digal

    Fr. Milton Gonsalves is the executive secretary of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India Latin Rite Commission for Family. Since 2014 he has been traveling around the country to learn about the reality of families. There are two main problems in India: not enough space to spirituality in family life and alcoholism. Common manual for pre-marriage courses, enrichment programs for spouses even after the wedding.


    15/09/2016 - TAIWAN - TIBET - CHINA

    Taiwan invites Dalai Lama and Beijing explodes warning of very serious consequences


    A Taipei deputy asks the Tibetan Buddhist leader to visit the island for a series of religious conferences. China reacts promising "disasters" over the Strait and warns: "Anyone who claims the 'from monaco wolf dressed' and its separatist is our enemy."

     


    15/09/2016 - INDIA

    Punjab, Christian hacked to death: "suspected" of having profaned a sacred Sikh text

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    Balwinder Kaur suffered from mental retardation due to an electric shock. Last year she was reported to police for having entered a place of worship with her slippers on. She was struck several times below the knee and bled to death after four hours of agony.

     


    14/09/2016 - SRI LANKA

    Love, faith and devotion: Sri Lanka celebrates Saint Teresa of Calcutta

    by Melani Manel Perera

    The ceremony began with a procession of the statue of the saint. The apostolic nuncio and the auxiliary bishop of Colombo celebrated the service. Nuncio stressed three reasons "why Mother Teresa is really important to us.” Some who met her remember.


    14/09/2016 - IRAQ

    Patriarch Sako: Demining land to return the plain of Nineveh to Christian refugees

    by Louis Raphael Sako*

    The Chaldean primate stresses the need to clear mines left by the Islamic State before thinking about homes and hospitals. This “sneaky hidden enemy in the ground and “everyday objects” must be eliminated. Mine clearing is necessary for the return of Christians. A 14-year-old boy dies from a mine explosion.


    14/09/2016 - INDIA

    Nun in Kandhamal: the faith of persecuted Christians has strengthened my vocation

    by Santosh Digal

    Sister Santowna Singh belongs to the Congregation of the Servants of Mary. She professed her first vows in December 2008, as the Odisha pogroms by radical Hindus raged against Christians. The nun confirmed her choice on 8 September with 18 other sisters. After the massacres of Kandhamal, there was an exponential increase in vocations.


    14/09/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: "It’s satanic to kill in God’s name"


    Francis celebrated Mass in suffrage for Father Jacques Hamel, killed July 26 in the church of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, and the entire community of Rouen. "Today in the Church there are more Christian martyrs than in the early days. Today there are Christians who are murdered, tortured, imprisoned, slaughtered because they will not deny Jesus Christ".


    13/09/2016 - INDIA

    Nagpur: a procession for Mother Teresa, "100 per cent missionary"

    by Santosh Digal

    Catholics and representatives of the Islamic and Sikh communities took part in the event. State (Maharashtra) and Union government officials were also present. The celebration included a torchlight procession and the recitation of the Rosary. A message of blessing from Pope Francis was read.






    Editor's choices

    ASIANEWS SYMPOSIUM
    Mother Teresa, Mercy for Asia and for the world (VIDEO)



    We publish the video recordings of the presentations made at the international symposium organised by AsiaNews on 2 September. In order of appearance: Fr Ferruccio Brambillasca, PIME Superior General; Card Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation of Propaganda Fide; Sr Mary Prema, Superior General of the Missionaries of Charity; Father Brian Kolodiejchuk, postulator of the Cause of Mother Teresa; Card Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Mumbai; Fr John A. Worthley, on the influence of Mother Teresa in China; a witness to the influence of Mother Teresa in the Islamic world; and Mgr Paul Hinder, Apostolic Vicar of Southern Arabia.


    CHINA-VATICAN
    Beijing issues new, harsh draft regulations on religious activities

    Bernardo Cervellera

    Fines of up to 200 thousand yuan (27 thousand euro) for "illegal religious activities" by Catholic or other members of underground communities. "Illegal activities" include "dependence from abroad" (such as the relationship with the Vatican). The regulations preach non-discrimination, but party members are forbidden to practice their religion, even in private. Strict control of buildings, statues, crosses. Clampdown on the internet. It could be the end of the underground community.
     


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