08/04/2015VATICAN Pope to altar servers: The joy of friendship with Jesus makes us all missionaries Meeting thousands of participants in the international pilgrimage "Here I am Lord. Send me!", involving children and young people from about 20 countries, Francis thanks the altar servers and recalls that "it was God who made the first move. God’s actions were not impeded by his imperfections; it was God’s goodness alone that enables us to take up the mission, transforming us nto a totally new person and therefore one able to respond to the call of the Lord" Vatican City (AsiaNews) - The joy of friendship with Jesus Christ "makes us all naturally missionaries. Like the prophet Isaiah, we too are astonished to discover that it was God who made the first move; God is the one drawing close. He noticed that God’s actions were not impeded by his imperfections; it was God’s goodness alone that enabled him to take...
08/04/2015CHINA – VATICAN Calm episcopal ordination in Anyang, a model for the mission in China by Bernardo Cervellera The ordination took place today with three bishops loyal to the pope. The bishop and the diocese have always engaged the government in dialogue, but have always set the religious mission as their priority, and rejected the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association. The local Church is closely involved in catechesis, health care, and education, building on the tradition of PIME missionaries, who served the diocese for decades.
08/04/2015TIBET – CHINA China’s Communist Party will pick the “next Dalai Lama, period!” The party’s politburo met in Beijing chaired by President Xi Jinping to settle the “Tibetan question” once and for all. No unauthorised reincarnations will be allowed. China’s Communist government wants to interfere in purely religious matters, exploiting traditions that precede the People’s Republic by centuries. For Tibetan lawmaker, this “is ridiculous at best”.
08/03/2015PAKISTAN Faisalabad bishop tells religious that their work is a model of spiritual and temporal well-being by Skafique Khokhar At a meeting that is part of the celebrations of the Year of the Consecrated Life, the prelate tells religious orders that they perform great work at the local level despite ongoing acts of terrorism and violence, and the poverty of the Christian community. Mgr Arshad warns them however to watch out for self-proclaimed pastors who sow “divisions among Christians." The Catholic Church must act “before it is too late", but with patience and kindness for those who "shut their ears to the truth and turn to myths."
08/03/2015IRAQ For Erbil archbishop, education will save Christians from the barbarity of the Islamic State A year after the invasion of the Nineveh plain, Mgr Bashar Warda spoke the situation of Christian refugees. The Kurdish region is "safe" haven but "we are waiting for the liberation" of our lands. Housing, health care, and education remain the priority. To ensure a Christian future in Iraq, education and literacy are the right response to Jihadi violence.
08/03/2015ISRAEL – PALESTINE Israel outlines new measures against Jewish extremists, but some see only hypocrisy by Joshua Lapide Steps include administrative detention without charges. The man who stabbed a teenage girl at Jerusalem’s Gay Pride had been released a few weeks before. Those responsible for the death of a Palestinian child burnt alive are still on the run. For Abbas, Israel’s policy of protecting illegal settlements has led to violence. In ten years, 11,000 attacks against Palestinians have been recorded. Only 1.9 per cent of complaints end in conviction. Israel’s democracy is at risk.
08/02/2015VATICAN For pope, Jesus urges us to look for the "bread of life", which expresses His love During the Angelus, Francis commented the Gospel of John. The crowds that followed Jesus for material bread did not understand their own "spiritual blindness". Christ "is gift and the one who gives it.” In light of the encounter with Him, the sufferings of human life “will be illuminated." Remembering the Pardon of Assisi, the “Father forgives everyone,” he “always forgives everything”.
08/01/2015IRAQ Baghdad Patriarch calls for prayer of peace one year after Nineveh’s fall by Louis Raphael I Sako* Overnight on 6-7 August 2014, Islamic State terrorists seized Christian the villages in the Nineveh Plain and forced out hundreds of thousands of people. A year later, Mar Sako addresses a prayer to the pope and the bishops of the world "to join with us in this sad anniversary."
07/31/2015NEPAL Petition in favour of the rhino as Nepal’s symbol in lieu of the cow by Christopher Sharma Some members of the constituent assembly have come out against the cow as the nation’s symbol as suggested in the draft constitution currently under discussion. The cow is a Hindu symbol of prosperity, and the monetary value of a cow’s life is the same as that of a human being.
07/31/2015NORTH KOREA – CANADA Pyongyang holds a Protestant missionary for planning a theocracy in North Korea Local authorities confirmed that they are holding Hyeon-Soo Lim, 60, who heads Toronto’s Light Korean Presbyterian Church. The pastor was detained on charges of planning to overthrow the regime to establish a religious state. North Korea’s official news agency reported his "confession".
07/30/2015CHINA Zhejiang: 16 Protestants opposed to cross demolition detained Believers and clergymen are held “on suspicion of ‘running an illegal business,’ ‘obstructing official duty,’ and ‘running secret accounting procedures’”. For their lawyer, the charges are “random stuff” when the real reason is “they refused to allow the cross to be taken down”.
07/30/2015PAKISTAN Faisalabad diocese celebrates the 75th anniversary of the Parish of St Pius X by Shafique Khokhar Fr Pius Corbelini inaugurated the church in 1940. The current bishop, who led the anniversary celebrations, explained the role he and his priests play, as well as the religious path the faithful must follow, and the importance of children education. He also talked about spreading the Gospel and helping the local community.