05/02/2015INDIA - UNITED STATES Washington: religious freedom has worsened under Modi US Commission on International Religious Freedom Report 2015 in the subcontinent: "Since the elections last year, attacks and verbal violence against religious minorities have increased. The government is not doing enough to stop them. " Delhi responds: "You do not understand the country." Delhi (AsiaNews) - The 2015 Report on Religious Freedom in India by a US parliamentary committee "is based on a limited understanding of India, its constitution and its society. We have no plans to implement it", says the Indian Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman, Vikas Swarup, after the...
05/01/2015VIETNAM – VATICAN Vietnam today, 40 years after the fall of Saigon by Lee Nguyen On 30 April 1975, North Vietnamese forces seized Saigon, the capital of South Vietnam, thus ending the Vietnam War. Forty years later, the country has become a medium-size economic "tiger" in Asia and the world, a country with a capitalist economy behind a Communist facade, under a regime still bent on exerting tight social controls. There are some positive signs for the Church, but also acts of persecution, bans, and censorship, especially against bishops and priests. Yet, the country really needs the reconciliation Christians can bring to heal still present wounds and divisions.
05/01/2015VATICAN For the pope, the faces of hungry men and women should take centre stage at Expo by Papa Francesco Pope Francis today addressed via a televised link-up the opening ceremony of Expo Milano 2015 (1 May-31 October), the world fair centred on ‘Feeding the planet. Energy for Life’. For the Holy Father, this “Expo is a propitious opportunity to globalise solidarity. Let us not waste it; let us make the very most of it.” In his view, a change of mind-set is also needed to overcome the “paradox of abundance” and the culture of waste and castoffs. The pope’s full speech is reprinted below.
05/01/2015CHINA China’s one-child policy is state violence against women and children by Reggie Littlejohn Although occasionally “tweaked,” the infamous law has not been eliminated and is having disastrous demographic consequences: labor shortages, an aging population, a skewed sex ration between men and women, women trafficking and sexual slavery. However, the government is not going to repeal it because it helps it control the population. The Party “is maintaining its grip on power by shedding the blood of the innocent women and babies of China,” said Reggie Littlejohn in her testimony before the Congressional Executive Commission on China.
04/30/2015INDIA Hypocritical Hindu radicals honour one Dalit abroad by Lenin Raghuvanshi India’s prime minister preside the rededication of the London home of B R Ambdekar, architect of India’s secular and democratic constitution. AsiaNews spoke with Dalit rights activist Raghuvanshi who calls the government’s plan an “emotional ploy” at a time when Ambedkar statues are being destroyed across the country.
04/30/2015EGYPT – ISLAM Life for 69 Islamists who torched church in Kerdasa For the first time a Christian building is not treated as a "second class" religious building. Two underage defendants were sentenced to ten years for their role in the blaze, which occurred between 14 and 15 August 2013. After Morsi was ousted and Muslim Brotherhood rallies cleared, some 60 Christian places of worship, schools, and homes were burnt down. The case confirms the independence of the judiciary, but also the desire of ordinary Egyptians to forget.
04/29/2015INDIA PIME in India: Fr. Silvio Pasquali is Servant of God by Rayala Vijay Kumar* The announcement was made on April 25 last, in the presence of about 700 nuns and 70 diocesan and religious priests. As a missionary in Andhra Pradesh, he founded the Congregation of the Catechist Sisters of St Ann (CSA).
04/28/2015INDIA Hindu leader blames Nepal earthquake on eating beef by Nirmala Carvalho Sakshi Maharaj, from the ruling BJP, blamed Rahul Gandhi, from the opposition Congress Party, for the earthquake because he eats beef. According to Hinduism, cows are sacred. For the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), “The beef eating comment was aimed at minorities. It is a way of politicising religion.”
04/27/2015FRANCE – LEBANON – MIDDLE EAST For Maronite Patriarch, without Christians moderate Muslims will also disappear from the Middle East by Fady Noun Card Bechara al Rahi pleads with those waiting for the dawn of peace in “the dead of night”. He points the finger at the international community for being "slow" in stopping the "death and destruction" caused by "killers without faith." Peace between Israel and Palestine is a precondition for the preservation of the Christian presence. He inaugurated the new headquarters of the Maronite diocese of France.
04/24/2015BANGLADESH Bangladesh: the family is "the most beautiful place in the world" by Sumon Corraya Bablu Gomes, a married Catholic and father of two children, addresses a conference on family sponsored by the Archdiocese of Dhaka. At the rally the laity have shared personal experiences and problems. "Love, patience and respect" the secret to a long and happy married life.
04/24/2015IRAQ – TURKEY Bartholomew I’s solidarity to Mar Sako for Iraq’s persecuted Christians by Joseph Mahmoud A few days ago, a Chaldean delegation visited Turkey, where they met the faithful and high-ranking religious and political officials. Patriarch Sako stressed the importance of Christian unity, the only source of strength and salvation. He also visited Diyarbakir cathedral and Zafaran Monastery.
04/24/2015NEPAL Nepal: after 18 years, killer of Jesuit missionary arrested by Christopher Sharma The murderer of Fr. Thomas Ganfney had been hiding in India. The man had killed the priest to rob him. TheJesuit had founded the first center for social services in the nation, through which he helped the poor and needy.