19 August 2017
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  • 19/08/2017 - TAJIKISTAN

    Campaign to "correct" mode of Islamic dress. According to government sources, the veil is a tool to identify women belonging to terrorist groups.




    19/08/2017 - VATICAN - RUSSIA

    Card. Parolin in Moscow: Ostpolitik conquers distrust

    by Vladimir Rozanskij

    The theme is a meeting between Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill, not in Moscow, but in some holy place of the Christian East, or in Bari. An international conference on the future of Ukraine and Crimea. Commitment to Christians and Peace in the Middle East. 


    18/08/2017 - INDONESIA

    Jakarta, Widodo defends multiculturalism on Independence Day

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    Indonesia’s president and vice president wear traditional clothes in parliament. With this gesture, Widodo and Kalla put aside the political disagreements that marked their relationship because of the court case involving Jakarta’s former Christian governor, Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama. The country’s “new nationalism" has found momentum in recent official ceremonies.


    18/08/2017 - INDIA

    Kolkata, Muslim students promote respect for human dignity


    The Students Islamic Organisation of India is behind the initiative. Over two weeks, young people will promote respect for life throughout the country. This comes after a series of violent actions against Dalit and Muslims. Symposia, seminars and public lectures are on the agenda. The campaign is meant to glorify “the very tenets of humankind”.


    18/08/2017 - CHINA-VATICAN

    Chinese Priest: The differences between the funeral of Msgr. Xie and Msgr. Li

    by Shan Ren Shen Fu (山人神父)

    For the first, the bishop of Urumqi, priests and faithful were banned from taking part in the funeral mass; there was no episcopal insignia in the photos; only half an hour for the ceremony. The other, bishop of Taiyuan, was surrounded by the affection and  esteem of thousands of his priests and faithful. But "the saints who welcome the two bishops to the door of Paradise are equally numerous."


    17/08/2017 - INDIA

    For Jesuit activist, India is still ruled by tyrants after 70 years of independence


    Fr Cedrik Prakash, who works for the Refugee Service in Lebanon, speaks on the 70th anniversary of India’s independence. The country has fallen into the hands of Hindu nationalists, and religious minorities, the education system, and freedom of expression are its victims. He cites the poem ‘Where the Mind does not Fear’.


    17/08/2017 - CHINA – VATICAN

    The funerals of Mgr Xie Tingzhe and Mgr Li Jiantang show the government’s double standards

    by Bernardo Cervellera

    The first, an underground bishop not recognised by the government, was cremated and hurriedly buried. The faithful and priests were forbidden to attend the funeral Mass, and taking pictures at the service was banned. The second, a bishop with the official Church and a political advisor to the Chinese parliament, was exposed for several days honoured and his funeral was open to concelebrants and the faithful.


    17/08/2017 - SAUDI ARABIA - QATAR

    Riyadh opens the border with Qatar to let pilgrims in


    King Salman orders the reopening of the Salwa border area. A gesture of courtesy towards the Muslim population and Muslims, but the deep divisions between the two countries remain. Bahrain accuses Qatar of fomenting the anti-government revolts of the past. It points to contacts between the former Doha premier and the former leader of the internal opposition.


    17/08/2017 - RUSSIA

    The Feast of the Assumption at the Kremlin

    by Vladimir Rozanskij

    The cathedral of the Dormition of the Mother of God, consecrated on August 15, 1327, is erected in the historic center of Moscow. The building that is seen today is the work of a Venetian architect who has integrated Italian, Byzantine and Russian styles. The church, still functional, but more like a museum of icons, is witness to the greatest events in Russian history.


    16/08/2017 - PAKISTAN

    Christian prisoner who refused to reject his faith dies in custody in Lahore


    Indaryas Ghulam died under mysterious circumstances in police custody. He had burns and cuts on his body. He was one the 42 people arrested for lynching two Muslims after the Youhanabad church attacks. The prisoner could have saved his life had he denied Christ.


    16/08/2017 - KAZAKHSTAN

    Orthodox priest put on trial for praying with children at a summer camp in the mountains


    Officials inspected the camp and tried to interrogate the children. This is the first time an Orthodox clergyman I charged with breaking the ‘Law on Religious Activities and Religious Associations’.


    16/08/2017 - INDONESIA

    Indonesian Church: Pancasilia is the nation's philosophical and political platform

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    The basic principles of the nation reiterated in a Catholic national conference. The "Five pillars" must be protected and defended in critical situations, including intolerance and secularism.


    16/08/2017 - INDIA

    Indian Associations: On 25 August we remember the Christian victims of Kandhamal

    by Purushottam Nayak

    The National Solidarity Forum includes over 70 organizations and was born following the 2008 pogroms against Christians. "Kandhamal Day" not to forget the victims and give them justice. "Your solidarity will inspire those still struggling." The Forum's demands.


    16/08/2017 - HONG KONG - CHINA

    Activist 'kidnapped' and 'tortured by Chinese' arrested: the police doubt his version

    by Paul Wang

    Security Cameras at Yau Ma Tei picture Howard Lam always alone, wearing a hat, a surgical mask and sunglasses. He states he is not the man in the film. Doctors doubt his mental health. But the Democratic Party demands more evidence from the police and still defends Lam's version. chief of the executive Carrie Lam remains prudent .


    14/08/2017 - HOLY LAND

    Theophilos III slams Israeli court over illegally obtained Greek Orthodox properties


    In 2004, the previous patriarch sold Church property in the Old City to an organisation of Jewish settlers. The current patriarch opposed the authorised sale, starting a legal battle. On 1 August, the Israeli court confirmed the sale agreement. Theophilos III will appeal to the Supreme Court against the “politically motivated” ruling, which will “have the most negative effect on the Christian presence in the Holy Land”.


    14/08/2017 - SAUDI ARABIA

    Nobel Laureates write to the Saudi king asking him to halt the execution of 14 Shia activists


    The accused were arrested in 2012 during the Arab Spring. Activists and civil society groups warn that the execution is imminent. Pleaders ask Salman to show a merciful face and correct a great injustice. The ultraconservative kingdom has one of the world's highest rates of execution.


    14/08/2017 - CHINA – VATICAN

    Two elderly Chinese bishops die: Mgr Li Jiantang of Taiyuan and Mgr Xie Tingzhe of Urumqi

    by Victoria Ma

    Both spent scores of years in forced labour camps. Bishop Li devoted his life to the renaissance of the Diocese of Taiyuan as well as its clergy and nuns. Bishop Xie was an underground bishop, recognized by the Holy See, but not by the government. He chose to serve as a bishop in the same place where he was imprisoned for 20 years.


    14/08/2017 - RUSSIA

    'Extremism': the Russian state and the witch hunt against Jehovah's Witnesses

    by Vladimir Rozanskij

    A woman and her son arrested in Kursk for distributing invitations to the sect. Bible translations not originating from the Hebrew and Greek sources deemed 'extreme'. The same for translations of the non-Arabic translations of Koran. A Protestant pastor who cared for drug addicts arrested . Even the faithful of a bishop considered a holy man, branded as "extremists": they risk the prison.


    12/08/2017 - MALAYSIA – ISLAM

    Racism in Selangor school: cups for 'Muslims' and 'non-Muslims'


    The school has labelled cups next to the water dispenser for children. For Perak Mufti Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria, the practice is discriminatory and could lead to hatred of Islam. “This practice is an insult,” he said. Deputy Education Minister Datuk Chong Sin Woon noted that "national schools are for all Malaysians”.


    12/08/2017 - PAKISTAN

    Lahore, ethnic and religious minorities ask for an end to discrimination

    by Shafique Khokhar

    It is necessary to ensure effective political participation and representation of religious minorities. An appeal is issued on National Minorities Day. Tehreek Rwadari makes some proposals.


    12/08/2017 - LEBANON – MIDDLE EAST – VATICAN

    For Eastern Catholic patriarchs, the genocide of Christians is an affront to all humanity

    by Fady Noun

    Afflicted by wars, emigration and insecurity, Christian communities have now become "a small flock" amid the indifference of the international community. Patriarchs appeal to Pope Francis and the international community. Catholics and Orthodox share the same problems. The end of Christians in the East would be "a shameful stigma for the whole 21st century".


    12/08/2017 - KOREA

    Korean Bishops say no to “unreasonable provocations', call for a stop to the nuclear escalation by working for the “coexistence of humanity”


    Korean bishops issued an Exhortation today on the rising tensions around the Korean peninsula. North Korea but also "neighbouring countries" are at risk of "hasty unrestrained action" that could lead to the "death of innumerable people" and "deep wounds for the whole of humanity." They call for reduced military budgets and more spending on human and cultural development. They urge using "conscience, intelligence, solidarity, piety and mutual respect". A prayer is set for the feast day of the Assumption, which is also Korean Independence Day.


    11/08/2017 - INDONESIA

    Indonesian Church ordains 18 new priests

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    Ordinations took place on the same day in remote locations to promote vocations among local youth. Five priests and three deacons were ordained in Belitang (South Sumatera). Mgr John Liku Ada, archbishop of Makassar, consecrated seven diocesan priests in Rantepao (South Sulawesi). In Kabanjahe (North Sumatera), five new diocesan priests and one from the Order of the Holy Cross were consecrated.


    11/08/2017 - INDIA – NEPAL

    Two Nepali Christian couples detained for “forced conversions” in Bihar

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    The four Nepalis had been evangelising for a month in different neighbourhoods in the city of Muzaffarpur. They have been accused without any evidence of trying to convert the poor through money promises. The Indian Constitution guarantees the right to propagate one’s faith.


    11/08/2017 - HONG KONG – CHINA

    Hong Kong activist 'tortured' by Chinese agents for sending a postcard signed by Lionel Messi


    Howard Lam was kidnapped and beaten, with staples punched into his legs. The attack is similar to an incident in which five Hong Kong publishers and booksellers were held for months in police custody in China. The Democratic Party continues its campaign to get the release of Liu Xia, Lui Xiaobo’s wife, who was left to die a month ago by Chinese authorities.


    11/08/2017 - PAKISTAN

    Sister Ruth Pfau dies at the age of 87 after a life serving lepers in Pakistan

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    She provided assistance to more than 50,000 patients in her 157 centres across the country. Every year, 12,000 patients with tuberculosis are treated and some 7,000 cataract operations are performed. Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbassi announced a state ceremony. Sr Pfau received the highest honours in the Islamic Republic. For Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, "It's a big loss. We must continue her mission."


    11/08/2017 - JAPAN – SOUTH KOREA – UNITED STATES

    Mgr Kikuchi: The Church in Japan praying for peace, while political leaders fuel tensions

    by Tarcisio Isao Kikuchi

    For the bishop of Niigata, tensions on the Korean peninsula go back 70 years, but new political leaders "have been fueling the existing fire." A solution involving US military aggression would only bring devastating results to everyone. Ten days of praying for peace are being held. Japanese and Korean bishops are working together.


    10/08/2017 - BANGLADESH

    The rights of indigenous peoples should be enshrined in the constitution

    by Sumon Corraya

    Thousands of people mark International Day for Indigenous Peoples with dances, music and candlelit processions. For writer and educator Muhammad Zafar Iqbal, diversity is beauty. The government has however forgotten minority rights.


    09/08/2017 - RUSSIA

    Putin and the anniversary of the Old Believers, the 'true Russians'

    by Vladimir Rozanskij

    The result of a 17th century schism and excommunication, the Old Believers consider themselves the ‘true’ Russian Orthodox Church. Presently, it has communities abroad, including Uganda and Pakistan. On several occasions, the Russian president showed goodwill and openness towards them.






    Editor's choices

    LEBANON – MIDDLE EAST – VATICAN
    For Eastern Catholic patriarchs, the genocide of Christians is an affront to all humanity

    Fady Noun

    Afflicted by wars, emigration and insecurity, Christian communities have now become "a small flock" amid the indifference of the international community. Patriarchs appeal to Pope Francis and the international community. Catholics and Orthodox share the same problems. The end of Christians in the East would be "a shameful stigma for the whole 21st century".


    KOREA
    Korean Bishops say no to “unreasonable provocations', call for a stop to the nuclear escalation by working for the “coexistence of humanity”



    Korean bishops issued an Exhortation today on the rising tensions around the Korean peninsula. North Korea but also "neighbouring countries" are at risk of "hasty unrestrained action" that could lead to the "death of innumerable people" and "deep wounds for the whole of humanity." They call for reduced military budgets and more spending on human and cultural development. They urge using "conscience, intelligence, solidarity, piety and mutual respect". A prayer is set for the feast day of the Assumption, which is also Korean Independence Day.


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