02/26/2015SYRIA IS holding more than 250 Christians, for vicar to Aleppo, pope's prayers are a source of courage Pope Francis is closely monitoring the situation in Syria and praying for the Christian minority. For Mgr Georges Abou Khazen, the pope's closeness is a source "of great consolation and help." The road to peace "is long, but the only one possible." At least 5,000 Christians fled from the Islamists. The UN Security Council condemns the abductions. Aleppo (AsiaNews) - "Pope Francis words are a source of great
consolation, help and courage for us Syrian Christians, in this period of
crisis and difficulties. The pope knows the situation well. He is praying and
02/26/2015CHINA China, first ever Holocaust commemoration for the Shanghai Ghetto This was announced by the World Jewish Congress. During the Japanese occupation, approximately 23 thousand Jews were closed into the area to pay homage to Hitler, Tokyo’s ally. Liberated on September 3, 1945, "it is a part of the extermination that is never remembered."
02/26/2015INDIA Hindu radicals: We will convert Christians and Muslims until the government stops us by Nirmala Carvalho The provoking remark was made by the leader of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), which will celebrate the anniversary of the extremist group in Kandhamal. In 2008 the worst anti-Christian persecution of Indian history took place there. The Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC): "No concrete action of the Government after the statements on religious freedom by Prime Minister Modi."
02/26/2015MYANMAR Education Reform: Buddhist nationalists and government endanger agreement by Francis Khoo Thwe The government has been circulating a different draft from that one agreed with the students. It has not excluded taking legal action against protesting students. The latter have issued an ultimatum against the authorities. Fear is growing of a possible crackdown. Buddhist nationalist groups come out against the use of minority languages in education.
02/25/2015SYRIA IS abducts 150 Christians, rapes and kills women, a "tragic situation" for vicar to Aleppo A steady stream of horrific stories is coming out of jihadist-held areas. Terrorists hold hundreds of Christians, including seniors and children. For apostolic nuncio to Damascus, "Christians feel abandoned". There is "blood everywhere" and everyone is suffering. He believes that the war on terrorism is pointless but oil, "financial and military supplies" should be cut off.
02/25/2015ISRAEL - PALESTINE Bethlehem, Israeli extremists torch and profane mosque The latest act of vandalism committed by young settlers against Muslims (and Christians) according to the logic of the "price tag", the "price to pay for the land occupied”. Graffiti in Hebrew on the walls of the place of worship. The police open an investigation. New details about the death yesterday of young Palestinian: according to a coroner it was an "execution".
02/24/2015EGYPT - ISLAM What Tayeb and Sisi said is big step towards a revolution in Islam by Samir Khalil Samir The grand imam of Al-Azhar slammed literalist interpretations of the Qur'an and the Sunnah, as fundamentalists and Islamic terrorists do. He supports the urgent need for Islam's reform, especially in terms of teaching lay people and clerics. He also calls for an end to mutual excommunication (takfir) between Sunnis and Shias. Egyptian President al-Sisi chose to fight the Islamic state group after it beheaded 21 Coptic Christians, whom he called "Egyptian citizens" with full rights.
02/24/2015INDIA Radical Hindus against Mother Teresa, but India rises up: "She is a Saint”. by Santosh Digal The head of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) paramilitary group has accused the founder of the Missionaries of Charity "of serving the poor in order to convert them." People of all faiths and walks of life condemn the words of the Hindu leader. Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC): "Mother Teresa often exhorted those who came to her to be good Hindus, Muslims, Christians or Sikhs"
02/24/2015UKRAINE - RUSSIA Ukraine, a land scorched by history by Vladimir Rozanskij The end of the Soviet Union led to idea that the West and democracy had won. However, the Ukrainian conflict proves otherwise. Although the pope's words on post-communist economic injustices are right, they have boosted Russians' belief that they are the "last bastion" against the ruin that Western capitalism will inevitably inflict. For them, their apocalyptic fate is inexorably tied to what will happen on the Ukrainian border.
02/24/2015SYRIA IS attacks Christian villages in northeast Syria, kidnaps scores of people Sources in the Apostolic Nunciature told AsiaNews that they "were checking the reports". Scores of IS pick-ups flying the group's black flag raided villages, destroyed churches, and abducted men, women and children. IS wants to exchange civilian hostages for their fighters held by Kurdish troops.
02/24/2015JAPAN A Nigerian pastor and activist for women's rights awarded 32nd Niwano Peace Prize Esther Abimiku Ibanga founded the "Women Without Walls Initiative" to end the violence and the unjustified killing of women and children in Plateau State, Nigeria. The organization has become a strong coalition of women's groups beyond ethnic and religious divisions and is the first to have among its members, women leaders from all tribal groups, including Christian and Muslim.
02/24/2015EGYPT - ISLAM An Egypt in mourning prays for its martyrs beheaded in Libya by André Azzam Patriarch Tawadros has enrolled the names of the 21 young men killed by the Islamic State in the Coptic Synaxis, a sort of canonization. Their memory will be celebrated every year on 15 February. Even for the State authorities, the 21 beheaded men are martyrs. A church will be built in the village where most of the victims hailed from. The strong solidarity of Muslims.
02/23/2015SAUDI ARABIA - ISLAM For head of Al-Azhar, religious education reform is needed to stop Islamic extremism For Ahmed al-Tayeb, it is urgent to come up with new educational programmes to avoid "corrupt interpretations" of the Qur'an and Sunnah. Islamic terrorism undermines the unity of the Muslim world. He blames Mideast tensions on a "new global colonialism allied to world Zionism". a speech by the Saudi king is read at the conference.