12 December 2017
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  • 12/12/2017 - RUSSIA - SYRIA

    Putin announces end to fight against ISIS and orders withdrawal of a part of the troops. Western powers criticisms of Russian intervention. The unity of Orthodox, Protestant and Catholic Christians for the return of refugees to their homeland. Also the Russian Muslims mobilize for reconstruction and aid.


    by Vladimir Rozanskij

    11/12/2017 - MIDDLE EAST – UNITED STATES

    Mideast Christians against Trump over Jerusalem capital, a decision that destroys hope for peace


    The Chaldean patriarchate criticises a choice that complicates the situation and fuels conflicts and wars. Card al-Rahi calls the decision “destructive” and a violation of international resolutions. Coptic pope Tawadros II cancels a meeting with US Vice President Pence. Somewhat resigned, Palestinians continue their protest. For Israeli peace group, the US has abdicated its role of mediator in the region.


    11/12/2017 - INDIA

    Fr Tom Uzhunnalil receives the Mother Teresa Award 2017

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    The ceremony took place yesterday in Mumbai. The Salesian abducted in Yemen was recognised for his “dedication and commitment" and his work in "a location of great danger". For Fr Tom, "Wars are not the solution".


    11/12/2017 - INDONESIA

    Indonesian authorities on maximum terror alert over Christmas


    More than 20,000 agents will be deployed in Jakarta from 23 December to 1 January. Terrorists target Christian places of worship and government buildings. In 2000, attacks against 11 churches left 13 people dead and 100 wounded. The country’s two main moderate Islamic organisations provide security to Christians.


    11/12/2017 - IRAQ

    The Iraqi premier announces end of war against ISIS. But the jihadist ideology remains


    Al-Abadi confirms that the Iraqi forces "have taken complete control" of the Iraqi-Syrian border. He speaks of victory as the fruit of "unity and determination" and obtained "in a short time". Previously Russia had described the mission in Syria against the Caliphate as "complete". However, a military victory does not imply the eradication of fundamentalist doctrine.


    11/12/2017 - BANGLADESH - USA

    Bangladeshi Muslims rage over Jerusalem capital

    by Sumon Corraya

    Imams opposed to Trump's decision to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. A protest on the streets of Dhaka. Muslim leaders: "Trump destroys world peace".


    11/12/2017 - JAPAN-NORWAY

    Hiroshima Survivors at Nobel Peace Prize conferral to Campaign against Nuclear Arms


    The award was accepted by Beatrice Fihn, executive director of the Ican (International Campaign for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons) and by Hiroshima survivor Setsuko Thurlow. The ceremony was snubbed by the ambassadors of the USA, France, Great Britain. The treaty for the ban on nuclear weapons was approved by 122 nations, but not by the nine nuclear powers. So far it has received only three ratifications. The support of Pope Francis.


    10/12/2017 - VATICAN-ISRAEL-PALESTINE

    Holy See: attention and concern for Jerusalem and peace in the Middle East


    A press release from the Vatican press office reaffirms the position of the Holy See on respect for the status quo of Jerusalem. The invitation to a negotiated solution between Israelis and Palestinians.


    09/12/2017 - PAKISTAN

    Lahore, pastor accused of blasphemy released. He is innocent

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    The Rev. Babu Shahbaz had been in prison for a year. A group of Muslims accused him of having torn pages from the Koran. The judge: "The evidence is not valid". Lawyer: "He can celebrate Christmas with his family".


    09/12/2017 - RUSSIA

    The Russian parliament wages war on magicians, shamans, healers

    by Vladimir Rozanskij

    Over 10 thousand Russian sites offer miracle cures for a fee. Black magic, curses, removal of evil eye and other services related to spells and magical protections. One in five Russian citizens turn to fortune tellers or tarot card readers at least once in their lifetime. A draft law proposes sentences of one to three years for fraudsters. The condemnation of the Orthodox Church. Superstition and post-communism.


    09/12/2017 - MALAYSIA

    Kuala Lumpur, religious leaders unite to combat violence against women and children


    A 16-day campaign of activism launched. President of the Inter-religious Advisory Council: "Overcoming indifference and ignorance, to safeguard respect for human life". The Sisters of the Good Shepherd for awareness, reflection and action. Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur: "In order to fulfill its prophetic role, the Church needs to rise up in unity to comfort the afflicted".


    07/12/2017 - BANGLADESH

    Mirpur’s Mary Queen of the Apostles parish an 'oasis of peace for children' (Photos)

    by Anna Chiara Filice

    The church was founded in 1994 by PIME missionary Fr. Gianantonio Baio. Today the parish priest is Fr. Quirico Martinelli. There are playgrounds for children and swings. In the school of St. Theresa, 495 children study: "a concrete example of inter-religious harmony". From our correspondent on the ground.


    07/12/2017 - INDIA

    Hindu nationalists attack a Christian prayer meeting in Chhattisgarh


    The attack took place yesterday in the village of Tarra. Dozens of cars, bicycles and other private property were targeted with damages estimated at more than US$ 6,000. The attackers also harassed women and beat up men.


    07/12/2017 - MYANMAR

    Authorities against ultranationalist Buddhist party


    The Ma Ba Tha, or Association for the Protection of Race and Religion, applied to register a party. Banned by the government in the past, the movement is pro-military, and accuses Myanmar’s civilian government of not protecting Buddhism. The worst incidents of religious intolerance have occurred in its strongholds. It claims ten million members in almost 300 townships.


    06/12/2017 - INDIA

    Archdiocese of Mumbai organises a fundraiser for Advent against hunger and for jobs

    by Oswald Gracias*

    This year's goal is to improve livelihoods in order to achieve sustainable income, connecting donors with our beneficiaries”. Children and youth are asked “to save part of their pocket money to contribute to this cause.”


    06/12/2017 - UN-MYANMAR

    Rohingya, UN: the Burmese army guilty of 'probable crimes against humanity'


    The charge for operations in October 2016 and last August. "Credible reports" on widespread, systematic and brutal attacks in Rakhine. The resolution requested by Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia approved by 33 votes, Beijing opposed. The Burmese government and army reject the accusations.


    06/12/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: in Myanmar and Bangladesh I encouraged dialogue and witness


    Looking back over his recent trip, Francis recalls that in Myanmar he hoped "that all the different components of the nation, no one excluded, can cooperate" and in Bangladesh solidarity for the help of Rohingya and "the need" that " religious freedom always be protected ".


    06/12/2017 - INDIA

    Seven Pentecostal Christians arrested for “forced conversions” in Uttar Pradesh

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    The accused were remanded into custody for 14 days for allegedly insulting Hindu deities. For Sajan K George, "The growing suspicion against the vulnerable miniscule Christian community, especially the Pentecostals, is alarming.”


    06/12/2017 - ISRAEL-USA

    Ex-Israeli ambassadors to Trump: do not recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel


    The situation in Jerusalem must be dealt with in the global resolution process. Arab leaders and not only warn about the dangers of the decision. Trump will announce the decision today. Peace in the region is at risk. 


    06/12/2017 - PALESTINE-USA

    Palestinian Christians burn photos of Donald Trump: 'Jerusalem, our land'


    On the photos, some slogans: "Move the embassy to your country, not ours". Trump has reportedly telephoned the King of Jordan and Mahmoud Abbas to communicate his intention to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.


    05/12/2017 - HOLY LAND

    Mgr Pizzaballa: Advent, the family is the “hope of the Church”


    A pastoral centre with the religious and laity has been set up. Waiting for Jesus Christ in the life of each of us is possible with "our active and personal response".


    05/12/2017 - SRI LANKA

    Wewala celebrates 75 years of the Church of St Francis Xavier

    by Melani Manel Perera

    Card Malcolm Ranjith led the Mass. The archbishop of Colombo urges Catholics to "work for the liberation of others" and "to become the saviours of our brothers and sisters and to practice faith as true followers of Jesus".


    05/12/2017 - INDONESIA

    Sorong diocese celebrates the 70th anniversary of its cathedral with two priestly ordinations

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    Bishop Hilarion Datus Lega led the service. The presence of the archbishops of Semarang and Ende is significant. Because of the vastness of its remote territory and its pastoral challenges, the diocese of Manokwari-Sorong relies on the support of other Indonesian dioceses.


    05/12/2017 - PAKISTAN

    Pakistani catechist calls on the Church to acknowledge the value of the laity

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    In Lahore catechists get the lowest salaries. Vocations are up compared to the past. Children who study in government schools are deprived of catechism. The faith should be promoted through social media.


    05/12/2017 - HONG KONG

    Bishop of Hong Kong: Advent, 2018 dedicated to young people


    Mgr Yeung thanks youth for their response to the Church’s call. Their frank demands include a Church that is more outreaching and open to dialogue. He cites Pope Francis who urged people to “trade in the sofa for a pair of walking shoes”.


    05/12/2017 - BANGLADESH - VATICAN

    Dhaka: the Pope's visit a success. Christians 'salt' of society

    by Anna Chiara Filice

    The reactions of the young people, the hopes for the Catholic Church. Extensive media coverage of events, which allowed the population to discover that "Catholics exist". From our envoy on the ground


    05/12/2017 - RUSSIA-UKRAINE

    A possible reconciliation between Moscow and Kiev

    by Vladimir Rozanskij

    The Extraordinary Synod for the 100th anniversary of the restoration of the Moscow Patriarchate, called for a return to communion with the Kiev Patriarchate. Filaret's response, very positive, asks for forgiveness and offers forgiveness. For years there have been prevarications, expressions of hatred, seizures of churches. The invasion of Crimea has sharpened the division. The Ukrainian government rallies against.


    04/12/2017 - VATICAN-BANGLADESH-MYANMAR

    Not just Rohingya: Pope Francis’ message to Myanmar and Bangladesh

    by Bernardo Cervellera

    News coverage overly focused on "saying / not saying" the word Rohingya. The Pope avoids trial by media, opting to outline constructive paths of hope. Full citizenship for dozens of ethnic groups and a development based on human dignity. The unity between the young and the different ethnic groups, admired by Buddhists and Muslims.


    02/12/2017 - BANGLADESH – VATICAN

    Young Bangladeshis say they are the future of the world, in freedom and harmony (video)

    by Anna Chiara Filice

    About nine thousand young people met with Pope Francis at Notre Dame College in Dhaka. Young women “hope to live in a safe world, in which we feel free, able to express ourselves.” For Muslim students, family values are the basis of society, terrorists are isolated, far from the family, brainwashed. From our correspondent


    02/12/2017 - BANGLADESH – VATICAN

    Pope tells the fearless youth of Bangladesh that God’s wisdom strengthens hope


    Some seven thousand Catholics and others took part in the meeting with young people, which included songs and dances and the testimonies of a young man and a young woman. "You are always full of enthusiasm, and I feel rejuvenated every time I meet you", the pope said. People must rely on God’s wisdom, and not wander “aimlessly”. Such “wisdom helps us to recognize and reject false promises of happiness”, to open “up to others”, to appreciate the culture of “the elderly”, and “to face the future with courage.”






    Editor's choices

    RUSSIA-UKRAINE
    A possible reconciliation between Moscow and Kiev

    Vladimir Rozanskij

    The Extraordinary Synod for the 100th anniversary of the restoration of the Moscow Patriarchate, called for a return to communion with the Kiev Patriarchate. Filaret's response, very positive, asks for forgiveness and offers forgiveness. For years there have been prevarications, expressions of hatred, seizures of churches. The invasion of Crimea has sharpened the division. The Ukrainian government rallies against.


    VATICAN-BANGLADESH-MYANMAR
    Not just Rohingya: Pope Francis’ message to Myanmar and Bangladesh

    Bernardo Cervellera

    News coverage overly focused on "saying / not saying" the word Rohingya. The Pope avoids trial by media, opting to outline constructive paths of hope. Full citizenship for dozens of ethnic groups and a development based on human dignity. The unity between the young and the different ethnic groups, admired by Buddhists and Muslims.


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