02 July 2016
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    01/07/2016 - BANGLADESH

    Police say that “derailed youths” shouting “Allah is great” shot their way into a coffee shop in the capital’s diplomatic district. This comes after a wave of violent attacks and murders against Bangladesh’s non-Muslims. Police call for CCTV cameras in every place of worship.




    01/07/2016 - PAKISTAN

    Lahore’s Anglican cathedral hosts Islamic prayer and iftar (video)

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    The prayer has been held for the past three years, backed by Movement for Tolerance (Rawadari Tehreek). After the meal and speeches, some young people visited the church for the first time. Christians should participate "in the feasts of Eid, Muslim weddings and funerals," some said. Muslim groups are set to organise interfaith meetings at Christmas.


    01/07/2016 - EGYPT

    For Catholic Church spokesman, Christians are seen as "legitimate targets" in Sinai


    Extremist militias view non-Wahhabis as enemies to attack, says Fr Rafic Greiche. The Sinai has a long history of violence, with churches and priests seen as “legitimate targets”. It is “no accident” that a Coptic priest was recently killed on the anniversary of Morsi’s ouster.


    01/07/2016 - LEBANON – SYRIA

    Caritas Lebanon coping with refugees amid acceptance and fundamentalism


    For Fr Paul Karam, Lebanon’s religious and cultural ethnic mosaic is at risk. Region-wide plans and international efforts are needed. Fundamentalism is fuelled by deteriorating conditions in refuge facilities.


    01/07/2016 - BANGLADESH

    Another Hindu priest hacked to death with machete in Bangladesh


    Shaymanonda Das, 45, worked at the Radha Madan Gopal Temple. He was hacked to death while preparing morning prayers with flowers. His murder resembles similar killings elsewhere in the country claimed by Islamic groups. More than 40 people have been killed since February 2013, including 12 people in the last fourteen weeks alone.


    30/06/2016 - PAKISTAN

    Pakistani Church against cutting funds for minorities to finance a pro-Taliban madrassa

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    Many have slammed the decision. The Islamic school has trained terrorists operating at home and in Afghanistan and is slated to get funds otherwise earmarked for the province’s minorities. One of its former students is among those who assassinated former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. Muslim clerics defend the decision.


    30/06/2016 - SRI LANKA

    Two years after enduring Buddhist violence, Muslims suffer but forgive

    by Melani Manel Perera

    Buddhist radicals looted and torched homes in three towns in south-western Sri Lanka. Survivors still live in fear, remembering the violence: a car dealer who lost everything, a grocer who lost his shop, a young man who lost his leg.


    30/06/2016 - LEBANON - SYRIA

    For Lebanese bishop, Al-Qaa is a symbol of coexistence, the terrorists shall not win


    Mgr Elias Rahal, the Greek -Melkite archbishop of Baalbek, visited the town that was attacked. Lebanon’s army has re-imposed a semblance of security. In this border town, Christians and Muslims live peacefully and fruitfully. We “shall never leave the town,” the prelate said.


    30/06/2016 - MALAYSIA

    For mufti of Pahang, all non-Muslims deserve death; for bishop, such a remark is dangerous

    by Joseph Masilamany

    The cleric applied the ‘kafir harbi’ label to politicians opposed to Sharia. For Mgr Paul Tan, if such words “are not rejected by the authorities, they pose a threat to national security”. Mufti of Perlis state regrets such a remark because not all non-Muslims are enemies.


    30/06/2016 - CHINA – VATICAN

    Mgr Ma Daqin, the Vatican and the Patriotic Association’s “crooked logic”

    by Gu Feng

    A priest in central China looks at the bishop of Shanghai’s volte-face, comparing him to John the Baptist who was jailed after he accused Herod. Because of their crooked logic, the Patriotic Association and the government seek to eliminate religion from the country. The Vatican is in danger of contradicting itself if it makes compromises with the Patriotic Association. Pope Benedict XVI described the latter as “incompatible” with Catholic doctrine in his Letter to Chinese Catholics, which Pope Francis has never disclaimed, but has instead reiterated.


    30/06/2016 - INDIA

    Hyderabad, held Isis group planning attacks during Ramadan


    The National Investigation Agency in India held 11 person, including 5 arrests. They are youth in their 20s and 30s and held regular jobs. They were in touch with the head of a group of Indian jihadists based out of Raqqa in Syria. They wanted to trigger communal riots between Muslim and Hindu communities.


    29/06/2016 - MALAYSIA – ISLAM

    Opposition and minorities slam government’s attempt to introduce Sharia law in Kelantan


    The bill would allow the stoning of adulterers and the chopping off the hand of thieves. For former Prime Minister Mahathir, the government is trying to win over Islamist party.  “This is not Islam! This is not fair!” For Malaysia’s minorities, the bill is “unconstitutional”; it tears “at the core of the Federal Constitution” and undermines “religious freedom”.


    28/06/2016 - BANGLADESH

    Catholics live in in fear in Bonpara after Sunil Gomes’s murder

    by Sumon Corraya

    The victim had his throat cut after Sunday Mass. Police are still groping in the dark whilst the murderers are still at large. Younger parish members patrol at night to ensure Catholics’ self-defence and security.


    28/06/2016 - LEBANON - SYRIA

    Lebanon, new attacks in the Christian town near the Syrian border, eight injured


    Three suicide bombers struck in the evening the center of al-Qaa; one of them blew himself up in front of the church, two others near the municipality. In the morning four bombers caused nine victims. Clashes between army and jihadists in the suburbs. Terrorists wanted to strike a symbol of coexistence between Christians and Muslims, priest says. Patriarch Rai appealed for restraint.

     


    27/06/2016 - RUSSIA

    Duma approves anti-terrorism measures that "threaten religious freedom"

    by Nina Achmatova

    Protestant leaders and human rights activists slam Yarovaya’s laws, a package of measures that, among other things, make it nearly impossible to carry out processions and limit "missionary activities".


    27/06/2016 - ARMENIA – VATICAN

    Francis’s visit and the mission entrusted to the Armenian people

    by Pierre Balanian

    The pope did not waver from calling evil by its name, recognising the right of the Armenian people to remember. However, remembrance can no longer be an end in itself; it must become the vocation of the Armenian people and Diaspora. Armenians must become ambassadors and a bridge between cultures they met after the genocide, working for peace and religious coexistence. A Diaspora Armenian writes.


    27/06/2016 - VIETNAM – VATICAN

    "I met the true faith" of Vietnamese Christians, Mgr Girelli said

    by Thanh Thuy

    27/06/2016 - CHINA - VATICAN

    Mgr Ma Daqin’s volte-face, a cross to bear for the sake of Shanghai

    by p. Pietro dalla Cina

    The auxiliary bishop of Shanghai holds dear the welfare of his diocese and intends to carry alone the burden of his statements of four years ago. Fr Lombardi’s clarification on the role of the Holy See dispels any doubt: the Letter of Benedict XVI to the Chinese Church is still valid; thus the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association's position is not accepted by the Vatican. A Chinese priest comments. Translation by AsiaNews.


    26/06/2016 - VATICAN - ARMENIA

    Pope in Armenia: religious freedom essential to the victory of peace


    At the conclusion of his visit Francis signed a joint declaration with Catholicos Karenin II. The "constant conflicts based on ethnicity, political and religious in the Middle East and other parts of the world." The willingness of the Catholic Church and the Armenian Apostolic Church to continue on the path towards full unity.

     


    25/06/2016 - BANGLADESH

    Dhaka, Buddhist monks help Muslims celebrate Ramadan "thanks to Mother Teresa"


    For the past six years monks from the Dharmarajika temple have donated food to the Muslim poor to enable them to interrupt the ritual fasting. Every day they distribute 500 boxes for the iftar, filled with typical foods. One monk: "Mother Teresa said that you meet God by serving man. We were inspired by this. "


    25/06/2016 - VATICAN - ARMENIA

    Pope in Armenia: Memory, faith, mercy, the foundation for rebuilding Church and society


    In the city of Gyumri, marked by the genocide and by the earthquake, Pope Francis offers the "three stable foundations" to rebuild the person, the population, society. The invitation to young people to consecrate their lives to merciful love for the Church and the world "this is something that is needed in these troubled times, which is also a time of mercy".

     


    25/06/2016 - VATICAN -ARMENIA

    The Pope at the Armenian Genocide Memorial: flowers and prayers for the victims


    Francis visits the "Hill of the Swallows," the Tzitzernakaberd Memorial Complex to commemorate those who died during the "Great Evil." A long silent prayer before the entrance of the building, then the Psalms and the Gospel in Armenian and Italian in the Flame Room of perpetual memory. Immediately after, a meeting with the descendants of those who were housed by Pope Benedict XV in Castel Gandolfo during the persecutions.


    24/06/2016 - ORTHODOXY

    Pan-Orthodox Synod continues its proceedings

    by NAT da Polis

    The recognition of the Catholic Church as a true Church will be discussed in the next two days. So far, the meeting has agreed on the Orthodox Church’s mission in the world, fasting, impediments to marriage, and Churches’ declarations of autonomy. New national bishops’ conferences will include bishops from various rites and nations.


    24/06/2016 - BANGLADESH

    “God has called me to this task,” says Caritas’s new director; for him it is “the vocation of my life”

    by Sumon Corraya

    Francis Atul Sarkar yesterday replaced Benedict Alo D'Rozario who led the Church’s social arm for 29 years. The new director wants to bring the Church’s help to as many people as possible. Caritas has 92 projects to its credit.


    24/06/2016 - ISRAEL-PALESTINE-HOLY LAND

    Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem


    On the same day, the Holy See accepts the resignation of Fouad Twal, the Latin Patriarch, and appoints the former custodian of the Holy Land as apostolic administrator of the patriarchate. Facing new challenges, addressing the geopolitical and socio-religious changes taking place in the Middle East.

     


    24/06/2016 - MYANMAR - THAILAND

    Muslim minority living in fear, after 200 Buddhists attack mosque in Bago


    An angry mob destroyed part of the building and damaged the Islamic cemetery, forcing Muslim families to take refuge at a police station. Aung San Suu Kyi arrived in Thailand yesterday to discuss, among other things, the situation of Muslim Rohingya in refugee camps.


    23/06/2016 - PAKISTAN

    Christians and Muslims mourn Sufi singer killed by the Taliban for blasphemy

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    Amjad Sabri was killed yesterday with three gunshots in his car in Karachi. A Taliban group claimed responsibility for the murder. He had been sued for blasphemy because one of his songs mentioned Muhammad’s relatives. For Christian activist, “He had fans of all religions”.


    23/06/2016 - VATICAN – CHINA

    Pope is praying for Mgr Ma Daqin, the Vatican had no "role" in his statement


    Vatican Press Office Fr Federico Lombardi dispels all doubts and suspicions among Chinese Catholics with respect to Mgr Daqin’s “volte face” vis-à-vis the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association.


    23/06/2016 - SRI LANKA

    Villagers in Paanama pray and demonstrate for their lands (photos)

    by Melani Manel Perera

    Paanama is a Buddhist village in south-eastern Sri Lanka. In 2011, the government decided that certain lands belonged to residents, a decision overturned by a district court. For months, villagers have camped out in protest. This week, they marched and broke a coconut in a Buddhist ritual.


    23/06/2016 - CHINA

    Faith among Chinese youth growing amid the temptations of materialism and atheism

    by Jin Yan

    A young woman talks about her experience. Born in a Christian family, she had no friends who shared her religious values. Seen as a stranger by society, when she moved to the big city, things got worse, with God and her mother on one side, and propaganda and difficulties of everyday life on the other. A prayer group helped her along the way. Now she is involved in pastoral youth outreach in her diocese. Her story appeared in Tripod, the quarterly magazine of the Diocese of Hong Kong.


    23/06/2016 - VIETNAM

    Hue: Catholic nuns and Buddhist women together to fight breast cancer


    Every year, 4,500 Vietnamese women die from cancer. Over a ten-year period, the rate jumped by 69 per cent. Lack of preventive measures and financial means as well as social stigma deter people from seeking treatment. A group of Catholic nuns, medical practitioners and Buddhist volunteers organised a seminar to raise awareness about the problem, and allay fears about the pain.






    Editor's choices

    CHINA – VATICAN
    Mgr Ma Daqin, the Vatican and the Patriotic Association’s “crooked logic”

    Gu Feng

    A priest in central China looks at the bishop of Shanghai’s volte-face, comparing him to John the Baptist who was jailed after he accused Herod. Because of their crooked logic, the Patriotic Association and the government seek to eliminate religion from the country. The Vatican is in danger of contradicting itself if it makes compromises with the Patriotic Association. Pope Benedict XVI described the latter as “incompatible” with Catholic doctrine in his Letter to Chinese Catholics, which Pope Francis has never disclaimed, but has instead reiterated.


    CHINA - VATICAN
    Mgr Ma Daqin’s volte-face, a cross to bear for the sake of Shanghai

    p. Pietro dalla Cina

    The auxiliary bishop of Shanghai holds dear the welfare of his diocese and intends to carry alone the burden of his statements of four years ago. Fr Lombardi’s clarification on the role of the Holy See dispels any doubt: the Letter of Benedict XVI to the Chinese Church is still valid; thus the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association's position is not accepted by the Vatican. A Chinese priest comments. Translation by AsiaNews.


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