01/29/2015ASIA The mission to the nations is in Asia by Piero Gheddo Francis' apostolic journeys to Korea, Sri Lanka and the Philippines indicate that the missionary choice is still of huge relevance. The Church must support and develop this aspect, and bring Christ's "Good News" to those peoples who still consider it as an emanation of Western colonialism. In this, PIME has a task to play. Milan
(AsiaNews) - In his first "missionary" trips, Pope Francis visited the
Churches of South Korea, Sri Lanka and the Philippines, a significant choice that
should give pause to all believers in Christ. The...
01/29/2015EGYPT - ISLAM For Catholic Church spokesman, al-Sisi's Egypt is more liberal on new churches and freedom of expression The government has issued construction permits for a new church in New Cairo and two in Upper Egypt. Some permit applications go back 8-10 years. Mubarak never favoured church construction. After the elections, the new parliament is required to upgrade legislation governing the construction of places of worship. Representatives of Christian Churches drafted the bill. A Christian family law is also on the drawing board.
01/29/2015MYANMAR Chin Christians ready to go to jail to stop cross removal by Francis Khoo Thwe Built by members of the Christian community in Hakha, the 16-metre cross targeted by local authorities stands on a hill that overlooks the state capital. Since it lacked the proper permit, the authorities ordered the cross' removal and said that they would prosecute its builders. "If the authorities say I have to go to jail, I am not afraid; I am ready to go to jail for this case," a Chin Christian said. For human rights activists, such an action "continues a decades-long pattern of religious discrimination against Chin Christians."
01/29/2015CAMBODIA - VIETNAM Montagnards flee to Cambodia, to escape Hanoi’s persecution 18 more people, including two women, have left the villages of origin and crossed the border. They sought shelter in a remote area, in the forest of the northeastern province of Rattanakiri. Cambodian activist: "They are seeking political asylum and count on UN help”.
01/28/2015KOREA Korean religious leaders in Pyongyang to pray for peace North Korea allows the Korean Conference of Religions for Peace to organise a meeting in its capital to mark the 70th anniversary of liberation from Japanese colonial rule. In Seoul, Iranian religious from Iran take part in a conference to counter misunderstandings about Islam.
01/28/2015INDIA - UNITED STATES Christian leader thanks to Obama for defending freedom of religion by Nirmala Carvalho During his official visit to India, the US president spoke out in defence of freedom of worship, citing Article 25 of the Indian Constitution. Sajan K George welcomed the words of the US leader in a nation "where violence against minorities, especially Christians, is commonplace." Hindu extremist movements support the government, a "stain" on the country's secular credentials.
01/28/2015SAUDI ARABIA A forest of crosses and names of martyrs in the desert of Saudi Arabia A Franco-Saudi archaeological team is responsible for the discovery. Prof Frédéric Imbert dated the graffiti to 470-475, a time when anti-Christian persecution began, culminating under the usurper Yusuf. Even the Qur'an refers to it indirectly. The findings show how far Christianity had spread at the time, until the arrival of Islam.
01/28/2015JAPAN - SYRIA - ISLAM Tokyo, leaders of all religions pray for hostages held by Islamic State About 80 Muslim, Christian and Buddhist religious gathered outside the office of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to condemn the kidnapping of Kenji Goto Jogo and terrorism by Muslims. A new video shows the Christian reporter and announces: "Less than 24 hours to save him and Jordanian Lieutenant Muath al-Kaseasbeh". Japanese official: "We are incompetent, all we can do is ask for help in Amman."
01/27/2015CAMBODIA Building up the Church starting from the bottom up by Mario Ghezzi A missionary struggling with a new small community of 10 people, including many who are disabled, shares his many thoughts. Misery is "the most fertile ground" for the Gospel to take root. For a newly baptised woman, "The most beautiful gift I received from God is my disability". Father Mario Ghezzi, PIME missionary, has been in Cambodia for 16 years.
01/27/2015TURKEY - SYRIA Kurdish victory in Kobane worries Erdogan The Islamic state had threatened the city since September. Some 1,800 people died in the fighting with tens of thousands made refugees. Turkey's ambiguity stems from its fear that a Kurdish autonomous region might emerge in northern Syria.
01/27/2015RUSSIA - CRIMEA The Catholic Church in Crimea must register according to Russian law The Vatican does not recognize the annexation of the peninsula to Russia, but the priority now is not to abandon the local community. AsiaNews sources: "It 'a difficult process even for the Orthodox." The authorities reassure the renewal of visas for the non-Russian clergy, but problems remain.
01/27/2015CHINA Zhejiang, Hong Kong journalist arrested for investigating cross demolition The woman, Jiang Yannan, was released after a long interrogation: she had been followed and those she interviewed harassed. The authorities have knocked down over 400 Christian crosses in a government campaign of "rectification". Chinese journalists increasingly targeted: still no news of Zhang Miao and Xin Jian.