26 March 2017
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  • 25/03/2017 - BANGLADESH

    The bomber blew himself as he tried to enter the airport carrying a bomb, dying “right away" in the blast. His identity remains unknown, but his fingerprints have been found. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, but the government blames a local recently formed extremist group.


    by Sumon Corraya

    24/03/2017 - RUSSIA

    Optimists, pessimists, and apocalyptics look at Russia on the 100th anniversary of the Revolution

    by Vladimir Rozanskij

    The commemoration of the centenary of the Russian Revolution of 1917 has begun. A major historical revision is underway. Our post-globalisation times resemble 1917. The Moscow Patriarchate and Vladimir Putin are silent on the matter.


    24/03/2017 - INDIA

    Card. Alencherry: The beatification of Sister Rani Maria is a blessing for the Church in India


    The nun was killed in 1995 with 54 stab wounds. Her assassin  is a radical Hindu fomented by village leaders, who wanted to stop her missionary activity in favor of the tribal poor. Today he repented because of the love of the Franciscan family, who forgave and accepted him. Sister Rani is a "martyr".


    23/03/2017 - THAILAND

    Bangkok wants a new “clean” abbot for the Phra Dhammakaya temple


    The current abbot has been accused of embezzlement and illegal construction. The authorities have tried repeatedly to arrest him, but without success. The National Office of Buddhism wants an outsider picked as the temple’s new spiritual guide.


    23/03/2017 - JAPAN

    In Japan, where hope in the future is rare, 30,000 people took their life each year for 12 years

    by mons. Isao Kikuchi

    Between 1998 and 2010, more than 30,000 people were driven to take their own life. According to recent government research, only 20 per cent of suicides were committed for economic reasons. Sixty per cent were due to physical health and depression.


    23/03/2017 - BANGLADESH

    About 82 per cent of militants radicalised on social media in Bangladesh

    by Sumon Corraya

    The result is based on a survey of 250 jailed militants by the Bangladesh police presented at an international police seminar. Last year’s massacre in Dhaka showed how some Islamic preachers influence young people on the Internet.


    23/03/2017 - INDONESIA

    Mgr Samuel Sidin Oton is the new Bishop of Sintang, West Kalimantan (photos)


    The ordination ceremony took place in Baning in the presence of more than 5,000 local Catholics. West Kalimantan Governor Cornelis and local top military officials were also present. Working for environmental protection made Mgr Sidin an environmental hero. The challenges of the Diocese of Sintang include its vast territory, deforestation and the loss of cultural values ​​among locals.


    22/03/2017 - CHINA

    Religious activities by students and faculty closely controlled


    Through special groups, the United Front tightly monitors religious activities on campuses by Chinese and foreigners. Anyone caught engaged in religious activities is expelled or fired.


    22/03/2017 - INDIA

    The Ganges is a "living being." Raghuvanshi: historic decision, pulls wool from eyes of Hindu nationalists


    The High Court of Uttarakhand equates the waters of the sacred river for Hindus to a human being. The goal is to reduce the pollution caused by industrialization and urbanization. Indian activist: "The Hindu radicals use pollution to come to power." The courts must also take action for Dalits who live on the river banks.


    22/03/2017 - NEPAL

    Nepali Catholics call for peaceful participation in local elections

    by Christopher Sharma

    The first local elections in 19 years have raised great expectations but also generated a lot of tension. Madhesi parties are protesting, demanding changes to the constitution before the vote. Encouraged by victories in India, Nepal’s Hindu monarchists want to restore a Hindu monarchy. The government defends the country’s secular nature.


    21/03/2017 - AFGHANISTAN

    Fr. Moretti: The Little Sisters of Jesus, for 60 years " Afghan among Afghans"


    They have lived for 60 years at the service of the needy. They remained in Kabul under Soviet occupation, the Taliban control and the NATO bombing. Respected by all, even by the Taliban. This February their experience will end, according to Fr. Moretti "an example for us all."


    21/03/2017 - PAKISTAN

    Young Catholics want to learn more about Christian teachings on sexuality and personal growth

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    The Catholic Youth Commission carried out a survey on youth needs. Sexuality, emotions and spirituality of marriage are still taboo in Pakistan. The Synod of Bishops in 2018 will focus on young people. Missionary schools must play a decisive role in building the personality of the students.


    20/03/2017 - INDIA

    Card Gracias tells Dalit leaders that the Catholic Church in India is 100 per cent with Christian Dalits

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    The archbishop of Mumbai took part the meeting of the National Council of Dalit Christians. In India most Catholics are Dalits, 12 million out of 19 million. The Church has adopted new policies for greater integration.


    20/03/2017 - EGYPT - VATICAN

    Work begins on program for Pope Francis visit to Egypt


    Over the weekend a Vatican delegation meets with the Egyptian president. Al Sisi’s "great esteem" for Pope Francis. The visit to the President, the Coptic Patriarch, the Grand Imam of Al Azhar. An ecumenical meeting and prayer for the martyrs next to St. Mark's Cathedral, where three months ago a bomb attack took place. Meetings with Catholics. The press broke the news, but without comment. The silence of the Salafis.

     


    20/03/2017 - TURKEY – ARMENIA

    Istanbul governor’s interference in the election of the new Armenian Patriarch


    The city's governor says that is "legally impossible" to elect the new patriarch because it might “cause disturbance and divisions”. His statement is produced after the ‘regent’ is chosen. The latter is tasked with leading the Church until the election of the next patriarch. The government is putting pressure in favour of Erdogan’s “friendly” bishop.


    20/03/2017 - INDONESIA

    Mgr Robertus Rubiyatmoko is the new archbishop of Semarang, Central Java

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    The archdiocese had been vacant since November 2015. The new archbishop is a professor in canon law and teaches at the local seminary. Semarang provides pastoral care to more than 404,000 Catholics and 98 parishes.


    20/03/2017 - TIBET - CHINA

    First Tibetan immolation of 2017: a young 24 year old sets himself on fire


    The victim, Pema Gyaltsen, was a farmer. His family beaten by police in Kardze. He is the 147 immolation since 2009. He called for the return of the Dalai Lama and for freedom in Tibet.


    18/03/2017 - EGYPT - VATICAN

    Egyptian Church "happy": the Pope will be in Egypt on April 28 and 29


    The official news from the Vatican press office. The pressing invitation of President Al Sisi, the Coptic Patriarch Tawadros II, the Grand Imam of Al Azhar mosque. Fr. Rafic Greiche: He comes to comfort the Christians of the East and support them in living together with Muslims. But also to honor Christian martyrs.


    18/03/2017 - INDIA

    Orissa, 3 thousand faithful attend Lenten retreat for spiritual renewal

    by Purushottam Nayak

    The spiritual exercises were held in the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary in Cuttack. Participants rediscover "the value of prayer and grace of God." The retreat was led by Fr. Anil Dev, head of an ashram dedicated to the Virgin in Varanasi. The center is an example of coexistence between Christians and Hindus.


    18/03/2017 - RUSSIA

    Jehovah's Witnesses' presence at risk across Russia


    The Ministry of Justice wants to declare all activities of the group "extremist" and therefore banned throughout the Federation. According to the Government, such activities "violate the rights and freedoms of man and citizens and harm people, public order and national security." The religious texts of Jehovah's Witnesses banned because they give "negative views" toward other religions and because they are against military service.


    18/03/2017 - INDONESIA

    Yogakarta set to welcome youth from 29 countries for next Asian Youth Day

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    Pluralism of Indonesian society inspired the theme of the event. The Catholic Church in Asia in the wide variety of ethnic groups, languages ​​and cultures. Msgr. Suharyo: "All participants deeply understand the importance of the concept of unity in diversity". Msgr. Prapdi: "Diversity is a priceless" social and cultural asset.


    18/03/2017 - SAUDI ARABIA - IRAN

    Deal with Riyadh: green light for Iranian pilgrimages to Mecca


    Last year’s crisis, which blocked the travel of Iranian faithful to the Muslim holy site, seems to have been overcome. At least 80 thousand citizens of the Islamic Republic expected to participate in most important pilgrimage. Iranian Foreign Minister: "Constructive" relations with countries, including Saudi Arabia.


    17/03/2017 - INDIA

    Nagaland to get its Christian university open to everyone


    The North East Christian University is an initiative of the Council of Baptist Churches of North East India. American donors will bear most of the costs with courses set to start in 2018. About 90 per cent of the state’s population is Christian.


    17/03/2017 - BANGLADESH

    Bangladeshi militant suicide bomber in Iraq. The family had said he was going to pray

    by Sumon Corraya

    Neaz Morshed Raja had abandoned his wife and young children to go and fight for the Caliphate. He posted a video, just before blowing himself up in Tikrit. His name had been included in the list of young people who disappeared after the attack on the Dhaka coffee shop.

     


    17/03/2017 - INDONESIA

    Hasyim Muzadi, defender of pluralism, has died: the condolences of Indonesian Catholics

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    The Church remembers him for his commitment to defend and protect the principle of the nation's unity in diversity. The Muslim cleric has promoted dialogue and tolerance between different confessions in an Indonesia marked by hatred of radical Muslims.


    17/03/2017 - PAKISTAN

    Islamabad asks for help from Facebook to block online blasphemy


    The Government asks for experts to track user comments. The social media giant, however, wants to protect the rights and privacy of its users. The unstated goal is to control the activities of dissidents, including the five intellectuals and bloggers kidnapped last month.

     


    16/03/2017 - SRI LANKA

    Saint Joseph Vaz, a pioneer in interfaith dialogue and a promoter of the laity in Sri Lanka

    by Melani Manel Perera

    This year has been dedicated to the Apostle of Sri Lanka. Born in India, he landed on the island in 1687 during the persecution by Dutch Calvinists. At that time there were no priests. He set up a religious congregation to train missionaries. He worked for the poor and the sick, for dialogue with other religions, and for the development of lay leaders.


    16/03/2017 - INDIA

    Hindu, Muslim and Christian actors perform the Passion of Jesus in Kerala

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    The show will be staged until 22 March in local parishes. Famous actors are among the performers. The Indian Missionary Society information Centre director wrote and directed the play. The scenes of the arrest and crucifixion move spectators.


    16/03/2017 - RUSSIA

    More convictions in Russia for missionary activity


    A court fined three Evangelical Baptists for illegally handing out religious literature and inviting people to their meetings without notifying the Justice Ministry about the start of their activities, as required by law.


    16/03/2017 - CHINA

    Communist Party? No thanks. To serve the people, it is enough to be Christian

    by China Source Team

    Joining the Party guarantees jobs, career, social recognition. However, the Party’s constitution bans membership in any religion. Christians who do join the Party live a double life, hiding or abandoning their faith. However, there are also some Christians who choose a job without a Party card; some even make a lifetime commitment to the mission.






    Editor's choices

    VATICAN
    Pope tells young people to remember the past, to have courage in the present and hope for the future



    The Message for the 32nd World Youth Day was issued today centred on “The ‘great things’ that the Almighty accomplished’.” In her meeting with Elizabeth, Mary becomes a model. The pontiff calls on young people to avoid being couch potatoes, safe and cosy, urges them to rediscover the relationship with seniors. The Church experience is not a flash mob. The future should be experienced in a constructive way, and “the institutions of marriage, consecrated life and priestly mission” should not be devalued.


    AFGHANISTAN
    Fr. Moretti: The Little Sisters of Jesus, for 60 years " Afghan among Afghans"



    They have lived for 60 years at the service of the needy. They remained in Kabul under Soviet occupation, the Taliban control and the NATO bombing. Respected by all, even by the Taliban. This February their experience will end, according to Fr. Moretti "an example for us all."


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