03/11/2014SYRIA - LEBANON Exchanged for the wife of an al Qaeda member, Ma'aloula Sisters shout "Allah Akbar" by Paul Dakiki In a video, the nuns are seen thanking everyone, including the kidnappers, and calling on God to bless them. The al-Nusra Front pledges to continue its efforts until all prisoners are freed from Syrian jails. Reports says a ransom of US$ 4 million, but mediators deny. Beirut (AsiaNews)
- A rebel video shows the release of Ma'aloula nuns as they are handed over to
Lebanese authorities in exchange for 143 (some sources say 153) women prisoners
held by the Syrian government, including Saja Dlaymé, an Iraqi mother of three
and wife of a prominent member...
03/11/2014IRAQ Chaldean Patriarchate and Caritas Iraq aid Muslim families fleeing violence by Joseph Mahmoud A delegation led by Mar Sako visited the Sunni mosque of Umm al- Qura , west of the capital , and distributed food and medicine. His Beatitude expresses "solidarity" with the displaced from Fallujah and Ramadi who have fled from the al Qaeda militias. He invites all to pray to God "so the country may return to normal". Muslim leader : "Fraternity , characteristic of Iraqi Christians".
03/10/2014ASIA - PIME Eighty-five years of grace and joy by Piero Gheddo With, as his passion, the Christian message to proclaim as a missionary and journalist, Fr Gheddo is grateful to his parents and teachers. After 61 years as a priest, it is still great to be a priest. As he marks his birthday, he offers it as an invitation to young people.
03/10/2014TURKEY Pan-Orthodox Assembly issues final communiqué by NAT da Polis Announcement sets dates and stages of 2016 Pan-Orthodox Synod. Participants express solidarity with the people of Syria and persecuted Christians, and make an appeal for the release of all hostages. They pray reconciliation in Ukraine. Faced with the world's economic and moral crisis, the Churches respond by bearing spiritual witness to the faith and defending human dignity, the relationship between men and women, and the environment.
03/10/2014RUSSIA - UKRAINE The Ukrainian border, where Putin, Europe and the United States risk their demise by Vladimir Rozanskij The Ukrainian territory has always been fought over and occupied by Poles, Mongols, Russians. Tsar Putin’s claims too great, the European Union’s proposals too empty, the United States’ proclamations too confusing. The demise of ideologies and grand schemes and the emergence of people power.
03/10/2014INDIA - TIBET - CHINA Dalai Lama representative: Tibetan spirit still strong, Beijing must listen On the anniversary of the 1959 anti-Chinese riots in Tempa Tsering , the representative of the Buddhist leader in Delhi tells AsiaNews: "China's policies are still very oppressive however the population continues on the path of non-violence". A memorandum to China with five demands to halt the bloodshed in the region.
03/10/2014SYRIA-LEBANON Ma'aloula nuns freed in exchange for 150 rebels held prisoner by Paul Dakiki The release took place around midnight, hours after the news first broke. The Lebanese and Qatari security chiefs Abbas Ibrahim and Ghanim al- Kubaisi were key mediators. The nuns were held on the second and third floor of a house controlled by the Al Nusra Front rebels for two months. Great publicity and media alerted ahead of release.
03/07/2014UKRAINE - RUSSIA Crimea: Church and pro-Ukraine Crimeans demonstrate for peace The Orthodox Metropolitan of Simferopol prays for Ukraine's territorial integrity. Crimean Muslims also demonstrate. Tensions persist between pro-Russia and pro-Ukraine Crimeans. As US and EU threaten Putin with financial sanctions if he does not accept negotiations with Ukraine, fears rise in the Baltic republics.
03/07/2014PAKISTAN Faisalabad: hundreds of "white ribbons" to protest against violence against women by Shafique Kholkar On the eve of International Women's Day, hundreds of people march to demand an end to abuse in all its forms. They appeal to the government for "new laws" to protect women, who are discriminated in the family and the workplace. This battle is "cultural" as well as societal in a country that does not fully recognise equal rights for women.
03/06/2014UKRAINE - RUSSIA Crimea's Parliament asks to Join Russia A referendum date has been set for 16 March in violation of Ukraine's constitution, which provides for a pan-Ukrainian referendum. Christian leaders are united to defend the territorial integrity of the country, including Metropolitan Onufry, who has ties with the Moscow Patriarchate.
03/06/2014SRI LANKA Sister Clarice, a life dedicated to Sri Lanka's young and to converting by Melani Manel Perera The sister, 96, is a member of the Order of the Holy Family. Her "most important mission" was to stand by young men and women who worked in the Katunayake Free Trade Zone, exploited by their employers. Sister Clarice fondly remembers the hundreds of Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims to whom she taught catechism.
03/06/2014NEPAL - CHINA Kathmandu bans Tibetans from celebrating pro-independence uprising against China by Christopher Sharma Nepal's new, Congress-led government warns the exiled community that "protests would not be allowed, even if they are peaceful. People will be arrested." Tibetans all over the world still consider the 1959 insurrection an important moment in their history. China's crackdown gave birth to the Tibetan Diaspora, and forced the Dalai Lama to flee to India. For human rights activist, "This is not democracy."