28 April 2017
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  • 28/04/2017 - ISLAM – VATICAN – EGYPT

    He admires the charity shown by the pontiff towards Syrian Muslim refugees, and his push in favour of love and against hatred. Islamic scholars are not like this, he says, they do not denounce Daesh’s hatred and do nothing for Christians. He calls on the pontiff to press President to Sisi and Al Azhar to reform Islam. Without this Al Azhar risks being the academy of world fundamentalism. Here is the letter from our friend and collaborator Kamel Abderrahmani.


    by Kamel Abderrahmani

    28/04/2017 - EGYPT - VATICAN - ISLAM

    Egypt is in festive mode (and on full alert) ready to welcome Pope Francis

    by Loula Lahham

    The President of the Republic al-Sisi personally supervising the security apparatus. Cairo wants to show itself as a tolerant, fraternal and welcoming country. Today, the intervention at al-Azhar peace conference. Over 35,000 people (accredited) for tomorrow's Mass at the aeronautics academy. More extremist threats against Christians in Minya.


    28/04/2017 - BANGLADESH

    Bangladesh rice crop destroyed by floods, government delays Caritas' aid

    by Sumon Corraya

    The incessant rains flooded five districts. 300,000 farmers are on the run. All the production of boron rice is damaged. Tons of dead fish due to oxygen shortage in the waters. Farmers do not know how to repay their debts and feed their families.


    28/04/2017 - SOUTH KOREA - USA

    Seoul and Washington discuss who pays for anti-missile system


    Costs amount to about one billion dollars. Trump: "It would be worthwhile to pay." Seoul: "The South Korean government provides site and facilities, the United States pays for installation and management." Washington: "Renegotiate or terminate" the free trade agreement.


    28/04/2017 - EGYPT - VATICAN

    The modern day plagues of Egypt

    by Guy Djandji*

    The country that Pope Francis will visit is afflicted by a failed economy, overpopulation, corruption, pollution, terrorism and fatalism. But it is home to a much bigger treasure than its millennial history: the joyous heart of its people.


    27/04/2017 - EGYPT – VATICAN

    For Indian Jesuit, the pope’s visit of peace in Egypt will make history


    Fr Bimal Kerketta has lived in Egypt for 14 years. Pope Francis is a "man of peace. He has resisted terror and extremism [. . .] with great courage and wisdom.” Egyptians love him because despite threats and the tragic attacks against the two Coptic churches, he has not postponed his visit.


    27/04/2017 - INDONESIA

    West Java, Muslim women conference rejects polygamy


    The meeting aimed at boosting the role of female clerics in spreading Islamic teachings. Participants discussed and issued some fatwa. Broadening the role of women in Islam can counter extremist groups' propaganda. Muslim women can be "agents of change." Polygamy causes violence and is not part of Islamic teachings.


    27/04/2017 - TIBET – CHINA

    Tibet remembers Panchen Lama, held by Beijing for 22 years


    Gedhun Choekyi was six years old when he was kidnapped. Since then, he has been held incommunicado. This week Tibetans marked his 28th birthday. Beijing seeks to impose itself on the future of Tibetan Buddhism, but Tibetans demand the lama’s release.


    27/04/2017 - CHINA – VATICAN

    Police raid at the underground Catholic Mass in Heilongjiang


    Acting together, the Religious Affairs Bureau, Public Security and the United Front carried out the operation. Seized before Easter, the bishop of Wenzhou is back home. Bishop Guo Xijin of Mindong is still in police custody. The confrontation with the Vatican increases.


    27/04/2017 - ISRAEL – SYRIA

    Former Israeli minister confirms contacts between IS and the Jewish state


    Former Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Ya'alon said that the Islamic State group apologised for firing on an Israeli military unit. The reference is bout an incident last November in the Golan Heights. Officially Israel is neutral in the Syrian conflict, but it has helped anti-Assad and anti-Iran groups, including Jihadis.


    27/04/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: The Christian's life is not witness to an idea, but to obedience to God


    Becoming a "witness to obedience" is "a grace of the Holy Spirit," and we must ask for it. "It is a grace we must seek, 'Father, Lord Jesus, send me your Spirit so that I may become a witness of obedience, that is, a Christian.'


    27/04/2017 - SRI LANKA

    Sri Lanka faces national emergency over tons of stockpiled waste

    by Melani Manel Perera

    The waste crisis emerged following the garbage avalanche that buried an entire slum on the outskirts of Colombo. Card Ranjith appeals to the government. A new disposal area found in Muthurajawela, but the population and Catholic leaders oppose it.


    27/04/2017 - KOREA - USA - CHINA

    The US deploy Thaad. Trump retracts war messages against Pyongyang


    US intelligence: "Pressure on the North through economic sanctions and diplomacy". Admiral Harry Harris: "Make Kim Jong-un reason." US troops in South Korea start deploying the controversial anti-missile system. Clashes between residents and police: 10 injured. Beijing's anger and economic retaliation on the South.


    27/04/2017 - ISRAEL – PALESTINE

    Marwan Barghouti, the Palestinian Nelson Mandela

    by Uri Avnery

    The great Israeli statist presents the Palestinian leader. In prison for 15 years, the latter is behind the hunger strike undertaken by inmates against prison conditions. His charisma can overcome Palestinian divisions between Fatah and Hamas. Perhaps this is why Israel will not release him.


    27/04/2017 - GERMANY - SYRIA - ISLAM

    The Sword and Kalashnikov do not lead to God, says former Isis jihadist, convert to Christianity

    by Pierre Balanian

    Hassan Abu Hamza wanted to be called Paul, in memory of the saint who, like him, is of Syrian origin. He intends to retrace his footsteps of tolerance after being a fierce persecutor. Online there are those who accuse him of having betrayed Islam. Others think it is a "Daesh attempt to infiltrate" fighters in Europe.


    27/04/2017 - HONG KONG-CHINA

    9 activists arrested in preparation for Xi Jinping visit to Hong Kong

    by Paul Wang

    Those arrested are all members of groups struggling for democracy. Attempt to “frighten" public opinion. China excludes political reforms within the next 10 years. The EU: universal suffrage would give more solidity to the territory government.


    26/04/2017 - LEBANON – EGYPT – VATICAN

    Francis in Egypt to strengthen Benedict XVI's "healthy secularism" in order to fight extremism

    by Fady Noun

    A recent conference in al-Azhar renewed the bases of the traditional relationship between the material and spiritual domains in Islam. Clearer bases are needed in the dialogue between Muslims and Christians. Benedict XVI’s teachings are important to understand the relationship between religion and politics and the difference between Christianity and the West.


    26/04/2017 - NEPAL

    After Kathmandu’s Assumption cathedral hit by arson attack, Vicariate holds prayer for peace

    by Christopher Sharma

    On 18 April, unknown arsonists caused a fire at the pastor’s residence. Investigations have not led to any arrests. In 2009 three people died in another attack. This “won’t discourage us. We shall continue with our duties,” said parish priest.


    26/04/2017 - CHINA

    Five Protestants sentenced up to five years in prison in Xinjiang


    All five attended a bible study group as part of a group of 40 Christians. They were arrested for “gathering a crowd to disrupt social order”. Prosecutors reportedly sent the case back twice for further investigation before indicting them. All five pleaded not guilty and said they would appeal the verdict.


    26/04/2017 - INDIA

    Madhya Pradesh: After eight years, bishop absolved from charge of forced conversion

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    Bishop Mathew Vaniakizhakkel is the emeritus bishop of Satna. Along with five Catholics, in 2009 he was denounced for conversion, conspiracy and disturbance of peace among religions. The accuser then repented and asked for forgiveness. Christian Leader: "Anti-conversion law is a tool to harassing Christians." 


    26/04/2017 - VATICANO

    Pope: Jesus will walk with us to the end of the earth, every day of our lives


    We will never cease to be "a concern for God's heart," because He is a God “passionate” for man, so tenderly loving as to be incapable of separating Himself from him." " Christian hope finds its root in fact not in the attraction of the future but in the certainty of what God has promised us and realized in Jesus Christ." "Our existence is a pilgrimage, a journeyEven all those who are moved by a simply human hope perceive the seduction of the horizon, which drives them to explore worlds they still do not know. Our spirit is a migrant soul "


    26/04/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: In a world dominated by money, people must be put back in the centre


    In his video-message to the TED 2017 conference, Francis said that scientific and technological progress must not increase the gap between nations and peoples. Instead, the pontiff calls for a "revolution of tenderness", which is "to use our eyes to see the other, our ears to hear the other, to listen to the children, the poor, those who are afraid of the future." He too “was born in a family of migrants” and “could have very well ended up among today’s ‘discarded” people’.” Hence the question, “deep in my heart: ‘Why them and not me?’”


    26/04/2017 - EGYPT - VATICAN - ISLAM

    Emeritus of Giza: beyond violence, the Pope comes to Egypt as a messenger of dialogue and encounter

    by Loula Lahham

    In an exclusive interview with AsiaNews Msgr. Antonios Aziz Mina describes a country, and a Christian community, still wounded by recent attacks, but ready to welcome the pontiff. The pain of Muslims for attacks on churches. Egypt capable of breaking the backward-looking bonds of the Islamic State. In the East, there are economic interests that revolve around oil.


    26/04/2017 - THAILAND

    Date for King Bhumibol’s cremation set for one year after his death


    26 October will be a national holiday. The five-day funeral ritual will start on 25 October followed by King Maha Vajiralongkorn’s coronation. A huge cremation complex is going up outside Bangkok’s Grand Palace.


    26/04/2017 - IRAN - UNITED STATES

    Vienna, uncertainty shrouds tenability of Iranian nuclear agreement


    Iran and the main international powers met yesterday in the Austrian capital. Focus of "closed door meeting" the "respect" of the terms of the agreement. Tensions between Washington and Tehran are increasing. Iranian Minister: The United States respects neither the spirit or the terms of the agreement. 


    26/04/2017 - CHINA

    Beijing launches first aircraft carrier built on Chinese soil


    It is the second in the history of the fleet. The government has started construction in 2015. The scheduled start-up will not be before 2020. The launch worries Washington and its allies concerned about the Chinese military presence in the region. 


    26/04/2017 - HONG KONG-CHINA

    Two local parliamentarians Yau Wai-ching and Baggio Leung arrested

    by Paul Wang

    The two were disqualified from Legco for having sworn an oath offensive to China and for expressing "independent" views on Hong Kong. Criticism of Beijing’s heavy hand  in the territory.


    25/04/2017 - CHINA

    Court postpones Xie Yang’s trial without reason with protesters and diplomats present


    Accused of "inciting subversion of state power," the lawyer is one of the more prominent 709 crackdown lawyers and activists detained since 2015. “We are following this case very closely,” EU official says.


    25/04/2017 - VIETNAM

    Vietnamese protesters demand apology over police mistreatment


    Agents seized No-Formosa T-shirts. Police mistreatment sparks anger among locals. For parish priest Dan Huu Nam, "They have to apologise for their behavior and must return the shirts". One year after the disaster, compensation is slow.


    25/04/2017 - EGYPT – VATICAN – ISLAM

    Catholic patriarch of Alexandria: Pope Francis’s visit will mark a renewal of the Church in Egypt

    by Loula Lahham

    Anba Ibrahim Isaac Sidrak describes his joy for Pope Francis’s visit and his uneasiness towards his country, hit by terrorism. He talks about the fraternal relations with Tawadros II and those with Al Azhar and President el-Sisi, as well as the renewal of the Church with new bodies, social tasks, and enhanced role for the lay men and women.






    Editor's choices

    VATICAN-EGYPT
    Pope Francis in a video message: Dear people of Egypt ...

    Papa Francesco

    To mark his upcoming visit to the country (28-29 April), Pope Francis today sent a video message to the Egyptian people. " Our world, torn by blind violence, which has also afflicted the heart of your dear land – needs peace, love and mercy; it needs workers for peace. "


    ISLAM
    The roots of violent Islamism are in Islam, the words of a Muslim

    Kamel Abderrahmani

    After every terrorist attack, there is the tendency to say, "This is not Islam." Yet those criminal acts are justified and inspired by texts that are the reference point for Muslims and Islamic institutions worldwide. There is an urgent need to reform Islam from within, by the Muslims themselves. Coexistence with other religions is the way to remove Islam from sclerosis and stagnation.


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