03/12/2014CHINA Only religious freedom can ensure China's social and economic stability by Brian J. Grim For one of the world's foremost social scientists, repression of religions and identity-based groups leads to social violence, not harmony. China's own economic development would not have been possible under the draconian measures imposed during the Cultural Revolution. Beijing (AsiaNews)
- The Kunming
massacre, which was attributed to ethnic
Uyghurs, has reopened the debate on religious freedom and ethnic pluralism
in China. As Chinese authorities and public opinion turn against the Turkic Muslim
03/12/2014ISRAEL-VATICAN Papal trip to Israel encounters mounting difficulties Employees of Israel's diplomatic service still on strike bringing all Foreign Affairs activities to a grinding halt. Cameron's visit has already been cancelled, planned trips by Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Peres also at risk.
03/12/2014NEPAL- TIBET- CHINA Tibetans in Nepal targeted by authorities: summary arrests and raids by Christopher Sharma In order to keep China happy, Kathmandu has authorized place the Tibetan community living in the country under surveillance. Night raids and travel restrictions during “sensitive” anniversaries. Human rights activist: “We are even forbidden to pray together”.
03/12/2014PHILIPPINES Manila: Catholic foundation opens public libraries for the poor The Education Foundation (EFI) is setting up a series of Bahay Karunungan - "Houses of knowledge" - in the capital and in other parts of the country. Newspapers, magazines and novels, as well as computers and movies made available to public. The centers are open until late evening and are used by students to study and do their homework. EFI president: "The less fortunate are also passionate about reading”.
03/12/2014MALAYSIA - CHINA - VIETNAM Still no trace of missing plane as search operation widens to Andaman Sea The international search operation is extended to the west of the Malaysian peninsula. The Vietnamese government has suspended operations, pending further information from Kuala Lumpur. The Malaysian ambassador in Beijing meets the relatives of the passengers. Relatives criticize Chinese government’s handling of the situation.
03/11/2014CHINA - IRAN - UNITED STATES Beijing overtakes Tehran as America's 'number 1 enemy' Iran topped America's list of hostile nations since 2006. Rising threats elsewhere and Iran's steps towards nuclear disarmament push it into second place. North Korea still ranks among the first.
03/11/2014JAPAN After three years, Japan stops to honour the victims of the Great Earthquake On 11 March 2011, nature unleashed its fury against the Sendai region. More than 18,000 people died and about half a million abandoned their homes. Three years later, some 267,000 survivors are still forced to live in temporary shelters. An additional 3,000 and more have taken their life. The Church, Mgr Kikuchi said, will continue to help "locals," but "It is clear that the main role in the reconstruction of the areas" belongs to them.
03/11/2014VIETNAM Vietnam, the Philippines and Malaysia find common ground against Beijing's "imperialism" by Paul N. Hung Southeast Asian nations are increasingly concerned over repeated attacks by Chinese (paramilitary) boats against their fishing and commercial vessels. Hanoi stands with Manila as the latter sues China over maritime boundaries in an international court. Malaysia also join the fray, worried over Chinese incursion near James Island.
03/11/2014KOREA - VATICAN Francis in Korea, five days for young people and for peace in Asia The program of the papal visit is not yet official, but several sources tell AsiaNews that in addition to the Asian Youth Day and the beatification of the 124 Korean martyrs, the Pope will visit a home for the disabled and homeless, the birthplace of St. Andrew Kim Taegon and the fortress where the first Korean Catholics were martyred. A planned visit to the "Cathedral of Reconciliation " in Paju, on the border with the North.
03/11/2014KOREA - VATICAN Bishop of Daejeon: The Pope's visit, a source of hope and strength for youth of Asia by Lazzaro You Heung-sik Bishop Lazzaro You Heung- sik will host the Sixth Asian Youth Day in the presence of Pope Francis. In a letter to the faithful and to the diocesan clergy, he invites Catholics to take a cue from the Pope's visit to "go beyond a childish faith, always intent to ask for something for us. Strive to become adults in the faith, with thanksgiving and sharing ".
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".
03/11/2014INDONESIA Indonesian Church urges citizens to vote to fight corruption and political crisis by Mathias Hariyadi In 2014 the country will vote in two crucial elections: the general elections in April and presidential elections in July. The electorate is discouraged, tired of the "same faces" and calls for a renewal of the ruling class. The Catholic leadership promotes education and calls for active participation in the democratic process.