07/30/2014VIETNAM Vietnam, "educational challenge" at heart of great pilgrimage to Our Lady of La Vang by JB. Vu 30th Marian Congress will be held at the shrine, one of the most popular in all of Asia, attended by tens of thousands of pilgrims from all over the country. The meeting focuses on the Year of Evangelization of Family Life, proclaimed in 2014, and the problems that plague the family in an era of economic development and urbanization. Ho Chi Minh City (AsiaNews) - In Vietnamese culture, "the mother
has always had a special role.
This is why the Catholics of the country are increasingly turning to our Mother in Heaven, Mary, when
they feel happy or sad. The difficulties and challenges...
07/30/2014NEPAL Nepal, Christians alone rush to aid of flood victims by Christopher Sharma The population denounce government's inaction and praise help from Church and NGOs. The authorities speak of "limited resources". 100 thousand displaced people, dozens of deaths and 10 thousand houses damaged.
07/30/2014SYRIA - ISLAM Gregory III: "Christians and Muslims, we are each other's best guarantors" In his message for the end of Ramadan, the Greek-Melkite Catholic patriarch of Antioch notes that Christians and Muslims built the Arab civilisation together and pleads with "our Arab brothers to come together to save Islam" from the extremist currents that are invading it. "We must, can and want to stay together, Muslims and Christians, to build together a better world for our future generations and our common future."
07/30/2014CAMBODIA Cambodia's last living Khmer Rouge start second trial In order to speed up procedures, the UN Special Court has decided to split proceedings against Khieu Samphan and Nuon Chea, the last two leaders of the Khmer Rouge regime still alive. The crimes date back to the period 1975-1979. The verdict for the trial of crimes against humanity is expected next 7 August.
07/30/2014CHINA Official probe of former security chief Zhou Yongkang underway by Wang Zhicheng The investigation is in the hands of the Party Disciplinary Committee. For the first time since the days of Mao a member of the Politburo is being charged. Aids, secretaries and Zhou family members also under investigation. When he was minister of security, he strengthened police powers and fast-tracked arrests of dissidents, religious personalities, farmers, workers. If Xi Jinping’s fight against corruption aims to establish "rule of law", he should release those who been denouncing corruption for years and deliver justice to those who have been victims of Zhou’s violence and corruption.
07/30/2014INDIA St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body a "treasure" for Indian society by Nirmala Carvalho The Mumbai diocese Human Life Committee headed by Msgr. Agnelo Gracias, organized a seminar to celebrate the canonization of Pope John Paul II. The testimony of a Catholic couple, for whom this theology "is an encouragement to live according to God's plan for the human body, which has a purpose and dignity".
07/30/2014INDIA - USA John Kerry in India, to "plan" first meeting between Obama and Modi The U.S. Secretary of State visit is the first high-level summit between his administration and the new Indian government. Narendra Modi's visit to Washington will be in September. Until three months ago he could not enter the United States for "severe violations of religious freedom."
07/30/2014CHINA More violence in Xinjiang: police shoot and kill "dozens of terrorists" The clash took place in Shache county, but the details are unclear. According to the government, a group of "terrorists" attacked local government offices and police station; another reported to have attacked the inhabitants of Huangdi. Authorities respond immediatly: dozens of dead, wounded and arrested.
07/29/2014VATICAN - SRI LANKA - PHILIPPI Pope's apostolic visit to Sri Lanka and the Philippines confirmed Francis will travel to the former Ceylon on 12-15 January and the Philippines on 15-19 January 2015. Last May, the bishop of Mannar had already told AsiaNews that the visit was "more than a hope." In June the Archbishop of Manila, Card Tagle, stressed "Pope Francis' great love for Asia and the Philippines."
07/29/2014CHINA Beijing: Xi Jinping "almost as popular as Mao," but only in party press
A survey by researchers from the University of Hong Kong's China Media Project shows that in his first 18 months of his rule, the Chinese president was mentioned in the People's Daily more than any of his predecessor, except for Mao who was involved in the Cultural Revolution. Outside official media, the pope is more popular than the premier, and the Bible is mentioned more than the Red Book.
07/29/2014IRAQ Patriarch Sako: In the end, peace, not war, will win in Mosul The Patriarch, together with a delegation of French prelates in Erbil, came to be among the families of Christians expelled by jihadists. "I bring Pope Francis' solidarity and love," he said. Shias are persecuted in Mosul as well. Their shrines and places of worship have been destroyed as well. The city is suffering from fuel and power shortages.
07/29/2014NEPAL Kathmandu, interfaith prayer "to close Ramadan in harmony" by Christopher Sharma The main mosque in the Nepalese capital calls on the leaders of other religions to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr, the feast that ends the Muslim month of fasting. The new Apostolic Vicar, Msgr. Paul Simick also present. Prayers for peace between Israel and Palestine, in Ukraine and Iraq. An appeal also to the government to "protect religious minorities in Nepal".