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» 05/10/2011
LIBYA
Bishop of Tripoli: Libyans are fleeing the war. Hundreds of thousands of refugees
Apostolic Vicar of Tripoli warns the population is afraid and wants to escape. The call for an immediate ceasefire and the opening of negotiations. Today, meeting between Vatican Secretary of State and the Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini to discuss the situation in North Africa and the Middle East.

Tripoli (AsiaNews) - "The Libyans are afraid, every day thousands of people leave for Egypt and Tunisia, where refugee camps have been set up. Yesterday more than 30 thousand people fled to Tunisia alone”, , Mgr. Giovanni Innocenzo Martinelli, Apostolic Vicar of Tripoli tells AsiaNews. According to the prelate, after the meeting of the Contact Group for Libya last May 5, the situation has not changed, "people are afraid and want to leave." Since the beginning of Odyssey Dawn over 600 thousand Libyans, who have fled across the borders.

The prelate spoke to AsiaNews only hours after a series of NATO air strikes that have caused incalculable damage. "We still hearthe airplanes passing over the city and dropping bombs in the surrounding areas - says Martinelli - but for the moment there has been no direct bombing in Tripoli." The prelate once again calls on NATO to immediately sign a ceasefire and open negotiations with the Libyan government, before the situation reaches an irreversible point.

Despite the hardships caused by the war - gasoline and food rationing - the life of the small Catholic community in the capital continues. "Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday - says the bishop - many still faithful take part in the services, especially the Philippines and sub-Saharan Africans, who are a great testimony of faith and charity in this difficult time."

Today in the Vatican, Cardinal. Bertone, Holy See Secretary of State, the Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini and other members of the Vatican Secretariat of State, will meet to discuss the crisis in North Africa and the Middle East. (S.C.)

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See also
06/21/2011 LIBYA
Bishop of Tripoli: NATO bombs playing into Gaddafi’s hands
05/06/2011 LIBYA - VATICAN
War against Libya a reckless outrage
by Piero Gheddo
06/09/2011 LIBYA
Mgr Martinelli calls for diplomatic steps, says he is not hiding Gaddafi in church
05/11/2011 LIBYA
Bishop of Tripoli: Bombs on civilians, destroying an entire people to take down Gaddafi
05/02/2011 LIBYA
Tripoli bishop attends funeral of Gaddafi’s relatives, Moscow criticises airstrikes

Editor's choices
IRAQ-ITALY
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul," the thanks of the Patriarch Louis Sako; the concerns of the Bishop of Kurdistan
by Bernardo CervelleraThe head of the Chaldean Church is grateful for the AsiaNews campaign and hopes that "this chain of solidarity will reach far and wide”. Helping refugees to remain in Iraq. But many want to flee abroad. The bishop of Amadiyah where thousands of displaced people have found haven in churches and homes: We also help the Arabs (Muslims), and Yazidis, for free and without looking at our confessional differences.
ITALY - IRAQ
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul" to respond directly to Iraq's emergencyAsiaNews is launching a fundraiser to support Christians targeted by the Islamic State, thus responding to a request by the Patriarch of Baghdad and Pope Francis's urgent appeal "to guarantee all necessary assistance - especially the most urgently needed aid - to the great multitude of people who have been driven from their homes, whose fate depends entirely on the solidarity of others." More than 100,000 people have been forced to flee their homes leaving everything behind and now have nothing to live on. To help them, five euros a day are enough. The funds raised will be sent to the Patriarchate of Baghdad, which will distribute them according to the needs of each family.
CHINA - VATICAN
Wenzhou bishop and priests slam government's campaign against crosses and churches in Zhejiang
by Eugenia ZhangFor Mgr Vincent Zhu Weifang, from the official Church, the campaign of destruction is increasing social instability. It is real persecution against the Christian faith. The bishop apologises for failing to intervene sooner. He was hoping that the campaign would end quickly. Catholics and Protestants suffer injuries as they attempt to defend their sacred buildings. For priests in Wenzhou, the campaign is unfair and touches buildings that have all the right papers. Such "stupid acts" by the government are undermining social harmony.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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