27 June 2017
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  • 26/06/2017 - MONGOLIA

    Mieygombo Enkhbold, of the Mongolian People's Party, and Khaltmaa Battulga, of the Nationalist Democratic Party, are the frontrunners. The vote is a referendum on economic policy. The country is trying to curb China’s hegemony. In religious matters, nothing has changed. Buddhism is protected by the state whilst Christians endure restrictions.




    26/06/2017 - INDIA

    Mgr Menamparampil warns against the obscurantist danger hanging over India

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    Outlawed fundamentalist groups have the support of political and religious leaders, and are not punished for violence against minorities. The economy excludes the most vulnerable groups in society. “Vegetarian terrorism" is unleashed against killing cattle. For Hindu activists, violence against cows is criminal, but violence against human beings is simply punishment. The fear of conversion marks every Christian with suspicion. For one witness, “The better the person, the greater the danger”. Hindutva followers have historicised mythology. "By taking mythologies as histories they are humiliating the sense of history of their own people.” However, the prelate has confidence in Indian society. “All we have to do is create situations where interactions are possible; where everyone has an opportunity to explain himself."


    26/06/2017 - CHINA-VATICAN

    The last 10 years of the Church in China: from the Letter of Benedict XVI to the silence on the arrest of Msgr. Shao Zhumin

    by Joseph

    The silence on the persecution of Chinese Catholics and their bishops in Wenzhou and Shanghai. The organisms that Benedict XVI did not accept (Patriotic Association and Chinese Bishops' Conference) because "incompatible with Catholic doctrine" now govern the Church. Dialogue between China and the Vatican must address the issue of underground bishops out in the open and not under the shroud of secrecy. An analysis from a northeast Chinese Catholic, as the Vatican celebrates a new round of China-Holy See talks.


    26/06/2017 - VATICAN – CHINA

    Holy See has expressed “grave concern” over the fate of Mgr Shao Zhumin, held by police for more than a month

    by Bernardo Cervellera

    The bishop of Wenzhou (Zhejiang), who belongs to the underground community, is said to be undergoing brainwashing to join the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association. Since China and the Holy See resumed talks three years ago, this is the first time that the Holy See Press Office speaks about a detained bishop. The faithful have felt too much pain over the Vatican’s extended silence. Germany’s ambassador in Beijing, Michael Clauss, has talked about the case. The Vatican’s press office calls on the faithful to pray for Bishop Shao Zhumin and “the path of the Catholic Church in China.”


    26/06/2017 - CHINA

    Dissident Liu Xiaobo leaves prison suffering from terminal liver cancer


    He has been allowed treatment outside the prison, but he will not seek medical treatment abroad. In 2009, he was sentenced to 11 years for "inciting subversion of state power" after he co-authored Charter 08. Whilst in prison, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010.


    25/06/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: Christians persecuted 'even in our day'. Prayers for landslide in China


    At the Angelus, Pope Francis asks for prayers for "brothers and sisters" who "continue to testify to their faith with courage and fidelity." "The Lord ... sends us as sentinels among people who do not want to be awakened from worldly torpor." "Success does not count, but loyalty to Christ." God "does not abandon his sons at the time of the storm". The beatification in Vilnius of the Martyr of Atheism, Msgr. Teofilo Matulionis, "killed in hatred of faith in 1962, when he was almost 90 years old." Greeting to the Greco-Catholic Ukrainians and the Belarusians on the 150th anniversary of the canonization of Saint Josaphat.

     


    24/06/2017 - INDONESIA

    For Eid, Catholics change their Mass timetable to leave carparks free for Muslim "brothers"

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    In Jakarta, car parks for the cathedral and mosque are used by both communities. Early morning moves to "leave room" for the celebrations of the Islamic feast. Message from the Archbishop of Jakarta.


    23/06/2017 - MYANMAR – UNITED NATIONS

    Distrusts towards the United Nations grows in Myanmar


    The main criticism is the lack of top officials who understand the country. Many people see the UN fail in the way it handles humanitarian crises. UN resident coordinator for humanitarian aid Renata Lok-Dessallien is leaving. To be effective, the UN “must be sensitive to local issues and take them into account, The Irrawaddy writes.


    23/06/2017 - INDIA

    Although government and opposition pick Dalit candidate for the presidency, castes remain


    Ram Nath Kovind is backed by the Bharatiya Janata Party. Meira Kumar has the support of 16 opposition parties led by Congress. The two veteran politicians are in their seventies. For Lenin Raghuvanshi, the choice of Dalit candidates “does not change the evils of the caste system”. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has divided the opposition.


    23/06/2017 - INDIA

    Northeast India, Msgr. Menamparampil proposes an ecumenical prayer for peace


    The United Christian Forum in North East India welcomes the initiative of the emeritus Archbishop of Guwahati. From next August, the first day of every month, the invitation to all Christians "to stand for a few minutes of prayer". The "timely" response of the local Church, following the vandalism of the Bongaigaon cathedral.

     


    23/06/2017 - ASIA-EUROPE

    Asia-Europe: human rights crisis (and freedom of trade)

    by Luca Galantini

    The rare stand taken by the German ambassador Michael Clauss for the release of Msgr. Peter Shao Zhumin and Freedom of Commerce on the New Silk Road, under the shadow of the Chinese monopoly. The silence surrounding the fragmentation of the international legal system. Instead of democracies, there are autocratic regimes, violent nationalisms, oriental satrapies. And Trump sells arms to Saudi Arabia.


    22/06/2017 - IRAQ

    Mar Sako: reconstruction and coexistence plans in Mosul and Nineveh to offset Islamic State destruction


    The Chaldean Patriarch condemns the destruction of Mosul’s historic mosque and the devastation by the Islamic State’s "culture of death". He prayed in front of Fr Ragheed’s church for coexistence between Christians and Muslims. He called on Catholics in Europe and the West to visit the refugees, to teach them "to have more confidence in the future". He gave a first assessment of the return of displaced people.


    22/06/2017 - THAILAND – MYANMAR

    Suicide rate soars among Burmese refugees in Mae La Camp (Thailand)


    The camp hosts about 50,000 Myanmar citizens, mostly ethnic Karen. In two years 28 refugees took their lives and 66 attempted. For camp residents, "The situation is tragic". Suicides are caused by the lack of freedom, limited educational opportunities, uncertainty, and economic difficulties. Four in 10 deaths were from drinking weed-killer. Family problems were a factor in almost half of all cases, alcohol and substance abuses more than a third.


    22/06/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: The Churches of the East are alive, despite persecution and terrorism


    Receiving the participants at the "Reunion of Aid Agencies for the Oriental Churches" Assembly, Francis recommends the formation of the clergy. "Let us not forget that in the East even today, Christians - no matter whether Catholics, Orthodox, or Protestants - spill their blood as a seal of their witness."


    22/06/2017 - INDIA

    For Bishop Menamparampil, vandalism against Catholic cathedral in Assam has hurt and raised concerns among Christians


    The cathedral is in Bongaigaon. Diocesan authorities have called for calm and organised a prayer vigil for peace and harmony. The pyx was stolen, and the tabernacle broken. For Sajan K George, the "robbery is a way to offend [Christian] religious feelings”.


    22/06/2017 - TAJIKISTAN

    Dushanbe: young Tajiks banned from pilgrimage to Makkah


    Officially, the reason is to encourage seniors to make the journey; in fact, the aim is to prevent youth radicalisation. The Islamic majority country tightens controls on the religious life of its people.


    22/06/2017 - PHILIPPINES

    Pigcawayan, Biff rebels free hostages. Six dead


    Attacks on military outposts at Barangay Malagakit and Barangay Simsiman. Islamist rebels repelled and fled to the marsh of Liguasan in Maguindanao. During the retreat a school building seized, 31 hostages freed. The military: The attack is not related to Marawi's siege.

     


    21/06/2017 - IRAQ – VATICAN

    For Bishop Ortega, Christian suffering in Iraq is a gift for us. Now it is time to rebuild


    Christians did not give up their faith, or even pretended to, but left everything behind. Now their life is precarious but there is no grudge in their hearts, as they pray for their persecutors and thankful for what happened because "it was an opportunity to rediscover what is most important, which is faith". On the Nineveh Plain, military victory is not enough. Christians have to return because they are "the presence of Christ."


    21/06/2017 - PHILIPPINES

    Duterte warns of “religious war” in Mindanao, Church and analysts disagree


    Christians “have better guns. They are buying,” said the president. Analysts dismiss his view as baseless attempt to justify martial law. For Card Orlando Quevedo, archbishop of Cotabato, the government should “address the economic and political roots of terrorism” rather than focus on a military solution.


    21/06/2017 - PAKISTAN

    Sindh High Court to vet forced conversion of underage Hindu girl


    Ravita Meghwar is 16 years old from a lower caste. Her parents have filed a complaint that she was abducted, forced to embrace Islam and married off to a man 20 years her senior. The case has sparked controversy and protests by Hindus. The province had rejected the law punishing forced conversions.


    21/06/2017 - CHINA-GERMANY

    The German ambassador asks China to release Msgr. Shao Zhumin


    In an official statement posted on the embassy site, Michael Clauss asks that the detained bishop of Wenzhou, be given full freedom of movement. Concerns also expressed over drafts of the new regulations on religious activities, which decree the end of the underground communities. It is the first time after a decade that a European ambassador has called for the release of a bishop.


     


    21/06/2017 - BANGLADESH

    Gaibandha, Muslims attempt to rape a Catholic tribal

    by Sumon Corraya

    The young woman is 20 years old and belongs to the parish of Mariampur. Family is being pressured to withdraw the complaint. Last year, the local Christian community was attacked by police and Muslims for expropriation of land. Parish priest: "We want justice and security."

     


    20/06/2017 - SRI LANKA

    Movies and plays in Colombo to show the plight of refugees

    by Melani Manel Perera

    Today is World Refugee Day. Sri Lanka hosts 604 refugees in Sri Lanka with another 576 applying for recognition. The government does not guarantee the right to housing, food, education, medical care and does not provide opportunities for legal employment.


    20/06/2017 - MIDDLE EAST – EUROPE

    Terrorism and migrants: Mideast leaders blackmailing Europe

    by Luca Galantini

    Attacks in European capitals are meant to destabilise the foreign policy of countries like Great Britain, Germany, and France. Even Italy’s "neutral" position does not guarantee immunity. Dealing with immigration must be part of a long-term coexistence strategy. Working on economic and political development in countries of origin is also necessary. In ‘Caritas in Veritate’, Benedict XVI had prophetic words.


    20/06/2017 - KAZAKHSTAN

    Astana cracks down on extremism in religions


    Muslims and Jehovah's Witnesses are convicted for "inciting religious hatred". Trials are often done in secret. A new theology programme is introduced in prisons to prevent the radicalisation of prisoners


    20/06/2017 - UN

    UN refugee record hit in 2016: 65.6 million


    Today is the World Refugee Day. Data released yesterday by UNHCR. About 40.3 million internally displaced persons; 22.5 Refugees; 2.8 million asylum seekers. Nearly 84% of the burden of hospitality is supported by poor countries, despite the focus on migrant crises in Europe.

     


    19/06/2017 - VIETNAM

    Vietnam’s economic policies harm development, environment and people

    by Nguyen Van

    Farmlands loss and pollution are growing. Expropriations cause great social instability. Government cracks down on protests. The Catholic community stands by the victims of the Formosa disaster. Clergymen and parishioners in Thuận Nghĩa call for an end to threats against the spirituality and property of people in Song Ngọc.


    19/06/2017 - GREAT BRITAIN – ISLAM

    Christian, Muslim, Jewish and Sikh leaders condemn 'Islamophobic' Finsbury Park attack


    Prime Minister Theresa May spoke of a "terrorist attack" and "Islamophobia" pledging zero tolerance against extremist speeches even online. Muslim communities demand more security ahead of Eid celebrations at the end of this week. Anglican Primate Justin Welby, Card Vincent Nichols, Britain's Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis and the Sikh Federation Chair Bhai Amrik Singh express solidarity with Muslims and call on people not to feed hatred.


    19/06/2017 - CHINA – VATICAN

    Mgr Peter Shao Zhumin, Wenzhou’s bishop not recognised by the government, is missing again


    The bishop apparently arrived at Wenzhou airport, but did not go home.  Government officials took him to an unknown place. His priests did not see him at home. According to the latest figures, Wenzhou Catholics number 130,000.


    19/06/2017 - PAKISTAN

    Archbishop Arshad: The Eucharist 'source and summit' of the life and mission of the Church

    by Shafique Khokhar

    The bishop of Faisalabad celebrates Corpus Christi. 2018 will be the Year of the Eucharist in Pakistan. "Let's become one with Jesus when we receive Communion." The Eucharist is "the expression of our call to share the divine life as individuals and as community into the full purpose of our being – living forever within the divine majesty."






    Editor's choices

    VATICAN
    Pope: The Churches of the East are alive, despite persecution and terrorism



    Receiving the participants at the "Reunion of Aid Agencies for the Oriental Churches" Assembly, Francis recommends the formation of the clergy. "Let us not forget that in the East even today, Christians - no matter whether Catholics, Orthodox, or Protestants - spill their blood as a seal of their witness."


    CHINA-GERMANY
    The German ambassador asks China to release Msgr. Shao Zhumin



    In an official statement posted on the embassy site, Michael Clauss asks that the detained bishop of Wenzhou, be given full freedom of movement. Concerns also expressed over drafts of the new regulations on religious activities, which decree the end of the underground communities. It is the first time after a decade that a European ambassador has called for the release of a bishop.


     


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