07 December 2016
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    07/12/2016 - INDIA

    The Gunadala shrine it is one of the most important Marian sites in all of India. It was founded by PIME missionaries who brought a statue of Our Lady of Lourdes in 1928. A non-Catholic family thanked the Virgin for healing their child’s heart condition. Offering facial and head hair is a gesture of humility in praying to God.




    07/12/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: the secular state is a good thing, but laicism is old-fashioned


    In an interview with a Belgian weekly, Francis criticises laicism that “closes the doors to transcendence”, which instead is part of the human essence. "[N]o religion as such can foment war. Because in this case it would be proclaiming a god of destruction, a god of hatred." Synodality does not mean “descend[ing] from high to low”; it means instead “listen[ing] to the Churches, harmonis[ing] them, discern[ing]."


    07/12/2016 - UAE - IRAQ

    Chaldean Patriarch: Save Iraq's cultural heritage threatened by war

    by Louis Raphael Sako*

    In Abu Dhabi the international conference dedicated to the preservation of cultural heritage in conflict areas. The goal is to collect 100 million to finance projects and initiatives. Unesco: Protection of heritage as "global strategy against hatred and extremism." Mar Sako: "Urgent need for decisive action by the international community" in cooperation with the Iraqi government.

     


    07/12/2016 - INDONESIA

    West Java: Islamic radicals disrupt a Christian Christmas celebration

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    The faithful of the Evangelical Reformed Church were gathered in a hall in Bandung, when dozens of people stormed interrupting the choir and dispersing the crowd: "You cannot celebrate in a place that is not a church."

     


    06/12/2016 - ITALY – ORTHODOXY

    For Bartholomew, Christians cannot be indifferent to migrants and fundamentalism


    The Ecumenical Patriarch attended Mass in Bari’s Basilica of St Nicholas. We “cannot be silent before the scandal of the commodification of people, of religious fundamentalism that claims to act in the God’s name, of man's exploitation of man, of the depletion of natural resources for the benefit of a few to the detriment of the many, especially the poorest.”


    06/12/2016 - SRI LANKA

    Sri Lankan fishermen movement leader looks at 20 years of achievements and challenges

    by Melani Manel Perera

    Herman Kumara, a Catholic, heads the National Fisheries Solidarity Movement. Bridging the gap between southern and northern fishermen, and influencing public policy are some of the group’s achievements. Nevertheless, its members still receive threats, and deep ethnic differences persist.


    06/12/2016 - CAMBODIA

    As New Humanity ends its work in Cambodia, this is "A new beginning,” not an end


    Present in the country since 1992, the PIME NGO has handed over its activities to local organisations and dioceses. The PIME vicar general attended the closing ceremony. The “final aim of every development organisation should be to ‘help people to become independent [. . .].’ This is exactly what is happening today.”


    05/12/2016 - ITALY

    For Bartholomew, religions play a fundamental role in creating communion between peoples


    The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople received the St Nicholas Ecumenical Prize, an award that Pope Francis in a telegram called a "significant acknowledgment" and a "sign of gratitude" for the services rendered by Bartholomew "to promote an ever greater communion among all believers in Christ."


    05/12/2016 - BANGLADESH

    Lisi Desai, a disabled Catholic woman who helps hundreds of disabled people in Bangladesh (Photos)

    by Sumon Corraya

    The young woman is suffering from a degenerative muscle disease contracted at university. In Bangladesh there are more than a million disabled people, abandoned by the authorities and society. She helps educate them to be independent and self-reliant. The Church can change the faithful’s way of thinking. People with disabilities are "another aspect of God's grandeur."


    05/12/2016 - UZBEKISTAN

    Shavkat Mirziyoye is the new president of Uzbekistan


    Mirziyoye, who won 88.61 per cent of the vote, replaces Islam Karimov who died in early September.


    05/12/2016 - INDIA

    Bandra’s St Andrew Parish celebrates 400 years

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    Built in 1595, the church was elevated to parish status in 1616 with the arrival of permanent clergy. Renovated several times, the building has kept to its original plan. Festivities lasted a whole year with social activities, and support for families and the needy.


    05/12/2016 - SYRIA - EU

    Grand Mufti of Damascus: Europe aid Syria to extinguish the fire of fundamentalism


    An inter-religious meeting of Muslim and Christian leaders in Dublin. Sheikh Ahmad Badr El Din Hassun against the Arab nations and the Gulf monarchies who want to destroy the multi-ethnic and cultural soul of the country. Gregory III Laham: work for peace, not for blame. "We are all guilty in war."

     


    03/12/2016 - SRI LANKA

    President Sirisena thanks Asian bishops and the Church for their work

    by Melani Manel Perera

    The Plenary Assembly of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences is taking place in Sri Lanka. On the eve of the meeting, Sri Lanka’s president met with a delegation of bishops. Catholics promote the social and religious life of the population.


    03/12/2016 - PHILIPPINES

    Manila, the world's tallest monument of the Divine Mercy


    The 30-metre statue of Jesus will stand in the Marialo national shrine, north of Manila. The inauguration and blessing are scheduled for 19 January 2017, during the 4th World Apostolic Congress on Mercy (WACOM). The event will draw 5,000 local and international delegates.


    02/12/2016 - CHINA - VATICAN

    A "quiet" ordination with an illegitimate bishop in Xichang

    by Wang Xiang

    Again in Xichang, as in Chengdu, police deployed to ensure the participation of the excommunicated Bishop Lei Shiyin. Comment: "Chinese bishops are spineless." The Diocese of Xichang is formed by 35 thousand faithful and 10 priests. Its sisters run a leper colony.


    02/12/2016 - VIETNAM – VATICAN

    For Vietnamese bishop, no progress in religious freedom can be expected from Hanoi

    by Tran Vinh

    Mgr Micae Hoàng Đức Oanh is critical of the recent Vatican meeting between the pope and Vietnam’s president. Official talks have been held in the past without positive results for religious freedom. The new religious law could worsen the situation. Hanoi is caught between communism and red capitalism.


    02/12/2016 - CHINA

    Peng Ming, Christian ecologist and activist, dies in prison. Three other disappeared "at the risk of torture"

    by Wang Zhicheng

    Peng Ming was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2005. In the past he had a brilliant managerial career. Later he wrote books on democracy and environmental protection against the violent industrialization in the country. He was convicted of "terrorism." Still no word on Christian lawyer Jiang Tianyong. Dissident Xie Yang beaten by prison officers. Lawyer Huang Qi and reporter Liu Fei detained by police.

     


    01/12/2016 - IRAQ

    Refugees hope to rebuild Mosul together and in harmony (Videos)

    by Samir Youssef

    The heads of four families – one Christian, one Yazidi, one Sabian, and one Arab Muslim – talk about their fears and hopes. All four fled Mosul and region in 2014 when the Islamic state seized them. Now they wish to live together again, and rebuild an atmosphere of togetherness and harmony. No one is exempt from Islamic fanaticism. Only God can heal us and be a source of salvation. Here is second part of the conversation (the first one was published yesterday).


    01/12/2016 - MONGOLIA

    "Whispering the Gospel to the heart of Asia" as a model of mission for Mongolia (Photos)


    Fr Giorgio Marengo is a Consolata missionary who has lived in the Asian country since 2003. His approach to evangelisation is more adapted to the complexity of the Asian context. It entails putting people and human relations at the centre of things, creating empathy and confidence. This way, the Christian witness will not remain on the surface. Karakorum, the ancient imperial capital, can thus become a place for inter-faith dialogue.


    01/12/2016 - KOREA - SRI LANKA - ASIA

    Card. Yeom to Asian Bishops: Preach the Gospel with dedication

    by Santosh Digal

    The Archbishop of Seoul speaks at the Plenary Assembly of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences. This year's theme is the family and its challenges. Open the doors of the Church, the sacraments and affection; reflect on children, youth and seniors; the consequences of the weakening of family relationships.


    01/12/2016 - INDONESIA

    Unity will defeat sectarianism: demonstrations across the country against Islamic fundamentalists

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    Thousands of people took to the streets in 33 provinces to defend Indonesia’s founding principle of ‘Bhinneka Tunggal Ika’, unity in diversity. Wearing red and white ribbons (the colours of the national flag) lay people, religious and members of the military sent a message to the radical movements that want to divide the country.


    01/12/2016 - CHINA - VATICAN

    Ankang and Chengdu ordinations: "Faith is not dead”. “Kowtow diplomacy" a failure

    by Shan Ren Shen Fu - Bo Duo Shen Fu

    Initial reactions to the episcopal ordinations which took place yesterday. Ankang ceremony took place in a calm manner, with many bishops present, with older women who were photographed next to their new pastor. In Chengdu, the presence of an illegitimate bishop - criticized by the faithful - has turned the sacrament into a battlefield with controls and police imposing the presence of an excommunicated bishop.

     


    30/11/2016 - IRAQ

    Mosul refugees: the Church’s love and warmth vs the Islamic State madness (Videos)

    by Samir Youssef

    Fr Samir spoke to four heads of family who fled in 2014 with the arrival of the Islamic State. From Christian, Yazidi, Sabian and Arab Muslim backgrounds, they recount the Jihadi violence and the difficulties of exile, along with their hopes for the liberation of Mosul. The loving help provided by the Church and the Christian community is an answer to Jihadi violence. Part one.


    30/11/2016 - SRI LANKA

    Sri Lankan fishermen's movement celebrates 20 years of activities (Photos)

    by Melani Manel Perera

    The anniversary was celebrated to coincide with World Fisheries Day. The first step towards the National Fisheries Solidarity Movement took place in 1993. Formally, the association was established in 1997, with people from all religious backgrounds. It advocates human rights, sustainable development, and the protection of the environment, land and resources.


    30/11/2016 - CHINA - VATICAN

    Chengdu, excommunicated bishop, defended by police, took part in Episcopal ordination of Msgr. Joseph Tang Yuange

    by Wang Xiang

    A banner - then taken away by police - condemned the presence of Msgr. Lei Shiyin, the excommunicated bishop. A sister tried to stop him before he entered the church, but the bishop was defended by police. The ceremony took place in the Ping'an Qiao church (Bridge of Peace). A demonstration of "who controls the Church in China".


    30/11/2016 - CHINA - VATICAN

    Msgr. J.B. Wang Xiaoxun ordained coadjutor bishop of Ankang

    by Maria Yuan

    The ceremony was attended by six bishops of the dioceses of Shaanxi, all in communion with the Pope and recognized by the government. The papal mandate read "in private" in a gathering with all the priests, before the ordination Mass.

     


    30/11/2016 - PAKISTAN - TURKEY

    Lahore High Court blocks deportation of 100 Turkish "gulenist" teachers


    In mid-November Ankara had hailed the Islamabad decision. The teachers are suspected of having links to the preacher Fethullah Gulen. For years in exile in the United States, Gulen is accused of masterminding the failed coup in Turkey last July.

     


    29/11/2016 - MYANMAR – BANGLADESH

    Clashes in Rakhine State: Rohingya refugees stopped at Bangladesh border


    Bangladesh border guards send back boats full of Muslim women and children fleeing Myanmar army violence. The death toll in Rakhine State reaches 90 deaths and 30,000 displaced people. Myanmar and UN clash.


    29/11/2016 - INDIA - SRI LANKA - ASIA

    Card. Gracias to Asian bishops: We pray for families and for Christians in Syria

    by Santosh Digal

    The bishops gathered in Sri Lanka for the 11th plenary of the bishops' conference. This year's theme is the family in the relationship with the local Churches. On the agenda, the major challenges for family relationships. An inter-religious meeting with Islamic, Buddhist and Hindu leaders.

     


    28/11/2016 - INDIA

    Orissa, 15,000 faithful celebrate the feast of Mary, Queen of the Mission (Photos)

    by Purushottam Nayak

    The celebration is one of the most important in India. Usually, Christians come from all over the country, but this year, the rupee recall created problems. A procession with candles made its way through the streets of Berhampur in memory of Mary’s apparition to Saint Catherine Labouré.






    Editor's choices

    IRAQ
    "Adopt a Christian from Mosul": A Christmas gift to survive winter

    Bernardo Cervellera

    As Iraqi troops advance in the Nineveh Plain and Mosul, a new wave of refugees could overshadow the fate of other refugees who found hospitality in Kurdistan. People need kerosene, winter clothes, aid for children, and money for rent. The campaign AsiaNews launched two years ago is more urgent than ever. Give up a superfluous gift to offer refugees an essential gift for life.


    IRAQ
    Pastor of Amadiya: Mosul’s Christian refugees, torn between emergency aid and the longing to return home

    P. Samir Youssef

    In a letter Fr. Samir Youssef describes the situation of refugees, exiled from their home for more than two years. They are closely following the offensive to retake Mosul, although their homes and churches "are for the most part" burned or destroyed. With the arrival of winter there is a serve lack of heating oil, clothes, food and money to pay for their children’s school bus. An appeal to continue to support the AsiaNews campaign.


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