24 August 2016
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    24/08/2016 - BANGLADESH

    Moinul Islam Shamim is a leading member of a banned Islamic group, Ansarullah Bangla Team. His arrest took place overnight in a neighbourhood in the capital. He had ordered the stabbing of Faisal Arefin Dipan, who published progressive ideas. A new threatening letter promises death to five figures "guilty" of atheism and apostasy.




    24/08/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope cancels audience: Sorrow for earthquake victims in Italy


    Francis speaks to the pilgrims gathered in the square: "I express my great sorrow and closeness to all the people present in the places struck by the quake, to all the people who have lost loved ones and to those who still feel shock, fear and terror”. The Pope invites those present to recite the Sorrowful Mysteries. The tremors that devastated the Rieti area, were felt worst in Amatrice, Accumoli and Pescara del Tronto. 21 are confirmed dead, but many are still missing.


    24/08/2016 - IRAQ - UN

    Mosul offensive "will have a huge impact, 1.2 million people at risk"


    The United Nations warn: "The humanitarian consequences of the Iraqi army offensive to wrest the metropolis of the north from the Islamic State will be devastating". An estimated 400 thousand people will flee towards the south of the metropolitan area, more 250 thousand to the east and 100 thousand north-west. Only 38% collected of the $ 584 million needed to address the emergency.


    23/08/2016 - INDIA

    Mgr Barwa: the "martyrdom" of Kandhamal victims must be recognised

    by Santosh Digal

    The archbishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar calls on the Indian Church to celebrate Kandhamal Victims Day on 30 August. For him, “such violence should never take place” again. The Odisha government has said that it would also pay compensation for churches.


    23/08/2016 - CHINA

    The decline of China’s Catholic population and its impact on the Church

    by Anthony Lam Sui-ky

    Dr. Anthony Lam Sui-ky, a researcher at the Holy Spirit Study Centre of the diocese of Hong Kong and a leading expert of the Church in China, analyses the "plateau" phenomenon that affects Chinese Catholics. After a great wave of baptisms and vocations, the numbers show a slowdown that keeps the number of the Catholic community stable but stagnant. Catholics are now about 10.5 million. The official and underground Church have the same dilemma and must work together to overcome it. Courtesy of Tripod.


    23/08/2016 - SRI LANKA

    Military not returning land to 9,000 civil war displaced people in Jaffna

    by Melani Manel Perera

    The refugees live in precarious conditions in 43 refugee camps. Military leaders justify the decision on national security. IDPs claim the army built Buddhist temples on their land, when most of them are Hindu or Catholic. Government IDP figures do not coincide with those of activists.


    23/08/2016 - TIBET - CHINA

    Tibet, Beijing tightens laws against protests and self-immolations


    The government plans of the prison "longer" for anyone who sets himself on fire, manifested for independence or autonomy for Tibet, sends abroad about the situation of the province. Chinese repression threatens to exacerbate even more the situation.


    23/08/2016 - FRANCE - ISLAM

    Young Muslim: I am very pessimistic about a reform of Islam

    by Kamel Abderrahmani

    For centuries Islam has been closed in on itself creating a "holy ignorance" that blocks all introspection and development. Islamic "clergy" and the Arab states contributing to this stagnation, in their push to make Islam the state religion. Many intellectuals, thinkers, religious trying to reform Islam are hunted, persecuted, expelled, their works banned.


    23/08/2016 - INDIA

    Curfew in Kashmir: Children get to school thanks to volunteers


    The curfew has been in place for almost two months. The protests between separatists and security forces killed at least 60 people. Volunteers working in private homes, in mosques and reception rooms, after several couples have decided to postpone their wedding.


    22/08/2016 - PAKISTAN

    Catholic hospital in Sialkot provides free treatment to tuberculosis patients (Video)

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    The Bethania Hospital is run by the Archdiocese of Lahore. Physicians also fight stigma associated with the disease through counselling and outreach to locals. Each year, 70,000 people die of TB in Pakistan.


    22/08/2016 - INDIA

    New attacks against Christians in southern India

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    An Evangelical Christian is kicked and punched in Kerala. He was saved by friends, attracted by his shouts. Stones are thrown at a Pentecostal church in Karnataka. The faithful are living in fear, victims of violence perpetrated by Hindu ultra-nationalists.


    21/08/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: The door of God's mercy is always wide open. For everyone!


    The goal, says Pope Francis before the Angelus prayer, "is Jesus himself. He leads us into fellowship with the Father, where we find love, understanding and protection. But why is this door is narrow? It is a narrow door not because it is oppressive, but because it asks us to restrict and limit our pride and our fear, to open ourselves with a humble and trusting heart to Him, recognizing ourselves as sinners, in need of his forgiveness. " An appeal for peace "in dear Turkey ".

     


    19/08/2016 - FRANCE – ISLAM

    The burkini affaire, a noose to strangle East and West

    by Kamel Abderrahmani

    The decision by seven French mayors to ban the swimsuit that covers the whole body except the face has been justified in the name of security, state secularism, and women’s dignity. However, the real security issues in France and elsewhere are in mosques, among radical clerics, and on Islamist websites. At the same time, European Muslims must re-examine their faith and adapt it to new times and places, avoiding the schizophrenia of preserving a culture of a 1,000 years ago. A young Muslim gives his opinion.


    19/08/2016 - INDIA

    Doubts surround death of a Protestant pastor healer, accused of black magic


    His center organized prayers and healings. Last February the manager was arrested , but the pastor had fled


    19/08/2016 - CHINA

    After the crosses, Zhejiang bans religion from hospitals


    For the past two years the authorities of the Eastern Province have been carrying out a campaign against the symbols and the Christian presence. The latest act involves treatment centers, where today "all forms of religious activity are banned". It is now forbidden to pray, preach and receive priests or Protestant pastors at the bedside of the sick.


    18/08/2016 - SOUTH KOREA

    Patriarch Rai arrives in Seoul to talk about peace and reconciliation


    The Lebanese Cardinal was welcomed by the Archbishop of the capital, Card. Andrew Yeom: "Here in Korea it's hot, but your welcome warms my heart so much more." Two days of meetings with Catholic leaders, peace activists and experts gathered to show Korea the path of unity.


     


    18/08/2016 - INDIA - VATICAN

    Orissa: Kandhamal victim, Sr. Meena Barwa, recalls Msgr. Cheenath

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    The nun was raped and beaten during the anti-Christian pogrom of 2008. At the funeral of the archbishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneshwar Sr Meena message sent a of gratitude for the support she received.


    18/08/2016 - PAKISTAN

    Lahore, Muslims and Hindus celebrate festival of friendship

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    During the Hindu festival of Raksha Bandhan people tie a sacred thread on their friend's wrist. For the first time the Hindu community was able to celebrate in public, and many Muslims helped in the preparation. Eventually all those present signed a statement against religious hatred: "We must protect our multiculturalism".


    17/08/2016 - IRAQ

    For the archbishop of Erbil, the feast of the Assumption brings hope for the future of Christians in Mosul (Photos)


    More than 2,000 faithful, many of them refugees, attended the solemn Eucharistic celebration. Mgr Warda speaks of a "feast for the whole community", made possible thanks to the work of dozens of young volunteers. The diocese provided free bus transportation from shelters. The situation has improved but aid is still need.


    17/08/2016 - CHINA - VATICAN

    Random thoughts on "imminent" China-Holy See relations

    by Cheng Zhi

    The author is a priest of the underground Church in China Eastern. A lot of media speak as if the agreements between Beijing and the Vatican were already ready. The problems of illegitimate bishops with lovers and children. Card. Tong and Card. Zen, separated only by optimism and pessimism. Doubts about the freedom that "the Chinese Empire" will grant the Church.


    16/08/2016 - IRAQ

    Alqosh, despite the Islamic State, the Church celebrates the first communion of one hundred children


    On the feast day of the Assumption the whole community attended the function, celebrated by Mar Sako. For the patriarchal vicar, this is an historic moment for the frontier town long threatened by jihadists. The Chaldean primate calls on children to "contribute to the community." In Kirkuk His Beatitude opened a grotto dedicated to Our Lady.


    16/08/2016 - HONG KONG

    East Asia youth meeting organised by the Taizé Community ends (Photos)


    Some 300 young people from China, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Japan attended the event. For Grace (from China), the discovery of the cross made her feel closer to God. The theme of the gathering was ‘The courage of mercy’.


    16/08/2016 - INDIA - VATICAN

    Mother Teresa: Her contribution to humanity

    by P. Felix Raj

    Opposed, misinterpreted or misunderstood, Mother Teresa was always dominated by Christ's love for the dignity of every human being. A presence which generated change. The testimony of a Jesuit who met her.


    16/08/2016 - MALAYSIA

    Malaysia bans non-Muslims from working in Islamic households

    by Joseph Masilamany

    The government rules against “infidels" working in private homes. Associations, employers and workers protest. Domestic workers are the main target. One job placement agency wonders why Saudi Arabia and Qatar allow Muslims to hire non-Muslims whilst Malaysia does not.


    16/08/2016 - BANGLADESH

    Dhaka, bishops condemn murder of imam and his assistant in New York

    by Sumon Corraya

    The two killed on 13 August were both natives of Bangladesh. They were gunned down in Queens while they were returning from the mosque. Msgr. Gervas Rozario, Bishop of Rajshahi: "We condemn the murder in the strongest possible way. Those who spread hatred against religion must be stopped".

     


    16/08/2016 - INDIA

    Card. Gracias: The Church is always an agent of reconciliation and peace in India

    by Card. Oswald Gracias

    On the occasion of the 70th Anniversary of Independence, celebrated yesterday, the Archbishop of Mumbai thanks God for the gifts granted to the Catholic community. The festival falls in the year of the Jubilee and Mother Teresa's canonization, a "special gift" for the whole world. The commitment of Catholics is dedicated to mutual understanding. Condemnation of forced proselytism but a firm request for freedom of religion and conscience.


    15/08/2016 - INDIA - VATICAN

    Msgr. Raphael Cheenath, Archbishop emeritus of Orissa's martyrs, has died

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    He died in Mumbai and not in Orissa because he had received death threats. He led the Church during the Kandhamal pogroms and fought for the rights of victims and survivors.


    15/08/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: Assumption of Mary, the Magnificat and women "slaves". Appeal for North Kivu


    At the Angelus Pope Francis entrusts to the Virgin Mary and Christ "women overwhelmed by the weight of life and the drama of violence", the "women slaves of the arrogance of the powerful", the "little girls forced to do inhumane work" "women forced to surrender themselves in body and in spirit to the greed of men". "The shameful silence" on the massacres of "many innocent people that have no influence in politics or global public opinion."


    13/08/2016 - CHINA

    Activist Su Changlan's trial for "subversion" again postponed


    The police cannot find evidence to support the charge. In 2014, the woman expressed support online for the democratic movement Occupy Central in Hong Kong. Family members kept in the dark.


    12/08/2016 - IRAQ

    Erbil celebrates three new priests, witnesses of Christ among refugees


    Two years after fleeing Qaraqosh and the Nineveh Plain, three young men were ordained to the priesthood. The rite celebrated in a refugee camp before 1,500 worshipers. Fr. Momika: "A day of mourning transformed into a celebration." The task of the anointed is "to give Christ to the people" and instill "strength, confidence and courage".






    Editor's choices

    CHINA - VATICAN
    In China-Holy See talks, silence shrouds future of underground priests

    Zhao Nanxiong

    Later this year, all priests must register to receive a certificate that allows them to exercise their ministry. But the request has to go through the Patriotic Association, whose statutes are "incompatible" with Catholic doctrine. Many priests, official and unofficial, now face an enormous dilemma.


    IRAQ
    Alqosh, despite the Islamic State, the Church celebrates the first communion of one hundred children



    On the feast day of the Assumption the whole community attended the function, celebrated by Mar Sako. For the patriarchal vicar, this is an historic moment for the frontier town long threatened by jihadists. The Chaldean primate calls on children to "contribute to the community." In Kirkuk His Beatitude opened a grotto dedicated to Our Lady.


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