30 September 2016
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    29/09/2016 - IRAQ

    In the Jubilee Year of Mercy, Chaldean bishops reiterate the importance of evangelisation. Their goals include an enhanced role for the laity, deacons and married priests. Rebel priests and monks are ordered to return to their original diocese. The prelates prayed for Aleppo and Syria.




    29/09/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: the logic of weapons and oppression, dark interests and violence continue to devastate Syria and Iraq


    If we have "the impression of being wrapped in a spiral of arrogance and inertia from which there seems to be no escape" it is the experience of the evil that is in man and in history. Francis receives the members of the Catholic charitable agencies operating in Syria and Iraq gathered for their fifth meeting organized by Cor Unum.

     


    28/09/2016 - BANGLADESH

    Bangladeshi writer Haq, a critic of fundamentalism, dies

    by Sumon Corraya

    Syed Shamsul Haq, who died aged 81, was one of the country’s most prolific and brilliant writers. He had been suffering from lung cancer for some time. He was the youngest recipient of the Bangla Academy Award, Bangladesh’s highest literary award. Christians remember him as "a teacher and guide."


    28/09/2016 - ISRAEL

    Shimon Peres has died, a man of peace and of war

    by Joshua Lapide

    He was 93 years of age. In his youth he was a "hawk". He was responsible for the supplies of arms to Israel from the USSR, France, the United States. He was the first proponent of Israeli settlements in the occupied territories. Twice prime minister, president for seven years. With Rabin and Arafat, he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994. He has participated as a "dove" at the meeting of prayer for peace in the Vatican in 2014. Gideon Levy: Peres was a man of "almost".

     


    27/09/2016 - CHINA - ITALY

    Fr Gheddo: I saw the Church’s resurrection in China


    He visited China during the Cultural Revolution and after Deng Xiaoping modernisations. Catholic communities that seemed destroyed blossomed again. Ties with old PIME missionaries expelled by Mao Zedong were renewed. The mission has now new frontiers. Here is Fr Piero Gheddo’s autobiography.


    27/09/2016 - HOLY LAND

    For Mgr Marcuzzo, pilgrimages are an instrument of the New Evangelization


    For the Patriarchal Vicar of Jerusalem, travelling in the footsteps of Christ is a source for the "rebirth of faith". It is an essential element for Europe and North America, where a crisis of religion is unfolding. The number of Chinese and Vietnamese pilgrims who understand “the wonder of faith" is growing. Israel restricts entry to Arab Christians, especially from Jordan. AsiaNews proposes a pilgrimage.


    27/09/2016 - CHINA - VATICAN

    Priests and faithful in China critical of new regulations on religious activities

    by Bernardo Cervellera

    On October 7, the Regulations will be implemented. Criticism of contradiction between the emphasis on Constitution, which claims religious freedom in China and the Regulations which place numerous limitations on its expression. The State Council’s intervention on religions is "illegal”.  Requests for a law that would recognize the right also to the domestic churches (underground) and all religions, not only the 5 recognized by the Beijing government.


    27/09/2016 - SRI LANKA

    More than 800 Sri Lankan kids put on an “exhibit" of the Year of Mercy (PHOTOS)

    by Melani Manel Perera

    Students attending catechism in two parishes near Colombo organised the event, showing Jesus’s works and miracles, the holy doors open across the country, and a full-scale reproduction of a Holy Door. With this exhibition, " children were able to express their talents."


    26/09/2016 - CHINA – VATICAN

    Taizhou bishop dies, he had been recognised by the pope and Beijing

    by Zhen Yuan

    Mgr Antony Xu Jiwei, 81, died of illness. He had entered the seminary in 1948 but was not ordained due to China’s "political events" until 1985. He spent several years in prison and hard labour. "The period of imprisonment has strengthened my faith,” Bishop Xu once said, “every day.” Since the diocese was founded, it has had only two bishops. Xu’s predecessor, Mgr Jou Hou-shan, was one of the first six Chinese bishops ordained by Pius XI.


    26/09/2016 - BANGLADESH

    Dhaka, Islamic-Christian couple: "Coexistence is possible"

    by Sumon Corraya

    Ashim Gomes, Christian, and Munira Islam, Muslim, have been married for 11 years. They have an eight year old daughter, and have chosen to baptize her. The couple speak of their joys and their sorrows at a pastoral meeting organized by the archdiocese. The major disagreements arise when both try to convince the other that their religion is the best.

     


    26/09/2016 - JORDAN

    Amman, Jordanian intellectual and journalist killed over anti-jihadist cartoon


    Nahed Hattar was gunned down at the court entrance. He was on trial after spending two weeks in jail. His assassin is a well-known local imam, and he acted to "avenge the insult to God", already known to security forces as an extremist element. Muslim intellectual: "Terrorism is genetic in most of the Arab-Muslims".


    24/09/2016 - INDONESIA

    Jakarta’s Christian governor is Islamists’ "common enemy" in upcoming elections

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    Campaigning for the post of Jakarta’s governor starts today. Election is set for July 2017. Outgoing Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama, an ethnic Christian Chinese is seeking re-election. He is backed by the country’s second largest party, but opposed by radical Islamic parties because of his faith and for his fight against corruption.


    23/09/2016 - INDONESIA

    Islamic radicals in Makassar tell Protestant church it does not have the right to a building permit

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    Ethnic Toraja attend the parish church. Pastor says it has “proper papers” and saw the mayor visit.


    23/09/2016 - VATICAN – UNITED NATIONS

    Card Parolin tells UN that Mideast shows that development is impossible without peace


    The most effective way to safeguard the dignity of all in the Middle East is a renewed commitment to the rule of law and freedom of religion and conscience. The Holy See and the Vatican State become parties to the UN Convention against Corruption.


    23/09/2016 - INDIA - PHILIPPINES

    "Couples for Christ", from the Philippines to Odisha give strength to Catholic families

    by p. Purushottam Nayak*

    A retreat for the enrichment of marriage was held in Bhubaneshwar. Five members of ‘Couples for Christ from the Philippines and two from Bangalore, Karnataka, led the event. The lay movement was established in Manila in 1981. It obtained Vatican recognition in 2005 as a private international association for lay faithful.


    23/09/2016 - ASIANEWS SYMPOSIUM

    Mother Teresa, Mercy for Asia and for the world (VIDEO)


    We publish the video recordings of the presentations made at the international symposium organised by AsiaNews on 2 September. In order of appearance: Fr Ferruccio Brambillasca, PIME Superior General; Card Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation of Propaganda Fide; Sr Mary Prema, Superior General of the Missionaries of Charity; Father Brian Kolodiejchuk, postulator of the Cause of Mother Teresa; Card Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Mumbai; Fr John A. Worthley, on the influence of Mother Teresa in China; a witness to the influence of Mother Teresa in the Islamic world; and Mgr Paul Hinder, Apostolic Vicar of Southern Arabia.


    23/09/2016 - CHINA-VATICAN

    Beijing issues new, harsh draft regulations on religious activities

    by Bernardo Cervellera

    22/09/2016 - LEBANON

    Christian and Muslim religious leaders pray for peace in the name of Mary in Beirut

    by Fady Noun

    Heeding Pope Francis’s call, the Lebanese Church organised a meeting for peace at the Marian shrine of Harissa. Card al-Rahi stressed the value of reconciliation. For Sunni leader, "terrorism in the name of Islam” is “a sign of the end times". Shia dignitary slammed politicians for holding the country "hostage". Courage is needed to ask for forgiveness for one’s mistakes.


    22/09/2016 - CHINA - VATICAN

    Wenzhou underground priests pay homage to the late (official) bishop

    by Victoria Ma

    A group of 16 priests from the underground Church held a "simple but solemn" ceremony of prayer in memory of the late Mgr Vincent Zhu Weifang. Fr Paul Jiang, who led the group, was given “a vacation" this morning. Bishop Shao Zhumin, who succeeds the late prelate as ordinary, is still outside the diocese. Wenzhou Catholics thank the Holy See for this decision.


    22/09/2016 - INDIA

    Some 10,000 students celebrate Mother Teresa with a "peace march" in Guwahati


    The students, including many non-Christians, come from 30 schools. The event was enlivened with posters, as well as white and blue balloons. About a thousand teachers took part in a seminar on the ‘Joy of giving’. People are “mostly non-Christian,” but everyone is “grateful for the work of the Missionaries of Charity,” archbishop says.


    22/09/2016 - CHINA - HONG KONG

    Permanent deacons: a novelty for the Chinese Church

    by Lucia Leung

    A seminar in Beijing "plants a seed" to begin the implementation of this service. The help of the diocese of Hong Kong, where the permanent diaconate began in 1993, for the first time in Asia.

     


    21/09/2016 - INDIA

    Pentecostal pastor and his wife beaten by Hindu extremists in Maharashtra

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    Rev Prashant Bhatnagar was abducted, beaten, and threatened with death. One attacker urinated on his wounds. Unconscious, he was dumped on a road. His wife too endured physical and verbal abuse. Their “fault” was handing out leaflets about a religious service. A case has been filed against the attackers.


    21/09/2016 - SYRIA

    For Caritas, Syria has become a football field where big powers use the innocent as a ball

    by Sandra Awad*

    Fighters are destroying infrastructure, factories and buildings with their "big shoes". Displaced people, food shortages, education, migration, abandoned seniors and children playing at war are the consequences of the conflict. More than aid, people just want peace. The spokeswoman of the Catholic charity sends a letter for International Day of Peace.


    20/09/2016 - ITALY – VATICAN

    Pope in Assisi says "Peace alone, and not war, is holy"


    "In war, everyone loses, including the victors" is the message that ended the day in Assisi where religious leaders of most of the world prayed again for peace. “We do not have weapons. We believe, however, in the meek and humble strength of prayer.” In the appeal for peace 2016, men and women of various religions called for “encounters through dialogue, [. . .] to oppose every form of violence and abuse of religion which seeks to justify war and terrorism


    20/09/2016 - IRAQ

    Erbil: to rebellious priests and monks, the Chaldean Church responds with unity, says Patriarch Sako


    The upcoming Chaldean synod will focus on a new bishop for the Diocese of San Diego, liturgy renewal, help for Mosul refugees, and beatification of Chaldean martyrs. For the Chaldean primate, “closer and more effective action among bishops” and a united position on the country’s political future and the role of Christians are needed.


    20/09/2016 - PHILIPPINES

    For Card Quevedo, terrorism has no God, a new evangelisation is needed


    The Archbishop of Cotabato, in the heart of the predominantly Muslim Mindanao, condemns the actions of Abu Sayyaf, calling its members “practical atheists” who have “inadequate knowledge” of their own religion. Many Christians also “do not know the Bible very well”. They say they know “Christ and his teachings” but show “a stark dichotomy between belief and practice”.


    20/09/2016 - INDIA

    Card. Gracias: United with the Pope in prayer for peace, in India and around the world

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    Today the universal Church is united with the Pope, who has asked that September 20 become a "world day of prayer for peace". The archbishop of Mumbai is in Bangalore for a meeting of the Episcopal Conference of Bishops of the Latin rite, which he chairs. The Church in India "welcomes everyone, without discrimination." The work of Catholic health care facilities and education of young people.

     


    19/09/2016 - PAKISTAN

    Christians visit a Shia place of worship in Lahore (VIDEO)

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    A group of Christians and local activists meet at the Karbla Gamay Shah, a Shia ceremonial hall, to send a clear message to extremists that “we are not divided." They received a warm welcome from Shias, who are preparing to celebrate the most important day of the holy month of Muharram.


    19/09/2016 - CHINA - EUROPEAN UNION

    Uighur academic, Ilham Tohti, nominated Sakharov Prize


    The European Parliament confirms that the professor, known for his criticism of Chinese policy in Xinjiang Province, is among the five finalists. In September 2014 he was sentenced to life in prison by Beijing for "terrorism" and "inciting subversion": his supporters believe the allegations are "completely false".


     


    17/09/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: Nuncios are "three way" missionaries


    Francis celebrates Mass in Santa Marta in the presence of the papal representatives from around the world, in Rome for the Jubilee. Their’s "is a vagabond’s life , constantly on the move. But you must remember three ways of going out: physically, culturally and spiritually. Never forget this ."


    17/09/2016 - NEPAL - INDIA

    Buddhist nuns pedal for 4 thousand kilometers against human trafficking


    The sisters belong to the Drukpa order and are experts in martial arts. This is why they are called "Kung Fu nuns". They crossed the Himalayas cycling and arrived in India. After the earthquake of 2015, the exploitation of women and children has increased. On their journey the nuns distributed food and medical care. 






    Editor's choices

    ASIANEWS SYMPOSIUM
    Mother Teresa, Mercy for Asia and for the world (VIDEO)



    We publish the video recordings of the presentations made at the international symposium organised by AsiaNews on 2 September. In order of appearance: Fr Ferruccio Brambillasca, PIME Superior General; Card Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation of Propaganda Fide; Sr Mary Prema, Superior General of the Missionaries of Charity; Father Brian Kolodiejchuk, postulator of the Cause of Mother Teresa; Card Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Mumbai; Fr John A. Worthley, on the influence of Mother Teresa in China; a witness to the influence of Mother Teresa in the Islamic world; and Mgr Paul Hinder, Apostolic Vicar of Southern Arabia.


    CHINA-VATICAN
    Beijing issues new, harsh draft regulations on religious activities

    Bernardo Cervellera

    Fines of up to 200 thousand yuan (27 thousand euro) for "illegal religious activities" by Catholic or other members of underground communities. "Illegal activities" include "dependence from abroad" (such as the relationship with the Vatican). The regulations preach non-discrimination, but party members are forbidden to practice their religion, even in private. Strict control of buildings, statues, crosses. Clampdown on the internet. It could be the end of the underground community.
     


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