12/11/2013SYRIA Greek-Orthodox Patriarchate: " No news of the 13 Ma'aloula nuns, we do not trust the video" According to video released by Al-Jazeera the women religious held in Yabrud were to be released on December 9. The Greek -Orthodox Patriarchate "concerned" about their condition. Ongoing intense fighting in the area between the army and Islamist insurgents. Two Spanish journalists in Syria to a report on the anti- Assad revolution held captive by Islamic extremists. Damascus (AsiaNews) - 13 greek
-orthodox nuns kidnapped Dec.
2 in Maaloula along with some young orphans are still in the hands of the
Islamist group al- Ahrar Qalamoun . After
the video released...
12/11/2013INDIA New Delhi: archbishop, priests and nuns arrested during peaceful demonstration Mgr Anil JT Couto, along with other members of the local clergy, was taking part in a protest for the rights of Dalit Christians and Muslims. Police apparently beat the religious leaders present, charging the crowd with water cannons. Several people have been injured. For Card Gracias, "violence on priests, religious and nuns" is a disgrace for India. The country "cannot move forward as long as one part of society is discriminated and deprived of something on religious grounds."
12/11/2013FRANCE - LEBANON Maronite Synod of France and Europe to open in Paris by Fady Noun For the first time, the meeting will be held outside of Lebanon, chaired by Mgr Maroun Nasser Gemayel. Its attention will be on the 85,000 Maronites who live in France and the 130,000 who live elsewhere in Europe. The synod's challenge will be to develop a new ecclesial identity and strengthen the Church's missionary work, which is to proclaim Jesus. Other meetings are set for May and December 2014.
12/11/2013INDIA Karnataka, Christmas sees return of Hindu fundamentalist persecution Two women were arrested for distributing leaflets about Christianity . A mob of extremists threaten to launch a mass protest , to punish "those who practice conversions”. President of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC ), tells AsiaNews: "A shameful attack, as planned nationalist forces step up pressure on Christians at Christmas".
12/10/2013SRI LANKA Tamil activist gets death threats for his work defending the families of the missing by Melani Manel Perera For months, Sunesh has been receiving phone calls from a stranger telling him to quit his job or have his head "hanging on the street." His complaints to the police prove useless. Although police know the identity of the caller, they also told the activist to find him himself. His wife, who was shadowed by a stranger, was forced to seek refuge with her brother. "I will not stop my activities," the activist said, "but I am looking for protection. I am afraid for myself and my family."
12/10/2013BANGLADESH Bible Day in Bangladesh to put God at the centre of one's life by Sumon Corraya The Catholic Bishops' Conference of Bangladesh organised the event, which was held on Sunday across the country. The day brought to a close a month-long programme of teaching and studying the Sacred Scripture that began on 8 November. For Khulma bishop, "The sacred texts help to know the Creator and discover the truth."
12/10/2013INDIA - SOUTH AFRICA Card. Gracias: We must learn from Mandela , champion of freedom, democracy and equality by Card. Oswald Gracias The Archbishop of Mumbai and president of the Catholic Bishops paints a portrait of the South African leader " icon of peace and reconciliation." Today, Heads of State and dignitaries from around the world participate in the celebrations in honor of Nelson Mandela. Card. Gracias recalls 27 years in prison lived "with great courage and dignity, never ceasing to pursue the values of peace, love and reconciliation."
12/10/2013LEBANON - SYRIA Lebanon asks for Qatari help in Maaloula nuns affair by Fady Noun The head of Lebanese security also wants information about the two Orthodox bishops abducted last April. Questions are addressed to Al-Jazeera with regards to the source behind the video released days ago showing the sisters "detained" by Islamist insurgents. Greek-Orthodox Patriarch Youhanna calls for prayers and actions to obtain the nuns' release. Lebanese Minister criticises international community for not doing enough to deal with this abduction.
12/09/2013NEPAL Nepal: Christians , Hindus, Buddhists and Muslims prepare for Christmas together by Christopher Sharma Houses and shops of capital already decorated. Among the best-selling images are those of Jesus and the Virgin Mary. Young Hindu volunteers help Catholics decorate Cathedral of the Assumption in Kathmandu. The former hotel of the Hindu monarch organizes a Christmas party for diplomats and VIPs themed on harmony between the faiths.
12/09/2013VATICAN - PIME - MYANMAR Pope: Fr Mario Vergara and Isidore Ngei Ko Lat, martyrs for the faith in Myanmar, to become blessed The missionary with the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions carried out his mission among the Karens of the Soku tribe, one of the poorest in pre-independence Burma. Arrested by the British at the outbreak of World War II, he was back in the mountains after 4 years in captivity setting up an orphanage and a sanatorium. Along with a young priest, Fr Galastri, he continued his mission despite fighting sparked by Burma's independence between rebels of different religions. He and Burmese catechist Isidore Ngei were killed by Baptist rebels.
12/09/2013IRAQ Patriarch Sako: The flame of hope lights up Christmas for Iraqi Christians by Mar Louis Raphael I Sako In his message to the faithful during Advent, His Beatitude calls for "courage" and "perseverance", following the example of Abraham. He urges the faithful to keep the faith alive, even amid "suffering, anxiety and the considerable challenges." He also calls on "fellow" Muslims to join and be part of a true "peace project" for the country.
12/09/2013INDIA Elections in India: "great concern" over victory of Hindu nationalists The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP ) wins in Rajasthan , Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. Local Catholic sources tell AsiaNews : "The results are serious, because the party is supported by the fundamentalists”. Congress (secular party at the helm of the central government) lost because "the people are exasperated with corruption, the party did not present a real political program ; inflation is bringing people to their knees ."
12/09/2013RUSSIA - UKRAINE Church and people in Ukraine demand autonomy from Moscow by Nina Achmatova Protests continue in Kiev against President Yaukovich’s renunciation on European integration dictated by the pressures of Russia. The patriarch of the Ukrainian Church of Kiev Filaret , sides with the protesters, and calls for unity and autocephaly .