30 March 2017
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  • 30/03/2017 - PAKISTAN

    The accused are asked to change religion in exchange for their release. The latest case sparks protest among Christians. Girls are converted by force to marry Muslims whilst Christians men who marry Muslim are beaten and their homes torched. Even Asia Bibi was offered to convert to Islam.


    by Kamran Chaudhry

    30/03/2017 - INDIA

    Abattoirs shut down in Uttar Pradesh to protect cows, putting at risk the poor, Muslims, Christians


    The state’s new chief minister Yogi Adityanath promised to close illegal slaughterhouses in the recent election. Sellers complain that the authorities have also shut down legal ones. Sacred in Hinduism, cows are a major source of revenue for minorities. India’s meat exports are worth US $ 4 billion a year, employing 2.5 million people in Uttar Pradesh alone.


    30/03/2017 - HONG KONG – CHINA

    Card Tong tells Carrie Lam that the Church stands for full democracy and religious freedom in Hong Kong


    In a letter to Beijing’s candidate, the bishop of Hong Kong promises a frank and honest relationship with the new government from "a friend who will give forthright admonition" to people in power.


    29/03/2017 - INDIA

    I, a Hindu Brahmin convert to Christianity, even though everyone thought I was already a Catholic

    by Rajesh Nayak

    Rajesh Nayak waited 20 years for his baptism, which will take place on Easter. He met the faith when he was very young, but his parents’ opposition prevented him from converting. Through Christian adult initiation he really learnt to pray. "Before I did not know which god I was addressing,” he said.


    29/03/2017 - PAKISTAN -AFGHANISTAN

    Pakistani Church: the wall with Afghanistan will not stop infiltration of terrorists

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    Islamabad begins fortification of the colonial era "Durand Line". The border is not recognized by the Kabul authorities. Whole villages are located in between the two states. The blurred boundaries have facilitated the entry of militants, but also the passage of missionaries, sick and goods.


    29/03/2017 - CHINA - TAIWAN

    Beijing admits holding Taiwanese rights activist


    Lee Ming-che supports rights in mainland China. He was reported missing. Now that she knows that he is in jail, his wife has asked for the help of international organisations.


    29/03/2017 - CHINA

    Liaoning, a priest held for months without charge. Embarrassment for authorities


    The people's court refuses to publish the final sentence against Fr. Fei Jisheng, a priest of the diocese of Shenyang. Local Catholics: "The judges recognize his innocence, but the court wants him convicted." The arrest took place on October 18 last year on suspicion of embezzlement of a sum of money which, however, belonged to the priest. Charges hide authorities’ attempts to stop his work of evangelization.


    28/03/2017 - ISRAEL – PALESTINE

    Tensions rise as Israeli settlers visit daily the Temple Mount


    In 2016, more than 14,000 settlers visited the Muslim holy site (where the ancient Jewish temple once stood). The visits of Jewish extremists have sparked clashes between Muslims and police.


    28/03/2017 - PAKISTAN

    For Mgr Arshad, Lent is a time to embrace our daily crosses

    by Shafique Khokhar

    The bishop of Faisalabad issues a message on our preparation for Easter. He addresses young people who are hardest pressed in finding jobs, facing the economic crisis, and integrating into society. He calls on people to follow Christ’s example: his death and resurrection gave meaning to "our daily crosses".


    28/03/2017 - INDIA

    Karnataka Catholic Organization appeals for prison ministry volunteers

    by Purushottam Nayak

    Prison Ministry India has worked with detainees for over 30 years. Now it is running a recruitment campaign to bring relief to 1,382 in Indian jails. "Nearly 400 thousand people languish without love, hope and help." Membership is open to all; training will last two weeks from May 8 to 23. 


    28/03/2017 - LEBANON

    Beirut: World Day of dialogue between religions and cultures

    by Fady Noun

    Lebanese political and religious leaders call for such a feast. The Islamic-Christian celebration can be a model for meeting and exchange. An international Marian centre dedicated to dialogue will be set up in the capital. A garden dedicated to Mary, a beloved figure revered by both monotheistic religions, will also be established.


    28/03/2017 - EGYPT - ISLAM

    Secularism and citizenship: how Al Azhar could influence Arab-Islamic countries

    by Luca Galantini

    The Cairo conference studies proposals for equal rights for Christians and Muslims, and for a State separation from religion. Regional constitutions and especially the Arab League and Organization of the Islamic Conference Human Rights Charter need to be addressed. All this just one month before Pope Francis’ visit to Egypt.


    28/03/2017 - HONG KONG – CHINA

    Carrie Lam to visit mainland bodies in Hong Kong

    by Paul Wang

    Hong Kong’s new chief executive will make a courtesy call, not a visit of gratitude for the mainland’s support. She pledged to uphold the principle of "one country, two systems". Beijing's influence is “worrisome”.


    28/03/2017 - IRAN

    The Islamic State threatens Tehran and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei


    In a video in Farsi faction of the "province of Diyala" threatens Tehran over its involvement in ongoing regional conflicts. Iran's support for Iraqi government and Syrian leadership targeted. Its openness and tolerance towards Jews also criticized.


    27/03/2017 - VIETNAM

    Youth evangelisation is an urgent priority for the Church in Vietnam


    Vietnam’s Catholic community is not growing. Young people and their testimony can help evangelise society. Youth need to interact with one another and share their experiences. Moving to the city comes with many difficulties.


    27/03/2017 - INDIA

    Mumbai, 25 thousand people make a pilgrimage for peace


    Great participation of Catholics and non-Catholics in the annual Lenten march for peace 20 km. The pilgrims walked through the night for 7 hours until the Mass in the Basilica of Mount Mary. Card. Gracias: "Peace, harmony and brotherhood will prevail." Large presence of young people.


    27/03/2017 - PAKISTAN

    Pakistani Christians caught between the sacrament of marriage and domestic violence

    by Shafique Khokhar-Ata-ur-Rehman Saman

    27/03/2017 - HONG KONG – CHINA

    On Carrie Lam’s first day, prosecution awaits Occupy Central leaders

    by Paul Wang

    Lam is elected chief executive with 777 votes. Viewed as Beijing candidate, she also seen as CY 2.0, heir to Leung Chun-ying (CY 1.0) who is against democratic demands. The formal transfer of power will take place on 1 July, the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to China.


    27/03/2017 - INDIA

    Uttar Pradesh: Christian graves vandalized; (False) accusations of forced conversions (VIDEO)

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    Crosses taken down; tombstones smashed. State led by Hindu nationalist party. Growing violence against Christians in the region. The Hindu Yuva Vahini organization, founded by the Chief Minister, for the return of the Dalits to Hinduism.


    27/03/2017 - INDONESIA

    Jakarta: incitement to hatred, the most common online crime in 2016


    The authorities conducted 199 investigations. The victims targeted for ethnic and religious reasons. Religious and conservative groups increasingly active as vigilantes. The case of the Christian governor is an example of this trend. 


    25/03/2017 - BANGLADESH

    Islamic State claims responsibility for attempted suicide attack at Dhaka international airport

    by Sumon Corraya

    The bomber blew himself as he tried to enter the airport carrying a bomb, dying “right away" in the blast. His identity remains unknown, but his fingerprints have been found. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, but the government blames a local recently formed extremist group.


    24/03/2017 - RUSSIA

    Optimists, pessimists, and apocalyptics look at Russia on the 100th anniversary of the Revolution

    by Vladimir Rozanskij

    The commemoration of the centenary of the Russian Revolution of 1917 has begun. A major historical revision is underway. Our post-globalisation times resemble 1917. The Moscow Patriarchate and Vladimir Putin are silent on the matter.


    24/03/2017 - INDIA

    Card. Alencherry: The beatification of Sister Rani Maria is a blessing for the Church in India


    The nun was killed in 1995 with 54 stab wounds. Her assassin  is a radical Hindu fomented by village leaders, who wanted to stop her missionary activity in favor of the tribal poor. Today he repented because of the love of the Franciscan family, who forgave and accepted him. Sister Rani is a "martyr".


    23/03/2017 - THAILAND

    Bangkok wants a new “clean” abbot for the Phra Dhammakaya temple


    The current abbot has been accused of embezzlement and illegal construction. The authorities have tried repeatedly to arrest him, but without success. The National Office of Buddhism wants an outsider picked as the temple’s new spiritual guide.


    23/03/2017 - JAPAN

    In Japan, where hope in the future is rare, 30,000 people took their life each year for 12 years

    by mons. Isao Kikuchi

    Between 1998 and 2010, more than 30,000 people were driven to take their own life. According to recent government research, only 20 per cent of suicides were committed for economic reasons. Sixty per cent were due to physical health and depression.


    23/03/2017 - BANGLADESH

    About 82 per cent of militants radicalised on social media in Bangladesh

    by Sumon Corraya

    The result is based on a survey of 250 jailed militants by the Bangladesh police presented at an international police seminar. Last year’s massacre in Dhaka showed how some Islamic preachers influence young people on the Internet.


    23/03/2017 - INDONESIA

    Mgr Samuel Sidin Oton is the new Bishop of Sintang, West Kalimantan (photos)


    The ordination ceremony took place in Baning in the presence of more than 5,000 local Catholics. West Kalimantan Governor Cornelis and local top military officials were also present. Working for environmental protection made Mgr Sidin an environmental hero. The challenges of the Diocese of Sintang include its vast territory, deforestation and the loss of cultural values ​​among locals.


    22/03/2017 - CHINA

    Religious activities by students and faculty closely controlled


    Through special groups, the United Front tightly monitors religious activities on campuses by Chinese and foreigners. Anyone caught engaged in religious activities is expelled or fired.


    22/03/2017 - INDIA

    The Ganges is a "living being." Raghuvanshi: historic decision, pulls wool from eyes of Hindu nationalists


    The High Court of Uttarakhand equates the waters of the sacred river for Hindus to a human being. The goal is to reduce the pollution caused by industrialization and urbanization. Indian activist: "The Hindu radicals use pollution to come to power." The courts must also take action for Dalits who live on the river banks.


    22/03/2017 - NEPAL

    Nepali Catholics call for peaceful participation in local elections

    by Christopher Sharma

    The first local elections in 19 years have raised great expectations but also generated a lot of tension. Madhesi parties are protesting, demanding changes to the constitution before the vote. Encouraged by victories in India, Nepal’s Hindu monarchists want to restore a Hindu monarchy. The government defends the country’s secular nature.


    21/03/2017 - AFGHANISTAN

    Fr. Moretti: The Little Sisters of Jesus, for 60 years " Afghan among Afghans"


    They have lived for 60 years at the service of the needy. They remained in Kabul under Soviet occupation, the Taliban control and the NATO bombing. Respected by all, even by the Taliban. This February their experience will end, according to Fr. Moretti "an example for us all."






    Editor's choices

    VATICAN
    Pope tells young people to remember the past, to have courage in the present and hope for the future



    The Message for the 32nd World Youth Day was issued today centred on “The ‘great things’ that the Almighty accomplished’.” In her meeting with Elizabeth, Mary becomes a model. The pontiff calls on young people to avoid being couch potatoes, safe and cosy, urges them to rediscover the relationship with seniors. The Church experience is not a flash mob. The future should be experienced in a constructive way, and “the institutions of marriage, consecrated life and priestly mission” should not be devalued.


    AFGHANISTAN
    Fr. Moretti: The Little Sisters of Jesus, for 60 years " Afghan among Afghans"



    They have lived for 60 years at the service of the needy. They remained in Kabul under Soviet occupation, the Taliban control and the NATO bombing. Respected by all, even by the Taliban. This February their experience will end, according to Fr. Moretti "an example for us all."


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