12/22/2014INDIA For Mgr Dabre, India should ensure respect for the rights and freedoms of all citizens by Thomas Dabre * In a country with different cultures, religions, and states, "cultural nationalism" is wrong. The same is true for attempts to impose the Hindu majority's culture, sacred books, festivities and even terminology on believers of other religions. Christians do not practice forced conversions, but uphold the right to change religion as guaranteed by the Constitution. Pune
(AsiaNews) - In a country like India
where different cultures and religious beliefs live side by side, the
government must ensure respect for the rights and freedoms of all its citizens,
including the right to change one's religion, which is...
12/18/2014INDIA Clergy tunes "in to God's message" to mark Christmas in Vijayawada by Benigna Menezes* Priests and nuns from the diocese gathered for their annual Christmas meeting, which this time also included the inauguration of the Year of Consecrated Life. The variety of orders and congregations is "a gift from God that enriches the Church."
12/18/2014INDIA Radical Hindus' Christmas reconversions postponed, not cancelled The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) takes a step back to let parliament's winter session to end. It pledges however to reconvert 5,000 Christian and Muslim families "before the end of the year". Opposition call on the prime minister to speak on the matter, but the ruling party says no.
12/17/2014INDIA Christmas in Mumbai, bringing Jesus to the lepers of Heaven's Gate About 300 people - including Hindus, Muslims and some Christians - will celebrate the birth of Christ at Swarga Dwar, Mumbai, an ashram founded by PIME. The days leading up to the celebration are special for its children who play cricket, football and other games. "The kids wait for this festival with joy. They like to prepare the tree and put the star on the crèche," the facility's head said.
12/17/2014INDIA Radical Hindus attack Christians singing Christmas carols by Nirmala Carvalho About 30 people assaulted the Pastor and the faithful of a Pentecostal community, including women and children, with sticks and clubs. The fundamentalists accuse the Christians of promising money to convert tribal people in the area. Police deny the allegations: "No forced conversion in the area, the Christians are innocent."
12/16/2014INDIA Catholic activist against handing education over to Hindu fundamentalists by Santosh Digal
AsiaNews interviews John Dayal, member of the National Integration Council who looks at the influence of radical Hindu Sangh Parivar groups on the educational policy of India's new Union government. "To demonize western and Islamic contribution to the evolution of the India we know today, is an exercise in futility, and very fraught with dangers."
12/16/2014IRAQ - VATICAN As 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul' continues, Mosul bishop notes that Jesus is born amid refugee containers by Amel Nona Persecuted by the Islamic state, refugees have lost everything: belongings, home, jobs, school, and their future. Yet, their faith and mission remain strong. For them, almost 900,000 euros have been raised and sent. Pope Francis sends a message of closeness. The campaign continues according to the Patriarch of Baghdad's proposal of fasting and moderation at Christmas and New Year, with the money saved offered to the Christians of Mosul.
12/15/2014INDIA Indian bishop: "conversions" are a blow to democracy and human dignity by Felix Machado* The bishop of Vasai talks to AsiaNews about recent of 'Ghar Vapsi' (homecoming) cases orchestrated by radical Hindus to convert Christians and Muslims to Hinduism. For him, "In professing their faith, people express their deepest aspirations and develop what is their innermost self, the inner sanctuary of their being that no one can violate."
12/14/2014VATICAN On the "Sunday of Joy", pope gives a prayer booklet, telling the faithful to "always carry it" After the Angelus prayer, Pope Francis gave the crowd a pocketbook of prayers "for the various times of the day and for different situations in life". Earlier, he had blessed the "Baby Jesus" figurines for Nativity scenes brought by the children from Roman oratories. He also said, "With Jesus, joy dwells in us". He also shared the Christmas candle in solidarity with Polish faithful.
12/12/2014INDIA Advent in Orissa: Christ makes "the ordinary extraordinary" by Simon Kaipuram CM* AsiaNews publishes the message of the Bishop of Balasore. Mgr Kaipuram notes that Advent is a season that is much more than "a time to prepare for Christmas". God chose to come into the world like all of us, to be born child in a world full of chaos, because he "may not always choose the easy answer" to fix the world's problems.
12/12/2014INDIA Hindu radicals raise funds to pay for "re-conversions" to Hinduism by Nirmala Carvalho A Christian "costs" 200,000 rupees, a Muslim, 500,000 rupees. Speaking to AsiaNews, the president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) said, "Hindu nationalist forces have targeted the poorest and most marginalised groups in of society" who "are already treated contemptuously by the majority community". For re-conversion backers, Christianity and Islam are "a problem" for India.