26 June 2016
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    25/06/2016 - BANGLADESH

    For the past six years monks from the Dharmarajika temple have donated food to the Muslim poor to enable them to interrupt the ritual fasting. Every day they distribute 500 boxes for the iftar, filled with typical foods. One monk: "Mother Teresa said that you meet God by serving man. We were inspired by this. "

    25/06/2016 - IRAQ

    The Islamic State in Mosul: the slow genocide of Christian women and yazide

    Duraid Hikmat Tobiya, advisor for minorities in the governorate of Nineveh, confirms the abuse and rapes of Christian women. Unlike mass abuse of Yazide there are "individual victims" and "individual cases". The UN's decision to declare the genocide. And confirmation of Christian families hostage to the militants.

    25/06/2016 - VATICAN -ARMENIA

    The Pope at the Armenian Genocide Memorial: flowers and prayers for the victims

    Francis visits the "Hill of the Swallows," the Tzitzernakaberd Memorial Complex to commemorate those who died during the "Great Evil." A long silent prayer before the entrance of the building, then the Psalms and the Gospel in Armenian and Italian in the Flame Room of perpetual memory. Immediately after, a meeting with the descendants of those who were housed by Pope Benedict XV in Castel Gandolfo during the persecutions.


    Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem

    On the same day, the Holy See accepts the resignation of Fouad Twal, the Latin Patriarch, and appoints the former custodian of the Holy Land as apostolic administrator of the patriarchate. Facing new challenges, addressing the geopolitical and socio-religious changes taking place in the Middle East.


    24/06/2016 - MYANMAR - THAILAND

    Muslim minority living in fear, after 200 Buddhists attack mosque in Bago

    An angry mob destroyed part of the building and damaged the Islamic cemetery, forcing Muslim families to take refuge at a police station. Aung San Suu Kyi arrived in Thailand yesterday to discuss, among other things, the situation of Muslim Rohingya in refugee camps.


    Abu Sayyaf kidnaps seven Indonesian sailors

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    The attack took place on June 20 last year in the waters of Sulu (Philippines), a stronghold of the jihadists. The "Charles 001" ship was attacked by two militia groups. Indonesian Foreign Minister: "intolerable gesture, we will do everything to free our fellow countrymen."

    23/06/2016 - PAKISTAN

    Christians and Muslims mourn Sufi singer killed by the Taliban for blasphemy

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    Amjad Sabri was killed yesterday with three gunshots in his car in Karachi. A Taliban group claimed responsibility for the murder. He had been sued for blasphemy because one of his songs mentioned Muhammad’s relatives. For Christian activist, “He had fans of all religions”.

    23/06/2016 - ARMENIA – VATICAN

    Pope Francis in Armenia, a pilgrim in the land of Christian martyrs

    by Pierre Balanian

    This visit is first and foremost a way of sharing with the first Christian people in history, marked by the genocide. There is also the ecumenical value of fraternity with the Armenian Apostolic Church, and the prophetic quality for peace in the Caucasus, a crossroad between Asia and Europe. Here are the views of a Diaspora Armenian.

    23/06/2016 - TURKEY

    Ramadan, the battle for prayer in St. Sophia a sign of Turkey’s Islamisation

    In the month of fasting and prayer every day a Muslim imam reads passages from the Koran in the gardens of the former church, now a museum. Heeding the demands of the lunatic fringe, the government wants to turn the building into a mosque. The clash with the Greek government and the strategic relations between Ankara and Athens on immigration.


    23/06/2016 - JORDAN - IRAQ

    Iraqi refugees: Daesh, exile and the desire to meet with Pope Francis

    Two Christian refugees welcomed by the Jordanian Church in Amman.  From a peaceful childhood, under an authoritarian but stable regime, to violent conflict and jihadist drifts. Relations with Muslims and the power of faith. With other refugees they have made a chasuble for the Pope whom they hope to meet in Krakow.

    22/06/2016 - IRAQ

    For Iraqi priest, the Chaldean meeting leads to “new paths” to give hope to people

    The two-day event brought a "strong human and spiritual charge", said Fr Samir Yousef, pastor in Amadiya. The Church remains an essential point of reference for exchange and mediation. Mercy is the basis of a “future of unity”. In a final statement, the Patriarchate stressed the role of the laity and the importance of transparency in financial matters.

    22/06/2016 - NEPAL – AFGHANISTAN

    Nepal wants to withdraw work permits for Nepalis in Afghanistan

    by Christopher Sharma

    A suicide bomber blew himself up as a minibus carrying Nepali guards was on its way to the Canadian Embassy. Nepal has already banned regular work permits. Only 5,292 Nepalis working for UN agencies or diplomatic missions are left. Nepali Hindus could be the new target of Islamic terrorists.

    22/06/2016 - BAHRAIN

    As tensions remain high, authorities raid Ayatollah Isa Qassim’s headquarters

    Police raid the building housing the cleric’s offices, including student residences. For the cleric’s associates, the move is “provocative and offensive”. The authorities threaten to deport him unless he goes into voluntary exile.

    22/06/2016 - JORDAN - SYRIA

    Amman closes Syrian border after attack on refugee camp leaves six soldiers dead

    A truck packed with explosives hit an army post near the Rukban refugee camp. The bomber crossed the border from Syrian territory. All movement of vehicles and people suspended. Strong condemnation of Christian leaders, who speak of "cowardly terrorist act".


    21/06/2016 - BANGLADESH

    Christians hold ecumenical prayer to wake up humanity against terrorism

    by Sumon Corraya

    Protestants, Catholics and other Christians hold a prayer meeting in Dhaka and Khulna. In the capital, Mgr D'Rozario called on “dormant humanity [to] become aware of the violence". In Khulna, “I feel comforted by this prayer,” said one Protestant. “I hope the terrorists stop persecuting us”.

    21/06/2016 - MALAYSIA

    Sarawak: Christians celebrate iftar with Muslims

    by Joseph Masilamany

    Archbishop John Ha took part in the meal that breaks the Ramadan fast "as a sign of friendship. Today we want to build peace by focusing on what unites us. " Organized by the Islamic Information Centre, the event was held in the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Kuching.

    21/06/2016 - ISRAEL - PALESTINE

    Intifada of the knives, the Israeli army demolishes home of Palestinian assailant

    Bachar Madhala, from Haja village in the West Bank, killed an American tourist and wounded two Israeli citizens in March last. Today the military razed his home, continuing the demolition policy desired by Netanyahu. Overnight, soldiers shot dead a Palestinian and wounded three other young 20 year olds. They were throwing objects at passing cars.


    20/06/2016 - IRAQ

    Chaldean Church meets in Erbil to reflect on the challenges of the mission at a time of Jihadism and migration

    The Chaldean Church opened a two-day meeting today in the presence of the patriarch, bishops, and priests. The latter have to bear witness to Christ “not with his words, but with his examples." Last week’s day of fasting and praying in solidarity with Muslims on Ramadan was successful. Some US$ 50,000 have been allocated for displaced people from Anbar and Fallujah.

    20/06/2016 - LIBYA

    Libyan crisis: deal between southern groups give a glimmer of hope for peace in Fezzan

    With deal signed at the Sant'Egidio Community in Rome, humanitarian aid can start to flow into Libya’s southernmost region. Rich in natural resources, it is also a gateway to all sorts of trafficking. Currently, it is experiencing a serious health and humanitarian crisis. Reopening roads is crucial to jumpstart the process of national reconstruction.

    20/06/2016 - BANGLADESH

    Assassin who murdered blogger Avijit Roy and LGBT activists is killed

    Sharif was a leading member of an Islamic extremist party. He was killed in "crossfire" between police and militants. The dynamics of his death mirrors that of other recent killings. The anti-terrorist raid in recent weeks has led to the arrest of about 11 thousand people.

    20/06/2016 - SYRIA

    Qamishli, Syrian Orthodox Patriarch Ephrem II escapes a suicide attack (photos)

    A suicide bomber struck during the celebrations for the Orthodox Pentecost and commemoration of 1915 genocide. Three people were killed in the attack, responsible for security in the area. At present no official claims for attack. The condemnation of the Christian communities around the world.

    18/06/2016 - IRAN

    As embargo ends, urban architecture is reborn

    For architects and urban designers, Iran is "on the verge of a new era for architecture”. Things are changing as the economy picks up, lifestyles evolve, a new generation comes of age, and investments are made. However, developers’ quick money goals and Iran’s infrastructural shortcomings are limiting factors.

    18/06/2016 - IRAQ

    As Fallujah is liberated, Daesh shows it is weaker than expected

    Prime Minister Abadi makes jubilant speech. Iraqi military acknowledges remaining pockets of resistance. Daesh leaders have run away, leaving fighters behind. Many residents who fled are now in camps.

    17/06/2016 - INDIA

    Gujarat massacre: 11 life sentences for anti-Muslim riots, but "this is not justice"

    Ehsan Jafri's widow is deeply disappointed. Her husband was hacked to death and burnt alive. A court today sentenced 11 Hindu extremists to life in prison in connection with his death and that of 68 Muslims at the Gulbarg housing complex. Twelve were handed down a seven-year sentence, whilst ine accused got ten years.” We will appeal against the lesser sentence,” one activist said.

    17/06/2016 - VATICAN - ISLAM

    Christians and Muslims must work together to help those in need

    Message of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue for Ramadan. Faced with so many victims of conflict and violence "it is vital that all work together to assist those in need, regardless of their ethnicity or their religious beliefs."


    17/06/2016 - YEMEN -UAE - SAUDI ARABIA

    Emirates ready to withdraw troops from Yemen, the war "is over"

    Part of the Saudi coalition, the leaders of the UAE are about to leave the battlefield. In 15 months the Emirates have suffered at least 80 dead. Foreign Minister says the time has come for "political agreements" and to strengthen the Yemenis "in the liberated areas." But much of the country is still under the control of the Houthi rebels.


    16/06/2016 - INDIA

    For Caritas India director, Catholics help “for you and for all”

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    Fr Frederick D'Souza speaks about the Catholic charity’s work in natural and human disasters around the world. He came to understand the words “shed for you and for all” when, whilst Christians were being slaughtered for their faith, Caritas was handing out keys to homes to Muslims affected by a flood.

    16/06/2016 - JORDAN - HOLY LAND

    Priest in Amman: My life among Mosul’s refugees

    Don Mario Corniole is a Fidei Donum missionary, since 2009 at the service of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem. He speaks of the extraordinary witness of faith of Christian refugees, the challenge is to ensure housing and jobs and help heal psychological damage. Home for disabled children in Bethlehem, place of encounter for Christians and Muslims. The role of women as bridge builders. The vital support of pilgrimages to the Holy Land.


    16/06/2016 - SYRIA

    Aleppo ‘s bloodiest hours. A new fragile truce

    The United States loses "patience"; Russians step up "regime of silence"; 70 dead in 24 hours in Aleppo’s suburbs. Russian bombing to free villages of Zeitan and Khalsa.  Nusra Front and "Islamic Turkestan" militias bombard Christian neighborhoods.


    15/06/2016 - ARMENIA – VATICAN

    Armenian bishop: Church and faithful materially and spiritually preparing for the pope's visit

    Mgr Minassian, Ordinary for Eastern Europe’s Armenian Catholics, talks about how Catholics are preparing for Francis’s visit.  There is a feeling “of faith that touches a deep psychological, sentimental and human core,” the bishop noted. The pope “has special affection” for the Armenian people. Giant screens are being set up for large crowds. People will come long distances to see Francis, and thank him for what he said about the genocide.

    Editor's choices

    Vatican silence over Shanghai’s Mgr Ma Daqin causing confusion and controversy

    Bernardo Cervellera

    For some, Mgr Ma’s blog post praising the Patriotic Association and acknowledging his mistakes is nothing but “dirt”. For others, he chose humiliation for the “sake of his diocese”. Many wonder why the Holy See has remained silent about the article’s content and the bishop’s persecution. Some suspect the Vatican views the episode in positive terms. Yet, the Ma Daqin affair raises a major question. Has Benedict XVI’s Letter to Chinese Catholics (which describes the Patriotic Association as “incompatible with Catholic doctrine”) been abolished? If it has, who did it? A journey of compromises without truth is full of risks.

    Mgr Ma Daqin: the text of his “confession”

    Mons. Taddeo Ma Daqin

    Four years after quitting the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, the bishop of Shanghai “admits” his faults on his blog, praising the organisation that controls the Church. We publish his article, almost in its entirety. Translation by AsiaNews.


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