12/22/2014SYRIA Aleppo: Christmas among Christian families broken by war, praying for peace by Giorgio Istifan A young Christian from Aleppo victim of the Syrian conflict tells his story. He went from leading a normal life with a wife and daughter to one of unemployment and separation. The war has split his family; now he can see his wife and daughter only a few hours a day. Yet, the conflict has boosted his faith. For Christmas, he calls on Christians around the world to pray "for us, Christians of Syria." Aleppo
(AsiaNews) - My name is Giorgio Istifan, and I was born in Aleppo in 1975. I am
married with a young woman called Miriam, who has a degree in educational psychology.
We have a daughter, Benita, who is one year and five months old. I belong to
the Latin parish of St Francis of Assisi, in...
12/22/2014PAKISTAN Peshawar school massacre: Pakistani police arrest a group of suspects Those arrested are suspected of "aiding and abetting". For the Minister of Interior investigations are continuing "in the right direction." Intelligence sources: new attacks in the planning. Thousands of people have paid tribute to the 148 victims of the massacre at the military school, of whom 132 were children.
12/20/2014IRAQ Chaldean Patriarch: on Christmas, Christian refugees should not feel "abandoned" or "forgotten" by Joseph Mahmoud Ahead of Christmas celebrations, Mar Sako issued a message to the Christian community that fled the Islamic state. Understandably, Christians are "concerned" about the loss of homes and jobs, but they should keep the "hope for a future of "peace and coexistence" alive. His Beatitude calls on the faithful to pray to keep courage alive and expressed gratitude for the help provided so far.
12/20/2014ISRAEL - PALESTINE Gaza: Israel launches airstrike in response to rocket fired from the Gaza Strip This morning Israel's Air Force carried out an airstrike, the first since a truce between Israel and Hamas was brokered last August. No casualties or damages have been reported. An Israeli military spokesman said that the "Hamas terror infrastructure" was hit. Hamas did not claim responsibility for yesterday's rocket.
12/19/2014LEBANON - SYRIA Syrian refugees in Lebanon face new challenge, children "without citizenship or rights" UN agencies and NGOs warn that more and more children born in families fleeing the war are likely to remain stateless. Some 70 per cent of the 42,000 children born in Lebanon to Syrian parents since the outbreak of the conflict have not been registered. However, the figure could be far higher. Poverty and lack of identity papers aggravate the problem.
12/19/2014MALAYSIA Christmas in Malaysia, a moment of "celebration and sharing" for Christians and Muslims The archbishop of Kota Kinabalu in Sabah recited the inaugural prayer. The event provided an opportunity for people to come together in unity, harmony and prosperity. For the tenth anniversary, organisers chose as motto 'The Star of Great Joy,' Jesus who brings peace. For a State minister, the festivity shows "good relations between people of different faith and ethnicity".
12/19/2014IRAQ - SYRIA Mount Sinjar, the peshmerga break siege of Islamic State militias The Kurds' most important military victory against the Islamists since the beginning of the war. The fighters have opened a humanitarian corridor to allow the escape of 1,200 families trapped since summer. However Yazidi sources have not confirmed the end of the siege or the positioning of Peshmerga troops. December US airstrikes killed high-ranking military leaders of IS.
12/18/2014PALESTINE - ISRAEL Palestine presents peace plan to the UN Council, Israel calls it an act of aggression by Joshua Lapide The resolution calls for a peace treaty within a year and Israel's withdrawal from the Occupied Territories by 2017. The peace plan also provides for two states within the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as a shared capital, plus bilateral security guarantees. US-led talks in the last 20 years have proven useless. For Avigdor Lieberman, the UN should deal with more serious things, and not go for Palestinians' "gimmicks". Without a solution, despair could engulf Palestinians.
12/18/2014PAKISTAN Karachi archbishop calls for prayer and silence in Catholic schools for Peshawar massacre victims by Shafique Khokhar
As Mgr Coutts remembered the "innocent victims of senseless violence," he called on the faithful to be a source of "peace and reconciliation". Intra-Taliban divisions exacerbate the violence. A power struggle between Pakistan's civilian and military leaders favours Islamist terrorism. For a Muslim activist, the attack is Pakistan's 9/11. Christian priest says it threatens the enlightened future of the country.
12/18/2014SYRIA Syria, over 230 bodies in a mass grave: massacred by Islamic State The carnage took place in August in the village of Kashkiya, in the eastern province of Deir al-Zour. The bodies belong to members of the Sheitat tribe and are the vast majority are not fighters. The tribe leaders did not want to ally with jihadi militias; the revenge of the terrorists caused the death of at least 900 people.