02/12/2016 - INDONESIA
Organised to protest against the capital’s governor, who stands accused of blasphemy, the rally turned into a peaceful prayer meeting following the intervention of the authorities and the country’s ulema. Joko Widodo expressed his "appreciation for the large orderly crowd." Police arrested some "provocateurs" who wanted to manipulate the event to criticise the government.
by Mathias Hariyadi
02/12/2016 - HOLY SEE – ISRAEL
Vatican and Israel criticise UNESCO: no one can deny biblical history
The Joint Vatican-Rabbinate Committee slams decision to use only the Arabic name of the holy sites in East Jerusalem, denying the relationship between Jews and Temple Mount.
01/12/2016 - IRAQ
Refugees hope to rebuild Mosul together and in harmony (Videos)by Samir Youssef
The heads of four families – one Christian, one Yazidi, one Sabian, and one Arab Muslim – talk about their fears and hopes. All four fled Mosul and region in 2014 when the Islamic state seized them. Now they wish to live together again, and rebuild an atmosphere of togetherness and harmony. No one is exempt from Islamic fanaticism. Only God can heal us and be a source of salvation. Here is second part of the conversation (the first one was published yesterday).
01/12/2016 - MONGOLIA
"Whispering the Gospel to the heart of Asia" as a model of mission for Mongolia (Photos)
Fr Giorgio Marengo is a Consolata missionary who has lived in the Asian country since 2003. His approach to evangelisation is more adapted to the complexity of the Asian context. It entails putting people and human relations at the centre of things, creating empathy and confidence. This way, the Christian witness will not remain on the surface. Karakorum, the ancient imperial capital, can thus become a place for inter-faith dialogue.
01/12/2016 - INDONESIA
Unity will defeat sectarianism: demonstrations across the country against Islamic fundamentalistsby Mathias Hariyadi
Thousands of people took to the streets in 33 provinces to defend Indonesia’s founding principle of ‘Bhinneka Tunggal Ika’, unity in diversity. Wearing red and white ribbons (the colours of the national flag) lay people, religious and members of the military sent a message to the radical movements that want to divide the country.
30/11/2016 - IRAQ
Mosul refugees: the Church’s love and warmth vs the Islamic State madness (Videos)by Samir Youssef
Fr Samir spoke to four heads of family who fled in 2014 with the arrival of the Islamic State. From Christian, Yazidi, Sabian and Arab Muslim backgrounds, they recount the Jihadi violence and the difficulties of exile, along with their hopes for the liberation of Mosul. The loving help provided by the Church and the Christian community is an answer to Jihadi violence. Part one.
30/11/2016 - SRI LANKA
Sri Lankan fishermen's movement celebrates 20 years of activities (Photos)by Melani Manel Perera
The anniversary was celebrated to coincide with World Fisheries Day. The first step towards the National Fisheries Solidarity Movement took place in 1993. Formally, the association was established in 1997, with people from all religious backgrounds. It advocates human rights, sustainable development, and the protection of the environment, land and resources.
30/11/2016 - PAKISTAN - TURKEY
Lahore High Court blocks deportation of 100 Turkish "gulenist" teachers
In mid-November Ankara had hailed the Islamabad decision. The teachers are suspected of having links to the preacher Fethullah Gulen. For years in exile in the United States, Gulen is accused of masterminding the failed coup in Turkey last July.
29/11/2016 - MYANMAR – BANGLADESH
Clashes in Rakhine State: Rohingya refugees stopped at Bangladesh border
Bangladesh border guards send back boats full of Muslim women and children fleeing Myanmar army violence. The death toll in Rakhine State reaches 90 deaths and 30,000 displaced people. Myanmar and UN clash.
29/11/2016 - SYRIA
Aleppo, as army advances into rebel neighborhoods, the tragedy of fleeing civilians
In the last 24 hours, at least 4 thousand people have fled the eastern sector. Used as human shields, they tell stories of destruction, rubble and hunger under the Islamic fundamentalists. Aleppo city is the "martyr par excellence" of the conflict. Turkish troops on Syrian territory targeted for the first time.
28/11/2016 - INDONESIA
Jakarta, arrests nine Isis militants: They incited protests against the governorby Mathias Hariyadi
They participated in the march of the 4 last November with the goal of creating chaos and violence. They exploited feelings against the Christian politician to prepare the coming of the Caliphate in Indonesia. Fears for the march on 4 December.
28/11/2016 - IRAQ
Sinjar, discovered two mass graves of Yazidis massacred by Islamic State
Inside, the bodies of nine people. The discovery of the area near the village of Umm al Shababik, between Mosul and the Syrian border. Increases to 29 the number of the pits found in the Sinjar area since last year, a total of 1,600 corpses.
27/11/2016 - VATICAN
Pope: Advent, the contrast between our daily routine and the sudden coming of the Lord
In the first Angelus of Advent, Pope Francis said that "the Lord’s visit with humanity", at Christmas, also takes place "every day" and will occur when "He will come in glory to judge the living and the dead." "The Gospel does not want to frighten us, but for us to widen our horizons". "... Our Lady help us to not consider ourselves owners of our lives, not to resist when the Lord comes to change it".
26/11/2016 - EGYPT
Cairo says no to Morsi life sentence. A step towards national reconciliationby Loula Lahham
Appeals Court overturns life imprisonment for the former president. He still faces a series of trials on charges of spying and torture. Analysts and experts talk about political judgments. Egyptian scholar: Reconciliation must involve "all people."
26/11/2016 - CUBA - VATICAN
Fidel Castro, father of the Cuban revolution, has died
His body will be cremated today. He led the island for 50 years. In 2008 he passed the presidency to his brother Raul. He attempted to export the Marxist revolution to Latin America and Africa. Some economic and social achievements at home, along with a heavy oppression of human rights. The disappearance of myth after the fall of the USSR. The Catholic Church and the Popes, catalysts of a transformation on the island nation.
25/11/2016 - IRAQ
For Chaldean Patriarch, the terrible attack on Shia pilgrims is a sign of a country sliding into the abyss
An Islamic State militant drove a truck bomb against buses with pilgrims, killing about a hundred Shias marking Arbaeen. For Mar Sako, condemning such “endless violence" is not enough; "effective and shared action” is needed. Two priests are ordained today in Baghdad, a sign "of the Church's vitality".
25/11/2016 - PAKISTAN
Sindh approves law against forced conversions, "positive and encouraging"by Shafique Khokhar
25/11/2016 - CHINA
Xinjiang: Passports confiscated "against terrorism"
In some cases the passport is only issued in conjunction with a DNA sample. The World Uyghur Congress denounces the move as another sign of marginalization of the Muslim population.
24/11/2016 - IRAN – ISLAM – VATICAN
Muslim and Christian leaders pledge to promote a culture of dialogue and women’s dignity, oppose extremism
Catholic, Anglican-Episcopalian, Sunni and Shia religious leaders sign the final declaration of the fourth Christian-Muslim Summit, held in Tehran. The latter calls for an all-out fight against sectarian fundamentalism. All parties commit to mutual respect, non-violent interpretation of sacred texts, and better education for religious personnel.
24/11/2016 - PAKISTAN
Court in Lahore hands death sentence to murderers of Christian couple burnt to death for blasphemyby Shafique Khokhar
In 2014, Shahzad and Shama Masih were lynched and thrown into a kiln. Their three children are now looked after by a Catholic association. The five convicted Muslim men must also pay a fine. "The verdict goes in the right direction to ensure the rule of law."
24/11/2016 - INDONESIA
Jakarta arrests instigator of the protests against Christian governorby Mathias Hariyadi
Buni Yani, a former journalist and professor of communication, is accused of having manipulated the words of Ahok and having incited the radical Muslim groups. A petition calling for his prosecution has collected more than 100 thousand signatures. The fundamentalists promise more protests on 2 December.
24/11/2016 - IRAQ
Mosul offensive aggravates the plight of Christian refugees, forgotten by the government and UN
Fr. Samir Youssef speaks of an "emergency within an emergency" that makes the situation even more difficult. Only the Church helps Christians who are preparing to live "their third Christmas as refugees." From the areas liberated by the Caliphate the stories of women raped, children indoctrinated, homes destroyed. And an appeal: Let no one close "the door of mercy."
23/11/2016 - PAKISTAN
Pax Christi International award for 2016 goes to Pakistan’s National Commission of Justice and Peaceby Shafique Khokhar
Presented in Geneva, the award was shared by the NCJP and the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. For 30 years, the Catholic association has promoted the protection of human rights, especially those of religious minorities. Its aims include child education, and textbooks without insults and intolerant comments.
23/11/2016 - IRAQ
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul": A Christmas gift to survive winterby Bernardo Cervellera
As Iraqi troops advance in the Nineveh Plain and Mosul, a new wave of refugees could overshadow the fate of other refugees who found hospitality in Kurdistan. People need kerosene, winter clothes, aid for children, and money for rent. The campaign AsiaNews launched two years ago is more urgent than ever. Give up a superfluous gift to offer refugees an essential gift for life.
23/11/2016 - IRAQ
Pastor of Amadiya: Mosul’s Christian refugees, torn between emergency aid and the longing to return homeby P. Samir Youssef
In a letter Fr. Samir Youssef describes the situation of refugees, exiled from their home for more than two years. They are closely following the offensive to retake Mosul, although their homes and churches "are for the most part" burned or destroyed. With the arrival of winter there is a serve lack of heating oil, clothes, food and money to pay for their children’s school bus. An appeal to continue to support the AsiaNews campaign.
23/11/2016 - VATICAN – IRAN
Pope thanks a group of Iranian Shia clerics for the show “of good will towards dialogue”
Francis met in the small room in the Paul VI Hall with participants in a colloquium organised by the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and the Islamic Culture and Relations Organisation.
23/11/2016 - BANGLADESH - MYANMAR
Dhaka, Christian and Muslim leaders speak out against Rohingya genocideby Sumon Corraya
Bangladesh has decided to reject about 400 refugees at the border. They were running away from the new wave of repression in Myanmar. Islamic leaders denounce the ethnic cleansing. Bishop of Rajshahi: The government needs to safeguard all minorities.
22/11/2016 - SYRIA - UN
Syrian conflict, UN says one million people under siege in appalling conditions in Aleppo
The head of UN humanitarian operations speaks of people "isolated, starved, bombed without any medical care and humanitarian assistance." Government forces charged with deliberate use of "cruel tactics". In November, the rebels rockets on Aleppo killed more than 60 civilians in the western sector. The Security Council’s inaction.
22/11/2016 - EGYPT - S. ARABIA - ISLAM
The age-old struggle between al-Azhar and Wahhabis for Sunni supremacy
Already in 1818, the highest Egyptian judicial institution had halted (radical) Saudi hegemonic ambitions. Now there is a renewed struggle, with the Riyadh boycott of al-Azhar. A cold and silent war that has favored the emergence of jihadist groups like al Qaeda and the Islamic State. The Grand Imam Al-Tayeb promotes dialogue and tolerance between religions.
21/11/2016 - VATICAN
The everyday time of Mercyby Bernardo Cervellera
The apostolic letter "Misericordia et miserable" shows how to pour out the "extraordinary" Jubilee into everyday life. The need to energize the world with the experience of mercy in order to heal grief and despair. No mention of illegal Chinese bishops. Everything comes back to the "center" of Christianity, which is the mercy of God in Jesus Christ. A turning point to relaunch society and dialogue between the conservatives and progressives within the Church.
21/11/2016 - EGYPT
President al Sisi grants amnesty to Islamic thinker Islam Al-Behairyby Loula Lahham
The accused has been sentenced to one year in prison for defaming Islam on TV because he had called for the revision of medieval Qur‘anic interpretations. The spokesman of the Catholic Church agrees with the decision but deems it late. For Salafi leaders, it was wrong because he had offended Islam. Meanwhile, the head of the Journalists’ Union gets two years in prison.
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