24 April 2017
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  • 24/04/2017 - TURKEY

    The current Turkish President has favoured a new, mostly Anatolian middle class through neo-liberal policies at the expense of Kemalist statism. in doing so, he has allowed its members to express their religiosity more openly, but has himself also become more authoritarian.

    by NAT da Polis

    24/04/2017 - LEBANON - SYRIA

    Beirut Bishop Kourie says the two bishops abducted in Syria in 2013 are still alive

    by Fady Noun

    The Lebanese Syriac Orthodox bishop made the claim during the celebrations for the 47th anniversary of Virgin's apparitions. The portraits of the two bishops were displayed inside the church and taken in procession. The prelate appealed to the Lebanese government to make the case a "national cause".

    24/04/2017 - BANGLADESH - SAUDI ARABIA

    Riyadh donates 10.8 billion euros to 560 mosques in Bangladesh: Muslims split

    by Sumon Corraya

    The agreement was signed between Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the Saudi king last year. The mosques will teach lessons to more than 150,000 children. They will have a daily capacity of more than 450,000 men and 30,000 women. "Imams must be controlled." "These mosques will not teach true Islam. People will learn extremism. "

    24/04/2017 - SAUDI ARABIA - EGYPT

    Al-Sisi meets King Salman to relaunch relations between Cairo and Riyadh

    Tensions shelved, the Egyptian president receives a warm welcome when he arrives in the Saudi capital. The two leaders speak of "strong and fraternal" bonds and intention to "strengthen strategic relations". In addition to the economy, the unresolved knots of the fight against terrorism and control of the controversial islands.

    22/04/2017 - AFGHANISTAN

    Taliban attack on military base kills 140 in worst attack ever

    Disguised as soldiers, a Taliban commando penetrated an Afghan base in Mazar-i-Sharif, northern Afghanistan. They attacked soldiers leaving the local mosque after Friday prayers. The base serves as headquarters for the Afghan National Army’s 209th Corps. It also houses 70 NATO advisers and German soldiers.

    21/04/2017 - TURKEY

    Republican Turkey and the Erdogan phenomenon (Part One)

    by NAT da Polis

    The changes to the Constitution, through a popular referendum, fertile ground to claim and exercise power, in an authoritarian and personal context, like a new Kemal Ataturk.

    21/04/2017 - IRAQ

    Chaldean Priest: April 24, "symbolic" date of the reconstruction of the Nineveh plain

    Fr. Paul confirms the beginning of the reconstruction of homes in Qaraqosh, Bartella, Karamles. It is "important" to hurry to prevent the hemorrhaging of other Christian families from the region. A fund is made available by the Chaldean Church, but more funding is needed. Displaced people from plain employed in reconstruction.

    21/04/2017 - PAKISTAN

    Punjab, three sisters kill a Shiite accused of blasphemy, fomented by an Imam

    Fazal Abbas was 45 years old. In 2004 he attended a demonstration and had been denounced for offending the prophet. He had fled abroad and had recently returned to Pakistan to face trial. Between 1987 and 2015, at least 62 people were assassinated for alleged blasphemy.

    21/04/2017 - IRAN

    Rouhani and Raisi to contest presidential elections in Iran, Ahmadinejad excluded

    The Guardians Council approved six names out of a total of 1600 aspiring presidents. The nomination of 130 women rescinded, the 2017 vote men only. Economy and nuclear agreement remain the hot topics. Third-term for the former ultra-conservative president blocked, considered a figure "divisive" by Khamenei.

    21/04/2017 - FRANCE - ISLAM

    More terror in Paris: Islamic State claims Champs Elisées attack

    The author was known by the security forces as dangerous. The attack a few days ahead of the presidential election. The long series of violence in Paris, Nice, Rouen, and Marseilles. Causes to be found among poverty and abandonment in the suburbs, but also of the fundamentalist teaching of many imams in the French mosques.

    20/04/2017 - INDONESIA

    Jakarta prosecutors ask for light sentence in blasphemy trial involving Ahok

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    Prosecutors call for two years' probation with a possible one-year jail term if the accused breaks the law during this period. The maximum sentence in such cases is five years. Islamic extremists slam the prosecutors’ request. The latter acknowledge the outgoing governor’s "great work" in the capital.

    20/04/2017 - PAKISTAN

    Pakistan, Asia Bibi's trial could resume in June

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    The Christian mother charged with blasphemy has been on death row for seven years. Her final hearing was postponed to a date to be determined after the retirement of a judge. The case of Asia Bibi returns to the spotlight after some imams demand her execution by hanging.

    20/04/2017 - INDIA

    Demolition of Babri Mosque: Supreme Court incriminates three Bjp leaders

    Lal Krishna Advani, Murali Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti will be tried within four weeks. The sentence will be issued at most within two years. Former Chef Minister of Uttar Pradesh escapes court proceedings thanks to governor immunity. Ram Puniyani: "Hopes of Justice After 25 Years".


    20/04/2017 - YEMEN

    From Sana'a to Hodeida, Yemenis march to remove restrictions on humanitarian aid

    A 225 km long journey. The goal is to make Hodeida a "humanitarian zone" and open an international war crimes investigation. According to the organizers, the march is not "political". US Defense Minister, visiting Riyadh, accuses the Houthi of imitating the "Hezbollah" model.


    19/04/2017 - LEBANON

    Lebanon’s political institutions at stake over electoral law

    by Fady Noun

    President Aoun opposes extending the mandate of the current parliament. Maronite Patriarch al-Rahi is also against what he calls an "usurpation of power." The electorate’s representativeness as well as party interests are at stake. No proposal has so far received broad-based support.

    19/04/2017 - EGYPT – TURKEY – VATICAN

    Bartholomew and Pope Francis together at Al-Azhar in Egypt

    Both will speak at the international conference on peace on 28 April. Al-Azhar Grand Imam el-Tayyib and the Coptic Patriarch Tawadros will also be present. The latter’s community was the victim of attacks on Palm Sunday.

    19/04/2017 - EGYPT

    Sinai: Isis commando kills policeman near the monastery of St. Catherine

    Gunmen attacked a checkpoint a few hundred meters from the place of worship. It is one of the most important Christian buildings Egypt. An agent killed and four others wounded.  Man arrested on suspicion of involvement in the attacks on the churches on Palm Sunday.

    18/04/2017 - PAKISTAN

    Pakistani Imam call for Asia Bibi’s execution after the lynching of Mardan student

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    Islamic leaders want the hanging of a Christian mother as a deterrent to mass violence. They believe the behavior of students who killed and tortured one of their colleagues for alleged blasphemy is justifiable. Commission for Justice and Peace: "Universities should teach critical thinking, the virtues of tolerance, coexistence and acceptance."

    18/04/2017 - TURKEY

    Erdogan’s victory applauded by Trump, criticized by Europe

    A narrow victory of 51.4%. Congratulations also from Saudi Arabia. The Republican and pro-Kurdish opposition accuse fraud. It promises an Erdogan presidency until 2029 and the introduction of the death penalty.

    15/04/2017 - TURKEY

    Turkey divided over tomorrow's referendum

    by Luca Galantini

    Erdogan wants to become the new "Caesar" and make his country leader of the Middle East. Emphasis on nationalism and organized "terror" with the control of the media and society. Doubts within the AKP itself. The resistance of the Kurdish minority and the Kemalist party. 

    15/04/2017 - IRAN

    Tehran launches first cruise ship since Islamic Revolution

    The vessel, named Sunny and of Swedish manufacturing is the first to fly the Iranian flag since 1979. It will cover the route that separates Kish to Qeshm, but in the future may go up to Dubai. Inside 130 cabins for 417 beds, two cinemas, restaurants and a swimming pool. The goal is to strengthen the tourism sector, one of the resources to boost the economy.

    15/04/2017 - BANGLADESH

    Easter Letter from Bangladesh: Commitment to mission and evangelization

    by Michele Brambilla

    Fr. Michele Brambilla was appointed regional superior of PIME in November 2015. Since then he has worked for the handover of Kodbir parish, which he founded. The full-time position as Dinajpur diocesan hospital administrator. The pastoral care of the faithful in the villages.

    15/04/2017 - PAKISTAN

    Bishop of Faisalabad: Easter, following Jesus through the 'narrow gate' to eternal life

    by Joseph Arshad

    Easter "a fresh wind", in memory of the Passion, Crucifixion and Resurrection. Jesus chose self-sacrifice for our salvation, loyal to the Heavenly Father. Those who follows him until death will have eternal life.

    15/04/2017 - VATICAN-ASIA

    An Easter for the Young

    by Bernardo Cervellera

    In Mark’s Gospel a young man announces the resurrection of Jesus. The crisis of youth: "distrust, indifference, indignation towards institutions", even toward the Church. They learn to live without God and the Church. The importance of next Synod and the testimony of those who are kept "young" through mission.

    14/04/2017 - EGYPT

    Despite concerns, churches are full, says Egyptian Catholic Church spokesman

    Fr Rafic Greiche describes the situation in the country as "calm". Christians "are not intimidated" and flock to church. Liturgical services continue, but other events have been cancelled. The victims are remembered. Western Christians are asked to visit as pilgrims and tourists. The attacker in Tanta has been identified. Al-Sisi reiterates commitment to the anti-terror struggle.

    14/04/2017 - PAKISTAN

    Christians and activists outraged by student lynched for alleged blasphemy (Video)

    by Shafique Khokhar e Kamran Chaudhry

    Mashal Khan, a 23-year-old journalism student at the Abdul Wali Khan University was attacked after rumours spread on campus that he had posted favourable comments about the Ahmadis on Facebook. For one observer, “we have created a society where students become murderers." For another, “We all are responsible”, politicians, authorities, radical parties that remain silent and support extremism.

    13/04/2017 - PAKISTAN

    Pakistani Catholics mark Holy Week with charity and music, without forgetting their Coptic brothers and sisters

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    Acts of charity for the poor and musical events have been organised involving the faithful as Islamic terrorism casts its shadow. The Bishops' Conference remembers in prayer the victims of the attacks in Egypt and their families.

    13/04/2017 - IRAN

    Iran’s presidential elections hang on economy rather than Islam

    The vote scheduled for May 19. Since 1979, the outgoing leader has always won a second term. Grand Ayatollah loyalist , Ebrahim Raisi, to challenge Rouhaniand as well as Hamid Baghaei, former number two of Ahmadinejad who has stunned everyone by announcing his candidacy. The challengers accuse Rouhani of undermining the economy. President responds with data indicating "progress."

    13/04/2017 - EGYPT

    Egypt, suicide bomber who struck the church in Alexandria identified

    The Interior Ministry reveals the name of attacker, discovered through DNA. Mahmoud Abdallah Hasan Mubarak, already known to the authorities and on a list of "suspects on the run". Continuing investigations to identify even the suicide bomber in Tanta. Coptic Orthodox, Catholics and Anglicans celebrate low key Easter in sign of mourning for the victims. 

    12/04/2017 - IRAQ

    Nineveh, a house for every parish: Iraq's appeal for Easter "reconstruction"

    Fr Paul Thabit speaks of the Palm Sunday celebrations in Karamles. Even in Qaraqosh hundreds of faithful attend the Mass. The hope is to "organize other moments of prayer" in order to "keep the community alive." Sorrow for Christian victims in Egypt. An appeal to the parishes worldwide: Support the reconstruction of a house on the ancient plain.


    Editor's choices

    Msgr. Peter Shao Zhumin, bishop of Wenzhou (underground) seized by police

    Bernardo Cervellera

    Public security will not reveal where he was taken, but allow the faithful to deliver some clothes for their pastor. The bishop will celebrate Easter with his faithful. Pressures on the prelate to adhere to the Patriotic Association. A similar fate to that of Msgr. Guo Xijin. It is also pressure on the Holy See.

    Underground Mindong Bishop Guo Xijin missing for four days

    Wang Zhicheng

    After being detained at the Religious Affairs Office in Fuan, he was taken to an undisclosed location "to study and learn." Catholics believe that he will be pressured into joining the Patriotic Association. His refusal will likely mean that he won’t be allowed back to his diocese.


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