27 September 2016
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    27/09/2016 - SAUDI ARABIA

    At least 14,000 women have joined the campaign, using their name. Many more have signed the initiative anonymously. The promoters are "very proud" of this support. Now they demand a response from authorities. But the campaign has met with resistance among some Saudi women who are in favor of protection.


    27/09/2016 - IRAN

    Tehran, Khamenei clips Ahmadinejad’s presidential ambitions: no to third term

    The Grand Ayatollah advises against the ultra-conservative leader’s running for president in 2017. His presence threatens to polarize the country, an "evil" for "everyone." Ahmadinejad in recent months had returned to the public arena. According to his supporters he will obey, despite himself, the dictates of the supreme leader.  They had already clashed in the past.


    26/09/2016 - ASIA – UNITED STATES

    US presidential election is an "unavoidable challenge" for East Asia

    Beijing, Seoul and Tokyo will follow very carefully the first US presidential debate. Clinton and Trump have different positions that find different echoes in various Asian countries. Given trade ties, the US-China relationship is not questioned, but how that might evolve raises questions. Islam and Islamic terrorism remain an unknown factor.

    26/09/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: from Friday on a "journey of peace" to Georgia and Azerbaijan

    A difficult journey to two countries where Catholics are a small minority. In Tbilisi, for the first time a delegation from the "intransigent" Georgian Orthodox Church will participate in a Papal liturgy. In Baku the meeting with the Sheikh of Caucasus Muslims.

    26/09/2016 - BANGLADESH

    Dhaka, Islamic-Christian couple: "Coexistence is possible"

    by Sumon Corraya

    Ashim Gomes, Christian, and Munira Islam, Muslim, have been married for 11 years. They have an eight year old daughter, and have chosen to baptize her. The couple speak of their joys and their sorrows at a pastoral meeting organized by the archdiocese. The major disagreements arise when both try to convince the other that their religion is the best.


    26/09/2016 - JORDAN

    Amman, Jordanian intellectual and journalist killed over anti-jihadist cartoon

    Nahed Hattar was gunned down at the court entrance. He was on trial after spending two weeks in jail. His assassin is a well-known local imam, and he acted to "avenge the insult to God", already known to security forces as an extremist element. Muslim intellectual: "Terrorism is genetic in most of the Arab-Muslims".

    24/09/2016 - VATICAN – FRANCE

    For pope, interreligious relations can alleviate the wounds of the Nice attack

    In his meeting victims of the terrorist attack in Nice on 14 July and their relatives, Pope Francis encouraged religious groups to entertain fraternal relations and refuse hatred. As a token of the who were killed, the pope received the gift of 86 flowers. Some secularists and environmentalists criticised the meeting. Muslim and Jewish leaders express their appreciation.

    24/09/2016 - INDONESIA

    Jakarta’s Christian governor is Islamists’ "common enemy" in upcoming elections

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    Campaigning for the post of Jakarta’s governor starts today. Election is set for July 2017. Outgoing Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama, an ethnic Christian Chinese is seeking re-election. He is backed by the country’s second largest party, but opposed by radical Islamic parties because of his faith and for his fight against corruption.

    23/09/2016 - IRAN

    Iranian women’ revolution on two wheels against Ayatollah Khamenei’s ruling

    With the hashtag #IranianWomenLoveCycling, campaign gets more and more women to post pictures of themselves on two wheels on social media in what constitutes an open challenge to the supreme leader’s fatwa according to which cycling endangers women’s “chastity”. For Iranian activist, “Women are the main agents of change.”

    23/09/2016 - LEBANON – SYRIA

    Caritas: as poverty creates tensions between the Lebanese and Syrian refugees, there is risk of conflict

    Caritas Lebanon director Fr Paul Karam warns of great potential "social conflict" between locals and refugees. He will talk to Pope Francis about the “tragic situation”. The local Church is involved in mediation and tensions reduction. Those “who make weapons also run the war and manoeuvre it to make it go on”

    23/09/2016 - SYRIA

    Aleppo: al Nusra Front leader calls for jihadi unity ahead of decisive battle

    Mufti Al Muhaysini addresses jihadi fighters across Syria, calling for "unity, organisation and rapprochement" based on the "general fundamentals of Islam." A sworn enemy of the Islamic State, the qur‘anic judge has tried to ingratiate himself with the likes of Shia Hezbollah. However, his unifying language has not convinced any jihadi groups.

    23/09/2016 - ASIANEWS SYMPOSIUM

    Mother Teresa, Mercy for Asia and for the world (VIDEO)

    We publish the video recordings of the presentations made at the international symposium organised by AsiaNews on 2 September. In order of appearance: Fr Ferruccio Brambillasca, PIME Superior General; Card Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation of Propaganda Fide; Sr Mary Prema, Superior General of the Missionaries of Charity; Father Brian Kolodiejchuk, postulator of the Cause of Mother Teresa; Card Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Mumbai; Fr John A. Worthley, on the influence of Mother Teresa in China; a witness to the influence of Mother Teresa in the Islamic world; and Mgr Paul Hinder, Apostolic Vicar of Southern Arabia.

    23/09/2016 - BANGLADESH

    Dhaka massacre terrorists buried after three months

    by Sumon Corraya

    None of the family members of the five bombers and cook, accused of complicity, asked for their bodies. The funeral was entrusted to a charitable organization. The coordinator of the attack remains at large as well as the financiers.


    22/09/2016 - LEBANON

    Christian and Muslim religious leaders pray for peace in the name of Mary in Beirut

    by Fady Noun

    Heeding Pope Francis’s call, the Lebanese Church organised a meeting for peace at the Marian shrine of Harissa. Card al-Rahi stressed the value of reconciliation. For Sunni leader, "terrorism in the name of Islam” is “a sign of the end times". Shia dignitary slammed politicians for holding the country "hostage". Courage is needed to ask for forgiveness for one’s mistakes.

    22/09/2016 - YEMEN - SAUDI ARABIA

    Yemen, Saudi coalition raid hits a market killing 25 civilians

    Local witnesses speak of more than 50 injured. Riyadh’s bombs hit a crowded market. Earlier in the area, Houthi militia rebels had celebrated two years of the conquest of Sana'a. The UN says half of the 22 provinces of the country is at risk famine.


    21/09/2016 - SYRIA

    For Caritas, Syria has become a football field where big powers use the innocent as a ball

    by Sandra Awad*

    Fighters are destroying infrastructure, factories and buildings with their "big shoes". Displaced people, food shortages, education, migration, abandoned seniors and children playing at war are the consequences of the conflict. More than aid, people just want peace. The spokeswoman of the Catholic charity sends a letter for International Day of Peace.

    20/09/2016 - IRAQ

    Erbil: to rebellious priests and monks, the Chaldean Church responds with unity, says Patriarch Sako

    The upcoming Chaldean synod will focus on a new bishop for the Diocese of San Diego, liturgy renewal, help for Mosul refugees, and beatification of Chaldean martyrs. For the Chaldean primate, “closer and more effective action among bishops” and a united position on the country’s political future and the role of Christians are needed.

    20/09/2016 - PHILIPPINES

    For Card Quevedo, terrorism has no God, a new evangelisation is needed

    The Archbishop of Cotabato, in the heart of the predominantly Muslim Mindanao, condemns the actions of Abu Sayyaf, calling its members “practical atheists” who have “inadequate knowledge” of their own religion. Many Christians also “do not know the Bible very well”. They say they know “Christ and his teachings” but show “a stark dichotomy between belief and practice”.

    20/09/2016 - JORDAN

    Jordan holds legislative elections. Muslim Brotherhood also running

    4.1 million eligible voters out of a total of 6.6 million inhabitants. They will have to choose between 1,252 candidates, for a total of 130 seats. Highest abstention figure yet, around 42%. Experts predict Islamic Action Front will win 20 seats and become the leading opposition party.


    20/09/2016 - USA - AFHGHANISTAN

    Suspect New York and New Jersey bombings is Afghan-American

    Rahami Ahmad Khan, 28, of Elizabeth (New Jersey), was arrested yesterday in Linden after a shoot-out with police. Known for his kindness, he radically changed  after a trip to Afghanistan. His family felt marginalized "because Muslim". Fears for the presence of terrorist cells.

    19/09/2016 - PAKISTAN

    Christians visit a Shia place of worship in Lahore (VIDEO)

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    A group of Christians and local activists meet at the Karbla Gamay Shah, a Shia ceremonial hall, to send a clear message to extremists that “we are not divided." They received a warm welcome from Shias, who are preparing to celebrate the most important day of the holy month of Muharram.

    19/09/2016 - ISRAEL - PALESTINE

    Jerusalem: Palestinian wounds two policemen, Israeli police shoot him

    One of the two officers was seriously injured. Author of the assault a Palestinian of about 20, hospitalized in critical condition. After three weeks of relative calm, there have been six attacks in four days. September 21 face-to-face meeting between Netanyahu and Obama on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

    19/09/2016 - CHINA - EUROPEAN UNION

    Uighur academic, Ilham Tohti, nominated Sakharov Prize

    The European Parliament confirms that the professor, known for his criticism of Chinese policy in Xinjiang Province, is among the five finalists. In September 2014 he was sentenced to life in prison by Beijing for "terrorism" and "inciting subversion": his supporters believe the allegations are "completely false".


    17/09/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: Nuncios are "three way" missionaries

    Francis celebrates Mass in Santa Marta in the presence of the papal representatives from around the world, in Rome for the Jubilee. Their’s "is a vagabond’s life , constantly on the move. But you must remember three ways of going out: physically, culturally and spiritually. Never forget this ."

    16/09/2016 - YEMEN

    Dozens of casualties in the fighting between government forces and Houthi in southern Yemen

    At least 23 Shi'ite rebels, 13 regular soldiers killed in battle of Taiz. The Houthis conquer a Saudi outpost in the border region of Jizan. Fighting continues in the mountainous Kahbub region, which dominates the entrance to the Red Sea. After losing four soldiers, Qatar sends moe men and means to strengthen its presence on the ground.

    15/09/2016 - INDONESIA

    Ghazali, from terrorist to teacher of moderate Islam to save children from extremism

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    A former member of Jemaah Islamiah, a jihadist group linked to al Qaeda, he served six years in prison for involvement in the killing of two policemen. In prison, he underwent a "spiritual conversion". Once released, Ghazali founded an Islamic school to educate terrorists’ children about moderate Islam and prevent them from developing “feelings of hatred towards the state”.

    14/09/2016 - IRAQ

    Patriarch Sako: Demining land to return the plain of Nineveh to Christian refugees

    by Louis Raphael Sako*

    The Chaldean primate stresses the need to clear mines left by the Islamic State before thinking about homes and hospitals. This “sneaky hidden enemy in the ground and “everyday objects” must be eliminated. Mine clearing is necessary for the return of Christians. A 14-year-old boy dies from a mine explosion.

    13/09/2016 - INDIA

    Kashmir curfew bans celebration of Eid-al-Adha for first time

    Today marks the feast of the "sacrifice to God" for the end of the pilgrimage to Mecca. Muslims can not go to the most famous temple. The authorities impose prayers in local mosques. Helicopters and drones flying over the area to prevent gatherings.


    12/09/2016 - TURKEY

    Ankara removes 28 mayors suspected of links with Kurdish PKK and "coup leader" Gülen

    For the authorities, the mayors they were "controlled" or "directed" in their decisions by terrorists or leaders on the outside. They were replaced with the president’s loyal managers. Blast wounds several people in Van, near public buildings. Turkish intellectuals come out against Erdogan’s purges.

    12/09/2016 - SYRIA

    Nuncio in Damascus sees positive action by US and Russia for ceasefire in Syrian conflict

    Ceasefire comes into effect today. Syrian and Russian air strikes kill hundreds over the week-end. Iran and Hezbollah back truce. Free Syrian Army agrees with doubts. Jihadist movements oppose it. Mgr Zenari calls for a “stop to the violence” to “bring in humanitarian aid”.

    Editor's choices

    Mother Teresa, Mercy for Asia and for the world (VIDEO)

    We publish the video recordings of the presentations made at the international symposium organised by AsiaNews on 2 September. In order of appearance: Fr Ferruccio Brambillasca, PIME Superior General; Card Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation of Propaganda Fide; Sr Mary Prema, Superior General of the Missionaries of Charity; Father Brian Kolodiejchuk, postulator of the Cause of Mother Teresa; Card Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Mumbai; Fr John A. Worthley, on the influence of Mother Teresa in China; a witness to the influence of Mother Teresa in the Islamic world; and Mgr Paul Hinder, Apostolic Vicar of Southern Arabia.

    Beijing issues new, harsh draft regulations on religious activities

    Bernardo Cervellera

    Fines of up to 200 thousand yuan (27 thousand euro) for "illegal religious activities" by Catholic or other members of underground communities. "Illegal activities" include "dependence from abroad" (such as the relationship with the Vatican). The regulations preach non-discrimination, but party members are forbidden to practice their religion, even in private. Strict control of buildings, statues, crosses. Clampdown on the internet. It could be the end of the underground community.


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