05/23/2015SYRIA Nuncio in Damascus: no news about Fr Mourad, not even about who abducted him “The Archeparchy of Homs, the patriarch and the community of Mar Musa have activated all channels to make contact with the kidnappers, but without success so far,” said Mgr Zenari. Meanwhile, the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for yesterday’s suicide attack at a Shia mosque in al Qadeeh, in the eastern Saudi province of Qatif that caused at least 21 deaths. Rome (AsiaNews) – Nothing is known about the fate of Fr Jacques Mourad, a Catholic priest who was kidnapped two days ago by unknown armed men. A young man “who heard noises and went to see what was happening was also taken away, in a car, with the clergyman,” said Mgr Mario Zenari, apostolic nuncio to Syria.
“Who did it? Islamic...
05/22/2015THAILAND - ASIA Beatings, rapes and abuse: the Rohingya in Thailand recount their journey of despair by Weena Kowitwanij A young 16 year old confirms to AsiaNews the violence irregular migrants are subjected to. Overcrowded boats, little food and no water, beatings and threats are their daily bread. A woman, pregnant and with a three year old daughter, chose the sea route after having experienced violence firsthand in Myanmar. May 29 summit in Bangkok to deal with the emergency.
05/22/2015INDONESIA Indonesia to allow non-official religions on identity papers Under existing rules, people could choose only among six government recognised religions. According to the Home Affairs minister, people can now choose their own religion. Practical reasons are behind the administrative change, but for activists and pro-human rights groups, it is a step forward in terms of religious freedom.
05/22/2015SYRIA - IRAQ Islamic State takes entire border between Syria and Iraq The terrorists now control of the last frontier zone under the control of the Syrian government. 95 thousand square meters of land, about 50% of the total, now in the hands of jihadists. Military successes also in neighboring Iraq. Washington says challenge of Caliphate "is increasingly difficult to deal with."
05/21/2015BANGLADESH Islamic extremists claim the right to kill ten intellectuals and bloggers by Sumon Corraya Fundamentalist group ‘Al Qaeda Ansarullah Bangla’ has released a list of future victims, and sent a copy to each of them. Security has become an emergency in the country where three critics of Islam have already been hacked to death. “I don’t’ feel safe,” says Catholic blogger.
05/21/2015INDIA Maharashtra: beef ban "subjugates Christians, Muslims and Dalits" This was stated by an AsiaNews source , anonymous for security reasons. State farmers, tanners and other workers demanding the repeal of the law banning the sale and consumption of beef. The ban has affected about 10.5 million people who depend on this trade.
05/21/2015SYRIA Syria: Islamic State takes Palmyra, Unesco heritage site at risk The militiamen control the "totality" of the ancient city as government soldiers flee. Half of Syrian territory is in the hands of the jihadist group. Mass evacuation of citizens, in some places there are still "violent clashes". Archaeologists and activists call for the intervention of the US-led coalition. Now the IS points to the gas fields of Deir al-Zour.
05/20/2015TAJIKISTAN Bogus permits sold to allow Muslims to grow a beard or wear a veil Tajikistan has been forcing Muslim men to shave their beards to counter Islamic extremism. Prosecutors are investigating the sale of bogus permits, something denied by the committee in charge of such documents. Top paramilitary official has been arrested on his way to Syria to fight with the Islamic State group.
05/19/2015ASIA Vigil for persecuted Christians, our teachers in the mission in the West by Bernardo Cervellera The "wall of indifference and cynicism" and the silence and apathy so often denounced by Pope Francis have become almost a fortress. Such persecution reflects confessional manipulation, which slams Islam as such, and ideological manipulation, which forgets what is happening in North Korea or China. An increasingly post-Christian Europe seems disinterested in Christians.
05/18/2015IRAQ - SYRIA Islamic State takes Ramadi but withdraws from Palmyra in Syria The Iraqi prime minister appeals to troops not to retreat and announces the dispatch of Shiite militias in support. But the city is in the hands of the Islamists, who have commandeered tanks and missiles. Pentagon, says the situation remains "fluid". In Syria, a US special forces raid leaves four prominent IS leaders dead. The destruction of the UNESCO heritage averted, thus far.
05/16/2015VATICAN - PALESTINE Pope receives Mahmoud Abbas, "may you be an angel of peace" "Great satisfaction" for agreement reached between the Vatican and Palestine and "hope" that negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis can resume marked the audience this morning between Francis and the President of the "State of Palestine".