08/31/2015EGYPT Egyptians will go to the poll starting on 17 October to elect a new parliament After three years, voters will pick 568 members of the lower house. Sisi loyalists are favoured to win. The vote is expected to give the president a veneer of legitimacy after jumpstarting the economy and holding back the Islamist onslaught. Cairo (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Egypt's electoral commission announced on Sunday that legislative elections, the first since President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi took office, will take place in several phases starting...
08/31/2015LEBANON – VATICAN Michael Malke’s beatification and the future of Iraqi and Syrian martyrs by Fady Noun The martyrdom of the Syriac Catholic bishop at the hands of the Ottoman Empire continues logically into today’s persecution in Syria, Iraq and across the whole Middle East. Now, the victims of the massacre in the Cathedral of Our Lady of Salvation in Baghdad in 2010 will become the subject of a cause of beatification. Indifferent to the fate of Christians, the great powers have lost their way when it comes to refugees.
08/30/2015VATICAN For pope, the blessed martyr Flavianus Michael Malke can bring “consolation” to persecuted Mideast Christians During the Angelus, Pope Francis mentioned yesterday’s beatification in Harissa (Lebanon) of the bishop killed during the Armenian-Syriac Genocide (1915), appealing to the international community to "do something" to end violence and abuses against religious freedom. He also urged the faithful to pray for the migrants who died trying to reach Europe, with a minute of silence observed for the 71 victims who suffocated to death in a lorry on their way to Vienna. “With external attitudes, one cannot call oneself a Christian unless one changes one’s heart,” he said. “The border between good and evil does not run outside of us but within us, in our consciousness."
08/28/2015VATICAN - IRAQ Fr. Samir of Amadiya: The Pope is the voice of Iraqi refugees by Bernardo Cervellera The Chaldean priest met Pope Francis, asking him to keep the world’s focus on Christian refugees from Mosul and the Nineveh Plain. His diocese is home to 3500 Christian families and almost half a million Yazidis who fled Islamic State violence. ISIS is not all Islam and there are Muslims who want an Iraq of coexistence. Christians might not emigrate, but remain in their own land. Aid projects for refugees: school for children, work for adults, a home for every family. An appeal to AsiaNews.
08/27/2015JORDAN - ISLAM Muslims are not doing "enough" to fight the Islamic State, says Queen Rania The Queen of Jordan - in France for a number of meetings - calls for greater attention to young people in the Middle East: if they are not given jobs and opportunities they swell the ranks of Isis militias. The urgent need to create 100 thousand jobs by 2020. The global consequences.
08/26/2015INDIA India census: Muslims grew faster than Hindus but less than Christians Census data covering 2001-2011 show Muslims increased by 0.8 per cent whilst Hindus rose 0.7 per cent. Muslims and Hindus are 172 million and 966 million respectively out of a total of a population of 1.2 billion. Christians make up 2.3 per cent of the population, but grew by 15.5 per cent.
08/26/2015VATICAN Pope on prayer: God is "the caress that keeps us alive" At the general audience, Pope Francis explains the value of prayer in family life. Rediscovering our love for God. He is not only "the great Being, the Almighty, who created all things, the judge who controls every action." "There are mothers and fathers who could win the Nobel Prize" because in 24 hours they do things that they would need 48 hours for. "The Gospel read and pondered in the family is like a good bread that nourishes everyone’s heart". Appointment for September 1 at 17 in St. Peter for a Liturgy of the Word on the World Day of Prayer for the care of creation, together with the Orthodox.
08/25/2015LEBANON Muslims defend Christians’ freedom in Beirut Declaration Freedom of religion, education and opinion are defended by quoting the Qur’ān, which is the basis for the rule of law, not a religious state. Lebanese Sunnis slam violence committed in the name of God. The full declaration is reprinted here.
08/25/2015SYRIA ISIS posts pictures of Palmyra temple destruction
The Jihadi group posts a series of photos showing the destruction of the Baalshamin Temple. For archaeologist, economic interests drive attacks on heritage sites. For UNESCO, ISIS actions are a “war crime”. They “deprive the Syrian people of its knowledge, its identity and history.”
08/25/2015PAKISTAN Faisalabad: Christian family forced to flee from place to place after wife converts from Islam by Stephen Masih Khurram Naveed, 33, a Christian man, and Sobia, 25, a Muslim woman, taught at the same school. Aided by Khurram, Sobia discovered Christianity and decided to be baptised. Since they got married and had two daughters, her parents, Muslim neighbours and imams have tried to convert them to Islam or face the consequences. The two are hoping to emigrate abroad.
08/24/2015SYRIA Palmyra, Islamic State destroys historic temple of Baal Shamin One of the most important structures in the historical Syrian complex. Uncertainty over when: according to official sources it took place yesterday; Activists claim that it dates back to a month ago. The jihadists have placed a "huge" load of explosives, causing "serious damage" to the structure. Last week director of antiquities was murdered.
08/22/2015LEBANON Islamic Makassed launch doctrinal battle against Muslim extremism by Fady Noun Official reference point for Lebanon’s Sunnis approves a document entitled "Beirut Declaration on Religious Freedom". Speculation over whether Dar el-Fatwa will succeed in gradually regaining control of Islamic religious teaching in the nation’s mosques.