26 October 2016
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    26/10/2016 - IRAQ

    The rise of the jihadists has wiped out the "beautiful mosaic" of ethnic groups, religions, cultures and dialects that made Mosul and Nineveh Plain. Mar Sako: the defeat of the Islamic State should serve to relaunch this diversity. Necessary to guarantee rights and protections for all people, fight corruption and discrimination. Christians rediscover confidence in their Muslim neighbors.


    26/10/2016 - PAKISTAN

    Pakistan mourns 61 victims of the Quetta military school attack

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    The funeral of cadets and guards killed by the three bombers were held yesterday. Authorities believe the attacker is from a local Sunni group. Both Isis that Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the massacre. Christians and Shiite Muslims hold candle light vigil all over the country.


    25/10/2016 - IRAQ – ISLAM

    For Christian lawmaker, anti-alcohol law "Islamises” Iraq

    A ban on the sale, importation and production of alcohol is included in a law under pressure from extremist lawmakers. Iraqi Kurdistan will not enforce the law. For Christian leader, the law violates minority rights and is contrary to the Constitution.

    25/10/2016 - PAKISTAN

    Quetta suicide attack on police academy leaves 59 dead

    The victims were cadets and guards; at least 120 wounded. 700 students in the structure at the time of the attack. Suicide bombers from Taliban cell of an extremist group. The Balochistan region is part of an ambitious Chinese economic plan.

    24/10/2016 - BANGLADESH

    PIME Superior in Bangladesh: The joy of my mission among the tribal, where entire villages convert

    Fr. Michele Brambilla speaks of his 10-year mission among the local tribal. In the north of the country, the Church "had to be built from the ground up". In 2013 he became the first pastor of Kodbir. Mission in various fields: proclamation of the Gospel; education; care for the sick; economic aid. Since 2015 he directs the diocesan hospital in Dinajpur. "Even Muslims and Hindus need a word of comfort."

    22/10/2016 - SAUDI ARABIA

    Young female music students need male guardians in Jeddah

    Girls and young women who want to attend one of the city's music clubs require the approval of their father or legal guardian. This comes after some parents protested. More and more girls enrol to learn to play the piano, organ or guitar without their parents’ knowledge.

    21/10/2016 - YEMEN - UN

    Riyadh accuses the Houthis of violations of the ceasefire in Yemen

    The Shiite rebels reported to have carried out "at least 43" violations of the truce in force since yesterday. Houthi response: a Saudi air raid killed three civilians in Saada. Despite violence, UN diplomacy is hoping for an extension of the ceasefire. 80% of the population need humanitarian aid.

    21/10/2016 - INDIA

    Gujarat: 14 defendants acquitted in Muslim massacre

    The court granted 11 defendants the benefit of the doubt, and found no clear evidence in the case of the three others. In all, 31 people had been convicted in connection with the death of 33 Muslims burnt to death in a house where they had sought shelter during a riot by Hindus.

    21/10/2016 - LEBANON

    Saad Hariri to back Michel Aoun for presidency

    This is a last resort “to protect Lebanon, the political system, the State and people” on the condition of dissociating Lebanon “from the Syrian crisis”. Some Sunni lawmakers are against the deal, but Nabih Berri (Amal) is the most critical. Still, chances are good for an election on 31 October.

    21/10/2016 - SYRIA – IRAQ

    Jihadi leaders flee Aleppo as well as Mosul towards strongholds of Raqqa and Idlib

    Despite truce, ex al-Nusra Front shells western Aleppo, killing a girl. Turkish air force strikes north of the city, killing 150 civilians, an "unjustified massacre" for Syrian media. Islamic State leaders flee Aleppo, raising questions and doubts about how they are escaping. Some reports indicate that US and Russia have agreed on splitting Aleppo and Mosul.

    21/10/2016 - PAKISTAN

    Pakistan vetting two bills in favour of minorities and against forced conversions

    by Peter Jacob

    One bill would establish a ‘Pakistan Minority Rights Commission’; the other, the ‘Protection of Minorities Bill 2016’, would make forced conversion an offence. Promoters are aware of social problems like the conversions of Hindu and Christian women abducted, raped and enslaved by Muslims.

    20/10/2016 - INDONESIA

    Young Jihadi attacks and injures five policemen in Tangerang

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    Azianzah Sultan, 22, was putting up the Islamic State symbols in public places when police stopped him. After wounding some agents with a dagger, the terrorist was shot in the legs and arrested. He had caliphate leaflets and Molotov cocktails in his possession. For Defense minister, people must be more alert against the threat of groups linked to the Islamic State.

    20/10/2016 - SYRIA

    Truce in Aleppo, Moscow extends three-hour "humanitarian pause"

    The goal is to secure a corridor in the eastern sector for civilians and militiamen who wish to leave the war. Six "safe" corridors set up to evacuate the civilians, particularly the elderly and injured. Two other corridors reserved for the armed fighters. The standoff between Moscow and the West continues.

    19/10/2016 - IRAN - UNITED STATES

    Tehran frees Protestant pastor sentenced for crimes against the state

    Behnam Irani served a six year sentence in prison. While in jail he suffered abuse and mistreatment. An American entrepreneur of Iranian origin sentenced to 10 years. According to the indictment he "collaborated" with Washington.

    19/10/2016 - IRAQ

    Anti-Isis Iraqis marked and executed in Mosul

    To express their opposition, some Mosul residents wrote word "M" ( "Muqawamah", resistance) on the city’s walls.  Those discovered were immediately sentenced to death without trial. The militiamen fleeing the besieged city, are headed to Raqqa and Deir Ez Zor in Syria, thanks to the Turkish army protection. A new map of Turkey encompasses the northern Syria, Mosul, Erbil, Kirkuk and part of Armenia. From Saudi Arabia and Qatar a hashtag: "Mosul is annihilated". The hashtag of the Iraqi government: "Mosul is liberated”.


    19/10/2016 - IRAQ

    Chaldean Patriarch: May Iraq find peace and unity with the liberation of Mosul

    by Louis Raphael Sako*

    The Christians of Qaraqosh, on the Nineveh Plain, celebrate the liberation of their town with Masses of thanksgiving, dancing and singing. Now in its third day, the Iraqi army and Peshmerga continues the offensive towards Mosul. The Islamic State use civilians as human shields. Mar Sako urges Iraqis to work for the birth of a "genuine and civil democracy".


    18/10/2016 - VATICAN-ASIA

    The "enemies" of Pope Francis

    by Bernardo Cervellera

    The charge made against AsiaNews that we are against the Pope and in favor of Putin, is an opportunity to outline what motivates our commitment to evangelization. And also to ask for greater professionalism from those who write about the Pope. The Pope does not need public defenders. Facilitating dialogue between "conservatives" and "progressives" to realize the Council and concern ourselves with the world so that it encounters Jesus Christ. Christ’s “enemies” were also his "friends."

    18/10/2016 - YEMEN - UN

    Conflict in Yemen: UN announces a 72 hour ceasefire

    Cessation of hostilities begins 23.50 on October 19. Possible "renewal" in following days. The parties involved in the war have ensured compliance with the agreement. The objective is to avoid "further bloodshed" and encourage "the delivery of humanitarian aid."

    18/10/2016 - BANGLADESH

    Killer of "atheist" blogger seeks forgiveness

    Rashidun Nabi Bhuiyan is a member of the Ansarullah Bangla Team militant group, banned by the authorities. He was arrested on October 16 , he now unexpectedly says he is  “sorry" for the murder. The blogger Nazimuddin Samad was punished for criticizing radical Islam on Facebook.  


    18/10/2016 - IRAQ

    Army and Peshmerga advance towards Mosul. UN fears civilians being used as human shields

    Offensive continues to wrest the northern Iraqi metropolis from Islamic State. Kurdish militias have taken control of some villages in the Nineveh plain. Pentagon: conquest of the city" will take time". EU warns: the fleeing jihadists could fall back to the shores of Europe.


    18/10/2016 - ISLAM – FRANCE

    How to stop radical Islam in France

    by Hocine Drouiche

    As terror attacks multiply, it is no longer enough to say that “they have nothing to do with Islam” or that “Islam is peace". What is needed is reform within Islam to reconcile faith and reason, spirituality and the values of secularism, freedom, and equality. The imam of Nîmes, vice president of the Conference of Imams of France has some proposals to erase fear and establish the coexistence of Muslims in Europe.

    17/10/2016 - INDIA

    Mumbai: Christian, Hindu and Muslim experts discuss Laudato si’

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    An international seminar took place today under the auspices of the Consulate General of Argentina. Leading figures from three major religions spoke at the event, which provided an “opportunity to bring together some of the values” of the Argentinian government “with a social document of Pope Francis” and “the richness of Indian thought and the long tradition of India”.

    17/10/2016 - MALAYSIA

    Christians, Hindus and Buddhists against enhanced powers for sharia courts

    by Joseph Masilamany

    Parliament is currently vetting a bill to amend the Sharia Courts law (Act 335), which would remove all limits to hudud punishments under Sharia. The Council of Churches of Malaysia (CCM) calls on lawmakers to reject the law and defend the secular constitution.”

    17/10/2016 - BANGLADESH

    PIME sisters mark 50 years in Bonpara treating Muslims, Hindus, and Catholics

    by Sumon Corraya

    The Missionaries of the Immaculate, a female congregation associated with the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions, run a medical dispensary whose staff provide medical care and a smile to the poor. Some 75 sisters work across the country in schools, health facilities and parishes.

    17/10/2016 - SYRIA - TURKEY

    Syrian rebels and Turkish army wrest Dabiq from the Islamic State

    Ground troops and Ankara’s air raids favored the conquest of the town on the Turkish-Syrian border. The enormous symbolic value of Dabiq for jihadists. According to the Sunni tradition it is the site of the final battle between good and evil. Standoff between Moscow and the West continues. United States and Britain threaten new economic sanctions against Moscow and Damascus.


    17/10/2016 - IRAQ

    Offensive for recapture of Mosul begins

    In a speech to the nation, Prime Minister al-Abadi said that "the hour of victory" against Daesh has "arrived." Only government and police forces will enter the city, once freed. At least 25 thousand soldiers participating in the operation. The risk of a new sectarian conflict. The United Nations express "extreme concern" about the fate of the 1.5 million inhabitants.

    15/10/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope to elderly: Society needs your smile and the beautiful brightness of your eyes

    Pope Francis meets with members of the National Older Workers Union and the Italian Seniors Federation, in the context of the national  Day of the Elderly. "Maturity and wisdom accumulated over the years" are vital to the Church and to society. Elderly should not be marginalized or considered “unproductive". "In countries that have suffered a severe religious persecution, the grandparents passed on the faith to new generations." Pray to "the grandmother of Jesus, Saint Anne" to be "good and wise grandparents."

    15/10/2016 - PAKISTAN

    Pakistan, Islamic extremists demand hanging of "blasphemous" Asia Bibi

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    Demonstrations in Lahore, Islamabad, Karachi and other parts of the country. Chanting the slogan #HangAsia,  they demand the Christian woman and mother of five be executed. The anger and frustration of Christians entrusted to social networks. Pakistan "does not guarantee security and justice for minorities".

    15/10/2016 - INDONESIA

    Jakarta, thousands of Islamic fundamentalists take to streets against Christian governor

    Protest organized by the Islamic Defenders Front: "The Koran calls for all the country's leaders to be Muslims." Basuki Tjahaja Purnama,known as "Ahok" is accused of blasphemy for having quoted the sacred text during a rally. Moderate Muslims distance themselves: "We do not agree with this initiative. The governor apologized. "

    15/10/2016 - ASIA

    "Monumental" international agreement against greenhouse gases

    Rich nations - the EU, US, and others - will reduce the use of fluoro-hydrocarbons by 10% by 2019. But China - main producer - will begin the reduction by 2029. India will reduce by 10% only in 2032.

    Editor's choices

    The new bishop of Changzhi and the many voices on China-Vatican dialogue

    Bernardo Cervellera

    The ordination will take place on November 10 in the Cathedral. The bishop had been appointed by the Holy See at least two years ago. But he was waiting for the green light from Beijing. Similar situation in Chengdu. Fears for the presence of excommunicated bishops. Reconciliation between illegitimate and official bishops is not brought about by political gestures, but depends on personal and canonical procedures. A meeting between the Chinese delegation and the Vatican is not "imminent".


    Pope: the cruelty of those who kill children in Iraq “makes us weep”

    "Our hearts are shocked by the heinous acts of violence that have been committed for far too long against innocent citizens, be they Muslim, Christian or members of other ethnic groups and religions."  World Mission Day “is time of courage”.


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