27 April 2017
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  • 26/04/2017 - NEPAL

    On 18 April, unknown arsonists caused a fire at the pastor’s residence. Investigations have not led to any arrests. In 2009 three people died in another attack. This “won’t discourage us. We shall continue with our duties,” said parish priest.


    by Christopher Sharma

    24/04/2017 - INDIA

    Uttar Pradesh: bishops call on new chief minister to defend persecuted Christians

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    The meeting with Yogi Adityanath took place on 21 April. Local Church leaders extended their best wishes to him in his new capacity. They also asked him to guarantee the security and protection of the Christian minority and its places of worship.


    23/04/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: Mercy is a form of knowledge that opens the door of the mind and heart


    On the Sunday of Divine Mercy, established by Saint John Paul II, Francis reiterated the importance of the experience of mercy, "the concrete form in which we give visibility to the resurrection of Jesus". He also explained the meaning of Sunday ‘in Albis’, and thanked those who sent him Easter greetings.


    22/04/2017 - INDIA

    Missionaries of Charity visit families, the sick and dying on the Andaman Islands

    by Santosh Digal

    The Sisters of Mother Teresa arrived in the capital of Port Blair in 1994. Four of them currently work on the archipelago, helping the sick and dying at their time of need as well as supporting the poor by funding their children’s education.


    21/04/2017 - SRI LANKA

    Sri Lankan woman convert from Buddhism to become a Catholic bride with great joy

    by Melani Manel Perera

    Dilani Dharshani, 25, has a Buddhist father and a Catholic mother. She grew up going to Mass with her mother, and praying in her own unique way. Her path to conversion lasted more than a year under a nun’s guidance. She is looking forward to becoming "the daughter of God".


    20/04/2017 - INDIA

    Bishop Mascarenhas: Indian bishops condemn the disruption of the Way of the Cross in Tamil Nadu

    by Purushottam Nayak

    On Good Friday, police stopped Mass and prevented worshippers from carrying the cross up a hill. Previously they had torn down statues and crosses on a slope. Meanwhile, the other side of the hill is invaded by Hindu temples.


    19/04/2017 - INDIA

    For Bihar nun, working for Dalit liberation is faith in action

    by Santosh Digal

    Sister Poonam belongs to the Congregation of Jesus, which was established by Mary Ward. She is part of a movement of consecrated people who are also social activists. In India 70 per cent of Catholics are Dalits. Nuns and priests "must be prophetic voices in the Church and society,” and raise awareness about the marginalised, identify leaders and educate them.


    19/04/2017 - BANGLADESH

    Bonpara, a whole family receives baptism at Easter (Video)

    by Sumon Corraya

    Bijoy Das, his wife, son, daughter-in-law and two grandchildren are new Christians. They used to live in Pabna district, home to almost 50 Protestants. When they arrived in Bonpara, they were fascinated by Catholics and their way of life.


    18/04/2017 - MONGOLIA

    Easter in Mongolia: Believers shed tears, offer their daily disagreements to Christ (photos)

    by Giorgio Marengo*

    The faith of local Christians is like “strands of grass [. . .] that shyly sprout from the stony soil” of the Gobi Desert. One woman got a furlough from hospital to come to pray. Catechumens are the most excited, including some youth who took part in the event for the first time.


    18/04/2017 - INDIA

    More than 5,000 Christians and Hindus celebrate Easter in Kandhamal, the pogrom district

    by Santosh Digal

    The event was held in the Church of Our Lady of Charity in Raikia. In 2008 the district was the scene of the worst anti-Christian persecution in Indian history. Youth enacted passages from the Bible and Easter themes. "I have absorbed the message of love and peace,” a Hindu said.


    18/04/2017 - INDIA

    Tamil Nadu, police interrupt a Dalit Christian Via Crucis (Video)

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    The officers climbed on the altar and prevented the continuation of the Good Friday celebrations. Local official: "The Dalits have a church in their village." Christian leader: "Since Prime Minister Modi has come to power, attacks against minorities have increased."


    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."


    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 - 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 - INDIA

    Cross desecrated in Mumbai: garland of slippers twisted around body of Christ

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    The desecration was discovered by a faithful who visited the church to pray. The case was registered against unknown persons. Christian Leaders condemns yet another act of intimidation against the Christian minority. "Clear indication of awakening sectarian strife".


    12/04/2017 - SRI LANKA

    Way of the Cross in northern Sri Lanka to mark the final massacre of Tamils ​​

    by Melani Manel Perera

    About a hundred Catholics from Colombo and Negombo went to Mullivaikal where up to 40,000 civilians died in 2009 caught in the crossfire between government forces and Tamil Tigers.


    11/04/2017 - SRI LANKA

    Youth go on a pilgrimage and collect rubbish for Lent

    by Melani Manel Perera

    Pupils from the St Joseph's Girls School in Nugegoda took part in the pilgrimage, which the Sisters of the Holy Family organise each year to replicate the Stations of the Cross. After leaving the top of Hiniduma Calvary, the group came down collecting rubbish.


    11/04/2017 - BANGLADESH

    Hundreds of Santal Christians from Gaibandha still displaced after five months

    by Sumon Corraya

    On 6 April, thousands of Catholics marched in solidarity with tribal Santal. Last November, the latter were attacked by police and Muslims who set fire to their homes. At present, about 250 Christian families are still living in tents, in conditions of extreme need and in fear of attack.


    11/04/2017 - INDIA

    Masses interrupted, pastors arrested, allegations of forced conversions: Easter plight of India’s Christians

    by Santosh Digal e Nirmala Carvalho

    Bishops, activists and ordinary people complain about incidents of violence and intimidation across the country. Despite constitutional guarantees, the Christian minority is being persecuted. The threat on Palm Sunday: "If you want to pray, you must have official permission."

     


    10/04/2017 - BANGLADESH

    Joyshita’s story: from Hinduism to Christianity and church building in his village

    by Sumon Corraya

    Joyshita Roy Augustian works in Gazipur district, where he moved with his wife six years ago. For a time, the porch of his house was used to celebrate Mass. When he arrived in the village of Malibara, there were about 12 Christian families; today there are 60 Catholic, plus 60 Protestant families.


    10/04/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: technology has great power, but carries risks for humanity and poor nations


    For the pontiff, "people, and sometimes even those who represent and govern them" cannot fully realise the seriousness of the emerging challenges. “When the interplay between technological and economic power becomes close, interests can affect lifestyles and social orientations to the benefit of come industrial and business groups”.


    10/04/2017 - INDIA

    Varanasi: instead of palms, hyacinths collected to purify the Ganges tributaries

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    The Palm Sunday initiative of the Indian Missionary Society’s Vishwa Jyoti Communications office. The missionaries have rallied activists of all religions. New Nationalist government has blocked the work of cleaning water.

     


    10/04/2017 - VATICAN-ISLAM-EGYPT

    Even the West contributes to the massacre of Christians and of hope in the Middle East

    by Bernardo Cervellera

    The cliché of the conflict of civilizations and religious wars. Daesh targets Christians, but also coexistence between Christians and Muslims. Al Sisi’s struggle for full citizenship of Christians in Egypt. Al Azhar and condemnation of fundamentalism. The West sells weapons to the Middle East, which end up in the hands of the Islamic State. Benedict XVI’s Regensburg address needs to be reconsidered.

     


    10/04/2017 - INDIA

    Kashmir, clashes in by-elections: eight dead and hundreds injured


    The vote took place in three districts to replace a State Assemblyman. Protesters announce a boycott until tomorrow. Internet services suspended until April 12. Voter turnout at 7.14%.


     


    09/04/2017 - VATICAN

    Palm Sunday: Jesus is neither a purveyor of illusions, nor a 'new age' prophet or an impostor, he is the great patient of human suffering, said the pope


    Pope Francis celebrated Palm Sunday with tens of thousands of young people on World Youth Day. "[A]s we joyfully acclaim our King, let us also think of the sufferings that he will have to endure in this week,” he said. “Jesus never promised honour and success. [. . .] He had always warned his friends that [. . .] the final victory would be achieved through the passion and the cross.” He did not ask us to contemplate him “only in pictures and photographs, or in the videos” but in his presence “in our many brothers and sisters who today endure sufferings like his own”. Krakow youth passed the WYD cross to their counterparts from Panama. The pontiff mentioned the recent attacks in Sweden and Egypt.


    08/04/2017 - INDIA

    Kandhamal’s first Carmelite priest to help Hindus understand the Catholic faith

    by Santosh Digal

    Johnson Digal, 29, comes from a village of 20 families, mostly Hindus. During the 2008 pogroms, his home was burnt down, forcing him to live in a refugee camp. Since he started to visit his neighbours, they began “changing their negative attitudes towards the Catholic Church”.


    07/04/2017 - INDIA – SYRIA

    Card Gracias expresses sorrow, offers prayers for Syria following Idlib chemical attack and US retaliation

    by card. Oswald Gracias*

    The archbishop of Mumbai expressed Asia’s solidarity and offered prayers to Card Zenari. Children in Asia weep for those in Syria. Bombing worsens the unspeakable horrors of war.


    07/04/2017 - IRAQ

    UN: 50 years and billions of dollars to demine Syria and Iraq


    UNMAS Director: "Decades of work" to clean up contaminated areas. In Iraq, the annual cost of demining is approximately $ 180 million. Even the Chaldean primate wants land secured prior to the return of refugees. Every year landmines kill more than 6400 people.

     


    06/04/2017 - SRI LANKA

    Sri Lanka, former superior of the Claretian brings Jesus' mission to the UN

    by Melani Manel Perera

    Rohan Dominic was appointed coordinator of the Claretian missionary group at the United Nations in New York. He will take the post on 11 April. The group has obtained consultative status and is associated with other religious networks.

     


    06/04/2017 - INDIA

    Delhi priests and nuns lawyers call for a ban on surrogacy


    The 2016 bill of is a direct attack on the sacred values ​​of marriage, family, women and children. Mothers become mere couriers. Surrogate motherhood is like renting or buying goods. The womb and women’s reproductive capacity become marketable commodities. Multiple parenthood is an issue.






    Editor's choices

    VATICAN-EGYPT
    Pope Francis in a video message: Dear people of Egypt ...

    Papa Francesco

    To mark his upcoming visit to the country (28-29 April), Pope Francis today sent a video message to the Egyptian people. " Our world, torn by blind violence, which has also afflicted the heart of your dear land – needs peace, love and mercy; it needs workers for peace. "


    ISLAM
    The roots of violent Islamism are in Islam, the words of a Muslim

    Kamel Abderrahmani

    After every terrorist attack, there is the tendency to say, "This is not Islam." Yet those criminal acts are justified and inspired by texts that are the reference point for Muslims and Islamic institutions worldwide. There is an urgent need to reform Islam from within, by the Muslims themselves. Coexistence with other religions is the way to remove Islam from sclerosis and stagnation.


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