Heightened border tensions between India and Pakistan have followed New Delhi’s decision to cancel the special autonomy of the Muslim majority State. Today, the UN Security Council is meeting to discuss the issue. For Bishop Joseph D’Souza, "The last thing the region needs is another war."
The assault has raised concern among Christians, already shocked by the Easter Sunday attacks. Methodist Church president says he trusts the justice system. In his view, Buddhists can enjoy their faith as they wish, and so should let Christians do the same.
The most affected state is Kerala, with 72 victims and 260,000 displaced in over 1,600 camps. The Church at the forefront of assistance operations. The opposition calls for intervention by the central government.
St James is the first Catholic church on Rameswaram Island. The spread of Christianity on the island is the work of the Servant of God Antonio Criminali, the second martyr of India. Its façade has a cross as well as Hindu and Islamic symbols, to show that the believers of all religions are welcome.
Ordained last year, the priest has worked in parish outreach in Italy and with street children in India. "I learnt to attract young people,” he explains. His institute has asked him to set up a parish in the Diocese of Bagdogra. “I have prayers and faith to comfort me,” he says.
Benish Imran was kidnapped by a man who then forced her to embrace Islam. In court, she said she was 19 and had married of her own free will. The association that follows the case complains of dozens of similar episodes.
The Hindu nationalist party has set up a "missionary cell" to tell Christians that “we are friends of Christians". Christian-majority Mizoram is the only state in north-eastern India not governed by the BJP. Elsewhere its militants have devastated churches and attacked missionaries.
The April 21st attacks caused 263 victims. The Caliphate claimed them in a video message, but the Colombo government blames two local Islamic groups. The radical Wahhabi doctrine spread by preachers who arrived on the island with the connivance of the authorities.
The PIME missionary is responsible for directing the spiritual path of priests and nuns. Thanks to the requirement of secrecy, he has gained the trust of the clergy. "I'm a good listener,” he says. However, “If I looked only at the number of baptised, I would be deemed a failure”; yet, Christ “has kept me afloat” for everything is a gift from God.
Throughout South Asia the death toll has risen to 660 deaths; of these, 100 in Bihar and Assam. The Catholic association has carried out inspections with other partners and is beginning to distribute first aid kits to around 7 thousand families.
Bijaya Sanaseth has been in prison since 2008. Before him, in May the supreme judges freed Gornath Chalanseth. The accusation of killing a Hindu swami sparked fierce violence against the Christian community. The local Church has always denounced the sham trials against the seven Christians of humble origins.
Rumours mainly concern child abuse accusations that spread via social media and trigger the murderous fury of ignorant and biased mobs. “Those who spread rumours want to destroy peace in the country,” said the president of the Episcopal Commission for Justice and Peace.
The Archbishop of Colombo rededicated St Sebastian Church three months on the day since the Easter Sunday attacks. A monument was unveiled in memory of the 263 victims. Even Muslims in Muslims countries suffer. The Vatican donated US$ 85,000 for the victims.
Mgr Thomas Menamparampil issues a message of peace in connection with the dispute that involves Card George Alencherry. The priests in the diocese of Ernakulam-Angamaly have gone on a hunger strike, then stopped it. For Archbishop Emeritus of Guwahati, “There need not be ‘winners and losers’.”
More than 3,000 people are attending the 14th International Youth Conference, currently underway in Kerala. The Archbishop of Mumbai cites the appeal by young people to the Synod asking to be listened to, trusted and accompanied. The prelate calls on young people to dream for “This is a sign that the Holy Spirit is with you.”