08/21/2014CHINA Churches and crosses demolished: lawyers challenge Zhejiang government in defense of religious freedom The faithful of the Salvation Church in Pingyang (Wenzhou) were violently harassed by police and thugs in an attempt to defend the cross of their church. Lawyers say this violates the Chinese Constitution. The government of Wenzhou defends itself: only a tiny fraction of the buildings were destroyed churches. But Protestant pastors accuse it of persecution. Wenzhou (AsiaNews / CHRD) - A group of 14 lawyers has released
a legal opinion about the violent harassment of members of the Salvation Church
in Zhejiang and is about to challenge the government with a lawsuit. July 21,
hundreds of police and thugs arrived in Pingyang County (Wenzhou) to remove the
cross on top of the sacred building.
The faithful who had turned out en mass to stop them, clashed
with police. Many community members...
08/21/2014CHINA-VATICAN Chinese experts: cautious openings in relations with Vatican by Wang Zhicheng Zhuo Xinping, of the Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing says Pope Francis "will improve" relations being "a Jesuit" and "Latin American". Li Xiangping speaks of a "new atmosphere". But Party press do not report on the Pope’s statements or telegrams. A website recalls the "two mountains" to be overcome: diplomatic relations with Taiwan and "interference" in the internal affairs of China. Generic statements of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman.
08/20/2014VATICAN Pope asks Church to unite in prayer for persecuted Christians and minorities worldwide, particularly in Iraq The trip to Korea "can be condensed into three words: memory, hope, witness." "In a country where ancient Asian cultures and the perennial newness of the Gospel meet" there is "a young and dynamic church ", "founded on faith, on mission and the martyrdom of the lay faithful". The meeting with managers and players of his favorite soccer team, San Lorenzo, winners of the Copa Libertadores. Pope’s gratitude "for prayers and condolences for what happened in my family."
08/19/2014KOREA - VATICAN - AYD The Pope, example of compassion and consolation for Korean society by Vincenzo Faccioli Pintozzi Not just Catholics, but all South Koreans are carefully analyzing the messages of Francis in his four-day visit to the peninsula. Closeness to those who suffer, reunification through the conversion of hearts, the power of the Cross of Christ are arousing debate on the front pages the day after the pontiff’s departure. The only public protest, small in size, was staged by Protestants who "now fear to losing importance and faithful".
08/18/2014VATICAN For pope, in Iraq "It is lawful" to halt an "unjust aggressor", but the decision belongs to the UN During the flight that brought him back to Rome, Francis spoke of his "respect" for the Chinese people, reiterating the importance of the Letter by Pope Benedict XVI. "If I felt I could not go on, I would resign," he said. As preparations for the encyclical on safeguarding creation continue, the pope plans future trips, including one to Albania, which has "important reasons".
08/18/2014VATICAN-CHINA Pope Francis and Xi Jinping’s "new line" and the Chinese young people in Korea by Bernardo Cervellera Pope Francis sends another telegram to China. Still no answer, but Xinhua today published an article on the trip. The pontiff’s "olive branch" in line with missionary work of Matteo Ricci, missionaries in China, of previous popes. No emphasis on diplomatic relations. Beijing’s hampering Chinese youth in attending Asian Youth Day. An overview of the "new line" for China, in the hope that the young people are not arrested or persecuted.
08/18/2014KOREA - VATICAN - AYD President of the Korean bishops: Francis gave wake up call to Korea and Asia The Bishop of Cheju, Msgr. Peter Kang U-il, tells AsiaNews: "Francis’ meeting with the young people was both a warm embrace and a wake up call. The pontiff invited our young people to never give up, even when faced with what seems like a dead end. And he has made it clear once and for all to our society that peace is born of justice, and that compassion for the marginalized must not result only in sterile charity".
08/18/2014KOREA - VATICAN - AYD Pope: Reconciliation and peace in Korea and world need conversion of hearts by Vincenzo Faccioli Pintozzi At the great final Mass of his apostolic visit to South Korea, Francis once again calls on Koreans to "firmly to reject a mindset shaped by suspicion and instead shape a culture formed by the teaching of the Gospel. Trust in the power of the Cross". All Koreans "are brothers and sisters, continue with humanitarian aid." An unscripted prayer Card. Filoni, sent to Iraq, and for all minorities who suffer in that country. Before the Mass the Pope meets with a former "comfort woman", who gifts the Pope a badge of her association which he wore throughout the Mass. Leaders of other religions: "We walk together, in the presence of God".
08/17/2014KOREA - VATICAN - AYD Pope tells Asia's young people to wake up and not to be afraid to bring faith to society At the final Mass of the sixth Asian Youth Day Francis took the opportunity to spur young Asians. "Wake up!" he told them. The martyrs who defeated death speak "to you of a duty, a responsibility" to bring Christ to every reach of Asia. You "are not only a part of the future of the Church; you are also a necessary and beloved part of the Church's present." The next Asian Youth Day is set for 2017 in Indonesia.
08/17/2014KOREA - VATICAN - AYD Card Tagle: pope urges us to be more and more missionary, engage non-believers in dialogue by Vincenzo Faccioli Pintozzi Speaking to AsiaNews, the archbishop of Manila talks about this morning's meeting with Francis in Haemi shrine. "The Church in Asia, which includes many distinct communities and groups, should focus too much on numbers and statistics. We must be ever more open to others, even and especially to non-believers. This is the invitation the pope engraved in our hearts."
08/17/2014KOREA - CHINA - VATICAN - AYD Some 300 young Chinese Catholics attend gathering with Francis A large number of participants from mainland China attend final Asian Youth Day Mass despite threats and attempts by Chinese authorities to stop them. Through social networks, they agreed to come to South Korea to show Francis their love.
08/17/2014KOREA - VATICAN - AYD Pope ready to talk to countries that do not have diplomatic relations with Vatican "I earnestly hope that those countries of your continent with whom the Holy See does not yet enjoy a full relationship, may not hesitate to further a dialogue for the benefit of all," the pope said during a meeting with Asian bishops. The pontiff also mentioned the many nameless martyrs of the faith, who died for the Gospel in Asia and "deserve our love." For Gwangju archbishop Hyginus Kim Hee-joon, the meeting was "brotherly and friendly". As he "walked about us [. . .] he spoke instead of staying on the stage," spending "a few minutes with each of us." He is a "trailblazer even in the Church."