01/28/2015LEBANON-MIDDLE EAST Patriarchs of the East: Peace requires an end to terrorism, help for refugees, resolution of Israeli-Palestinian problem by Paul Dakiki An ecumenical meeting in Bkerke to address the difficulties faced by Christian communities. Attended by representatives of Catholic, Orthodox, Armenian, Protestant denominations. Appeal to the Arab and the international community to stop financing and arming terrorists. The need to increase aid to refugees and to hasten their return to their homes. The urgency of electing a president for Lebanon.
(AsiaNews) - A meeting of the Patriarchs and Christian leaders of the East was
held yesterday in Bkerke, the seat of the Patriarchate of Lebanon to address
the situation of Christians in the Middle East and ask the Arab and
international community to stop...
01/28/2015THAILAND Bangkok, Red Shirt leader jailed for "defamation" Jatuporn Prompanm charged with insulting the then Prime Minister Vejjajiva during two gatherings in October 2009. No reduction of the sentence: two years in prison. The judges are considering bail request put forward by his lawyer. Analysts speak of attack on opposition critical of junta; "a bigger plan" hatched by "Bangkok elite" to silence dissent.
01/28/2015JAPAN - SYRIA - ISLAM Tokyo, leaders of all religions pray for the Islamic State hostages About 80 Muslim, Christian and Buddhist religious gathered outside the office of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to condemn the kidnapping of Kenji Goto Jogo and terrorism by Muslims. A new video shows the Christian reporter and announces: "Less than 24 hours to save him and Jordanian Lieutenant Muath al-Kaseasbeh". Japanese official: "We are incompetent, all we can do is ask for help in Amman."
01/27/2015SRI LANKA Sri Lanka's Tamils welcome the new president "with hope and fear" by Melani Manel Perera Tamil votes in the northern part of the country were crucial in ensuring Maithripala Sirisena's victory. Now Tamils want basic human rights restored, the military back in their barracks and new economic policies to curb the price of basic necessities.
01/27/2015CAMBODIA Building up the Church starting from the bottom up by Mario Ghezzi A missionary struggling with a new small community of 10 people, including many who are disabled, shares his many thoughts. Misery is "the most fertile ground" for the Gospel to take root. For a newly baptised woman, "The most beautiful gift I received from God is my disability". Father Mario Ghezzi, PIME missionary, has been in Cambodia for 16 years.
01/27/2015VATICAN Pope: Lent, a time of personal and communal renewal to defeat the globalization of indifference Lenten Message of Francis. In the communion of saints, in this sharing in holy things, no one possesses anything alone, but shares everything with others. " those places where the Church is present, especially our parishes and our communities, may become islands of mercy in the midst of the sea of indifference". "Anyone who wishes to be merciful must have a strong and steadfast heart, closed to the tempter but open to God. A heart which lets itself be pierced by the Spirit so as to bring love along the roads that lead to our brothers and sisters".
01/27/2015TURKEY - SYRIA Kurdish victory in Kobane worries Erdogan The Islamic state had threatened the city since September. Some 1,800 people died in the fighting with tens of thousands made refugees. Turkey's ambiguity stems from its fear that a Kurdish autonomous region might emerge in northern Syria.
01/27/2015RUSSIA - CRIMEA The Catholic Church in Crimea must register according to Russian law The Vatican does not recognize the annexation of the peninsula to Russia, but the priority now is not to abandon the local community. AsiaNews sources: "It 'a difficult process even for the Orthodox." The authorities reassure the renewal of visas for the non-Russian clergy, but problems remain.
01/27/2015PHILIPPINES Filipino bishops condemn Maguindanao carnage: We need a real peace plan At least 43 special forces killed during shootout between security forces and rebel militias. The Bishops Conference speaks of "act of violence against human life", in a land "tired of battles and conflicts." The bishops call for a "inclusive” solution, based on "correct principles" for all. Even for MILF leaders peace is "the only possible solution."
01/27/2015CHINA Zhejiang, Hong Kong journalist arrested for investigating cross demolition The woman, Jiang Yannan, was released after a long interrogation: she had been followed and those she interviewed harassed. The authorities have knocked down over 400 Christian crosses in a government campaign of "rectification". Chinese journalists increasingly targeted: still no news of Zhang Miao and Xin Jian.
01/27/2015TIBET - CHINA Beijing sends a new flood of Han migrants to Lhasa: Tibetans risk disappearing The central government pushes 280 thousand citizens to move in the Tibetan capital to "support the advancement of the region". The government in exile: "With this excuse, they are in fact marginalizing the natives from every sphere of influence". Since the launch of migration policies to date, non-Tibetans living in the region have increased tenfold.
01/26/2015INDONESIA The "war" between police and anti-corruption agency shows President Jokowi's weakness by Mathias Hariyadi The power struggle currently underway in Indonesia is threatening the country's stability. The corruption watchdog blocked the appointment of a close associate of former President Megawati to the post of police chief. As a result, the anti-corruption agency's chief has become the victim of a smear campaign, whilst his deputy chief has been arrested. Human rights activists and civil society groups have taken to the streets to defend the rule of law. The president is a hostage of those powerful groups that backed his presidency bid.