12/27/2014IRAQ For Chaldean Patriarch, Christmas is the source of hope for Iraqi Christians "displaced" like Jesus by Louis Raphael I Sako* In his homily, Mar Sako noted the Christian community's "difficult and painful circumstances," but also pointed out that the festivity is cause for renewed hope. He looks forward to a future of peace, harmony and coexistence, but to reach that goal, the country needs a strong political system and the foreign policy of the United States and the West must change. Erbil
(AsiaNews) - Iraqi Christians celebrated
the birth of Jesus in "difficult and painful circumstances," away from their homes
and cities, like displaced people. However, the festivity brought "new
12/27/2014CHINA As police stops woman who tried to "bring the Gospel" to Xi Jinping, Wenzhou bans Christmas celebrations in schools and universities by Wang Zhicheng The woman, a member of an underground Protestant community, denies having mental problems, but wants to spread the Gospel to change party members' "corrupt thoughts". In Wenzhou (Zhejiang), the authorities crack down on Christmas celebrations, deemed "Western spiritual pollution". Surveys indicated that some 60 per cent of university students want to learn about Christianity. In Beijing, 3,000 people are baptised on Christmas night. Zhejiang supplies 60 per cent of the world's Christmas decorations.
12/27/2014PHILIPPINES - VATICAN Manila: Islamic leader calls on Muslims to follow Pope Francis for world peace Ebra Moxsir M. al-Haj, head of the Imam Council of the Philippines and chaplain of the Philippine National Police, speaks on Know The Truth programme, praising Francis' efforts in favour of the good and peace in the world against all forms of extremism, which must be backed all the way. He calls on Muslims to welcome the pontiff and understand his words.
12/27/2014BANGLADESH Christmas in Bangladesh, a faith that grows without being overcome by dejection by Franco Cagnasso* PIME's regional superior in Bangladesh takes stock of the activities carried out in 2014. Snehanir, a community for children and young people who have disabilities or are very poor, is set to welcome blind and deaf children. Some students tells their story: Mithun is ready to give up his dreams for his family's sake, and Ashis might become a PIME missionary.
12/27/2014NEPAL For Kathmandu bishop, a country that welcomes Christ is a fairer country by Christopher Sharma Christian leaders celebrated Christmas with a prayer service. Political leaders and members of civil society groups were present at the event. Nepal's prime minister pledges respect for freedom of worship and protection for minorities in the new constitution. For the apostolic vicar, "Christ was Christ was born [. . .] to limit the differences among human beings [. . .] Likewise, we must reject violence, discrimination and terrorism".
12/25/2014VATICAN Pope; May Christmas bring the hope of peace to those suffering in the Middle East and the world, especially the children In his 'Urbi et orbi' message, Francis turned his thoughts to the victims of war in the Middle East, Nigeria, Libya, South Sudan, the Central African Republic and Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as to those who suffer from tensions in Ukraine. " May Jesus save the vast numbers of children who are victims of violence, made objects of trade and trafficking, or forced to become soldiers; children, so many abused children. May he give comfort to the families of the children killed in Pakistan last week. May he be close to all who suffer from illness, especially the victims of the Ebola epidemic".
12/25/2014VATICAN Pope: May the world and each of us accept "God's tenderness" at Christmas "The question the Child asks us with his presence is: Do I let God love me? And again, do we have the courage to accept with tenderness the difficult situations and problems of those next to us, or do we prefer impersonal solutions, more efficient perhaps but lacking the Gospel's warmth? How much does the world need tenderness today! God's patience, God's closeness, God's tenderness."
12/24/2014INDIA As India shifts towards fundamentalism, Indian priest urges Christmas prayers for religious freedom by Dominic Emmanuel* As Hindu nationalist parties and movements come to power, a nationalist and extremist definition of the nation is taking hold. Attacks against minorities, particularly Christians, continue. By his silence, the prime minister takes sides. India is now likely to become another Pakistan. A public relations officer at the Archdiocese of Delhi shares his thoughts.
12/24/2014VIETNAM Christmas among the poor fishermen of Thanh Hoa by Thanh Thuy Many fishermen have lost their job. Fishing in the river is hard because of pollution and waste. For Bishop Joseph Nguyen Chi Linh, Christmas is a season accompanied by works of charity for anyone, Catholics and non-Catholics alike.
12/24/2014SOUTH KOREA Christmas in Korea amongst the migrants, putting the person first Father Maurizio Giorgianni, OMI, has lived in South Korea, with legal and illegal immigrants for almost 22 years. The visit of Pope Francis and the Nativity "have a common message which is useful to the entire Korean society: man must go back to being the center of society and of development." The festivities with those whose visas have expired: “I try to be a friend and to build true and sincere relationships.”
12/24/2014ASIA Tears (and Best Wishes) for Christmas by Bernardo Cervellera At Christmas God shows us that he has not tired of us. Despite so many wars, injustice, torture, persecution, God has not stopped trusting in man and comes to his aid. The world lives of sterile immobility and apocalyptic terror. With Jesus' birth the world began to change and there are witnesses of hope in Iraq, in Hong Kong, in the Middle East. The revolution of solidarity.