12/19/2013VATICAN Pope: Only God can make fruitful our barren aridity Francis speaks of the gospel of Elizabeth, who from a state of bareness became the mother of John the Baptist. The desert and bareness are rendered fruitful by His power. In these days before Christmas, have the humility to recognize our own misery and pray for the grace to bear fruit. Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Only the intervention of God
overcomes the arid bareness of our life and makes it fruitful: This is what Pope
Francis spoke of at Mass this morning in Casa Santa Marta. Often in the Bible
we find women who are sterile, to whom the...
12/19/2013VATICAN - ISLAM Pope Francis and his invitation to dialogue with Islam by Samir Khalil Samir There are so many positive things in Evangelii gaudium, its urging Christians and Muslims towards a relationship in love and truth, to work for peace, to enrich each other, to welcome immigrants ... But there are also some points that provoke criticism: is the "compassionate and merciful" God of the Muslims really the same as the Trinity? And are the Jesus and Mary in the Koran the same as the Gospels? And is Christian fundamentalism the same as Muslim fundamentalism? What is really urgent - as suggested by Francis – is "a proper reading of the Koran," which Muslims resist.
12/19/2013SINGAPORE - KOREA Christmas in Singapore, a catholic market becomes a way to talk about God by Kim Ae-ran* A South Korean religious Pauline manages with her sisters a little "Areopagus" in the center of the city-state, where they sell nativity scenes and other Christmas items. But passers-by are more interested to renew their faith and to ask questions about the meaning of life, proving that "everything passes except the thirst of the Lord."
12/18/2013SYRIA Syria: Saudi and Islamist rebel threat not stopping Geneva II The United States, Europe and Russia continue their diplomatic efforts with the regime of Bashar al-Assad ahead of the Peace Conference on Syria set to begin on 22 January 2014. Leaders with the Islamic Front, the main jihadist group, refuse to meet with the US ambassador to Damascus. Saudi Arabia will continue to take action against Assad with or without the support of the West.
12/18/2013INDIA Indian Parliament approves anti-corruption Lokpal bill For local Catholic sources, the bill sends "a strong message to India, where corruption is endemic." This step is important because it is also supported "by the middle classes and young people, a new generation of educated people who want to change things."
12/18/2013MONGOLIA - JAPAN Mongolia 'is likely to become the world's nuclear dustbin' Ryoko Imaoka, associate professor of Mongolian Studies at the University of Osaka, decided to live with the nomads of Mongolia and ask for their help to prepare a document that proves how extensive is radioactive contamination in the Asian nation. Where now are born lambs with two heads and blind camels.
12/18/2013INDONESIA For Indonesian Ulema, Christmas and New Year are "haram" and should not be celebrated by Mathias Hariyadi The leaders of the Islamic movement in Banda Aceh rail against the upcoming holidays, which are typical of "Western and Roman culture." Their nature "does not belong to the spirit of Islam." They also issue warnings to Christians, who must "respect" sharia, and hotels, which must not organise celebrations or balls.
12/18/2013CHINA - US China confirms US warship "near-collision" The incident came amid tensions after China established an air defence identification zone over a swathe of the East China Sea. The two crews were able to communicate and "both vessels manoeuvred to ensure safe passage".
The light that this world offers us, Is an artificial one. It maybe a bright light, brighter than the light of Christ, Bright like festive fireworks, Bright like the flash of a camera. Instead, the light of Christ is meek, It is a calm and peaceful light. It is the light of that first Christmas Eve: Without any pretence. It is this: It offers and gives peace... It is a meek light with the power of meekness; It is a light that speaks to the heart It is also a light that offers the Cross. Pope Francis
AsiaNews wishes all our friends and readers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!