02/26/2015SYRIA IS holding more than 250 Christians, for vicar to Aleppo, pope's prayers are a source of courage Pope Francis is closely monitoring the situation in Syria and praying for the Christian minority. For Mgr Georges Abou Khazen, the pope's closeness is a source "of great consolation and help." The road to peace "is long, but the only one possible." At least 5,000 Christians fled from the Islamists. The UN Security Council condemns the abductions. Aleppo (AsiaNews) - "Pope Francis words are a source of great
consolation, help and courage for us Syrian Christians, in this period of
crisis and difficulties. The pope knows the situation well. He is praying and
02/26/2015BANGLADESH Prostitution and forced labour: trafficking in human beings in Bangladesh by Sumon Corraya The Asian country is a source and a transit point for victims. The cases involving women and children are the most documented, but men are victims are well. Boys under ten are more likely to be entangled in this traffic; girls tend to be aged 11 to 16. Some of victims go to the Gulf countries. In Bangladesh, the local Caritas helps the victims.
02/26/2015CHINA China, first ever Holocaust commemoration for the Shanghai Ghetto This was announced by the World Jewish Congress. During the Japanese occupation, approximately 23 thousand Jews were closed into the area to pay homage to Hitler, Tokyo’s ally. Liberated on September 3, 1945, "it is a part of the extermination that is never remembered."
02/26/2015INDIA Hindu radicals: We will convert Christians and Muslims until the government stops us by Nirmala Carvalho The provoking remark was made by the leader of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), which will celebrate the anniversary of the extremist group in Kandhamal. In 2008 the worst anti-Christian persecution of Indian history took place there. The Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC): "No concrete action of the Government after the statements on religious freedom by Prime Minister Modi."
02/26/2015MYANMAR Education Reform: Buddhist nationalists and government endanger agreement by Francis Khoo Thwe The government has been circulating a different draft from that one agreed with the students. It has not excluded taking legal action against protesting students. The latter have issued an ultimatum against the authorities. Fear is growing of a possible crackdown. Buddhist nationalist groups come out against the use of minority languages in education.
02/26/2015TAIWAN Lent in Taiwan: proclaiming the Gospel by defending migrants by Xin Yage Migrant workers face a tough situation on the island. Their rights are denied, their contracts are not respected, and some of them have been tortured by their employers. After years of legal and cultural struggles, things are getting better. The Church and its affiliated groups help workers become better integrated in their milieus. Mhike So's story illustrates this fight for justice for those who have none.
02/26/2015INDIA Swine flu, more than 900 deaths in India since the beginning of the year It is the worst epidemic since 2010. More than 16 thousand cases of infection recorded throughout the country. The worst affected States are Rajashtan and Gujarat. In Ahmedabad, the government prohibits gatherings of more than five people, and requires the use of a face mask at weddings and funerals
02/25/2015MACAO - CHINA Beijing's anti-corruption drive sinks Macau casinos Casino revenue in the former Portuguese colony slumped for the eight month in a row, leading casino shares to perform poorly on the benchmark Hang Seng Index. Macau authorities announce restrictions on mainland visitors. Xi Jinping urged the city to change direction.
02/25/2015SYRIA IS abducts 150 Christians, rapes and kills women, a "tragic situation" for vicar to Aleppo A steady stream of horrific stories is coming out of jihadist-held areas. Terrorists hold hundreds of Christians, including seniors and children. For apostolic nuncio to Damascus, "Christians feel abandoned". There is "blood everywhere" and everyone is suffering. He believes that the war on terrorism is pointless but oil, "financial and military supplies" should be cut off.
02/25/2015SRI LANKA Sri Lanka, the government returns Paanama village to its inhabitants by Melani Manel Perera The land had been expropriated by the previous administration for tourist purposes. For years, the local population had launched a campaign to regain their property. Local leader: "Despite threats and abuse, we have had the courage to go on."