12/20/2013ITALY - ASIA The joy of the Gospel and Christmas by Bernardo Cervellera Pope Francis's apostolic exhortation is a great comfort for those who seek to build bridges to each other, without fear of going against public feelings. The "mild light of Christ" can confound and ultimately cancel the artificial light of the world. Best wishes from AsiaNews to its readers and friends; that they may "work" with the Saviour who is born. Rome (AsiaNews) -
The Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii
gaudium Pope Francis drafted for the end of the Year of Faith and the Synod
on the new evangelisation is the best possible Christmas gift for us Christians,
12/20/2013JORDAN - SYRIA Comboni Sister sees hope in the eyes of Syrian refugees Sister Adele Brambilla, a Comboni nun working at the Italian hospital in Karak (southern Jordan) describes the daily life of Syrian refugees. Thousands of families are camped with nothing to keep them warm in the cold winter. Diseases and cold are killing children. The smile on the face of a young mother holding her baby breaks through the tragedy, bearing witness to the beauty of Christmas.
12/20/2013INDIA Missionaries of Mother Teresa: The silent God lights up Christmas for people with HIV by Yesudas MC* Brother Yesudas, director of the Shanti Bavan men's hostel, is about to leave on a new mission. The past nine years during which he helped men with HIV/AIDS fill with gratitude for "the struggles, the pain, criticism, non-cooperation, jealousy, humiliation, and above all the joy of seeing the resurrected life in so many young men." At Christmas, he calls on others to open their hearts to those "who suffer discrimination and non-acceptance."
12/20/2013IRAQ Chaldean Patriarch: amid war and crises, Christmas is the Middle East's real hope by Mar Louis Raphael I Sako On his first Christmas as patriarch, Mar Raphael Louis Sako I will address the Christians of Iraq, the Middle East and the Diaspora, pointing out that the face of the Child Jesus is a source of wellness and prosperity, for our "Muslim brothers" too. Priests and the faithful must turn churches into "real grottoes," enlivened by the love and warmth of the faith.
12/20/2013BANGLADESH Catholics call on Bangladesh government to protect churches at Christmas by Sumon Corraya After Islamic fundamentalists attack minority Hindus, Christians live in fear. The country's political cleavages could lead the country into a new phase of violence and instability. According to a local NGO, 433 people have been killed in political clashes since the start of the year with thousands more injured.
12/20/2013TIBET - CHINA Tibet, Chinese police beat an influential Buddhist monk to death Jamyang Geshe Ngawang, a religious teacher much loved by his community, was arrested on November 23 in Lhasa. His body, with obvious signs of violence, was returned to the family by agents who threatened to kill his family to silence them .
12/20/2013VIETNAM World Bank and Vietnamese Church against forced expropriations: they halt development Social tensions arising from land disputes drive away foreign investors and diminish growth. Expected development index lowest since 1999. In three years, more than 700 thousand disputes put dozens of infrastructure projects at risk. Bishops' Conference : Constitutional amendments are needed to protect ownership of property. UN official in support of the Catholics of Con Dau .
12/20/2013PHILIPPINES Manila airport ambush leaves Mayor of Labangan and four others dead Two people, disguised as policemen, killed Ukol Talumpa , mayor of the province of Zamboanga del Sur. His wife and a toddler of one and a half also killed. The raid took place outside Terminal 3, at least 20 shots fired . In the past, the man had been the target of attacks.
12/19/2013RUSSIA Putin 'ready' to release Mikhail Khodorkovsky Former Yukos tycoon has already spent more than a decade in prison. Grace is motivated by "humanitarian circumstances." Mystery on the document: the detainee's lawyer denies that he did it to present it.
12/19/2013CHINA Party orders a "Marxist exam" for all Chinese journalists The exam will be based on a 700-page manual being sold in bookshops. The manual is peppered with directives such as "it is absolutely not permitted for published reports to feature any comments that go against the party line". Those who fail the test will lose the press card. Increase control over the media in the era of Xi Jinping.
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.
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!