08/31/2015EGYPT Egyptians will go to the poll starting on 17 October to elect a new parliament After three years, voters will pick 568 members of the lower house. Sisi loyalists are favoured to win. The vote is expected to give the president a veneer of legitimacy after jumpstarting the economy and holding back the Islamist onslaught. Cairo (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Egypt's electoral commission announced on Sunday that legislative elections, the first since President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi took office, will take place in several phases starting...
08/31/2015ORTHODOX CHURCH – VATICAN Bartholomew I and Catholics together on World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation For the first time tomorrow, Orthodox and Catholics will celebrate event together, which Pope Francis picked this year. The content of the patriarch’s message is very similar to that of the encyclical Laudato si’. Man is a fool to think that he owns creation rather than being its steward. Ascetic behaviour can correct the excesses of consumerism. The Gospel can clean the spiritual garbage caused by material garbage.
08/31/2015INDIA Card. Toppo: Learning to take care of the earth and its inhabitants from India’s tribals by Nirmala Carvalho The Archbishop of Ranchi, speaks to AsiaNews ahead of the World Day of Prayer for the care of creation (1 September). The nation is home to "more than one million tribal Catholic, and in our culture we respect nature and will celebrate its gifts." Today "to be true witnesses of Christ, we must respond to the ecological crisis through a deep spiritual conversion."
08/31/2015CHINA Zhang Kai, a courageous lawyer who defended Zhejiang crosses with law books Arrested on 25 August, Zhang has not been heard ever since. He was the main defence lawyer in the case involving Churches and Christians in the province of Zhejiang. A devout Christian, he was able to get charges against Protestant Churches and clergymen overturned. “Just by going by the book,” he was able to save many churches and open a new path for defending people’s rights and religious freedom in China. What is more, “I have God as my backer,” he said.
08/31/2015LEBANON – VATICAN Michael Malke’s beatification and the future of Iraqi and Syrian martyrs by Fady Noun The martyrdom of the Syriac Catholic bishop at the hands of the Ottoman Empire continues logically into today’s persecution in Syria, Iraq and across the whole Middle East. Now, the victims of the massacre in the Cathedral of Our Lady of Salvation in Baghdad in 2010 will become the subject of a cause of beatification. Indifferent to the fate of Christians, the great powers have lost their way when it comes to refugees.
08/31/2015TIBET Mother of four dies after setting herself on fire against village demolitions Tashi Kyi also leaves behind her husband and her elderly father. She is the seventh victim since the beginning of 2015. Her nephew: "She was a generous believer and devoted to her family, she lived in good conditions". The woman was protesting against the repressive policies of Beijing. The police have seized her body. International Film Festival in Dharamsala, India, screens documentary film about self-immolations of Tibetan dissidents.
08/31/2015PALESTINE-ISRAEL Msgr. Michel Sabbah among demonstrators assaulted by Israeli army in Beit Jala by Joshua Lapide The Patriarch Emeritus of Jerusalem had joined hundreds of Palestinians demanding a stop to the construction of the wall near Bethlehem. Fears over new illegal settlements of Jewish settlers. "This land belongs to us ... and one day will be returned to us” ." You are stronger with your guns, but you are not the strongest when it comes to humanity."
08/30/2015VATICAN For pope, the blessed martyr Flavianus Michael Malke can bring “consolation” to persecuted Mideast Christians During the Angelus, Pope Francis mentioned yesterday’s beatification in Harissa (Lebanon) of the bishop killed during the Armenian-Syriac Genocide (1915), appealing to the international community to "do something" to end violence and abuses against religious freedom. He also urged the faithful to pray for the migrants who died trying to reach Europe, with a minute of silence observed for the 71 victims who suffocated to death in a lorry on their way to Vienna. “With external attitudes, one cannot call oneself a Christian unless one changes one’s heart,” he said. “The border between good and evil does not run outside of us but within us, in our consciousness."
08/29/2015IRAN - CHINA Tehran and Beijing to develop closer ties, work on Arak nuclear reactor project China will play a leading role in redesigning the Arak heavy-water reactor to reduce its plutonium output from 10 kg to less than 1kg. It might also help Iran build two small, 100 megawatts nuclear reactors. China, Iran and the US are set to meet in mid-September at the International Atomic Energy Agency's general conference.
08/29/2015IRAQ Baghdad patriarch calls for a government of "national emergency" to save Iraq by Joseph Mahmoud In a letter to Iraq’s highest authorities, Mar Sako calls for a government that represents all of the country’s components. He notes that reforms currently discussed should be wisely vetted before they are approved. Politicians should possess “high integrity and professionalism”. Ethnic and sectarian militias should be incorporated into the regular police and armed forces.