01/27/2015VATICAN Pope: Lent, a time of personal and communal renewal to defeat the globalization of indifference Lenten Message of Francis. In the communion of saints, in this sharing in holy things, no one possesses anything alone, but shares everything with others. " those places where the Church is present, especially our parishes and our communities, may become islands of mercy in the midst of the sea of indifference". "Anyone who wishes to be merciful must have a strong and steadfast heart, closed to the tempter but open to God. A heart which lets itself be pierced by the Spirit so as to bring love along the roads that lead to our brothers and sisters". Vatican City (AsiaNews) - The "globalization of indifference," that is the worldly
dimension of "forgetting" those who are not well is "a real temptation"
for Christians who, to avoid closing in on themselves must renew themselves, and
Lent is "a time of renewal for the Church, the community and the
individual faithful." To
this end, Pope Francis in his
Message for Lent, made public today,
01/27/2015SRI LANKA Sri Lanka's Tamils welcome the new president "with hope and fear" by Melani Manel Perera Tamil votes in the northern part of the country were crucial in ensuring Maithripala Sirisena's victory. Now Tamils want basic human rights restored, the military back in their barracks and new economic policies to curb the price of basic necessities.
01/27/2015CAMBODIA Building up the Church starting from the bottom up by Mario Ghezzi A missionary struggling with a new small community of 10 people, including many who are disabled, shares his many thoughts. Misery is "the most fertile ground" for the Gospel to take root. For a newly baptised woman, "The most beautiful gift I received from God is my disability". Father Mario Ghezzi, PIME missionary, has been in Cambodia for 16 years.
01/27/2015TURKEY - SYRIA Kurdish victory in Kobane worries Erdogan The Islamic state had threatened the city since September. Some 1,800 people died in the fighting with tens of thousands made refugees. Turkey's ambiguity stems from its fear that a Kurdish autonomous region might emerge in northern Syria.
01/27/2015RUSSIA - CRIMEA The Catholic Church in Crimea must register according to Russian law The Vatican does not recognize the annexation of the peninsula to Russia, but the priority now is not to abandon the local community. AsiaNews sources: "It 'a difficult process even for the Orthodox." The authorities reassure the renewal of visas for the non-Russian clergy, but problems remain.
01/27/2015PHILIPPINES Filipino bishops condemn Maguindanao carnage: We need a real peace plan At least 43 special forces killed during shootout between security forces and rebel militias. The Bishops Conference speaks of "act of violence against human life", in a land "tired of battles and conflicts." The bishops call for a "inclusive” solution, based on "correct principles" for all. Even for MILF leaders peace is "the only possible solution."
01/27/2015CHINA Zhejiang, Hong Kong journalist arrested for investigating cross demolition The woman, Jiang Yannan, was released after a long interrogation: she had been followed and those she interviewed harassed. The authorities have knocked down over 400 Christian crosses in a government campaign of "rectification". Chinese journalists increasingly targeted: still no news of Zhang Miao and Xin Jian.
01/27/2015TIBET - CHINA Beijing sends a new flood of Han migrants to Lhasa: Tibetans risk disappearing The central government pushes 280 thousand citizens to move in the Tibetan capital to "support the advancement of the region". The government in exile: "With this excuse, they are in fact marginalizing the natives from every sphere of influence". Since the launch of migration policies to date, non-Tibetans living in the region have increased tenfold.
01/26/2015INDONESIA The "war" between police and anti-corruption agency shows President Jokowi's weakness by Mathias Hariyadi The power struggle currently underway in Indonesia is threatening the country's stability. The corruption watchdog blocked the appointment of a close associate of former President Megawati to the post of police chief. As a result, the anti-corruption agency's chief has become the victim of a smear campaign, whilst his deputy chief has been arrested. Human rights activists and civil society groups have taken to the streets to defend the rule of law. The president is a hostage of those powerful groups that backed his presidency bid.
01/26/2015INDIA - UNITED STATES Obama and Modi reach nuclear deal without giving details After years of deadlock, the two powers take an "important step" to implement an earlier 2005 US decision to provide India reactor components. The US leader shortens his visit to fly to Saudi Arabia. China cast its shadow over the meeting.
01/26/2015VIETNAM - ASIA A top Vietnamese architect designs low-cost housing that can withstand natural disasters Vo Trong Nghia and his team want to build prefabricated homes for less than US$ 4,000 that can resist earthquakes, floods, and typhoons. Thrilled by the project, the first beneficiary of the bamboo and coconut leaf prototype home is a farmer in the Mekong Delta. NGOs and international organisations are ready to support large-scale use of this technology.