11/27/2015BANGLADESH Religious intolerance growing in Bangladesh, but “it is not certain that ISIS is responsible” The Islamic State group claimed responsibility in a number of incidents, including a threatening text message sent to a Catholic priest, a letter telling ten Baptist clergymen that their lives are at risk, and an attack by gunmen against worshippers at a Shia mosque. However, it is likely that “ISIS is trying to steal the show.” The Caliphate does not recognise the radical group that operates in Bangladesh. Factional divisions have led to a power struggle among extremist groups. Dinajpur (AsiaNews) – Violence against the leaders of religious minorities and Shia Muslims is escalating. A Catholic priest received a threating text message; a letter was sent to ten Baptist ministers saying that their lives were in danger; and gunmen opened fire at a Shia mosque in...
11/27/2015SAUDI ARABIA Riyadh plans mass execution of 55 people in one day These include those convicted of crimes related to terrorism and internal revolt. The executions are "imminent". In 2015 151 people executed, the highest number since 1995. Activists: the government uses the death sentences to solve the problem of internal dissidence.
11/27/2015CHINA - THAILAND Two Chinese dissidents forcibly repatriated and arrested The activist Dong Guangping and political cartoonist Jiang Yefei were arrested by Thai police for illegal immigration. Both had received refugee status by the UN, however, the status is not recognized by Bangkok. The Thai police handed them over to Beijing, who immediately arrested them. The two have been targeted by the Chinese authorities for years, subjected to arrest and torture.
11/27/2015ISRAEL - EGYPT Coptic Patriarch Tawadros in Jerusalem for the first time in 35 years by Joshua Lapide The head of the Coptic Church is in the holy city for the funeral of Archbishop Anba Abraham, who died two days ago. In 1980, Shenouda III forbade the Orthodox Copts from traveling to Jerusalem until the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was resolved. Welcomed at Notre Dame, owned by the Holy See. The Coptic Orthodox Church is the largest Christian community in the Middle East.
11/26/2015CHINA – SOUTH KOREA Phoney “cloning pioneer” plans a cloning animal factory Once a national hero in South Korea, scientific fraudster Hwang Woo-suk wants to work with China’s Chinese Yingke Boya Gene Technology Ltd to clone prime choice beef. Scepticism prevails among experts on both health and economic grounds.
11/26/2015ISRAEL – PALESTINE With Gaza like a huge prison, Caritas Jerusalem is raising funds for Christmas gifts for Christians The Catholic charity wants to raise US$ 50,000 to buy gifts for the Strip’s 350 Christian families who live in what the Caritas general director describes as a desperate situation, from which many want to escape. He does not want money or aid; instead, he calls on Western Christians to come “in pilgrimage” to the Holy Land, to show their tangible “closeness and solidarity”.
11/26/2015INDIA Bihar to go dry next year Alcohol ban is Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s first decision since his re-election in early November. Alcohol abuse is rampant among the poor. Last year, the state earned US$ 600 in tax revenues from alcohol.
11/26/2015BANGLADESH Recuperating fast, Fr Piero soon to return to Italy Three unknown assailants attacked Fr Piero Parolari. As his health improves, he can speak without difficulty and can walk. Doctors have reduced his drug dosage. He will soon be transferred to Rome’s Bambino Gesù Hospital to recuperate. Christian groups organise a human chain in Dinajpur.
11/26/2015MYANMAR – VATICAN Card Bo: Jubilee of Mercy for a future of peace and prosperity in Myanmar by Charles Maung Bo* In a pastoral letter for the Year of Jubilee, the archbishop of Yangon reminds the nation that it needs "mercy and compassion". The local Church’s task is to set an example and be a reference against a reality of indifference, hatred and violence. Following Laudato si’, people must show mercy to "a wounded planet." Guidelines are available at the national and parish levels.
11/26/2015INDONESIA Jakarta, respect for human rights only path to social peace by Mathias Hariyadi Human Rights Cities conference held in the capital, brought together ministers of the country and human rights groups. Activist: "This movement is not only a political label, but the heart of change in our city." According to data of 2013, 542 cases of violations are attributable to the government. The Minister for Human Rights announces measures in 490 districts in favor of the population.
11/26/2015VATICAN - KENYA Pope in Kenya: never violence in God's name, call to mission and to create a just society On his second day in Africa, Francis meets religious leaders and celebrates Mass. "The health of any society depends on the health of families." "Support for families in their mission within society, to welcome children as a blessing to our world and to defend the dignity of every man and every woman, because we are all brothers and sisters in the human family." "Interfaith understanding, friendship and cooperation in defending the dignity conferred by God on individuals and peoples".
11/26/2015CHINA Supreme Court reduces prison term against journalist Gao Yu Known for her sharp criticism of the communist regime, the reporter was arrested in April 2014 and sentenced to seven years in prison. After appeal, the judges reduce term by two years for "health reasons". Given her age, she may be moved to house arrest.