01/30/2015VATICAN Pope: To avoid being "lukewarm" Christians must cherish the "memory" of our first encounter with Jesus, have "hope" and "courage" "It’s painful and heart-breaking to see so many Christians - so many Christians! – half-way along the road, so many Christians who’ve failed along this road towards a meeting with Jesus, going away from this encounter with Jesus. This road where they’ve lost the memory of that first love and no longer have any hope". Vatican City (AsiaNews)
- A Christian must always preserve his "memory" of his first
encounter with Christ and the "hope" in Him, which leads one to move
forward in life with the "courage" of the faith, to avoid "the
great danger" of becoming...
01/30/2015CHINA Chinese government attacks textbooks that promote Western values For Education Minister Yuan Guiren, high schools and universities should shun or ban textbooks that promote "non-Chinese" values. Previously, President Xi Jinping had also attacked freedom of thought. Teachers who speak out are hounded, fired and even jailed.
01/30/2015NEPAL Nepal government revokes license from "unofficial" religious schools by Christopher Sharma The decision concerns institutions that are not run by religious organisations that can operate and finance them. For the authorities, "economic sustainability" and "suspicious fundamentalist activity" are the reasons for closure. Madrassas are affected.
01/30/2015MYANMAR Education reform: government open to students for changes to legislation by Francis Khoo Thwe On Sunday, government officials, lawmakers, student representatives and members or an educational reform group will examine 11 demands made by students. The government is "in principle" open to some changes. Sources tell AsiaNews that students want to have "lawyers, donors, and prominent figures" in the discussion.
01/30/2015UZBEKISTAN - CENTRAL ASIA Central Asia: Uzbekistan could miss the train in the transport area by Umida Hashimova Tashkent is far from the hub of Central Asia trade. The Chinese government is putting pressure on Kyrgyzstan for a transnational railway project. Moscow closely watches over regional transport region and Iran favours projects in Uzbekistan to reach China. Turkmenistan is a potential competitor and "regional leader in transportation linkages" in the region.
01/30/2015THAILAND - GERMANY Bangkok, military junta cancels seminar on press freedom The Friedrich Ebert Foundation forced to cancel conference, part of a series of annual events on the difficulties of journalists in Asia. Thai Media confirm a growing censorship. Prime Minister announces zero tolerance against dissent: anyone critical of authority will be summoned.
01/30/2015EGYPT - ISLAM 27 soldiers and police die in four Islamic State attacks in Egypt A military hostel and the headquarters of the newspaper al-Ahram Al-Arish destroyed; car bomb in Rafah; an attempt to blow up a power station in Port Said. For now, the Suez Canal remains safe. The attacks reveal a high level of coordination.
01/30/2015IRAQ Mar Sako, two years as Chaldean Patriarch: Main challenge is "the unity of the Church in the East" by Louis Raphael I Sako* On the second anniversary of his election, the Patriarch appeals for the unity of the Eastern Churches and announces the formation of "a joint committee of dialogue". He recalls the "joyful mission" to "witness" the Gospel "to the world today." Finally, Mar Sako appeals for Christians to "remain" close to the suffering of "our displaced brothers and sisters of all denominations."
01/29/2015JAPAN - SYRIA - ISLAM Anxious hours in Tokyo, as Islamic State ultimatum expires Terrorists still hold a Japanese hostage, Kenji Goto Jogo, and a Jordanian pilot, Lt Muath al-Kaseasbeh. Negotiations are set to expire at sunset (Syrian time). Terrorists want the release of failed suicide bomber Sajida al-Rishawi. Helpless, Tokyo leaves negotiations in Jordanian hands.
01/29/2015ASIA The mission to the nations is in Asia by Piero Gheddo Francis' apostolic journeys to Korea, Sri Lanka and the Philippines indicate that the missionary choice is still of huge relevance. The Church must support and develop this aspect, and bring Christ's "Good News" to those peoples who still consider it as an emanation of Western colonialism. In this, PIME has a task to play.
01/29/2015INDIA For Indian bishop, to save girls from selective abortions, minds must be educated The Supreme Court orders Google, Yahoo and Microsoft to ban pre-natal sex selection ads. Prime Minister launches two new programmes to educate and empower girls. "Indian society is sexist," CBCI Office for Women chairman told AsiaNews. thus, Indian women must be helped "to be aware and empower themselves".
01/29/2015EGYPT - ISLAM For Catholic Church spokesman, al-Sisi's Egypt is more liberal on new churches and freedom of expression The government has issued construction permits for a new church in New Cairo and two in Upper Egypt. Some permit applications go back 8-10 years. Mubarak never favoured church construction. After the elections, the new parliament is required to upgrade legislation governing the construction of places of worship. Representatives of Christian Churches drafted the bill. A Christian family law is also on the drawing board.