02/27/2015PHILIPPINES - VATICAN For Filipino bishops' president, "pope awakes from indifference, a national evil" Speaking to AsiaNews, Mgr Socrates Villegas, archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan and president of the Filipino bishops' conference, underscores "the enormous importance of Francis' message for this Lent. Ours is a Catholic country, but selfishness is conquering more and more." The pope's great mass in Manila was "ray of sunshine that illuminates the future. Among those present, 50 per cent were under 20. They are our best hope." Manila (AsiaNews) - Pope Francis' Message for this Lent "is an alarm
clock that plays on the conscience of all Filipinos. Indifference is now a
national evil here too. It is true that we are the...
02/27/2015ISRAEL Arson attack against Greek Orthodox seminary in Jerusalem Jewish extremists are the main suspects. Disparaging phrases about Jesus were found on the building's walls, some identical to graffiti found on a mosque set on fire a few days ago. Israeli President Reuven Rivlin expresses his sadness at the incident, whilst Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat called it "deplorable".
02/27/2015CHINA - LATIN AMERICA China, a record 2014 for loans to Latin America Beijing has lent $ 22 billion a year to the South American continent and is poised to break the of 2010 record, when the figure touched 37 billion. Analysts warn: "China may tacitly require that Chinese companies have a hand in some projects". "Diplomacy of the yuan" continues to spread from Southeast Asia to Africa.
02/27/2015EGYPT - LIBYA - ISLAM The Lent of the 21 Egyptian Copts martyred in Libya by Bernardo Cervellera The Islamic State claim to fight for God, but in reality that suffer from megalomania because they feel themselves to be God. The 21 timid martyrs who whispered the name of Jesus with their last breath testified to the very end how the center of their lives, was not their own well-being but Jesus himself. This year, in his Lenten Message Pope Francis asked us to combat the "globalization of indifference": " As long as I am relatively healthy and comfortable, I don’t think about those less well off. Today, this selfish attitude of indifference has taken on global proportions, to the extent that we can speak of a globalization of indifference”.
02/27/2015MYANMAR - ASIA WHO sounds alarm over spread of Bird flu after massive cull in Myanmar Concerns over the rapid spread and genetic swapping of the virus, termed "unprecedented”. Taiwan, Myanmar and Vietnam, as well as Egypt, the United States and Hungary under observation. In the center of Myanmar in 1500 poultry and over 20 thousand quail specimens culled. Many poultry farms risk collapse.
02/27/2015HONG KONG Hong Kong, employer who tortured Indonesia maid jailed for six years The case of Erwiana Sulistyaningsih rocked the former British colony. The immigrant, without friends or relatives, lived as a domestic worker in the home of Law Wan-tung: the woman abused her in every possible way and then tried to smuggle her home. The judge: "A regrettable story ". The victim: "Not completely satisfied"
02/26/2015BANGLADESH Prostitution and forced labour: trafficking in human beings in Bangladesh by Sumon Corraya The Asian country is a source and a transit point for victims. The cases involving women and children are the most documented, but men are victims are well. Boys under ten are more likely to be entangled in this traffic; girls tend to be aged 11 to 16. Some of victims go to the Gulf countries. In Bangladesh, the local Caritas helps the victims.
02/26/2015CHINA China, first ever Holocaust commemoration for the Shanghai Ghetto This was announced by the World Jewish Congress. During the Japanese occupation, approximately 23 thousand Jews were closed into the area to pay homage to Hitler, Tokyo’s ally. Liberated on September 3, 1945, "it is a part of the extermination that is never remembered."
02/26/2015INDIA Hindu radicals: We will convert Christians and Muslims until the government stops us by Nirmala Carvalho The provoking remark was made by the leader of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), which will celebrate the anniversary of the extremist group in Kandhamal. In 2008 the worst anti-Christian persecution of Indian history took place there. The Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC): "No concrete action of the Government after the statements on religious freedom by Prime Minister Modi."
02/26/2015MYANMAR Education Reform: Buddhist nationalists and government endanger agreement by Francis Khoo Thwe The government has been circulating a different draft from that one agreed with the students. It has not excluded taking legal action against protesting students. The latter have issued an ultimatum against the authorities. Fear is growing of a possible crackdown. Buddhist nationalist groups come out against the use of minority languages in education.
02/26/2015TAIWAN Lent in Taiwan: proclaiming the Gospel by defending migrants by Xin Yage Migrant workers face a tough situation on the island. Their rights are denied, their contracts are not respected, and some of them have been tortured by their employers. After years of legal and cultural struggles, things are getting better. The Church and its affiliated groups help workers become better integrated in their milieus. Mhike So's story illustrates this fight for justice for those who have none.