05/06/2015PHILIPPINES Filipino Church blames secularism for fundamentalism, calls for an end to shedding blood in the name of God by Socrates B. Villegas* The president of the Filipino bishops' conference, Mgr Villegas, sends a message to the dioceses of his country, which is “large enough an archipelago for Christians and Muslims,” and where “we have managed to live [. . .] side by side” [. . .]. For him, “It is not enough to beam at news of Pope Francis”. People have to understand his call for peace and tolerance. Those who kill in the name of God commit blasphemy and should be disavowed. Manila (AsiaNews) – To kill in God’s name – this is one of the most painful contradictions of our time! And it has turned many away from religion. In fact, whenever news networks flash reports on the deaths even of helpless civilians and innocent...
05/06/2015VIETNAM – VATICAN Saigon Redemptorists to follow Francis and renew the mission for the poor and marginalised by Nguyen Hung The congregation, present in Vietnam since 1921, has welcomed its new superior, who will be in office from 2015 to 2019. Fr Joseph Nguyen Ngoc Bich told AsiaNews that his focus will be on children, seniors and war veterans. The social ministry will reflect the Gospel message. Can Gio Parish welcomes its new pastor.
05/06/2015VATICAN Pope: Christian marriage, "image" of "indissoluble" love of Christ for his Church The sacrament of marriage is "a great act of faith and love", and also "courage" and has a "missionary dimension". "We must seriously ask ourselves: Do we, as believers and pastors really accept this unbreakable bond of the history of Christ and the Church with the history of marriage and of the human family?".
05/06/2015KYRGYZSTAN Kyrgyzstan’s economic crisis pushes up suicide rate A study shows that the suicide rate in the Central Asian country jumped from 550 in 2000 to around 700. The global economic crisis is blamed for the increase. Apostolic Administrator Mgr Nikolaus Messmer agrees with the findings. The problem is especially serious among teenagers.
05/06/2015MYANMAR Peace plan at risk as three ethnic groups threaten to quit talks The decision comes after repeated government army attacks. Military operations complicate the already "fragile" peace talks. Naypyidaw government pressuring other groups to exclude "rebel" movements. New conflict between the Burmese and Kachin leaders.
05/06/2015NEPAL UN: Epidemic emergency in Nepal, 1.7 million children at risk by Christopher Sharma The alarm is linked at the approach of the monsoon season. Tens of thousands of people are still living outdoors, exposed to rain and bad weather. Measles, which is highly contagious, is what most concerns international agencies and the World Health Organisation.
05/06/2015INDONESIA - ISLAM Aceh, new pro-sharia rules: males and females separated at school by Mathias Hariyadi Since yesterday the regency has imposed a division between the sexes in educational institutions. The measure relates to schools, colleges and universities. Travel by motorcycle between people of different sexes banned, unless there is a marital relationship. Shopkeepers banned from displaying mannequins in the window.
05/06/2015TUNISIA - ISLAM Huge security measures as hundreds of Jews make Djerba pilgrimage. Representatives from France, Italy and Britain are expected to visit the Ghriba synagogue, the oldest in Africa. Tunisia refutes Netanyahu’s claim of a "concrete terrorist threat". The country wants to reboot tourism, brought to a halt by the Arab Spring uprisings and attacks by terrorists.
05/05/2015PHILIPPINES For missionary in Mindanao, MILF-government agreement is not perfect, but it is better than nothing In recent months, the Filipino Congress has been discussing the Bangsamoro Basic Law, which is the cornerstone of an agreement between the government and Islamic separatist groups. For Fr D'Ambra, “It is a small step toward peace, but divisions among Muslims are a source of concern". Meanwhile, Abdul Basit Usman, a known Islamic terrorist sought since 2002, was killed yesterday.
05/05/2015PAKISTAN Pakistan’s religious minorities included in school textbooks by Shafique Khokhar History courses for grade 8, 10 and 11 students will contain references to the role Christians, Hindus and Sikhs played in building the country after independence. The successful changes to the curriculum is the work of the Pakistan Minorities Teachers' Association (PMTA). Excerpts from the first speech to the country’s Constituent Assembly by Pakistan founder Ali Jinnah, with references to freedom of religion and equality between citizens, will be included as well.
05/05/2015VATICAN Jubilee: living mercy following the Father’s example The calendar and list of activities associated with the Jubilee of Mercy were presented today. For the first time, a jubilee will be celebrated in all the dioceses of the world. On 3 April 2016 there will be the Jubilee of movements, associations, religious institutions; on September 4, that of charity volunteers; on 9 October, that of Marian spirituality; and April 24, that of kids. There will also be a Jubilee for inmates, which might include the presence of some inmates at St Peter. There will be no jubilee for youth because they will meet for World Youth Day in Krakow, 26-31 July.