05/03/2015VATICAN Pope: Like the branches of the vine, we all depend on communion with the Risen Christ At the Regina Caeli Francis reflects on the Gospel passage of the Last Supper, when Christ knows that death is drawing near: "to impress firmly in their minds a fundamental truth: even when He will no longer be physically present in the midst of them, they will still be able to remain united to Him in a new way, and so bear much fruit". The Life of Christ "may be ours." Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Like a branch is part of a vine "Christians cannot distances themselves from communion with the Risen Christ. If, on the contrary, one should lose communion with Him, he would become sterile, or rather, harmful to the community." This was Pope Francis’ reflection this...
05/02/2015VATICAN Pope: The missionary zeal of Fray Serra challenges us, his witness provokes us Francis celebrates Mass marking a Day of Reflection on "Fray Junipero Serra, Apostle of California, witness of holiness," who will be canonized on 23 September. His work "has three characteristics: missionary zeal, Marian devotion and witness of holiness." "I wonder if today we are able to respond with the same generosity and the same courage to God's call."
05/02/2015INDIA - UNITED STATES Washington: religious freedom has worsened under Modi US Commission on International Religious Freedom Report 2015 in the subcontinent: "Since the elections last year, attacks and verbal violence against religious minorities have increased. The government is not doing enough to stop them. " Delhi responds: "You do not understand the country."
05/02/2015NEPAL Religions united for earthquake victims: We are all brothers and sisters by Christopher Sharma After the appeal launched by the Apostolic Vicar, the charitable organizations of various denominations decide to unite - under the leadership of Caritas - for rescue operations. Protestant Bishop: “Our prayers are accompanied by aid, we need international support." Imam Kathmandu: "We are delighted to be guided by the Catholics in these operations."
05/02/2015PHILIPPINES With Rome Synod on their minds, Filipino Catholics discuss marriage and family The event, scheduled for July, will include speakers such as Cardinal Tagle and the President of the Episcopal Conference. Civilly married couples, separated families, homosexuals and falling birth rates the central themes of the discussion. The goal is to formulate programs of spiritual enrichment for spouses.
05/02/2015SOUTH KOREA Korea, suicide leading cause of death for young people aged 9 to 24 years Suicide tops list for first time ever. Academic competition, excessive stress and absence of parents push the young to take their own lives. Second place goes to traffic accidents and third place to cancer. Main causes of suicide include academic pressure and economic stress. In 2060 only 11% of the Koreans will be under 24 years of age.
05/01/2015VIETNAM – VATICAN Vietnam today, 40 years after the fall of Saigon by Lee Nguyen On 30 April 1975, North Vietnamese forces seized Saigon, the capital of South Vietnam, thus ending the Vietnam War. Forty years later, the country has become a medium-size economic "tiger" in Asia and the world, a country with a capitalist economy behind a Communist facade, under a regime still bent on exerting tight social controls. There are some positive signs for the Church, but also acts of persecution, bans, and censorship, especially against bishops and priests. Yet, the country really needs the reconciliation Christians can bring to heal still present wounds and divisions.
05/01/2015VATICAN For the pope, the faces of hungry men and women should take centre stage at Expo by Papa Francesco Pope Francis today addressed via a televised link-up the opening ceremony of Expo Milano 2015 (1 May-31 October), the world fair centred on ‘Feeding the planet. Energy for Life’. For the Holy Father, this “Expo is a propitious opportunity to globalise solidarity. Let us not waste it; let us make the very most of it.” In his view, a change of mind-set is also needed to overcome the “paradox of abundance” and the culture of waste and castoffs. The pope’s full speech is reprinted below.
05/01/2015CHINA China’s one-child policy is state violence against women and children by Reggie Littlejohn Although occasionally “tweaked,” the infamous law has not been eliminated and is having disastrous demographic consequences: labor shortages, an aging population, a skewed sex ration between men and women, women trafficking and sexual slavery. However, the government is not going to repeal it because it helps it control the population. The Party “is maintaining its grip on power by shedding the blood of the innocent women and babies of China,” said Reggie Littlejohn in her testimony before the Congressional Executive Commission on China.
05/01/2015IRAQ Baghdad grants amnesty to deserters to fight the Islamic State group Prime Minister Abadi offers an amnesty to defectors who return to their units within 30 days. The military collapse last June paved the way for the Islamic State group to seize parts of the country. The amnesty does not include those who committed crimes against state security, corruption and abuse of influence. Meanwhile, suicide attacks continue.
05/01/2015NEPAL Kathmandu: as relief fails to arrive, survivors resort to eating dead animals and reading the Bible by Christopher Sharma In many areas far from the capital, no relief has arrived in seven days. “I have three children and a pregnant wife,” said Ram Bhujel, a survivor. “They all started crying from hunger. So, we decided to eat the meat of a dead buffalo." Epidemics are a real danger. The government admits the lack of resources. “The Lord saved me,” said one survivor, a convert to Christianity. “I shall dedicate my life to God, [. . .] and raise awareness [. . .] about His grace.”
04/30/2015INDIA Hypocritical Hindu radicals honour one Dalit abroad by Lenin Raghuvanshi India’s prime minister preside the rededication of the London home of B R Ambdekar, architect of India’s secular and democratic constitution. AsiaNews spoke with Dalit rights activist Raghuvanshi who calls the government’s plan an “emotional ploy” at a time when Ambedkar statues are being destroyed across the country.