This year the Council of Churches of the Middle East has been tasked with preparing the texts for the Week of Prayer that is celebrated around the world from 18 to 25 January. For its part, the Taizé community is calling on young people to come to the Holy Land in May for the new stage of its “Pilgrimage of Trust on Earth".

Ranking is based on the Henley Passport Index, which looks at visa-free access to 227 locations. European and English-speaking countries are at the top. China is way down (64th), behind Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau. Afghanistan is in last place.


| 15/01/2022

From a hundred in 2010, only a dozen remains: nine males and three females. Despite protection measures adopted since 2001 in cooperation with the UN, the situation has become “extremely critical”. Drought, poaching and road accidents are the main risk factors. Iran is home to at least 1,300 different animal species, 130 of which are threatened or at risk of extinction.


| 14/01/2022

Card Malcolm Ranjith calls on the police to undertake a transparent inquiry; instead, they arrested the sacristan who found the device, refusing to view CCTV footage. Meanwhile, the Catholic Church held a national day of prayer today to mark a thousand days since the Easter Sunday attacks.

| 14/01/2022
by Nirmala Carvalho

Arrested in 2018 following accusations by a former superior of the Missionaries of Jesus, the bishop of Jalandhar, who was put on leave of absence, always maintained his innocence. Only 39 witnesses out of 84 were called to testify in court.

| 14/01/2022

For Kim’s regime, fighting the pandemic is the top priority. However, North Korea fears Chinese political and economic retaliation. The US boycott weighed on the decision since Washington is viewed by North Korea as the only negotiating partner that can end its international isolation.

| 14/01/2022

Beijing and Syrian representatives sign the official entry into the Belt and Road Initiative, as a means of strengthening and relaunching bilateral relations. China has sent one million anti-Covid vaccines and Assad is boosting the axis of 'resistance'. For those in favour, it is a response to the poverty caused by the conflict. But there are those who speak of "a worser evil". 

| 14/01/2022
by Mathias Hariyadi

​In Indonesia, pastoral work with prisoners is carried out by lay people and very few religious. The archbishop of Pontiak urged priests to stay close to Catholic prisoners, who are often involved in drug trafficking. Fr Burrows: "They seek spiritual comfort and a friend to talk to".

| 14/01/2022
by Giorgio Bernardelli

The election campaign for the legislative assemblies in five Indian states has begun. All eyes are on Uttar Pradesh, which with its 200 million inhabitants is crucial for the national balance. Hindu nationalist monk Yogi Adityanath, head of the outgoing local government and Modi's would-be successor for BJP leadership, is fanning the flames of resentment against Muslims. But he has to reckon with party defections.

| 14/01/2022
by Vladimir Rozanskij

For the pontiff's birthday she recorded the album "Fratelli tutti". She was thanked for helping to give a positive image of Catholicism in Russia. In 2013, the Holy Father had asked her to sing "only for God and to spread goodness".


| 14/01/2022

Today's headlines: Pyongyang launches third missile in a fortnight, Thailand resumes negotiations with separatist groups. In Indonesia, 100 lashes to a woman for adultery in Aceh province. Uzbekistan reduces electricity supply to Afghanistan, in Iraq fresh missile attacks on American embassy.

| 14/01/2022

Although the new variant is spreading and the number of infections has reached a new record since the start of the pandemic, Israel reopened its borders last Sunday. A new website explains the new entry rules, which apply to the vaccinated or recently recovered only. For Israeli PM Bennett, the new wave is an “unstoppable storm”, but “There's no place for panic”. Keeping the economy open and protecting the vulnerable are the priority.

| 13/01/2022
by Arundathie Abeysinghe

Indebted and grappling with a severe financial crisis, Colombo tries to balance the interests of Beijing, Delhi and Washington. Affected by the pandemic, the island nation needs foreign currency to pay for its growing imports. China’s “debt trap” is an issue. Sri Lanka reaches oil deals with India.

| 13/01/2022
Editor's choices
by Arundathie Abeysinghe
Indebted and grappling with a severe financial crisis, Colombo tries to balance the interests of Beijing, Delhi and Washington. Affected by the pandemic, the island nation needs foreign currency to pay for its growing imports. China’s “debt ...
| 13/01/2022
Myanmar’s armed forces attacked ethnic militias over the weekend. Fighting was reported yesterday. Despite international sanctions, trade in timber continued in 2021.
| 12/01/2022
The Burmese population has demonstrated against the arrival of the strongman from Phnom Penh in various parts of the country. Indonesia's President Joko Widodo has reiterated that Myanmar's generals must continue to be excluded from ASEAN meetings ...
| 08/01/2022
by Emanuele Scimia
China is the main economic player in Central Asia, but Russia remains the dominant military power. However, over time Beijing may no longer be able to outsource its trade and energy security in the region to Moscow. Many Kazakhs see the Chinese as invaders ...
| 07/01/2022
by Giorgio Licini *
The case of the world tennis star is turning the spotlight forced in the same cramped quarters with 34 refugees whose request for asylum has been rejected for nine years. Held first on the islands of Manus and Nauru, they were eventually moved to Australia ...
| 07/01/2022
by Dario Salvi
The woman who was fleeing from the Taliban died after being caught in a storm, but her two children, who are now in the care of Iranian soldiers across the border, are safe. Turkish officials offload responsibility. AsiaNews sources: "Many people" have ...
| 04/01/2022
The year that just began will be crucial for the Asian continent. Although the fight against the pandemic will continue to be the main concern for many governments, several political events are already scheduled. Some of the main dates call for close ...
| 01/01/2022
From the general of repression in Myanmar to the courageous nun in Kabul, from the voices of freedom in prison in Hong Kong to the Jesuit who died after eight months in jail in India: we retrace these twelve months in Asia through the stories of some ...
| 31/12/2021
“L’Asia: ecco il nostro comune compito per il terzo millennio!” - Giovanni Paolo II, da “Alzatevi, andiamo”