Two Jewish extremists wearing a yarmulke and a tzitzit carried out the attack against the church, a major site for pilgrims from around the world. The attackers, who tried to hit the bishop celebrating the service, wounded a priest. The local Christian community is now afraid of what might happened during Holy Week and Easter.
Cui Maohu falls after anti-corruption agency started investigating his work in his native Yunnan. In June 2022 he was appointed head of the National Religious Affairs Administration, the executive arm of the United Front Work Department of the Communist Party of China. His is the third disciplinary action against a high-ranking official after China’s parliament ended its annual meeting a few weeks ago.
Six months after the calamity that sowed death and destruction in large parts of Pakistan, the families helped by AsiaNews were forced to leave Allah Bachao Shoro under threat from some Muslims. They still live under tents, exposed to insect bites and diseases. “These cruel floods have ruined our lives,” said one displaced person who prays to God to “send someone to support us.”
While Michelle Yeoh is celebrated as the first Asian woman to win an Oscar, Khairi Anwar found violent messages next to his vandalised car. His 2021 film tells the story of a teenage girl who seeks the meaning of life even in non-Islamic religions. Malaysia’s Communications minister urged people not to take the law in their own hands, but earlier this month he had distanced himself from the director.
Francis' appeal at the general audience for the Russian Orthodox nuns who are the object of political contention in the conflict in Ukraine: "Consecrated persons are a support for the people of God". In the catechesis, the pontiff dwelt on the meaning of being apostles today. "The relationships between us are also decisive for evangelisation".
A school principal was arrested during an inspection and boarding hostels came under investigation in the Diocese of Jabalpur, following pressure from Priyank Kanoongo, a Hindu nationalist and president of the National Commission for the Rights of the Child, who is not at his first initiative against Christian schools. Bishop Almeida called on the faithful to pray. "We have been serving the poor’ he said. In the end, “the truth will be vindicated in the court.”
On 20 March 2003, US and British troops launched Operation Iraqi Freedom, which led to the fall of Saddam Hussein. And opened the door wide to terrorism and institutional anarchy, only partly overcome in the last period. The cardinal retraces the country's recent history and the failure of an operation cloaked in freedom and democracy.
Sultan Al Remeithi, former Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Elders, recounts the pontificate from an Islamic perspective. The signing of the document on 'Fraternity', the affirmation of the values of Christianity against materialism, the trips to Muslim countries 'transcend dialogue'. The 'challenges' to be faced and the 'voice of reason' against extremism and terrorism.
Ayatollah Alavi Borujerdi, grandson of one of the teachers of the founder of the Islamic Republic, warns against the “strange desire” for Zoroastrianism or belonging to house churches. Traditional Shia clerics have lost credibility. Meanwhile, the authorities are looking for young women who danced on International Women's Day.
The pontiff today received the chancellor of a prestigious Iranian religious university. In Iraq, a three-day conference organised by the Community of Sant'Egidio and the Al-Khoei Institute ended today. For Chaldean Patriarch Sako, “centres of coexistence” should be set up to promote fraternity, exchange and cooperation to meet global challenges.
Hong Kong’s bishop accepted the invitation from the Archdiocese of Beijing. The last visit by a Hong Kong bishop, Mgr John Tong, was in 2008 for the Olympics, but on that occasion the latter was not allowed to meet Archbishop Li Shan of Beijing, who now heads the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association. The visiting delegation will include Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Ha, who in 2019 was very close to young Hong Kong protesters crushed by the China’s national security law.
Outgoing Prime Minister Li Keqiang said that it is necessary to “actively guide religions to adapt to socialist society”. In Henan, believers must fill out an online form to attend church Masses, mosque prayers or rituals in Buddhist temples. The newly selected (and useless) Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference has 11 Catholic representatives.
Her name is Aneeta and she is 24 years old. She was found after eight hours and this was made possible thanks to the intervention of the local parish priest. However, the girl's family was transferred to another village to avoid further retaliation.
In an open letter, the signatories, including former Foreign Minister Sujatha Singh, urge the prime minister to move against the wave of intolerance by Hindu extremists. A few days ago, a stand that distributed Bibles at the World Book Fair in Delhi was attacked. “All violence can be stopped immediately with just a word from the top leaders of the BJP”.
The Babylon Movement denounces its unconstitutionality because it ignores the rights of minorities. The law was approved in 2016, but only recently became official with publication in the Gazette. Fines of up to 16,000 euro. In Iraqi Kurdistan, a thousand-year-old Assyrian site was vandalised with the inscription 'Allah Akhbar'.
The Christian minister, who was killed in 2011 for his opposition to Islamic extremism and minority rights violations, was commemorated across the country. People miss “his leadership”. Human rights associations bemoan the failure to repeal the blasphemy laws while “the number of falsely accused has increased.”
The new Syro-Catholic archbishop is set to be formally ordained tomorrow in a region that for years had no pastor or resident priests. Yet, the community was able to survive. For months, the Islamic State group held the new prelate captive along with scores of parishioners. One of his priorities is “to renew the theological and biblical education” of priests.
Despite a court decision, some residents in the conservative city oppose the mosque; to prove their point, they held a “pork party” and someone placed a pig’s head in front of the building site. Previously, the arrival of Afghan and Yemeni refugees proved contentious as well. This side of the country conveys a very different image than the one propagated by K-pop.
Anwar Kenneth was sentenced to death in Lahore in 2002 for defending Christianity against Islam in the weeks following the 9/11 attacks. After five court-appointed lawyers refused to defend him, one agreed to take up his case at the next hearing. For human rights advocates, defending one’s faith cannot be considered blasphemy.
Telugu speakers were brought to Dhaka by the British in the 19th century from Andhra Pradesh to work as sanitation workers, which they still do. But in Bangladesh they have always been marginalised. A few days ago, the Dhaka South City Corporation began tearing down their homes and settlement deemed “illegal”. Two Evangelical churches were also demolished.
The Holy See and Oman established full diplomatic relations yesterday, opening their respective nunciature and embassy. Their aim is to promote “mutual understanding and further strengthening friendship and cooperation”. The local multi-ethnic Church must maintain communal ties.
The data contained in the 2022 report by Article18 activists. At least 134 believers were arrested because of their Christian affiliation, 30 were sentenced to jail or exile, 61 served time in prison. Those who promote prayer services in house churches are also in the crosshairs. Places of worship still closed due to restrictions related to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The local church, which is huge, is currently spared. The faithful are asking for prayers to change the mayor's mind. The destroyed house is located in an area of high urban value. The local Catholic community has been without a bishop since 2005. The renewal in October of the Sino-Vatican Agreement on the appointment of bishops has not stopped government repression.
Upon learning of the matter, the local archdiocese sent a message to the Election Commission of Karnataka, the BJP-led southern state where elections are scheduled in May. Out of over 9,000 names, at least 8,000 have disappeared in constituencies where mostly minorities vote. For spokesman Kanthraj, this is clear political tampering.
A local village chief, Wawan, climbed over a fence to storm the Kemah Daud Christian Church during prayers. Local Church officials call on the authorities to treat the matter seriously. Just last month, Indonesia’s president slammed “violent” acts at a conference with district officials.
Peaceful demonstration in a symbolic place in the capital to draw attention to the increase in hostile acts by Hindu nationalists. In 2022 alone, 598 incidents were recorded, almost two a day. A memorandum was sent to President Murmu with a request to set up a National Commission to deal with the phenomenon.
The inauguration of the interfaith complex opens in a ceremony, first concrete result of the signing of the Document on Human Fraternity by the pontiff and al-Azhar’s grand imam. It includes a mosque, a church, and a synagogue. A conference on interfaith relations is scheduled for tomorrow morning. For Rabbi Lustig, the House “will help build bridges between religious leaders and communities”.
In his meeting with the United Bible Societies, Francis mentioned those who, even today, are forced to flee their land and take God’s word with them and so spread it. About 1.5 billion people in the world still cannot read the Scriptures in their own language. The pontiff encourages the Bible’s translation and distribution on the various continents.
In Pakistan Islamic radicals ban Valentine’s Day, holding instead a “Day of Modesty”. In Sahiwal, the local parish’s organises a gathering for people of any religion, including couples, centred on a counter message of loving one another and not pitting religions against each other.
The BJP-ruled municipality proposes to tear down the place of worship, which dates back to the early times of Portuguese rule in order to widen a sports facility. The city says it will act only if it obtains the consent of the faithful. The local Catholic community is strongly opposed. People of all faiths are praying for consolation and solace in times of trouble and distress.