Rubric Islam

Islam
by Joseph Masilamany

A single mother was found guilty of the sin of 'khalwat' (closeness) in a state ruled by the Islamist party. The sentence - a first - is scheduled to be carried out in Marang prison on 6 May. A case destined to represent a thermometer of the power relations with fundamentalists in Anwar Ibrahim's Malaysia

| 19/04/2024
| MALAYSIA
by Sumon Corraya

At the centre of the controversy is a film that tells the story of a young orphaned painter raised in an ashram. He refuses the courtship of a wealthy woman because he feels like a woman in a man's body. Attacks and controversy on social media. The issues of homosexuality and gender are sensitive in Bangladesh, a Muslim-majority nation.

| 19/04/2024
| BANGLADESH

At least 12 people are under investigation, six of whom are currently in jail. At the centre of the investigation is a cell based in Başakşehir and responsible for the attack on the Franciscan parish at the end of January. Other operations targeting the parliament, military barracks and police stations are under investigation. 

| 18/04/2024
| TURKEY
by Joseph Masilamany

Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim chaired a two-day meeting of the National Security Council. In a statement, he backs Iran’s “legitimate act” against Israel’s “barbaric” raid on its embassy. The Philippines express "great concern" over rising tensions, which have impacted air travel in the region.

| 16/04/2024
| MALAYSIA – IRAN
by Dario Salvi

Chaldean Patriarch calls for joint efforts to "ease" an escalation with "devastating" consequences. The Iraqi premier in Washington for a strenuous search for stability. The cardinal's satisfaction at returning to the capital after months of voluntary exile in protest against the withdrawal of the presidential decree. The promise of an inter-religious prayer for peace. 

| 16/04/2024
| GATEWAY TO THE EAST
by Sumon Corraya

The prelate, who chairs the Episcopal Commission for Christian Unity and Interreligious Dialogue, released a statement to mark the end of Ramadan. In it, he says that promoting “social fraternity and world peace” is a shared task. In addition to Eid celebrations, preparations are underway for Bengali New Year on 14 April.

| 10/04/2024
| BANGLADESH
by Fady Noun

A gang of Syrian car thieves is suspected in the abduction and murder of the senior leader of the Lebanese Forces. The Maronite party calls the death, a “premeditated crime”. For Minister for Displaced Persons Issam Sharafeddine, thousands of armed Syrians are roaming refugee camps, “ready to take action against the Syrian regime.” Nasrallah denies any Hezbollah involvement and warns against “dangerous” reactions.

| 09/04/2024
| GATEWAY TO THE EAST
by Shafique Khokhar

The influential opposition politician wants to evict more than 60 families despite receiving regular payment. By legal manoeuvring, he managed to get an eviction notice from the Supreme Court and does not intend to return the money he received. An appeal has been made to the chief minister of Punjab and the prime minister of Pakistan.

 

| 08/04/2024
| PAKISTAN

'The Line' was supposed to accommodate 1.5 million people by 2030, but updated plans speak of less than 300,000 by then. Out of 170 km of the total development, only 2.4 km will be realised by 2030. At least one contractor has already started cutting staff and the Saudi Public Investment Fund is looking for liquidity. 

| 08/04/2024
| SAUDI ARABIA

Delegation of Palestinian and Arab politicians applaud the dragon's policies and call Western accusations of human rights violations false. For experts, China orchestrates trips to Xinjiang to conceal persecution of the Muslim minority. At the same time, it seeks to expand its influence in the Muslim (and global) world. 

| 06/04/2024
| CHINA - ISLAM

Inaugural mass of the Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, in the al-Dawasa district. The place of worship had been conquered and devastated by jihadists, then turned into a police barracks of the Islamic State. The joy of the more than 300 Christians who attended the service. 

| 06/04/2024
| IRAQ

Today's news: Three  killed overnight in Gaza as Israeli police arrest dozens after al-Aqsa prayer; In Taiwan over 600 earthquake victims still waiting to be rescued; In India, consumer confidence is at its highest level since 2019; Hundreds of arrests in a joint police operation against child pornography in Singapore, South Korea and Hong Kong. 

 

| 06/04/2024
| ASIA TODAY

A spontaneous movement started on 24 March when a crowd marched towards the long-closed Israeli embassy. In response to the demonstrations, the police made arrests and accused the demonstrators of "aggression". Fr. Rifa Badert: fears of internal violent drift, fundamental to resolve the Palestinian question. 

| 05/04/2024
| JORDAN - ISRAEL - GAZA

This morning Francis received in audience the participants in the first meeting between the Dicastery for Interreligious Dialogue and the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions. In his address, he underlined three "aspects" to focus on, namely respect for diversity, environmental commitment to the common home, and the promotion of peace.

| 04/04/2024
| VATICAN
by Fady Noun

Led by Mohammed Sammak and Fayçal Sinno, the delegation visited the Holy See for the first time. The meeting with Card. Parolin and the greeting to Pope Francis. The aim is to develop a cooperation agreement at the level of Christian and Muslim educational institutions. A meeting with Fr. Youssef Nasr, secretary of the Lebanese Catholic schools, is planned for the end of Ramadan. 

| 03/04/2024
| LEBANON - VATICAN
by Vladimir Rozansky

The number of Tajiks involved in the Moscow massacre is increasing, with arrests and verifications also by the Dushanbe authorities. Despite the clampdown on mosques, recruitment is taking place via social networks, among the most marginalised sections of the population. And the hostility that is forcing many migrants to return home could have repercussions on the country ruled by Rakhmon for thirty years.

| 03/04/2024
| CENTRAL ASIA

After waiting in vain for asylum in Malaysia where she converted to Christianity, Laleh Saati, 45, returned to Iran. A local court found her guilty of acting "against national security” based on alleged links to " Zionist Christian organisations". The video of her baptism was entered as “evidence” of her “crime”.

| 30/03/2024
| IRAN – MALAYSIA
by Shafique Khokhar

The Catholic Commission for Interreligious Dialogue and Ecumenism organised an Iftar, the dinner that breaks the Ramadan fast, together with other minorities. For Archbishop Benny Mario Travas, the event is a testament to the values of compassion, empathy, and mutual respect that bind everyone.

| 27/03/2024
| PAKISTAN
by Vladimir Rozanskij

The Isis cell in the region between Afghanistan and Central Asia sees Russia as the main support for its two worst enemies, the regimes in Kabul and Tehran. While in Tajikistan, President Rakhmon stigmatises the high number of Tajiks among the militia, but according to his opponents their radicalisation is the effect of his twenty years of repression.

| 27/03/2024
| RUSSIA-TAJIKISTAN
by Nirmala Carvalho

On the strength of their triumph in Ayodhya, nationalists linked to the BJP took the case of the Kamal Maula, an Islamic place of worship that allegedly stood where there was a temple of the goddess Sarasvati in the 11th century, to the local High Court. Local Muslims: we will continue to pray here five times a day.

| 23/03/2024
| INDIA

Security forces foiled the assault by a commando linked to the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA). Many Chinese companies are active in the economically strategic, mineral-rich region. The port is a strategic component of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

| 21/03/2024
| PAKISTAN – CHINA

Arrivals, especially from Ethiopia and Somalia, are up as peace prospects appear to improve. According to OCHA, the total number rose from about 27,000 to over 90,000 from 2021 to 2023. The country remains one of the main transit points, but Houthi attacks have kept ships away from the Red Sea, resulting in an extra 100,000 barrels of oil burnt per day.

| 21/03/2024
| GULF – YEMEN
by Joseph Masilamany

A gesture by a car dealership saleswoman mirrors a society divided between tolerance and fundamentalism. Internet users divided between those who appreciate the acceptance of the Hindu blessing and those who attack her for committing a grave sin for a Muslim. The case of the team consisting of a Hindu surgeon, a Buddhist anaesthetist and Muslim nurses who operated on a Catholic priest. 

| 20/03/2024
| MALAYSIA

Today's headlines: Senior doctors in South Korea join trainee doctors’ protest. India's foreign exchange reserves reach their highest level in two years. Iran is beset by a severe nursing shortage with more than 3,000 emigrating abroad a year. Thailand is considering legalising casinos. The Chinese are quietly occupying Siberia, raising concerns among local Russians.

| 16/03/2024
| ASIA TODAY

The extremist group plans to release Israeli hostages, including female soldiers, in exchange for a truce and the release of a thousand Palestinian prisoners. Smotrich attacks the White House over sanctions against settlers. Gideon Sa'ar leaves Gantz's centrist alliance, weakening the alternative to Netanyahu. 

| 15/03/2024
| ISRAEL – PALESTINE
by Dario Salvi

Over the weekend, the bells at Ibrahim Al-Khalil Church chimed for the first time. Its inaugural Mass will take place by Easter. Speaking to AsiaNews, the engineer who conceived and financed its construction calls for peace in Gaza, saying that the Church will be a place full of symbolism to "show the world" our Christian "identity”. Many now hope that it will draw pilgrims to “rediscover their land”.

| 12/03/2024
| GATEWAY TO THE EAST

At least 4,000 suspected “terrorists” have been arrested since 7 October, pushing up the number of Palestinians in jail from about 5,200 to about 9,000 thanks to the widespread use of administrative detention. Clashes break out overnight between police and Muslims at the start of Ramadan near al Aqsa. Israeli police limit access to the holy site despite pledges to the contrary.

| 11/03/2024
| ISRAEL – PALESTINE
by Dario Salvi

On 20 February, the Chaldean Patriarch took part in the Saudi government's third forum on the media as "bridges" of peace, the Kaiciid a partner in the event. The relationship between Christians and Muslims in a nation in "evolution". The call for a form of 'synodality' also for Islam. The "wise" position of Riyadh in the war in the Holy Land. And to the Holy See: "We must dialogue, discuss" with the Saudis.

 

| 05/03/2024
| GATEWAY TO THE EAST

About 41 per cent of 61 million eligible voters cast their ballots for the 12th parliament of the Islamic Republic and the 88 seats of the Assembly of Experts, the lowest turnout since the Islamic Revolution of 1979. Pro-reform groups, who did not take part in the election, praise former President Mohammad Khatami for refusing to vote.

| 04/03/2024
| IRAN
by Shafique Khokhar

On Monday, the Pakistani Senate voted on the Christian Marriage (Amendment) Bill 2023. For Christians, the legal age of marriage goes from 16 to 18 years of age. The battle to protect young women and girls from the practice of child brides and forced conversion began in November 2022. Now many hope it can be extended to all religions.

| 01/03/2024
| PAKISTAN
Editor's choices
 
Not only Gaza and the war in Ukraine: the global arms race is also driven by Chinese pressure on Taiwan.. The 6.8% growth represents "the highest year-on-year growth since 2009". China, Russia, India and Saudi Arabia among the world's top five with ...
| 22/04/2024
| ASIA - MIDDLE EAST
 
by Dario Salvi
Layan Nasir, a 23-year-old native of Birzeit, is the only Christian woman under "administrative detention". She was taken, blindfolded and handcuffed, overnight by a military patrol without an arrest warrant or charges against her. The Bethlehem ...
| 19/04/2024
| ISRAEL – PALESTINE
 
Chinese Human Rights Defenders released a report detailing the stories of children and young people victims of human rights violations, like He Fengmei's daughter, who was separated from her mother a month after her birth and kept in a psychiatric ...
| 16/04/2024
| CHINA
 
Currently in intensive care, the seven-year-old is the only person to be seriously wounded by Iran’s attack against Israel because her house and village were not covered by Israel’s Iron Dome defence system. Nothing is known of the fate of ...
| 15/04/2024
| ISRAEL – GAZA - IRAN
 
by Daniele Frison
The auxiliary bishop of Jerusalem and patriarchal vicar for Palestine looks at the protests in Amman. Diplomatic relations with Israel allow aid to be sent to Gaza. Some students from Gaza’s Holy Family Parish arrived in Amman thanks to the Patriarchate’s ...
| 12/04/2024
| JORDAN
 
The Holy See has officially announced the long journey to Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste, and Singapore. Card Goh of Singapore hopes the pope will bring to his predominantly Chinese city, “renewed fervour to all Catholics [. . .], especially ...
| 12/04/2024
| VATICAN
 
by card. Anthony Poola *
The Archbishop of Hyderabad looks at the media reaction to the declaration released by the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith on human dignity. The media are “focused on gender theory, sex change, surrogacy etc., but” people who “struggle ...
| 11/04/2024
| INDIA
 
The Vatican Secretary for Relations with States presides over Mass in the cathedral, the focal point of this historic trip for the local Church since the breaking of diplomatic relations between Hanoi and the Vatican in 1975. In the meeting with ...
| 11/04/2024
| VIETNAM
“L’Asia: ecco il nostro comune compito per il terzo millennio!” - Giovanni Paolo II, da “Alzatevi, andiamo”