Sadriddin Ayupov, 44, managed to leave with his children and now lives near Almaty. His wife, a Chinese national, was sent to one of China’s “re-education” camps in the predominantly Muslim Xinjiang seven years ago. Her parents were also held for years; her mother, for sending another daughter to study the Qurʾān in Egypt.
A summit between the Cooperation Council of the Gulf States and Central Asian countries was held in Jeddah. The aim: to broaden economic cooperation starting from religious commonality. Every year about 50,000 Saudi tourists visit the historical cities of Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.
Despite the total ban imposed by the Islamic Republic after the 1979 revolution, local bootleggers have flourished, but this has left consumers vulnerable to adulterated products. With scores of people poisoned in recent weeks, reformers want Iran to adopt the approach of the United Arab Emirates, but hardliners say no.
In Astana a 7-year sentence was imposed on the Kazakh painter Dauren Makin: he was charged with the crime of propagating jihadist terrorism. Through his drawings he voiced strong criticism of the authorities following the January 2022 riots and believes he is being persecuted for his opinions.
Today's headlines: Tomato crisis erupts in India, prices rise more than sixfold; No students from mainland China in Taiwan universities; The UN Human Rights Council passes Pakistan's motion, desired by Islamic countries, against the burning of the Koran but which risks - according to the West - restricting freedoms; Iran, malnutrition alarm: about 57% do not reach the minimum level of daily calories; Moscow sends homeless people to 'work rehabilitation' centres.
The Iraqi president scraps a 2013 decree signed by his predecessor, the late Jalal Talabani, giving official recognition to the patriarch as the head of the Chaldean Church. For President Rashid it is a "constitutional" matter that changes nothing to the patriarch’s status. In fact, what is at stake are the Church assets. A source told AsiaNews that the decision came after the president met with Rayan the Chaldean, a self-styled Christian leader backed by Shia militias.
The terrorist organisation Lashkar-e-Jhangvi announces that "no church will be safe" in Pakistan, while in Bangladesh Muslim groups call for the boycott of Swedish products. According to the Catholic National Commission for Justice and Peace in Pakistan, the “This declaration should not be ignored”. Pakistani and Bangladeshi Catholics condemn the act in Stockholm.
At the centre of the dispute is the area on the summit of Qornet Sawda, the highest point of the Mount Lebanon range. It represents a water reservoir of fundamental importance and is disputed by two villages, one Christian, the other Muslim. Two deaths in the last few days, the involvement of the army and (alleged) responsibility of Hezbollah inflame the situation.
In an interview with the Emirati daily al-Ittihad, the pontiff warned, "Any book considered sacred must be respected." Recalling the Document on Human Brotherhood signed in Abu Dhabi, he called for its translation into concrete gestures and praised the initiative of the Abrahamic House. At Cop28 in Dubai the call to listen to "the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor."
A Franciscan, until now parish priest of Knayeh, in Idlib, he was appointed on 1 July by Pope Francis. In 2014, he experienced the drama of kidnapping at the hands of al-Nusra and more recently the devastation of the earthquake. The area still in an 'emergency' phase, there is 'much to be done'. As for relations with the factions, the prelate says that now "the rebels have changed strategy, they seem to accept the Christians". The hope: "The Church is a light for all of Syria".
Shilan Oraminejad, Razieh (Maral) Kohzady and Zahra (Yalda) Heidary were arrested on 9 May at home. Their first court hearing is tomorrow, but the charges remain unknown. Taken to an unknown location, they were later moved to Evin prison. So far, they have been denied legal counsel.
Today's news: Local leader marks 26 years since Hong Kong’s return to China by attacking pro-democracy groups and countries that oppose Beijing's rise. After the Taliban, Afghanistan's agriculture and economy are threatened by a locust time bomb. The UN warns that restrictions on life-saving aid by Myanmar’s junta might constitute "war crimes". China could meet renewable targets five years ahead of schedule. North Korea is ready to jail anyone who uses South Korean slang.
With 83 votes in favour, 11 against and 62 abstentions, the General Assembly approved the creation of a body to look into one of the open wounds of the war. Syria as well, as China, Iran and Russia voted against. For Syrian envoy, this is just Western "interference". This comes ten years after the disappearance of Fr Dall'Oglio and the Orthodox bishops of Aleppo.
The local branch of Diyanet has assigned 800 religious experts in primary and secondary institutions, accounting for one-third of the city's total schools. A pilot project, endorsed by the government, assigns imams the role of "spiritual guides and educators." A further sign of the country's Islamization. Turkish journalist calling for respect for prisoners' rights, including Abdullah Öcalan, arrested.
Riyadh, which has received French support, is running to host Expo 2030 against Rome and Busan. The ambitious project is part of the economic and social reform plans of the country’s crown prince. While promoting its environmental credentials, the multibillion-dollar project has very little room for human freedoms.
Filed the restrictions imposed to contain Covid-19, Saudi authorities speak of an edition with numbers higher than before the pandemic. From religious tourism and pilgrimages at least 12 billion dollars in the Wahhabi kingdom's coffers. The climate of détente with Tehran favours a return of Iranian believers. More than 32 thousand health workers ready to intervene in case of emergencies.
The alarm raised by PM Wong confirms experts' fears. Young people in particular are a 'valuable target' of fundamentalist propaganda, from Isis to al-Qaeda. A problem that also concerns Christians, as emerges from the indoctrination case of a 16-year-old boy who wanted to strike two mosques.
China refused to include Sajid Mir on the global terror list. The Pakistani is wanted in connection with multiple attacks that killed 166 people in 2008. Had HIS name been added, he would have been subjected to an asset freeze and a travel ban. This comes as Indian PM Modi starts a state visit to the United States. For an Indian minister, geopolitical interests are undermining the fight against terrorism.
The People's Mojahedin Organisation of Iran has reported the death of a man and hundreds injured in a camp located north-west of the Albanian capital that is home to thousands of its members and their families. The Albanian government says that its action is part of a wider police investigation. Computers and other equipment were seized. Iran attacks the group again, calling it a “terrorist organisation”.
A historical record completed thanks to UN efforts and set to be stored in the offices of the Supreme Judicial Council. Digitized documents proving Islamic State atrocities crucial in future trials. Kidnapped in 2014 by jihadists, six very young Yazidi women returned to their families in recent days.
The Taliban want foreign NGOs out of education, already crippled by restrictions on Afghan women and girls. For UN spokesman, this will harm the population. Last weekend, almost 80 schoolgirls were poisoned in the north of the country.
On the opening day, 18 May, three different exhibitions were on display, attracting locals and people from neighbouring cities and towns, as well as students and arts lovers. After years of brutal war and perhaps one million stolen artefacts, the reopening is an attempt to bring the museum back to its former glory.
The current head of the Malaysian federation speaks out after the government drops an appeal against a court ruling that allows non-Muslim publications to use the word. Now some believe the use by non-Muslims might be restricted to Sarawak and Sabah, the two states on Borneo Island where the Christian presence is strongest. The controversy has been politicised for years.
While the mission of Rayyanah Barnawi, the first Saudi woman in space, has ended, Saudi repression continues on earth. Fatima al-Shawarbi was sentenced to 30 years for tweets defending political prisoners. Manahel al-Otaibi is in jail awaiting trial for demanding an end to male guardianship.
Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim's government, however, has been widely criticized. According to Islamist parties, the amendment had already been approved by the previous cabinet. Experts say the executive is trying to woo conservative Muslims ahead of local elections scheduled for July.
The Shura Council 'unanimously' repealed the controversial Article 353 of the Penal Code. It allowed rapists to avoid jail time by marrying the victim. For the Minister of Justice now 'they will not escape just punishment'. The rules must be updated 'as societies and cultures evolve'.
Women's bathing suits contested on a public beach in Saïda. A new battle in the radical Muslim world in the name of 'decorum' in fashion. The secular front recalls the principles of the Constitution and inviolable individual 'freedoms'.
Nearly 500,000 Turks living abroad have already voted for the second round, which pits Erdoğan against Kılıçdaroğlu. Parties are still seeking votes on the back of Syrian refugees, pushing for their repatriation. The new parliament includes 121 women, a record, but most seats have gone to parties that want to curb their rights.
The St Dominic Institute in Khushpur, active since 1975, accommodates 170 students from first to tenth grade, of whom 15 are Muslim. The centre is located in the village that was the birthplace of Shahbaz Bhatti and Bishop John Jospeh. The aim is to provide 'quality' education to ensure a 'better' future for the whole society.
The prelate spoke about the situation in Iraq during a recent trip to the United States. Some of those who fled to Western countries are coming back, especially to Kurdistan, hoping to raise their families in a Catholic environment. Since the defeat of the Islamic State, the number of Chaldean families has doubled to 4,000 out of a total of 8,000 Christian families.