Rubric The Eastern Gate

The Eastern Gate
by Dario Salvi

A Baha'i researcher under arrest and three Baha'is convicted are the latest examples of sectarian persecution. The president-elect has Azerbaijani and Kurdish roots, and one of the first steps he took was to meet religious leaders. For Turkey’s Erdogan, he will improve relations because he "speaks Turkish". For others, the focus on dignity is just propaganda. The world is waiting to see who will be the next foreign minister.

| 16/07/2024
| GATEWAY TO THE EAST
by Dario Salvi

The Vicar of Southern Arabia officiated at the inauguration of construction work on a new pastoral centre in Ghala. Msgr. Martinelli: 'For children, young people and adults to grow in the faith'. The sultanate's diplomatic work in a conflict-torn Middle East. There are still steps to be taken in the area of rights and gender equality.

| 09/07/2024
| GATEWAY TO THE EAST
by Dario Salvi

An AsiaNews source recounts the life of Catholics. One million people, mostly economic migrants, celebrate their faith "in private". The bond with the universal Church and the hope of one day being able to gather and pray in a church. The Internet has strengthened community relations and facilitated attendance at services. A "long history" of "discreet" presence in the region.

| 02/07/2024
| GATEWAY TO THE EAST
by Fady Noun

The Vatican Secretary of State is on a five-day visit in the Mideast country at the invitation of the president of the Lebanese Association of the Sovereign Order of Malta. Yesterday, at the Mass for the feast of Saint John the Baptist, he renewed the appeal to fill the void of this Christian voice “that would undoubtedly make a difference” even amid the winds of war blowing dangerously in the region. The Church continues to play a key role in assisting the needy.

| 25/06/2024
| GATEWAY TO THE EAST
by Dario Salvi

On 28 June, the country will go to the polls to choose the successor to Raisi, who died in a helicopter accident on 19 May. Six names are in the running, five of them exponents of the ultra-conservative wing. The hijab among the campaign themes, because none of the candidates has a real recipe for the economic crisis. Abstentionism risk. Repression campaign continues, Christians also in the crosshairs. 

| 18/06/2024
| GATEWAY TO THE EAST
by Dario Salvi

On the anniversary of the Iraqi city's fall into the hands of the radical Islamist movement, Omar Mohammed - the blogger who chronicled its brutality - talks to AsiaNews about the importance of remembrance, the pope's visit in 2021 and the challenge of reconstruction based on ‘inclusion’. Chaldean Patriarch Sako: the memory of jihadist violence spurs the construction of a ‘civil and democratic’ state. 

| 11/06/2024
| GATEWAY TO THE EAST
by Fady Noun

Despite denials by the Jewish State, the use in raids against Hezbollah, especially against civilian targets and farmland, has been documented by pro-human rights associations and observers on the ground. The Land of the Cedars is ready to lodge a complaint with the United Nations. Amnesty International speaks of ‘appalling’ attacks that cause serious damage to the environment. 

| 04/06/2024
| GATEWAY TO THE EAST
by Dario Salvi

Donor countries meet to discuss Syria, but the country's ‘forgotten war’ continues to provoke suffering and the flight of its population (about 500 a day). Speaking to AsiaNews, the apostolic nuncio in Damascus describes a ‘stagnant political process’ while ‘the only progress is in terms of poverty’. The exodus of Christians ‘another great wound that bleeds’. 

| 28/05/2024
| GATEWAY TO THE EAST
by Dario Salvi

Yonatan Zeigen to AsiaNews: impossible to ‘destroy’ Hamas, which is an ‘idea’, the ‘mentality’ must be changed. Continuing the occupation ‘will always return to 6 October’. To commemorate his mother's battles, each year a prize will be awarded to an Arab and a Jewish woman working for coexistence. The embrace between Maoz Inon and Azia Abu Sarah in front of Pope Francis is an example ‘of what we all aspire to’. 

 

| 21/05/2024
| GATEWAY TO THE EAST
by Dario Salvi

The murder of a headmaster at the hands of a minor sparks controversy. The shooter was a student who wanted ‘revenge’ for his expulsion. Pro-government unions (also) go on strike. Fr. Monge: education is only the ‘tip of the iceberg’. The four Akp reforms have overturned secular and scientific education. Erdogan's ‘nemesis’ and the rise of Imamoglu. 

| 14/05/2024
| GATEWAY TO THE EAST
by Dario Salvi

The German-born Benedictine who leads the Dormition Monastery stigmatises the ‘fanatical’ attitude while ‘people are suffering, dying’. The opposing front seen as ‘monster’ or ‘animal’ to justify the violence. The rise to power of the ultra-right Ben-Gvir government has led to an escalation in anti-Christian attacks in the Old City. Like Jesus prayer and forgiveness in response to hatred, the way to reconciliation.

| 07/05/2024
| GATEWAY TO THE EAST
by Chiara Zappa

Fr Bahjat Karakach, a Franciscan, talks about the difficult situation in the battered city after 13 years of war, a powerful earthquake, and the Gaza War. With inflation and rents skyrocketing, people survive with “remittances from relatives abroad.” The parish is involved in various projects in neighbourhoods once occupied by militias where poverty and degradation are high. The Church today is "a light in the midst of darkness.”

 

| 30/04/2024
| GATEWAY TO THE EAST
by Arik Ascherman *

The hostages in the hands of Hamas, but also the starving civilians in the Strip and the victims of settler violence, in the prayer published in Israel by Rabbi Arik Ascherman - of the 'Torah of Justice' movement - on the evening when Jews celebrate through the rite of the seder the liberation from Egypt. "It is all too easy to become oppressed and oppressor at the same time. Stay with us, so that our fears do not become our masters".

| 23/04/2024
| GATEWAY TO THE EAST
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 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 Dario Salvi

The vicar of Aleppo expresses concerns after yesterday’s raid against the Iranian embassy in Damascus that killed General Mohammad Reza Zahedi. “Here too we have counted 35 dead in an attack that seems to have been coordinated with the rebels and terrorists who control Idlib,” said the prelate who thanks Pope Francis for citing Syria’s suffering in his Easter message. To survive, “people are constantly looking for a piece of bread,” said Maronite Archbishop Nassar.

| 02/04/2024
| GATEWAY TO THE EAST
by Dario Salvi

For Fr Romanelli, "something is moving" in the quagmire of international diplomacy, but an "effective" truce and "humanitarian aid" are needed. Yesterday's UN vote is a positive step, but it must be accompanied by the delivery of food and medicine and the stop of the invasion of southern Gaza. This year’s Holy Week celebrations are a mixture of “bitterness and joy”.

| 26/03/2024
| GATEWAY TO THE EAST
by Dario Salvi

The autonomous region is expected to go to the polls on 10 June in a vote postponed several times due to disagreements between the min Kurdish parties. A ruling by Iraq's Federal Supreme Court is causing chaos after it abolished minority quota seats. Both the Chaldean patriarch and the Shura Council of Kurdistan have criticised the court’s ruling, which puts at risk the crucial, yet fragile balance exists between various groups.

| 19/03/2024
| GATEWAY TO THE EAST
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
by Dario Salvi

The 2024 Niwano Peace Prize, the “Nobel Prize for Religions" was given to a Sufi Muslim, who teaches at the American University in Washington, for his "holistic contribution to the cause of peace”. After the Hamas attack sparked Israel's war in Gaza, he renewed his work in recent months. Religious leaders must not allow themselves to be dragged into the "polarization", but ought instead to maintain a "prophetic voice" to promote justice.

| 27/02/2024
| GATEWAY TO THE EAST
by Dario Salvi

The international community's focus is now on Rafah, while Israel gets ready for a ground assault. For Jordanian scholar Amer Al Sabaileh, the Palestinian cause has given way to global jihad. Hamas is politically divided while Shia groups are beholden to Iran. Saudis could play the role of mediators, transcending the Abraham Accords.

| 20/02/2024
| GATEWAY TO THE EAST
by Dario Salvi

The ground operation in the south risks dragging Cairo into the conflict. The Camp David Accords at risk. After 130 days of conflict and a number of dead and wounded exceeding 100,000, the spectre of a new Nakba. Custody of the Holy Land: land operation "final drama" for the Strip. Fr. Romanelli: Rafah "only contact" with foreign countries, Gaza is "a cage".

| 13/02/2024
| GATEWAY TO THE EAST
by Dario Salvi

The situation is still critical and Antioch a "ghost town". Caritas' contribution in guaranteeing food, accommodation, psychological support, education and schooling. Bishop Bizzeti: "It will take at least 10 years to understand whether the region will be able to recover, but I am optimistic".

| 06/02/2024
| GATEWAY TO THE EAST
by Dario Salvi

The attack on Tower 22 and casualties among US troops have put Jordan back at the centre of regional events. A Lebanese source told AsiaNews that "a red line has been crossed". A Jordanian priest sees a "complicated" situation, but unity of people and leadership is a factor of stability. Peace in the Holy Land and a Palestinian state are the only way to put out the blaze of conflict.

| 30/01/2024
| GATEWAY TO THE EAST

Israel loses 21 soldiers in one day, calls for a two-month truce. The hostage issue remains unresolved. Increasingly, Israelis want a deal with Palestinians, with 51.3 per cent backing a demilitarised Palestinian state in exchange for the release of the hostages. Research by an Israeli NGO, Yesh Din, shows that Jewish settlers enjoy impunity; about 94 per cent of investigations into anti-Palestinian violence ended without an indictment.

| 23/01/2024
| GATEWAY TO THE EAST
by Fady Noun

Without a president for 14 months, the country of the cedars is undergoing a socio-political process of implosion. According to one (alarming) study, Syrian refugees who entered in 2012 could, within 15 years, account for half the population. And at the southern gate, a front has opened up between Hezbollah, a state within a state, and Israel.

| 16/01/2024
| GATEWAY TO THE EAST
by Dario Salvi

Prime Minister Netanyahu's political and personal fate hangs in the balance in the Gaza war. The US fears a spillover into Lebanon (and Iran). For the expert in Jewish-Christian dialogue in Israel, Israeli reality is "complex”. After an early mobilisation, rifts are now emerging. Getting the hostages home is a priority, but peace remains the goal, “Even in these dark days.”

 

| 09/01/2024
| GATEWAY TO THE EAST
by Dario Salvi

For Iran, 2024 will be the year of the choice of the 88 members of one of the Islamic Republic's most important bodies, scheduled for 1 March. It will be up to them to appoint the supreme guide, in the event of the death (or resignation) of 84-year-old Ali Khamenei. The possible return to the scene of former President Rouhani and the challenge with Raisi. The rise of Mojtaba Khamenei, the ayatollah's son and long-time active behind the scenes.

| 02/01/2024
| GATEWAY TO THE EAST
by Dario Salvi

Speaking to AsiaNews the Latin Patriarch reviews the dramatic events of the last period, the war, the killing of the two Christian women. A "preventable" death, impossible to mistake them for Hamas militiamen. Conflict causes pain that divides, everyone "locked in their own." Jerusalem and Bethlehem's silence, failure to visit Gaza. Starting over with people, "to rebuild."

| 19/12/2023
| GATEWAY TO THE EAST
by Dario Salvi

In this interview with AsiaNews, Avi Dabush, executive director of Rabbis for Human Rights, looks back at the tragic hours when terrorists attacked Kibbutz Nirim. Despite the fear and the violence, he considers the release of the hostages to be paramount and has launched a new outreach programme in the West Bank. For him, it is time to work for rights and justice. In Gaza, the parish of the Holy Family was also hit; a water tank and solar panels were destroyed.

| 12/12/2023
| GATEWAY TO THE EAST
Editor's choices
 
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| 19/07/2024
| BANGLADESH
 
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| 15/07/2024
| HONG KONG
 
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| 12/07/2024
| CAMBODIA
 
by Sumon Corraya
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| 12/07/2024
| BANGLADESH
 
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| 09/07/2024
| ISRAEL – PALESTINE
 
The meeting taking place in the city scarred by the wound of the atomic bomb also involves Eastern religious traditions in the Rome Call for AI Ethics, promoted by the Pontifical Academy for Life. A specific addendum on the challenges posed by generative ...
| 09/07/2024
| JAPAN . VATICAN
 
by Dario Salvi
An AsiaNews source recounts the life of Catholics. One million people, mostly economic migrants, celebrate their faith "in private". The bond with the universal Church and the hope of one day being able to gather and pray in a church. The ...
| 02/07/2024
| GATEWAY TO THE EAST
 
by Joseph Masilamany
In a joint statement, the Defender of Ancestral Lands Sabah (MOPOT) and the Sabah and Sarawak Indigenous People's Alliance (GOASS) call on the government to respect the "informed consent" of local communities. Joining the intergovernmental group ...
| 01/07/2024
| MALAYSIA
“L’Asia: ecco il nostro comune compito per il terzo millennio!” - Giovanni Paolo II, da “Alzatevi, andiamo”