Wenzhou: Christian pastor goes on hunger strike to stop church demolition
Zhan Yingsheng, head of the Salvation Church, locked himself inside the tower to prevent the destruction of the cross that stands on the roof of his church. On a hunger strike since 16 July, he does not fear death. "I have changed: I was a coward and found courage. [. . .] I do not seek publicity; I took this decision because I do not have alternatives." Resistance to religious repression is growing as exemplified by the case of seminarians in Beijing and the example of heroic Bishop Ma Daqin. The full text of the clergyman's testament follows.
Jakarta: TV announces Widodo is new Indonesian president
Jakarta's popular governor of won 53.15 per cent of the votes. His challenger, retired general Subianto, withdraws from the competition, alleging "fraud", and vows to appeal to the Constitutional Court. Tensions remain high in the capital.
Peace and religious harmony in India, "the goal" of Christians and Jains
by Nirmala Carvalho
Archbishop Felix Anthony Machado of Vasai, met for the first time Swasti Shri Bhattaraka Charukeerti Swamiji, leader of the Jain institutions Digambaras tradition in Moodabidri. The city is a place of pilgrimage for Jains, but it is very much appreciated by the other religions because of its historical and architectural importance.
07/22/2014 VIETNAM - KOREA - VATICAN
Young Vietnamese Catholics "in Korea to welcome the Pope, our father in faith"
by J. B. Vu
Msgr. Joseph Thiên Vũ Văn, president of the Commission for Pastoral Youth Care of the national bishops: "Our delegation to the Asian Youth Day will consist of about 30 young people. Like the Church of Vietnam, the Korean also shed blood for the faith. And this blood proves our loyalty, we hope that they are worthy descendants of the martyrs". The challenges of youth ministry and the opportunity to share experiences and issues with peers from across Asia.
Bangladesh, 2,500 Catholics protest attack on Boldipukur church
by Sumon Corraya
The demonstration was held in Mithapukur: Bishop Sebastian Tudu of the Dinajpur Diocese was also present. Meanwhile in Dhaka, 600 Catholics form a human chain to protest against the attack. Christian leader: "We are also members of this nation."
07/22/2014 SOUTH KOREA
Korea: lifeless body of the Sewol ferry owner found
The authorities have confirmed this morning that the body of a man, found on June 12, but ignored by the police, belongs to Yoo Byung-eun. The man, the owner of the ship that sank in April, was being sought throughout the country. Indignation of the population at investigators failure to identify the corpse because it was considered "a homeless man".
07/21/2014 LEBANON - IRAQ
Patriarch Rahi: "What do moderate Muslims say" about what is happening to Christians in Mosul?
by Fady Noun
"We hear no one cry out" against the brutal behavior that contradicts 1,400 years of history of the Islamic world. The Syriac-Catholic patriarch calls on the Vatican to organise a meeting to deal with the situation with the apostolic nuncios from the countries involved, and consider joining forces with the diplomatic efforts of the Patriarch of Moscow.
07/21/2014 SRI LANKA
Sri Lankan human rights activists tell government: Hands off NGOs
by Melani Manel Perera
More than 500 people demonstrated against a Ministry of Defence-issued notice to all non-governmental organisations. The warning prohibits associations from engaging in activities that transcend their specific tasks. Specifically, it bans activities related to freedom of the press, expression and assembly.
Jakarta: high tensions a day before the results of the presidential election are announced
by Mathias Hariyadi
Tens of thousands of police and military have been deployed on the streets of the capital. Sino-Indonesians fear uncertainty, remembering the 1998 riots. Outgoing president calls on contenders to respect the verdict the Electoral Commission will announce tomorrow morning. Otherwise, "we will have a huge price to pay."
Patriarch of Baghdad: Christians are part of Iraq, this storm will pass
by Mar Louis Raphael I Sako
In an open letter addressed to "all men of good will and those who care for the Iraqi nation", Mar Sako reminds Muslim brothers that the actions of the self-styled Islamic State are contrary to the Koran and greatly damage the shared history all Iraqis of commitment for the nation. "We shared good memories and bad memories, mixing our blood for our land." The invitation to Christians to "calculate their options well, come together in love gathering around their church, being patient, enduring and praying until the storm passes".
07/21/2014 SOUTH KOREA
K-Pop idol, Rain, converts to Catholicism: For the faith, not for love
The famous South Korean actor and singer, received the sacrament of Christian initiation in recent days in a small parish on the outskirts of Seoul. His girlfriend is a Catholic actress but wanted to emphasize that his choice has nothing to do with a possible future marriage. A growing number of celebrities are converting: the "Queen of Pop", BoA, will be having lunch with Pope Francis during his visit to the peninsula.
07/21/2014 INDIA - UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
Emirates: Hike in suicides among Indian migrants
Among the leading factors, economic problems and the fear of humiliation because of social debts to loan sharks. In the first half of 2014 at least 37 people killed themselves. They are usually members of the middle class who live above their means.
07/21/2014 ISRAEL - PALESTINE
Ban Ki-moon: Israel in Gaza, "an atrocious action". So far 502 Palestinians and 18 Israeli soldiers killed
Yesterday, the most violent day: 140 Palestinians and 13 Israeli soldiers killed. Half of the Palestinian victims are women, children and the elderly. Two Israeli civilians killed as a result of rockets fired from Gaza. The UN Security Council has called for respect of international law and the protection of civilians. Netanyahu: no other choice against "terror"; Abbas: "crimes against humanity".
Baghdad’s Muslims show solidarity with Christians
by Thomas Tammo
Men and women of the Islamic faith joined the Chaldeans in front of the church of St. George after the Sunday Eucharist. Some carried a placard bearing the words: "I am an Iraqi Christian”. They condemned the Isis violence in Mosul. The Patriarch of Baghdad: "Thanks to you there is still hope for a new Iraq."