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22 July 2014

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07/22/2014 CHINA

Wenzhou: Christian pastor goes on hunger strike to stop church demolition


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.



07/22/2014 INDIA

West Bengal: Japanese encephalitis outbreak kills 60 people


West Bengal: Japanese encephalitis outbreak kills 60 people
Most of the victims are children. In just two weeks, the death toll rose rapidly. Causes remain unknown. Usually, the State is not among the most affected by this disease.



07/22/2014 INDONESIA

Jakarta: TV announces Widodo is new Indonesian president


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.



07/22/2014 INDONESIA

More than a thousand Indonesian supporters "ready to fight" for ISIS in Syria and Iraq

by Mathias Hariyadi
More than a thousand Indonesian supporters
Supporters took part in an "initiation ceremony" to declare their support for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. For now, police cannot do anything but pledge "not to tolerate any religiously motivated violence."



07/22/2014 CHINA

Government announces nation-wide investigation in the wake of "bad meat" scandal


Government announces nation-wide investigation in the wake of
After undercover report shows the use of bad ingredients in making fast food products, Starbucks also pulls some products from the market. The government says lawbreakers will be "severely punished", but food scandals seem an incurable plague in the country.



07/22/2014 UKRAINE - RUSSIA

Downed plane: bodies moved in Ukraine, the black boxes delivered to Malaysians


Downed plane: bodies moved in Ukraine, the black boxes delivered to Malaysians
Parties continue to trade accusations. Moscow now blames a Ukrainian fighter that flew on the same path as the civilian plane. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said that the remains of 282 victims will be processed, whilst another 16 are still officially missing.



07/22/2014 INDIA

Peace and religious harmony in India, "the goal" of Christians and Jains

by Nirmala Carvalho
Peace and religious harmony in India,
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
Young Vietnamese Catholics
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.



07/22/2014 ISRAEL - PALESTINE

UN, U.S., Arab League meet to stop the war in Gaza. Number of victims climbs


UN, U.S., Arab League meet to stop the war in Gaza. Number of victims climbs
Nearly 600 Palestinians dead; over 3 thousand injured. Among Israelis there are 29 dead and hundreds injured. A hospital in Gaza, some doctors killed. One Palestinian killed in West Bank. Clashes in East Jerusalem.



07/22/2014 BANGLADESH

Bangladesh, 2,500 Catholics protest attack on Boldipukur church

by Sumon Corraya
Bangladesh, 2,500 Catholics protest attack on Boldipukur church
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


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
Patriarch Rahi:
"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 CHINA

Bad meat: KFC and McDonald's "duped" by Chinese supplier


Bad meat: KFC and McDonald's
World food giants, including Pizza Hut and Yum Brands, discard the Shanghai Husi Food Company. A TV report shows green, unpleasantly odoriferous meat as it goes through reprocessing to be made "anew".



07/21/2014 SRI LANKA

Sri Lankan human rights activists tell government: Hands off NGOs

by Melani Manel Perera
Sri Lankan human rights activists tell government: Hands off NGOs
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.



07/21/2014 UKRAINE - RUSSIA

As more accusations are levelled against Russia, 247 bodies are recovered from downed MH17 flight


As more accusations are levelled against Russia, 247 bodies are recovered from downed MH17 flight
Bodies have been loaded onto refrigerated train cars in Torez. Malaysian and Dutch experts have only been allowed at the crash site today after days of looting. Only military experts can operate ground-to-air missiles.



07/21/2014 INDONESIA

Jakarta: high tensions a day before the results of the presidential election are announced

by Mathias Hariyadi
Jakarta: high tensions a day before the results of the presidential election are announced
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."



07/21/2014 BANGLADESH

Bangladesh: Catholic appointed personal secretary to the Prime Minister

by Sumon Corraya
Bangladesh: Catholic appointed personal secretary to the Prime Minister
Her name is Namita Halder and she is a native of the diocese of Khulna. This is the first time a government official belonging to the Christian community has held such a role.



07/21/2014 IRAQ

Patriarch of Baghdad: Christians are part of Iraq, this storm will pass

by Mar Louis Raphael I Sako
Patriarch of Baghdad: Christians are part of Iraq, this storm will pass
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


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


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


Ban Ki-moon: Israel in Gaza,
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".



07/21/2014 IRAQ

Baghdad’s Muslims show solidarity with Christians

by Thomas Tammo
Baghdad’s Muslims show solidarity with Christians
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."





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