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05 December 2016

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12/05/2016 ITALY

For Bartholomew, religions play a fundamental role in creating communion between peoples


For Bartholomew, religions play a fundamental role in creating communion between peoples

The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople received the St Nicholas Ecumenical Prize, an award that Pope Francis in a telegram called a "significant acknowledgment" and a "sign of gratitude" for the services rendered by Bartholomew "to promote an ever greater communion among all believers in Christ."




12/05/2016 CHINA-HONG KONG

Hong Kong - Shenzhen stock connect launched


Hong Kong - Shenzhen stock connect launched

A new step towards integrating China and world markets. But this morning’s results have not met expectations. The Shenzhen technology companies are coveted by global investors. But the Chinese - with the yuan that has lost 10% in value in two years – are  looking towards foreign investments.

 




12/05/2016 BANGLADESH

Lisi Desai, a disabled Catholic woman who helps hundreds of disabled people in Bangladesh (Photos)


Lisi Desai, a disabled Catholic woman who helps hundreds of disabled people in Bangladesh (Photos)

The young woman is suffering from a degenerative muscle disease contracted at university. In Bangladesh there are more than a million disabled people, abandoned by the authorities and society. She helps educate them to be independent and self-reliant. The Church can change the faithful’s way of thinking. People with disabilities are "another aspect of God's grandeur."




12/05/2016 UZBEKISTAN

Shavkat Mirziyoye is the new president of Uzbekistan


Shavkat Mirziyoye is the new president of Uzbekistan

Mirziyoye, who won 88.61 per cent of the vote, replaces Islam Karimov who died in early September.




12/05/2016 AFGHANISTAN

As opium cultivation rises in Afghanistan, children are recruited by drug dealers


As opium cultivation rises in Afghanistan, children are recruited by drug dealers

In Herat province, opium poppy cultivation has grown significantly. The poor and children are paying the price of this, to the benefit of the Taliban and drug traffickers.




12/05/2016 INDIA

Bandra’s St Andrew Parish celebrates 400 years


Bandra’s St Andrew Parish celebrates 400 years

Built in 1595, the church was elevated to parish status in 1616 with the arrival of permanent clergy. Renovated several times, the building has kept to its original plan. Festivities lasted a whole year with social activities, and support for families and the needy.




12/05/2016 SYRIA - EU

Grand Mufti of Damascus: Europe aid Syria to extinguish the fire of fundamentalism


Grand Mufti of Damascus: Europe aid Syria to extinguish the fire of fundamentalism

An inter-religious meeting of Muslim and Christian leaders in Dublin. Sheikh Ahmad Badr El Din Hassun against the Arab nations and the Gulf monarchies who want to destroy the multi-ethnic and cultural soul of the country. Gregory III Laham: work for peace, not for blame. "We are all guilty in war."

 




12/05/2016 VATICAN

Pope: "Give” our sins to God, so that he can transform us, "re-create us"


Pope:

"God created the world; man fell into sin; Jesus comes to re-create the world. " The Lord "help us to prepare for Christmas with great faith", "because the healing of the soul, for the existential healing, the re-creation that Jesus brings takes great faith."




12/05/2016 MYANMAR

Clashes in Shan State: St. Francis Xavier church in Mung Koe destroyed


Clashes in Shan State: St. Francis Xavier church in Mung Koe destroyed


The parish hit by government army bombings, fighting the Kachin and Shan ethnic militias in the north-east of the country. Bishop: "Only the bell tower left standing. Priests, nuns and the faithful have fled to China. "

 




12/05/2016 INDIA

Chennai, tribal cooperative provides snakebite antidote


Chennai, tribal cooperative provides snakebite antidote

Until the seventies, the tribe of Irula hunted and sold the skins of snakes. With the ban of the practice, the tribe risked being left without a livelihood. The poisonous serum is injected into horses, which produce a natural antidote. Around 46 thousand Indians die each year from snakebites.

 




12/05/2016 SYRIA - UN

Half of Aleppo East in the hands of Assad


Half of Aleppo East in the hands of Assad

The goal of loyalists is to win back the entire metropolis in the coming weeks. Tens of thousands of displaced persons amid a new exodus of civilians. Today the UN Security Council vote on a resolution for a temporary ceasefire.

 




12/04/2016 VATICAN

Pope: the kingdom of heaven is at hand, "in some way, it is already present" and asks for conversion


Pope: the kingdom of heaven is at hand,

“It is to leave the convenient but misleading streets, the idols of this world – success at all costs, power at the expense of the weak, thirst for wealth, pleasure at any price –and open instead the way for the Lord who comes. He does not take away our freedom, but gives us true happiness."




12/03/2016 SRI LANKA

President Sirisena thanks Asian bishops and the Church for their work


President Sirisena thanks Asian bishops and the Church for their work

The Plenary Assembly of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences is taking place in Sri Lanka. On the eve of the meeting, Sri Lanka’s president met with a delegation of bishops. Catholics promote the social and religious life of the population.




12/03/2016 PHILIPPINES

Manila, the world's tallest monument of the Divine Mercy


Manila, the world's tallest monument of the Divine Mercy

The 30-metre statue of Jesus will stand in the Marialo national shrine, north of Manila. The inauguration and blessing are scheduled for 19 January 2017, during the 4th World Apostolic Congress on Mercy (WACOM). The event will draw 5,000 local and international delegates.




12/03/2016 EGYPT

For Egyptian activist, new law is a “very harsh and not understandable” attack against NGOs operating in the country


For Egyptian activist, new law is a “very harsh and not understandable” attack against NGOs operating in the country

Iman Bibars slams the new law adopted by Egypt’s parliament, which leaves scope for interpretation and corruption, and does not counter the flow of money into the coffers of extremist movements. In the end, it will harm the activities of associations working for the country’s development.




12/03/2016 EGYPT

Egypt’s new law on NGOs is a blow to civil society and future generations


Egypt’s new law on NGOs is a blow to civil society and future generations

Egypt’s parliament recently approved the bill that is now waiting for President al-Sisi’s signature. It imposes sentences of up to five years in prison and fines up to a US$ 650,000. According to critics, the law’s restrictions will have a devastating impact.




12/03/2016 CHINA – UNITED STATES – TAIWAN

Tsai Ing-wen’s call to Trump irritates Beijing


Tsai Ing-wen’s call to Trump irritates Beijing

The two presidents congratulate each other, talk about close economic, political and security relations between Taiwan and the United States. This has not happened in almost 40 years. The “US sells Taiwan billions of dollars of military equipment but I should not accept a congratulatory call," wonders Trump. Speculation is ripe about possible shifts in US policy towards Beijing.




12/03/2016 INDIA

Open Letter from a Christian leader to Prime Minister Modi asking him to restore a cash-based economy


Open Letter from a Christian leader to Prime Minister Modi asking him to restore a cash-based economy

Sajan K George writes to the head of the Indian government warning him about the dangers of withdrawing 500- and 1,000-rupee banknotes. The elimination of cash affects the whole economy, creating problems for the social system and agricultural production. Action should be taken before Christmas.




12/02/2016 NEPAL

Poverty, emigration, the main causes of AIDS in Nepal with the sick discriminated at school and in society


Poverty, emigration, the main causes of AIDS in Nepal with the sick discriminated at school and in society

Each year, more than a thousand cases are recorded in the Himalayan country, mostly due to unprotected sex. Migrants are infected abroad, in India and the Middle East. HIV-positive children are denied the right to an education.




12/02/2016 AFGHANISTAN

UN reports more than half a million displaced people in Afghanistan, a record


UN reports more than half a million displaced people in Afghanistan, a record

Since 2014 the number of internally displaced persons has more than doubled, reaching 518,000. Pakistan has sent back more than 600,000 Afghan refugees. UN agency says it has received only 54 per cent of the US$ 152 million in emergency funding.




12/02/2016 NORTH KOREA

Pyongyang slams new UN sanctions, whose effective application is doubted


Pyongyang slams new UN sanctions, whose effective application is doubted

The UN hopes to deprive North Korea of ​​about US$ 700 million a year in export revenues. For North Korean authorities, this is another violation by the US-controlled United Nations. Pyongyang tells Trump that it is a nuclear power.




12/02/2016 CHINA - VATICAN

A "quiet" ordination with an illegitimate bishop in Xichang


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Again in Xichang, as in Chengdu, police deployed to ensure the participation of the excommunicated Bishop Lei Shiyin. Comment: "Chinese bishops are spineless." The Diocese of Xichang is formed by 35 thousand faithful and 10 priests. Its sisters run a leper colony.




12/02/2016 INDONESIA

President Widodo addresses 200,000 peaceful protesters in Jakarta (Video)


President Widodo addresses 200,000 peaceful protesters in Jakarta (Video)

Organised to protest against the capital’s governor, who stands accused of blasphemy, the rally turned into a peaceful prayer meeting following the intervention of the authorities and the country’s ulema. Joko Widodo expressed his "appreciation for the large orderly crowd." Police arrested some "provocateurs" who wanted to manipulate the event to criticise the government.




12/02/2016 VIETNAM – VATICAN

For Vietnamese bishop, no progress in religious freedom can be expected from Hanoi


For Vietnamese bishop, no progress in religious freedom can be expected from Hanoi

Mgr Micae Hoàng Đức Oanh is critical of the recent Vatican meeting between the pope and Vietnam’s president. Official talks have been held in the past without positive results for religious freedom. The new religious law could worsen the situation. Hanoi is caught between communism and red capitalism.




12/02/2016 HOLY SEE – ISRAEL

Vatican and Israel criticise UNESCO: no one can deny biblical history


Vatican and Israel criticise UNESCO: no one can deny biblical history

The Joint Vatican-Rabbinate Committee slams decision to use only the Arabic name of the holy sites in East Jerusalem, denying the relationship between Jews and Temple Mount.




12/02/2016 SRI LANKA - ASIA

Papal envoy to the Asian Bishops: The tribal families authentic Gospel schools (Photo)


Papal envoy to the Asian Bishops: The tribal families authentic Gospel schools (Photo)

Card. Toppo spoke at the Plenary Assembly of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences. "Faith in the family educates its members to be followers of Jesus in spite of the challenges." The example of the family of Nazareth. The tribal families have traditions and culture that reflect the values ​​of Christianity.


 




12/02/2016 CHINA

Peng Ming, Christian ecologist and activist, dies in prison. Three other disappeared "at the risk of torture"


Peng Ming, Christian ecologist and activist, dies in prison. Three other disappeared

Peng Ming was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2005. In the past he had a brilliant managerial career. Later he wrote books on democracy and environmental protection against the violent industrialization in the country. He was convicted of "terrorism." Still no word on Christian lawyer Jiang Tianyong. Dissident Xie Yang beaten by prison officers. Lawyer Huang Qi and reporter Liu Fei detained by police.

 




12/02/2016 IRAN - USA

US Senate approves the extension of sanctions against Tehran


US Senate approves the extension of sanctions against Tehran

Iran Sanctions Act provides for the extension to 10 years of sanctions. The text approved by 99 votes in favor, 0 votes against. Previously, the Chamber had given the green light to the law. It now needs the signature of outgoing President Obama. The point people of the future Trump administration, include the head of the CIA, ready to cancel the international agreement. Approval in Israel.

 




12/02/2016 THAILAND

Rama X: Thailand has a new king


Rama X: Thailand has a new king

Prince Vajiralongkorn was proclaimed monarch yesterday, making him the tenth ruler of the Chakri dynasty. The new king will be called Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkul, but will be known as Rama X.

 




12/01/2016 LEBANON

Patriarch al-Rahi: Fr Kolvenbach, a witness of Jesuit fidelity to the Church and Lebanon


Patriarch al-Rahi: Fr Kolvenbach, a witness of Jesuit fidelity to the Church and Lebanon

The cardinal noted the special bond between the former SJ superior general and Lebanon. Since 1958, he had become an expert on Lebanon, for him a land of study and mission. He was a point of reference for priests and seminarians, young students and seniors.




12/01/2016 IRAQ

Refugees hope to rebuild Mosul together and in harmony (Videos)


Refugees hope to rebuild Mosul together and in harmony (Videos)

The heads of four families – one Christian, one Yazidi, one Sabian, and one Arab Muslim – talk about their fears and hopes. All four fled Mosul and region in 2014 when the Islamic state seized them. Now they wish to live together again, and rebuild an atmosphere of togetherness and harmony. No one is exempt from Islamic fanaticism. Only God can heal us and be a source of salvation. Here is second part of the conversation (the first one was published yesterday).




12/01/2016 MONGOLIA

"Whispering the Gospel to the heart of Asia" as a model of mission for Mongolia (Photos)


Fr Giorgio Marengo is a Consolata missionary who has lived in the Asian country since 2003. His approach to evangelisation is more adapted to the complexity of the Asian context. It entails putting people and human relations at the centre of things, creating empathy and confidence. This way, the Christian witness will not remain on the surface. Karakorum, the ancient imperial capital, can thus become a place for inter-faith dialogue.




12/01/2016 VATICAN

Pope: we are all "resistant" to grace, resistant to the Cross, which leads to redemption


Pope: we are all

Today marks the hundredth anniversary of the assassination of Blessed Charles de Foucauld, which took place in Algeria on December 1, 1916. He was "a man who overcame so much resistance and gave a witness that has done so much good for the Church. We ask you to bless us from heaven and help us to walk in your footsteps of poverty, contemplation and service to the poor ".






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