08/21/2014 IRAQ - LEBANON
Erbil: patriarch tells refugees fleeing Islamists "Today, we are all the Chaldeans"
by Fady Noun
Beshara al Rahi visited families living in refugee centres in Iraqi Kurdistan. They are the "mystical body of Christ that renews itself." Even today, they continue to flee under the threat of an Islamic state. The moral anguish is even worse than the physical devastation. Through suffering, the solidarity of the Chaldean Church is winning back the country.
08/21/2014 LEBANON - IRAQ
For Eastern Churches, the use of force is legitimate to defend Iraq's Christians
The leaders of Eastern Churches call for the ouster of the Islamic state from Mosul and the Nineveh Plains. For Syriac Catholic Patriarch Yousef II Younan, the international community must have the "courage" to live up "to its principles." Mar Sako says Eastern Churches, when together are "big and strong".
India's infertility clinics, the other side of surrogacy in India
In three years, the number of facilities rose 20 per cent. Although infertility has not increased in the country, a high number of people (64 per cent) prefer artificial insemination or surrogate mothers. Surrogacy is thus spreading among Indian couples.
Chinese experts: cautious openings in relations with Vatican
by Wang Zhicheng
Zhuo Xinping, of the Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing says Pope Francis "will improve" relations being "a Jesuit" and "Latin American". Li Xiangping speaks of a "new atmosphere". But Party press do not report on the Pope’s statements or telegrams. A website recalls the "two mountains" to be overcome: diplomatic relations with Taiwan and "interference" in the internal affairs of China. Generic statements of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman.
08/21/2014 IRAQ - SYRIA - UNITED STATES
James Foley, a journalist who had to make "sense" of war
Born into a Catholic family, he came late to journalism after a career teaching inner-city kids. He was drawn to reporting in war-torn countries because of his brother, a member of the US Air Force, and felt he had to be there to understand the big issues. During his captivity in Libya in 2011, he prayed and recited the rosary.
08/21/2014 INDONESIA - ISLAM
Borobudur, Islamists target Indonesia’s most important Buddhist temple
by Mathias Hariyadi
The complex, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, risks being destroyed like the Buddhas of Bamiyan. Authorities strengthen security measures. Citizens invited to participate in the defense of "cultural heritage". President Yudhoyono declares jihadist violence "humiliating" for Islam.
Army leader Prayuth Chan-ocha is new Prime Minister of Thailand
Powers conferred by interim Parliament, with a unanimous vote. He was the only candidate for the leadership of the government. Formal ratification of King Bhumibol Adulyadej needed. The new prime minister will reform the country without a real internal opposition; next elections slated for the end of 2015.
Trial opens against members of the cult "of Almighty God"
Five members of the sect are charged with the murder of a woman. A sixth member, a minor, will be judged separately. In recent months, 1000 members of the sect have been arrested, judged an "evil and illegal cult". They have been tortured to force them to give up their beliefs.
08/21/2014 TIBET - CHINA
Tibet, three more deaths in prison: Medical care denied
The victims were among those arrested following a peaceful demonstration fired upon by Chinese police. Their death brings to five the number of inmates who has died in prison after the shooting.
Attacks on Egyptian churches a year later
by Nirmala Carvalho
In an interview, the principal of a Jesuit school in Minya talks about "an anniversary that the world wanted to forget." Today, "the situation has improved" in the city, especially in the relations between Muslims and Christians. The Islamic community "reassures us of the need of our presence here."
Floods leave 200 people dead and 10,000 families homeless
by Christopher Sharma
For residents, this is the worst environmental disaster in 70 years. At present, 400 people are missing with hundreds injured. Some 30,000 homes have been flooded, 5,000 damaged. In Bardia District, there is no drinking water. The carcasses of dead animals are causing fear of disease. The Catholic Church and Caritas are providing aid.
08/20/2014 ISRAEL - PALESTINE
Violence resumes in Gaza. Israel "is not defending itself, its defending its occupation”
Fr. Manawel Musallam, formerly the long time pastor of Holy Family in Gaza speaks to AsiaNews. Shortly before the end of the last cease-fire, 34 Hamas rockets hit Tel Aviv and Beersheba, causing no casualties. Israel has responded with airstrikes 70. The target was the leader of the al-Qassam Brigade, instead his wife and daughter were killed.
Pope asks Church to unite in prayer for persecuted Christians and minorities worldwide, particularly in Iraq
The trip to Korea "can be condensed into three words: memory, hope, witness." "In a country where ancient Asian cultures and the perennial newness of the Gospel meet" there is "a young and dynamic church ", "founded on faith, on mission and the martyrdom of the lay faithful". The meeting with managers and players of his favorite soccer team, San Lorenzo, winners of the Copa Libertadores. Pope’s gratitude "for prayers and condolences for what happened in my family."
08/20/2014 LEBANON - IRAQ
Patriarch al-Rahi in Kurdistan for the future of Christians and the fight against Islamists
by Fady Noun
The cardinal makes a short one-day stop in Erbil accompanied by civil and religious leaders. He will meet with Kurdish President Barzani and visit the archbishop's see. The trip will focus on the fate of Christians fleeing jihadists and the possible use of force to repel the Islamist threat. The issue of relations with Islam and interfaith dialogue will also be discussed.
08/20/2014 IRAQ - SYRIA - UNITED STATES
Islamists behead US reporter abducted in Syria in response to Obama’s airstrikes
Islamic State militia release a video of the execution of journalist James Foley, abducted in November 2012. The video, titled "Message to America" is authentic and announces the killing of a second hostage if military operations are not halted. The Jihadist addresses President Obama and speaks with a British accent.