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02 September 2014

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09/02/2014 IRAQ

Christian man tortured and killed by Islamic State militants for refusing to convert to Islam


Christian man tortured and killed by Islamic State militants for refusing to convert to Islam
For more than three weeks, Salem Matti Kourk was holed up in his home to avoid capture by Islamists. Once he ran out of food, he went out to find some but was stopped and beaten to death, his body dumped on a street. For Chaldean Patriarchate, he is "another martyr, a victim of extremist folly." In the capital, a car bomb kills a young Syrian Catholic student.



09/02/2014 CHINA - HONG KONG - VATICAN

Shanghai bishop prays for new Hong Kong prelates, as well as peace for them and China

by Victoria Ma
Shanghai bishop prays for new Hong Kong prelates, as well as peace for them and China
From the Marian shrine of Sheshan where he is confined, Mgr Thaddeus Ma Daqin sends a prayer for the three new episcopal brothers ordained by Card Tong in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. He asked "the almighty God to bless them, and under the leadership of Cardinal Tong the new bishops will serve in charity, help pastoral work and evangelization work to grow, and bring blessings to Hong Kong". Bishop Ma also "wished peace in Hong Kong and peace in their motherland China".



09/02/2014 SRI LANKA

Vavuniya: relatives of missing people want the government to stop atrocities

by Melani Manel Perera
Vavuniya: relatives of missing people want the government to stop atrocities
Hundreds of people gather to honour those who went missing during and after the civil war. "We believe that our children are still alive," said a woman. "I call on President Mahinda Rjapakasa to find a solution to our tears, and stop once and for all these brutal kidnappings."



09/02/2014 INDIA

Agra: banning Hindu women from using mobile phones to counter the 'love jihad'


Agra: banning Hindu women from using mobile phones to counter the 'love jihad'
A committee of Vaishyas (mostly traders by caste) has made the proposal to counter alleged forced conversions by Muslims of women of other religions. For some analysts, this is the result of social polarisation in Uttar Pradesh, led by Hindu nationalists ahead of upcoming by-elections.



09/02/2014 VIETNAM - IRAQ - UKRAINE

Vietnamese Catholics pray with Pope Francis for Christians in Iraq and peace in Ukraine

by Paul N. Hung

Vietnamese Catholics pray with Pope Francis for Christians in Iraq and peace in Ukraine
More than 4,000 people attend Mass for oppressed minorities and victims of violence perpetrated by the Islamic state. For priest in Thái Hà, "only the love of Jesus can overcome hatred." Prayers provide an opportunity to defend religious freedom in Vietnam and the country against Chinese imperialism.



09/02/2014 VATICAN

Pope: Christian identity is not "academic degrees", but being moved by the Holy Spirit


Pope: Christian identity is not
"If we Christians do not fully understand the things of the Spirit, if we do not give or offer witness then we no identity". "Often, so often, we find among our faithful, simple old women who perhaps didn’t even finish elementary school, but who can speak to us of things better than any theologian, because they have the Spirit of Christ".



09/02/2014 JAPAN - INDIA

Modi-Abe meeting "opens a new phase for Asia and the world"


Modi-Abe meeting
The two leaders, both nationalist and hostile to China, sign strategic agreements in every sector, including defence and high-speed trains. Both praise the new, stronger bilateral relationship that could become the greatest ever.



09/02/2014 PHILIPPINES

Filipino bishops: Social media a tool to prepare for encounter with Pope Francis


Filipino bishops: Social media a tool to prepare for encounter with Pope Francis
A Catholic youth movement with the support of the Bishops' Conference, has organized a meeting to improve the use of new technologies ahead of the Pope’s visit to the country. The invitation to use social as "an instrument of mission and a means to encounter others”. The digital world is full of "wounded" people in search of "salvation and hope."



09/02/2014 PAKISTAN

Paul Bhatti: Without a political solution, army intervention is inevitable


Paul Bhatti: Without a political solution, army intervention is inevitable
The Catholic leader speaks of "real risk" of a military coup. Meeting between the prime minister and Army chief ends without agreement; the government and opposition exchange blame for recent violence. The Church of Pakistan asks for prayers for peace and the future of the country.



09/02/2014 NORTH KOREA - USA

Pyongyang puts three American prisoners on show to pressure US


Pyongyang puts three American prisoners on show to pressure US
The Kim regime allows CNN to interview and broadcast appeals from Kenneth Bae, Jeffrey Fowle and Matthew Miller: the first was sentenced to 15 years hard labor, the other two are awaiting trial. The North has always used foreign prisoners as a bargaining chip for material aid and cash.



09/02/2014 IRAQ - UN

Army, Peshmerga and Shias unite against Islamic Army, a "terrorist monster"


Army, Peshmerga and Shias unite against Islamic Army, a
UN launches an investigation into the atrocities committed by Islamists. In August alone 1,420 people killed; 850 thousand displaced including Christians, Yazidis, Turkomans. European governments concerned about citizens who have joined terrorist militias.



09/01/2014 RUSSIA - UKRAINE

As the threat of a "Russian invasion" rises, the danger of war looms larger


As the threat of a
NATO's "evidence" raises eyebrows, just days before its summit in Wales, which should decide troop and weapon systems deployment in eastern Europe. Mikhail Khodorkovsky wonders why Russia does not admit to having combat troops in Ukraine. The EU gives an ultimatum ahead of new economic sanctions. US senators urge the president to send weapons to Kyiv. The situation appears to be reaching a "point of no return".



09/01/2014 INDIA

Some 20,000 Indian Tribals celebrate Ranchi's new auxiliary bishop

by Nirmala Carvalho
Some 20,000 Indian Tribals celebrate Ranchi's new auxiliary bishop
The faithful participated in the ceremony of consecration of Mgr Theodore Mascarenhas following native practice. "Pope Francis would be touched by the love Tribals have for Jesus Christ, by their warmth and their openness."



09/01/2014 LEBANON - IRAQ - SYRIA

Islamic State threatens coexistence even among Muslims


Islamic State threatens coexistence even among Muslims
Jihadist militias are increasingly sectarian in their actions. Attacking shared religious symbols, like the tomb of Jonah and the shrine of Saint George in Mosul, means destroying cultural, historical and social bridges. Conflict is not only inter-confessional but is also increasingly intra-confessional within Islam, between Sunnis and Shiites.



09/01/2014 NEPAL

Nepalese Premier: New Constitution will protect minority rights and state secularism

by Christopher Sharma
Nepalese Premier: New Constitution will protect minority rights and state secularism
Sushil Koirala speaks at an event of the Nepal Trust Office, the government agency which lists and controls the assets belonging to the former royal family. The words of the premier weaken the Hindu pro-monarchist movements. Jesuit priest: "Democracy will be stronger when all religions are respected."



09/01/2014 HONG KONG - CHINA

For Occupy Central, a new era of civil disobedience begins in favour of democracy in Hong Kong


For Occupy Central, a new era of civil disobedience begins in favour of democracy in Hong Kong
The local pro-democracy movement is dismayed by Beijing's intransigence on the issue of universal suffrage for the former British colony. The Chinese proposal turns the existing Election Committee, whose members and size remain the same, into a nominating committee to pick "two or three" candidates for the election to the post of chief executive. Under the new rules, "The chief executive must be a person who loves the country and loves Hong Kong" whilst Hong Kong will continue to enjoy a "high degree" but not "full autonomy". By contrast, critics insist that Hong Kongers are "more than ready to have democracy. We are not living in North Korea."



09/01/2014 VATICAN

Pope: Carry a "little Gospel" and when you can read a passage, to "find Jesus"


Pope: Carry a
During his homily at Mass in Santa Marta, Francis says that "Jesus is right there in His Word, in His Gospel". We must receive the Word of God "just as you receive Jesus, that is to say with an open heart, with a humble heart, with the spirit of the Beatitudes".



09/01/2014 MACAU - CHINA

Macau's Fernando Chui re-elected uncontested, without popular vote


Macau's Fernando Chui re-elected uncontested, without popular vote
The chief executive won a new mandate with 96 per cent of the vote, cast by a group of 400 people chosen by Beijing. After the election, he refused to comment on the landslide victory, thanked his supporters "for the chance to serve the Macau public". Pro-democracy activists call on the "government to [. . .] launch political reform".



09/01/2014 PAKISTAN

Islamabad: police clash with anti-government protesters, army ready to intervene


Islamabad: police clash with anti-government protesters, army ready to intervene
Army calls for a "peaceful" solution to the crisis. The opposition, led by Imran Khan, seeks to force the prime minister to resign. Three die and hundreds injured, including children, in clashes over the weekend. State TV stormed by protesters. Military on alert. Senior members of the opposition party criticize use of violence.



09/01/2014 INDONESIA

Medan: Catholic doctors and students on retreat, to strengthen cooperation and friendship

by Mathias Hariyadi
Medan: Catholic doctors and students on retreat, to strengthen cooperation and friendship
The theme of the 19th edition of the meeting is "Enhancing unity through solidarity." The event was attended by at least 80 people, including students and teachers. Local priests also present. Lectures and seminars accompanied by prayer and reflection. A Catholic University initiative that reinforces "cooperation and mutual relations."



09/01/2014 HONG KONG - CHINA

Hong Kong, Beijing excludes democracy: Senior Chinese official heckled


Hong Kong, Beijing excludes democracy: Senior Chinese official heckled
MPs and activists interrupt the speech of Li Fei, deputy Secretary General of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of China, and accuse the government of the territory of having "broken their promises." Mainland China excludes "a political future" for those who want freedom in the Territory.



09/01/2014 ISRAEL - PALESTINE

Israel confiscates 400 acres of West Bank land for settlements

by Joshua Lapide
Israel confiscates 400 acres of West Bank land for settlements
The motive: revenge for the killing of three young Israelis. But the plans for Gevaot settlement date back to the 2000s. Abu Mazen: After Gaza war, this decision will lead to greater instability.





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