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03 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.





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