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22 October 2014

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10/22/2014 VATICAN

Pope: "divisions", "envy" and "misunderstandings" divide the Church, the "Body of Christ"


Pope:
"Wars do not begin on the battlefield: war, wars begin in the heart". "The Church is the Body of Christ! This may seem strange, but it is so, it is not simply a saying, but we really are". The memory of John Paul II, celebrated today, for the first time, as a saint.



10/22/2014 SAUDI ARABIA - ISLAM

Saudi grand mufti against Twitter as source of all evil and lies


Saudi grand mufti against Twitter as source of all evil and lies
On his 'fatwa' show, Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh, Saudi Arabia's highest religious authority, comes out against the microblogging site, blaming it for evil as well as moral and social devastation. Users are divided: some agree with the sheikh; others comment his views with sarcasm. In Saudi Arabia, Twitter has the highest number of active users.



10/22/2014 EGYPT

New law to lift restrictions on church building, says Catholic Church spokesman

by Giulia Mazza inviato
New law to lift restrictions on church building, says Catholic Church spokesman
Father Rafic Greiche talks to AsiaNews about a draft bill that would remove restrictions on building Christian places of worship. Egypt's parliament is expected to vote on the law in January and February 2015. Under the al-Sisi government Christian security and coexistence with Muslims have improved as "Egypt found itself."



10/22/2014 ITALY - IRAQ

Baghdad patriarch calls on Muslims to show more courage in a "common front" against terrorists

by Dario Salvi
Baghdad patriarch calls on Muslims to show more courage in a
Christians and Muslims must join together to defeat the Islamic State. So far, "fear has prevailed." For Mar Sako, a strong "public rejection" is needed. For Advent and Christmas, he calls for visits to the families of refugees, bringing sweets for the festivity to show closeness and solidarity. He calls for a "long term strategy" to fight bigotry.



10/22/2014 EGYPT

Egypt's Holy Family pilgrimage can now be openly (and safely) undertaken


Egypt's Holy Family pilgrimage can now be openly (and safely) undertaken
The Ministry of Tourism and the Coptic Church present a new tourist programme that covers all the sites visited by Joseph, Mary and Jesus during their flight from Herod's persecution. Under the Muslim Brotherhood government, the pilgrimage was stopped. Coptic businessman tells AsiaNews, "for the first time in years we" can "freely express ourselves and our faith, and build a better Egypt, everyone together, Christians and Muslims."



10/22/2014 INDIA

India, Church and civil society to Government: Ban surrogacy

by mons. Agnelo Gracias*
India, Church and civil society to Government: Ban surrogacy
Just as with organs and blood, the trafficking of wombs for rent should be prohibited. Indian culture "has always held the sacred role of the mother in high esteem. Surrogacy commercializes this sacred image and robs motherhood of meaning". The full text of the appeal.



10/22/2014 AFGHANISTAN

Opium poppy cultivation hits record-high in Afghanistan


Opium poppy cultivation hits record-high in Afghanistan
Opium poppy production covers a record 209,000 hectares in 2013, providing nearly 90 per cent of the world's supply. The US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) calls into question the efficacy of the US$ 7.6 billion counter-narcotics strategy.



10/22/2014 PHILIPPINES

Philippine Church: "inhuman" prisons, too many prisoners in jail pending conviction


Philippine Church:
The Episcopal Commission on prisons notes that only 35% of prisoners have been convicted. Numerous documented cases of abuse, mistreatment, extortion and violence, even of a sexual nature. Catholic activist: the system is based on punishment, not the "corrective process".



10/22/2014 SOUTH KOREA

Archbishop of Gwangju: The Korean family is in ruins, we need answers from the Synod


Archbishop of Gwangju: The Korean family is in ruins, we need answers from the Synod
According to Msgr. Hyginus Kim Hee-jong the family " is the peace of society and basis of world peace at the same time. De-humanizing economy and the rat race are destroying everything". Because of this situation, relations between the two Koreas are getting worse, "Seoul and Pyongyang betray the ideals of peace and reconciliation of our population".



10/22/2014 VIETNAM

Hanoi: activist blogger Nguyen Van Hai freed from prison and leaves country


Hanoi: activist blogger Nguyen Van Hai freed from prison and leaves country
The man, who was sentenced in 2012 to 12 years in prison for anti-government propaganda, was brought from his cell to the airport and boarded on a flight to the United States. His family was not notified of his release. Activists speak of expulsion and deportation. He was among the founders of the Club of Free Journalists.



10/22/2014 NORTH KOREA - USA

Pyongyang frees Jeffrey Fowle, two Americans still in jail


Pyongyang frees Jeffrey Fowle, two Americans still in jail
The North Korean regime has allowed the US citizen to return home. Matthew Miller and Kenneth Bae, both sentenced to forced labor, remain in prison. Washington denounces the use of civilians as a "bargaining chip" in diplomatic relations.



10/21/2014 HONG KONG - CHINA

Hong Kong: first round of talks end in stalemate


Hong Kong: first round of talks end in stalemate
The government delegation, led by Carrie Lam, "hopes" to be able to hold another meeting with student representatives but rejects their demands. Protest leaders are set to remain in the streets to show that the battle is a long one.



10/21/2014 PAKISTAN - ISLAM

Pakistan: Forced to marry and convert to Islam by force, a young Christian girl’s struggle for justice

by Shafique Khokhar
Pakistan: Forced to marry and convert to Islam by force, a young Christian girl’s struggle for justice
In August, the 19-year old Maria Bibi was abducted and forced to marry Mohammad Zohaib, a neighbor and classmate. Now the matter is in the hands of a court. Meanwhile, the Church of Pakistan celebrates a day of fasting and prayer for Asia Bibi. Muslim leader: no innocent person should be made a victim "in the name of religion."



10/21/2014 MALAYSIA

Islamic authorities slam "I want to touch a dog"


Islamic authorities slam
Hundreds of people participated in an event which, according to the organizers, wanted to help people overcome their fear of the animals considered "unclean" by Muslims. For those who touched the dogs, volunteers explained how to perform purifying ritual.



10/21/2014 VATICAN

Pope: "The Christian is a man or a woman who knows how to wait for Jesus and this is a man or woman of hope"


Pope:
"Without Christ we have no identity." From "street people" he makes us "fellow citizens with the holy ones and members of the household of God". "Instead, the pagan - and we Christians often behave like pagans - forget Jesus, thinks of himself, of his things, not waiting for Jesus. The selfish pagan acts as if he were a god: 'I can manage on my own'. And this ends badly, it ends without a name, without closeness, without citizenship".



10/21/2014 HONG KONG - CHINA

As Occupy Central waits for talks with the government, High Court bars protesters from Mong Kok and Admiralty

by Paul Wang
As Occupy Central waits for talks with the government, High Court bars protesters from Mong Kok and Admiralty
A bus company and Citic Tower obtain a High Court injunction. One protester challenges the decision as a violation of freedom of expression. The meeting between the Federation of Students and the government is set for 6 pm today. For Hong Kong's chief executive, full democracy would hurt business by giving power to the poor. For the Catholic Church, the Occupy movement has already achieved a great result by raising political awareness and increasing the visibility of certain ideals among Hong Kongers.



10/21/2014 INDIA

India, Catholics and Hindus "working together against the globalization of indifference"

by Nirmala Carvalho
India, Catholics and Hindus
The President of the Office for Inter-religious Dialogue and Ecumenism of the Indian Catholic Bishops Conference, Msgr. Felix Machado, speaks to AsiaNews about the Vatican’s message for the Hindu festival of Diwali: "We must not ignore the differences that separate us, but understand them and accept them. In the footsteps of Pope Francis, we must strive for the common good".



10/21/2014 IRAN - IRAQ

United Nations admits Tehran "meeting its commitment" on nuclear programme


United Nations admits Tehran
A report by the UN atomic energy agency confirms that the Iranian government is meeting its commitments under a 2013 interim agreement. The document could be a prelude to an historic deal ahead of the deadline of 24 November. Iraqi Prime Minister is in Tehran on an official visit to find ways to fight the Islamic State. The Vatican calls for greater involvement of Iran on the international stage.



10/21/2014 ASIA

Stock market 'volatility', a worrying sign about the health of the global economy

by Maurizio d'Orlando
Stock market 'volatility', a worrying sign about the health of the global economy
Thanks to central banks action, another "Black Monday" crash was averted. However, in doing so, markets have become drug addicts. Now, if central banks stop pumping liquidity in increasingly massive quantities, another crash is likely.



10/21/2014 PHILIPPINES - AFRICA

Filipino Comboni: Ebola is a call to mission for Africa


Filipino Comboni: Ebola is a call to mission for Africa
Miguel P. Llamanzares relaunches his commitment to "the poorest people in the poorest continent" affected by the virus. He cites the example of a nun, who sacrificed her life in order to remain next to the sick. WHO sources speak of at least 10 thousand cases and approximately 4550 deaths in seven countries. Senegal and Nigeria declared "Ebola Free".



10/21/2014 RUSSIA - FRANCE

Private jet crashes in Moscow, the head of Total dies

by Nina Achmatova
Private jet crashes in Moscow, the head of Total dies
Christophe de Margerie at the helm of the French oil giant since 2007. Always contrary to Western sanctions against Moscow, he was in Russia on an official visit. Yesterday he met with Prime Minister Medvedev.



10/21/2014 CHINA

China's economy slows down, the lowest rate in the last five years


China's economy slows down, the lowest rate in the last five years
The GDP in the third quarter grew by 7.3%. More stimulus packages needed to maintain growth at 7.5. The Bank of China programs injections of loans of up to 200 billion and 500 billion yuan.





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