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25 September 2017

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09/25/2017 IRAQ

Amid controversies and threats, Kurds vote in referendum on independence


Amid controversies and threats, Kurds vote in referendum on independence

Polls opened at 8 am local time in the three provinces of the autonomous region. First results expected tomorrow morning. Baghdad has already announced "measures" to defend the unity of the country, including a Kurdish oil blockade. Iran stops flights to and from Kurdistan. Ankara extends the mandate of Turkish troops to Iraq (and Syria).




09/25/2017 INDIA

Ranchi: 5,000 protest against the anti-conversion law and the lands


Ranchi: 5,000 protest against the anti-conversion law and the lands

Catholics, Hindus, Sikhs, and Muslims demonstrated against the Jharkhand Freedom Religious Bill 2017 and the Land Acquisition Act 2013 amendments, the rule that protected tribal lands. Now these lands will be sold out to the best bidder. The anti-conversion law "used to divert attention" from economic interests.




09/25/2017 CHINA-VATICAN

Msgr. Mathew Hu Xiande, bishop of Ningbo, has died


Msgr. Mathew Hu Xiande, bishop of Ningbo, has died

Because of persecution, he had to delay his priestly ordination for nearly 30 years. Subjected to seven years of forced labor. He contributed to the rebirth of the diocese. He was an official bishop, recognized by the Holy See and the Chinese government.




09/24/2017 VATICAN

Pope: there are no unemployed in the Kingdom of God


Pope: there are no unemployed in the Kingdom of God

During the Angelus, Pope Francis explained the parable of the day workers called up at different times but paid the same remuneration. "Jesus wants to open our hearts to the logic of the love of the Father, which is free and generous.” US missionary Stanley Francis Rother, killed in 1981 by death squads in Guatemala, is beatified.




09/23/2017 VATICAN

Pope tells Cistercians that from their silent cloisters comes the unceasing prayer for the Church and the world


Pope tells Cistercians that from their silent cloisters comes the unceasing prayer for the Church and the world

In his audience with the participants in the General Chapter of Order, Pope Francis urges them to continue their "assiduous prayer" as “lovers of prayer” dedicated to "sobriety" to overcome today's cultural context that exalts "ephemeral goods and illusory artificial paradises.” Monasteries are places of charity and hospitality, a "school of prayer, and a school of charity for all". Cistercian communities are present in Asia and the rest of the world.




09/23/2017 SAUDI ARABIA

Riyadh to modernise, opening stadium to women and allowing voice/video calling


Riyadh to modernise, opening stadium to women and allowing voice/video calling

Saudi women will be able to attend 87th National Day event in stadium seated with their families but separately from single men. Voice and video calling is now available. Rights groups slam the kingdom for arresting dissidents.




09/23/2017 INDIA

Sister Palmira Biancolin at 100, 64 in India


Sister Palmira Biancolin at 100, 64 in India

The missionary is a member of the Religious of Mary Immaculate. She left Italy in 1953 for India. Her congregation helps and protects girls in growth and education, until they find work.




09/23/2017 PHILIPPINES

Philippines ranked third in terms of world ocean pollution


Philippines ranked third in terms of world ocean pollution

Multinationals contribute to the problem by selling cheap disposable plastic products. Greenpeace points the finger at Nestlé, Unilever and Procter & Gamble as some of the worst offenders.




09/23/2017 CHINA – NORTH KOREA

Beijing limits oil exports to North Korea


Beijing limits oil exports to North Korea

Following last week’s UN sanctions, China will restrict oil exports on 1st October and suspend textile imports on 30 September. Meanwhile, petrol prices have gone by 20 per cent. Workers’ Party and military stage rallies in support of Kim Jong-un's statement against the US and Trump.




09/23/2017 ISRAEL – PALESTINE

New Vicar of Jerusalem to focus on young people and education, future of peace and hope


New Vicar of Jerusalem to focus on young people and education, future of peace and hope

Mgr Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo stressed the importance of education to ensure the future of new generations. The Church is a sign of "unity" in a context "marked by divisions" and a bridge in interfaith dialogue. The situation has gone from euphoria for peace to resignation over permanent conflict. He appeals to Western Christians to come as pilgrims to the Holy Land.




09/22/2017 VATICAN

‘Educating to fraternal humanism’ 60 million students in Catholic schools and universities


‘Educating to fraternal humanism’ 60 million students in Catholic schools and universities

This is the goal of a document released 50 years after the encyclical ‘Populorum progressio’, which was presented today in the Vatican. Humanising education and promoting a culture of meeting and dialogue are urgent and necessary.




09/22/2017 NEPAL

As Dashain starts, mass slaughter of animals sparks protest by Buddhists and animal rights activists


As Dashain starts, mass slaughter of animals sparks protest by Buddhists and animal rights activists

The 15-day event is the most important religious celebration in Nepal. Animal rights activists have gone to Hindu temples to raise awareness among believers. The stench of rotting dead animals fills the areas near the places of worship. Police have been deployed to prevent confrontation.




09/22/2017 TURKMENISTAN

For priest in Ashgabat, the Asian Games are an opportunity for prayer and meeting between peoples


 For priest in Ashgabat, the Asian Games are an opportunity for prayer and meeting between peoples

Athletes have been provided with prayer space, for Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, and other religions. Turkmenistan "chose the path of positive neutrality.”




09/22/2017 PAKISTAN

Eleven schools celebrate World Peace Day in Faisalabad


Eleven schools celebrate World Peace Day in Faisalabad

The event was sponsored by the Holy Rosary Parish. Staging “such shows of peace” will make children “ambassadors of peace,” said Fr Shahzad. A “candle of peace” was lighted. Three groups call on the government to improve the situation of minorities who are often victims of kidnapping, conversions, and forced marriage.




09/22/2017 VATICAN

Pope: in Europe "signs of rejection" of migrants also among Catholics


Pope: in Europe

Francis warning to the European national directors of pastoral care for migrants. "From a missiological point of view, contemporary migratory flows constitute a new missionary frontier, a privileged opportunity to announce Jesus."




09/22/2017 RUSSIA

Aleksandr Kalinin, the war against 'Matilda' and Putin


Aleksandr Kalinin, the war against 'Matilda' and Putin

He is the leader of the organization "Christian State - Holy Russia". He has claimed to have died, gone to hell, and been saved by Jesus Christ in person. He launched a war against the movie "Matilda": burn down the cinemas, "take lives for the faith," impale the director. Behind the apocalyptic patriotism of this "Orthodox Fraternity," there may be “divisive”  secret services that want to bring Putin down.




09/22/2017 INDONESIA

Bali: Mount Agung’s “imminent eruption” leads to the evacuation of residents and tourists


Bali: Mount Agung’s “imminent eruption” leads to the evacuation of residents and tourists

Level 3 warning is sounded as volcanic activity grows. On Tuesday alone, 427 tremors were recorded. The last eruption in 1963 killed 1,100 people.  The islands most important Hindu temple, Pura Besakih, is located on the volcano’s slopes.




09/22/2017 CHINA

S&P’s downgrade of China’s sovereign debt angers Beijing


S&P’s downgrade of China’s sovereign debt angers Beijing

China’s sovereign credit goes from AA- to A after “a prolonged period of strong credit growth”. The downgrade could make it costlier for Chinese companies and government to borrow money on international markets. China’s Finance Ministry calls it the “wrong decision”.




09/22/2017 TURKEY

Istanbul, 14 lawyers arrested: They defended two imprisoned professors on hunger strike


Istanbul, 14 lawyers arrested: They defended two imprisoned professors on hunger strike

Lawyers belong to the People's Rights Department (HHB) and have been charged with terrorism. They would be linked to the Revolutionary Front of Popular Liberation (Dhkp-C), an outlawed Marxist group. The arrest took place on the eve of the trial of the two professors,  "suspicious" timing.




09/22/2017 KOREA-US

Kim Jong-un responds to "deranged" Trump


Kim Jong-un responds to

For the first time, a Korean leader addresses an international audience. Trump "will pay dearly for his speech" to the UN, " unprecedented rude nonsense." The launch of a hydrogen bomb in the Pacific Ocean is paramount. China and Russia are pushing for calm and not to get caught up in "military hysteria". Moon Jae-in: We do not want the collapse of North Korea. 




09/21/2017 BANGLADESH – VATICAN

Card D'Rozario says that the Church can be a field hospital for the Rohingya


Card D'Rozario says that the Church can be a field hospital for the Rohingya

At least 420,000 Muslim refugees fled Myanmar for Bangladesh. They are “without many dreams or hope for the future, except only to save their lives, so human an urge, from sudden inhuman atrocities.” “The love of Bangladesh should put pressure on Myanmar to open the borders, their conscience and their hearts to receive their brothers and sisters”.




09/21/2017 VATICAN

Pope says he will never pardon people guilty of sexual abuses


Pope says he will never pardon people guilty of sexual abuses

Francis met today with members of Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors. He acknowledged that the Church was late in dealing with these crimes, but insisted that her policy now was “zero tolerance”. More importantly, “we can listen with interest to the voices of the victims and the survivors, as we have much to learn from them and their personal stories of courage and perseverance.”




09/21/2017 IRAQ

Kurdistan referendum sparks fear in Christians, Yazides and Turkmen


Kurdistan referendum sparks fear in Christians, Yazides and Turkmen

Five meters high and two wide the statue was in the center of the city. Since 2003, 90% of Christians have left the city, 300 families remain. The Chaldean Archbishop offers a monument dedicated to all religions.The campaign for the independence of Kurdistan is mounting to push the population to vote "yes" in the referendum. But several Christians are concerned about the tensions with Baghdad and the rise of Kurdish Islamic parties. Yazid and Turkmen threatened. The US proposal to postone the referendum and open three years of negotiations in view of Kurdistan's independence. At least 50,000 troops packed at the border.




09/21/2017 VATICAN

Pope: the mafia is the result of corruption, inequalities, poverty, and deviant politics


Pope: the mafia is the result of corruption, inequalities, poverty, and deviant politics

Organised crime is fought at the political and economic levels against a financial system that “is now sovereign over democratic rules”. This requires “the construction of a new civil conscience [. . .] and working towards a new way of being citizens, including care and responsibility for others and for the common good”.




09/21/2017 INDIA

Madhya Pradesh, Catholics and Protestants denounce Hindutva targeting of the poor.


Madhya Pradesh, Catholics and Protestants denounce Hindutva targeting of the poor.

A college that hosted tribal students since 1997 closed. The police arrived with five trucks full of Hindu extremists, scaring the children. The college is accused of forced conversions. Sajan K George: "Nationalists are against Catholics because they want to continue to exploit dalit and tribal."




09/21/2017 VATICAN

Pope: "Doctrine" does not come before mercy


Pope:

The scandals, "There are so many, many ... And always, even in the Church today. They say, 'No, you can not, it's all clear, it's all, no, no ... Those are sinners, we have to turn them away.' Many saints have also been persecuted or suspected. " "The door that leads to encounter with Jesus is recognizing ourselves as we are, the truth. Sinners ".




09/21/2017 HOLY LAND

For Mgr Marcuzzo, the attack against St Stephen’s Church in Beit Jimal is a sign of fanaticism


For Mgr Marcuzzo, the attack against St Stephen’s Church in Beit Jimal is a sign of fanaticism

The Salesian place of worship is located 27 km west of Jerusalem. The attackers caused huge damage, breaking statues and stained glass. The heads of the Catholic Church in the Holy Land condemned the attack. For the Vicar to Jerusalem, the act of vandalism “fits in with the pattern of past incidents”.




09/21/2017 PHILIPPINES

Manila, Duterte tells son: 'If guilty, you're dead'


Manila, Duterte tells son: 'If guilty, you're dead'

Paul Duterte is accused of association with crime and drug trafficking. The young politician denies having smuggled 120 million euros worth of methamphetamine. Opposition deputies say that president and family have long been involved in illicit activities.




09/21/2017 VIETNAM

Hoàng Mai, Catholic activist Nguyễn Văn Oai convicted again


Hoàng Mai, Catholic activist Nguyễn Văn Oai convicted again

Nonviolent protests took place in front of the court. This is the second time the activist is imprisoned for his pro-democracy activities. The activist is one of the 14 young Christians arrested by the government in 2011. Local Catholics show their support in Vinh diocese. “People have become braver, more aware to protect the 'righteous',” says local Catholic.




09/21/2017 UN - IRAN - UNITED STATES

UN: Rouhani defends nuclear deal, criticizing "the ignorant and hateful" Trump


UN: Rouhani defends nuclear deal, criticizing

The Iranian leader replies to the "ignorant, absurd, and hateful" speech of the US President, calling it "unsuitable" for the United Nations Assistance. Iran will remain faithful to the covenant, but is ready to respond "resolutely" to external violations. The US will end up "destroying their own credibility".




09/21/2017 KOREA - USA

North Korean Minister: Trump is a 'barking dog'


North Korean Minister: Trump is a 'barking dog'

Trump had called Kim Jong-un a "man-rocket" on a "suicidal mission" and threatened the UN with the country's "total destruction" in the event of an attack. Seoul approves the delivery of food aid to the North for children and pregnant mothers and vaccines and medical care for $ 8 million.




09/20/2017 IRAN – EUROPEAN UNION – UNITED STATES

Iranians favour globalisation and trade with Europe, but fear Trump


Iranians favour globalisation and trade with Europe, but fear Trump

Survey confirms increasing optimism among Iranians, a majority of whom believe they children will have a better future than them. For 90 per cent, the presence of foreign companies in the country is positive. The possible scrapping of the nuclear agreement is feared. European intellectuals, diplomats and ex military make an appeal in favour of the deal.






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