11/27/2015VATICAN - UGANDA Pope in Uganda: "The Martyrs, both Catholic and Anglican, are true national heroes" Bearing witness to the faith was at the heart of Franc’s first two meetings in Uganda. The pontiff stressed the exemplary hospitality that Uganda has for the refugees at a time which we are witnessing the globalisation of a “throwaway culture". He told catechists to “Go forth without fear to every town and village in this country, to spread the good seed of God’s word". Entebbe (AsiaNews) – Pope Francis today arrived in Uganda, around 5 pm, later than expected because of a delay in his departure from Nairobi, Kenya.
In his first event, the pontiff took part in the formal welcome ceremony with anthems, military honours and some traditional dances, at the end of which he addressed government...
11/27/2015INDIA – KENYA From Kenya to India: Catholic schools committed to educating the young by Nirmala Carvalho Kevin de Souza, a teacher and director of the Opus Dei Centre in Mumbai, talks about the Strathmore School. Founded in 1958 at the initiative of Saint Josemaria Escriva, it was Kenya’s first interracial school. Later the order also set up the Kimlea Technical Training Centre for young rural women and girls and the Eastlands College of Technology. Half of the Kenyan population is under 25 years with unemployment at 80 per cent.
11/27/2015PAKISTAN Pro-environment march unites Christians, Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs in Lahore by Kamran Chaudhry About 300 people of all religions came together in Punjab’s capital in a march organised in cooperation with St Columban Missionaries. Religious leaders and ordinary citizens want world leaders, who will meet in Paris on 30 November, to reach "a just and binding agreement to limit carbon emissions that are changing the Earth's climate.” Muslim environmentalist complains that Pakistan has some of “the most polluted cities in the world” and is “doing nothing about it".
11/27/2015INDONESIA Jakarta plans social policy to integrate disabled people by Mathias Hariyadi At-risk groups, like the blind, physically challenged, and undocumented, still lack effective protection. A human rights conference in the capital discusses the issue in the presence of the Social Affairs minister with integration as the goal. Alcohol abuse among young people has become a worrisome development.
11/27/2015BANGLADESH Religious intolerance growing in Bangladesh, but “it is not certain that ISIS is responsible” The Islamic State group claimed responsibility in a number of incidents, including a threatening text message sent to a Catholic priest, a letter telling ten Baptist clergymen that their lives are at risk, and an attack by gunmen against worshippers at a Shia mosque. However, it is likely that “ISIS is trying to steal the show.” The Caliphate does not recognise the radical group that operates in Bangladesh. Factional divisions have led to a power struggle among extremist groups.
11/27/2015SAUDI ARABIA Riyadh plans mass execution of 55 people in one day These include those convicted of crimes related to terrorism and internal revolt. The executions are "imminent". In 2015 151 people executed, the highest number since 1995. Activists: the government uses the death sentences to solve the problem of internal dissidence.
11/27/2015CHINA - THAILAND Two Chinese dissidents forcibly repatriated and arrested The activist Dong Guangping and political cartoonist Jiang Yefei were arrested by Thai police for illegal immigration. Both had received refugee status by the UN, however, the status is not recognized by Bangkok. The Thai police handed them over to Beijing, who immediately arrested them. The two have been targeted by the Chinese authorities for years, subjected to arrest and torture.
11/27/2015ISRAEL - EGYPT Coptic Patriarch Tawadros in Jerusalem for the first time in 35 years by Joshua Lapide The head of the Coptic Church is in the holy city for the funeral of Archbishop Anba Abraham, who died two days ago. In 1980, Shenouda III forbade the Orthodox Copts from traveling to Jerusalem until the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was resolved. Welcomed at Notre Dame, owned by the Holy See. The Coptic Orthodox Church is the largest Christian community in the Middle East.
11/26/2015CHINA – SOUTH KOREA Phoney “cloning pioneer” plans a cloning animal factory Once a national hero in South Korea, scientific fraudster Hwang Woo-suk wants to work with China’s Chinese Yingke Boya Gene Technology Ltd to clone prime choice beef. Scepticism prevails among experts on both health and economic grounds.
11/26/2015ISRAEL – PALESTINE With Gaza like a huge prison, Caritas Jerusalem is raising funds for Christmas gifts for Christians The Catholic charity wants to raise US$ 50,000 to buy gifts for the Strip’s 350 Christian families who live in what the Caritas general director describes as a desperate situation, from which many want to escape. He does not want money or aid; instead, he calls on Western Christians to come “in pilgrimage” to the Holy Land, to show their tangible “closeness and solidarity”.
11/26/2015INDIA Bihar to go dry next year Alcohol ban is Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s first decision since his re-election in early November. Alcohol abuse is rampant among the poor. Last year, the state earned US$ 600 in tax revenues from alcohol.
11/26/2015BANGLADESH Recuperating fast, Fr Piero soon to return to Italy Three unknown assailants attacked Fr Piero Parolari. As his health improves, he can speak without difficulty and can walk. Doctors have reduced his drug dosage. He will soon be transferred to Rome’s Bambino Gesù Hospital to recuperate. Christian groups organise a human chain in Dinajpur.
11/26/2015MYANMAR – VATICAN Card Bo: Jubilee of Mercy for a future of peace and prosperity in Myanmar by Charles Maung Bo* In a pastoral letter for the Year of Jubilee, the archbishop of Yangon reminds the nation that it needs "mercy and compassion". The local Church’s task is to set an example and be a reference against a reality of indifference, hatred and violence. Following Laudato si’, people must show mercy to "a wounded planet." Guidelines are available at the national and parish levels.
11/26/2015INDONESIA Jakarta, respect for human rights only path to social peace by Mathias Hariyadi Human Rights Cities conference held in the capital, brought together ministers of the country and human rights groups. Activist: "This movement is not only a political label, but the heart of change in our city." According to data of 2013, 542 cases of violations are attributable to the government. The Minister for Human Rights announces measures in 490 districts in favor of the population.