12/29/2014BAHRAIN Bahrain opposition leader arrested Sheikh Ali Salman leads al-Wefaq, which challenged the monarchy boycotting the elections last November. Summoned for questioning about "violating certain aspects of law," was then held by the Ministry of the Interior. His group warns: "Mr Salman's arrest is a perilous and arbitrary adventure which will seriously complicate the political and security scene in Bahrain".
- Bahrain's main opposition movement, al-Wefaq, says its leader has been
arrested after a day of questioning at the interior ministry. Sheikh Ali Salman
was summoned for questioning about "violating certain aspects...
12/29/2014CHINA For the first time, China will not meet five-year plan targets Trade and investment goals set out in the 2011-2015 plan will not be met. For Chinese economists, the decision by Chinese policymakers to boost quality is behind the trend. For international experts, the very concept of five-year plans is outdated and unworkable.
12/29/2014INDONESIA The search continues for the AirAsia Airbus that has vanished with 162 people on board This morning an Australian plane detected objects in the sea. According to the Head of the Search and Rescue operations, the aircraft could have precipitated into the Java Sea. Among the 155 passengers, most of them Indonesian, there are three Koreans, a Briton, a Malaysian, a Singaporean. They include 17 children and a baby. Emergency number set up for relatives and friends.
12/29/2014INDIA Christmas in jail for Christians in Orissa and Madhya Pradesh by Nirmala Carvalho Two different communities (one Protestant the other Pentecostal) were attacked by Hindu fundamentalist groups while celebrating the birth of Christ. Local police arrested the faithful and their leaders on charges of forced conversion.
12/28/2014VATICAN Pope: Let us pray in silence for the families that are suffering, that they may not lack concrete help On the feast day of the Holy Family, Francis calls on the faithful in St Peter's Square to pray in silence (and then with a Hail Mary) in support of families in need. The pontiff mentioned the importance of grandparents and intergenerational solidarity in households. At the end, his thoughts go to the plane that disappeared between Singapore and Indonesia, and for people in distress in the waters of the Adriatic, saying "I am close to you affection and prayer."
12/27/2014CHINA As police stops woman who tried to "bring the Gospel" to Xi Jinping, Wenzhou bans Christmas celebrations in schools and universities by Wang Zhicheng The woman, a member of an underground Protestant community, denies having mental problems, but wants to spread the Gospel to change party members' "corrupt thoughts". In Wenzhou (Zhejiang), the authorities crack down on Christmas celebrations, deemed "Western spiritual pollution". Surveys indicated that some 60 per cent of university students want to learn about Christianity. In Beijing, 3,000 people are baptised on Christmas night. Zhejiang supplies 60 per cent of the world's Christmas decorations.
12/27/2014PHILIPPINES - VATICAN Manila: Islamic leader calls on Muslims to follow Pope Francis for world peace Ebra Moxsir M. al-Haj, head of the Imam Council of the Philippines and chaplain of the Philippine National Police, speaks on Know The Truth programme, praising Francis' efforts in favour of the good and peace in the world against all forms of extremism, which must be backed all the way. He calls on Muslims to welcome the pontiff and understand his words.
12/27/2014BANGLADESH Christmas in Bangladesh, a faith that grows without being overcome by dejection by Franco Cagnasso* PIME's regional superior in Bangladesh takes stock of the activities carried out in 2014. Snehanir, a community for children and young people who have disabilities or are very poor, is set to welcome blind and deaf children. Some students tells their story: Mithun is ready to give up his dreams for his family's sake, and Ashis might become a PIME missionary.
12/27/2014NEPAL For Kathmandu bishop, a country that welcomes Christ is a fairer country by Christopher Sharma Christian leaders celebrated Christmas with a prayer service. Political leaders and members of civil society groups were present at the event. Nepal's prime minister pledges respect for freedom of worship and protection for minorities in the new constitution. For the apostolic vicar, "Christ was Christ was born [. . .] to limit the differences among human beings [. . .] Likewise, we must reject violence, discrimination and terrorism".
12/27/2014IRAQ For Chaldean Patriarch, Christmas is the source of hope for Iraqi Christians "displaced" like Jesus by Louis Raphael I Sako* In his homily, Mar Sako noted the Christian community's "difficult and painful circumstances," but also pointed out that the festivity is cause for renewed hope. He looks forward to a future of peace, harmony and coexistence, but to reach that goal, the country needs a strong political system and the foreign policy of the United States and the West must change.
12/25/2014VATICAN Pope; May Christmas bring the hope of peace to those suffering in the Middle East and the world, especially the children In his 'Urbi et orbi' message, Francis turned his thoughts to the victims of war in the Middle East, Nigeria, Libya, South Sudan, the Central African Republic and Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as to those who suffer from tensions in Ukraine. " May Jesus save the vast numbers of children who are victims of violence, made objects of trade and trafficking, or forced to become soldiers; children, so many abused children. May he give comfort to the families of the children killed in Pakistan last week. May he be close to all who suffer from illness, especially the victims of the Ebola epidemic".
12/25/2014VATICAN Pope: May the world and each of us accept "God's tenderness" at Christmas "The question the Child asks us with his presence is: Do I let God love me? And again, do we have the courage to accept with tenderness the difficult situations and problems of those next to us, or do we prefer impersonal solutions, more efficient perhaps but lacking the Gospel's warmth? How much does the world need tenderness today! God's patience, God's closeness, God's tenderness."