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For Thailand’s new cardinal, secularism is the face of the devil

For Thailand’s new cardinal, secularism is the face of the devil

BANGKOK, Thailand, Feb 24, 2015–The main challenge facing the Church today is secularism, according to Cardinal Francis Xavier Kriengsak Kovithavanij of Bangkok, who boldly called the phenomenon the devil’s face in the modern world. “It is not just a challenge for the Asian Churches … all the world is facing the challenge of secularism,” Cardinal [...]

INDIA, Feb 23 2015–The president of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC) paid homage to the 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians beheaded last week by Islamist extremists in Libya, wishing their martyrdom bring dialogue and peace among all religions. “Our hearts bleed for the twenty-one Coptic Egyptian citizens in Libya. The Church of Asia bows [...]

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HONG KONG, Feb 23 2015–The Commission for Justice and Peace held a prayer vigil on February 1 prior to the first major rally for democracy in Hong Kong since the Occupy Central Movement ended on December 11 after 79 days in the streets. The former bishop of Hong Kong, Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, led a [...]

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NEW DELHI, Feb. 23, 2015–An Indian Jesuit priest kidnapped by suspected Taliban militants in Afghanistan eight months ago was released at the weekend and returned to India on Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Church officials have said. Father Alexis Prem Kumar arrived back in Delhi on Sunday evening. “Delighted at securing the release of [...]

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COLOMBO, Feb 23, 2015–”Praying in communion is stronger than doing it alone. It is an opportunity to come together as one family and meditate on our lives, brought closer to each other by our experience of pain,” said some of the 45 women who met to pray at a gathering at the Basilica of Our [...]

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SEOUL, Feb 20, 2015–While the Asian continent celebrates the arrival of the lunar New Year dedicated to Goat,Catholics are uniting traditional celebrations and charitable activities that are part of the period of Lent. In Hong Kong some missionaries of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME) launched a program of support for the prisoners in the [...]

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Japanese bishop uses sport to promote religious tolerance

TOKYO, Feb 19, 2015–At age 72, Bishop Kenjiro Koriyama doesn’t run as much as he used to do. But earlier this week, he made an exception for the sake of a good cause. The bishop, along with representatives from 14 organizations and a broad spectrum of religions, participated in the annual InterFaith Ekiden, a marathon-length [...]

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JERUSALEM, Israel, Feb 19, 2015–Palestinian Christians, a monastery, a convent and a Catholic school near Bethlehem are all at risk from the Israeli government’s planned security barrier in the West Bank’s Cremisan Valley, the U.S. bishops have told members of Congress. “The proposed routes of the separation barrier would effectively confiscate the Palestinian agricultural and [...]

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KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 18, 2015–Malaysia has banned pilgrimages to Israel and Palestine over security concerns in the Middle East, including the Gaza conflict and the threat of Islamic State (IS). Deputy Home Minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the ministry has frozen all approvals for Christians to travel to the region because of the unrest [...]

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HONG KONG, Feb 18, 2015–In late November, pro-Beijing Hong Kong daily Wenweipo leaked news that a Sino-Vatican agreement is close. Then at the end of December, the voice of The Vatican’s Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin added weight to the news: “Yes, the prospects are promising,” he was quoted as saying in an interview with Rivista San [...]

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HONG KONG, Feb 18 2015–In his Lenten pastoral letter, Cardinal John Tong of Hong Kong exhorted the faithful to live out Christian love and urged family reconciliation. Pointing out the strong emphasis on family values in the traditional Chinese world, he reminded that the first day of Lent this year coincides with Lunar New Year’s [...]

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Card Zen and Catholics protest against Beijing over the fate of Mgr Cosma Shi Enxiang

HONG KONG, Feb 14, 2015–Cardinal Joseph Zen, bishop emeritus of Hong Kong, and a group of Catholics protested today, Feb. 14, outside the China Liaison Office in Hong Kong, demanding the Chinese government tell the truth about the current situation of the missing Bishop Cosmas Shi Enxiang of Yixian (Hebei) and other detained clergy. Cardinal [...]

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BEIJING, Feb. 13, 2015–China continues to restrict religious practice in churches, mosques, temples and monasteries despite its constitution guaranteeing religious freedom, Human Rights Watch said in its recent report. It “continues to limit religious practice to what it terms normal, but at the same time holds onto the sole prerogative to define and describe what [...]

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MUMBAI, Feb. 13, 2015–In the early hours of this morning, a group of unidentified people vandalized a Catholic school in Vasant Vihar, south Delhi. This is the sixth attack on the Christian community in the capital in just three months. In confirming the fact to AsiaNews Sajan George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), said: “We [...]

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MOSUL, Feb. 12, 2015– Christians in Iraq are running out of time, and coalition airstrikes are not enough to turn back the Islamic State (IS) group that is pushing them out of their ancient homeland, said a bishop from northern Iraq. As the US Congress gets set to debate authorizing President Obama to use military [...]

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Franciscan Holy Land pilgrimage aims to revitalize priests’ ministry

JERUSALEM, Israel, Feb 11, 2015–An upcoming twenty-day Holy Land pilgrimage for priests and religious aims at being a renewal program to help them become more effective in ministry, according to one of the pilgrimage’s coordinators. “The main highlights of the program are a thorough orientation by Biblical experts, a detailed pilgrimage in the footprints of [...]

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