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Church in Indonesia should ‘speak up’ on climate change, bishops say

Church in Indonesia should ‘speak up’ on climate change, bishops say

JAKARTA, July 28, 2015–Pope Francis’s encyclical, Laudato si’, should encourage the Catholic Church in Indonesia to get out of its “comfort zone” and take action on saving the environment, according to the Indonesian bishops’ conference. “The ecology is seriously damaged,” Father Paulus Christian Siswantoko, secretary of the conference’s Commission for Justice, Peace and Pastoral for Migrant-Itinerant [...]

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, July 27, 2015–Denying a Catholic nun entry to an examination hall because she was wearing her habit calls for a discussion on the right to practice religion in a secular nation, says the head of the Catholic Church in India. The Church does not wish to “rake up a controversy over this unfortunate incident,” [...]

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KATHMANDU, July 27, 2015–Jesuits are focused in bringing relief to remote villages affected by the April 25 Nepal earthquake. The Nepal Jesuit Social Institute (NJSI) is helping to reopen schools in the worst hit districts. Fr Boniface Tigga SJ, Regional Superior of the Nepal Jesuits said that many roads are still inaccessible due to landslides, [...]

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Octogenarian Chinese bishop protests cross-removal campaign

HONG KONG, July 27, 2015–Chinese Bishop Vincent Zhu Weifang of Wenzhou was joined by 20 other priests in a protest outside government offices in Wenzhou city to stop the cross-removal campaign in Zhejiang province. The appearance of Bishop Zhu, 89, who walks with a cane, leading the July 24 protest inspired many local Catholics, sources told [...]

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JAVA, Indonesia, July 25, 2015–Local residents in Bantul in Yogyakarta and Purworejo in Central Java on July 20 early morning managed to foil attempts by unidentified persons to burn down two churches in the two regencies. Residents living around the Indonesian Baptist Church located in Saman hamlet, Bangunharjo sub-district, Sewon district, Bantul, worked together to [...]

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SUWON, July 24, 2015–Pope Francis on Thursday appointed Fr. John Baptist Moon Hee Jongas Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Suwon in South Korea, assigning him the titular see of Muzia. The bishop-elect is presently Pastor and Director of the diocesan Department for Evangelization and Professor of the Major Seminary. Fr Hee Jong was born on [...]

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MUMBAI, July 24, 2015–Msgr. Thomas Dabre, bishop of Pune (Maharashtra), told AsiaNews that the iran nuclear deal “is a really decisive and memorable event”. Inked in Vienna, the agreement between Tehran and the 5+1 group* was welcomed by a broad spectrum of the international community, except for a few critics, most notably Israel and the Republican-controlled US Congress. [...]

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Hope for Gaza? Despite a tough year, Catholic aid group says yes

GAZA CITY, July 23, 2015–One year after an outbreak of violence between the Israeli military and Hamas militants in Gaza, Catholic Relief Services is helping conflict victims to find new homes. “It’s hard to believe it’s been a year already. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been a particularly productive or positive year,” Catholic Relief Services country representative [...]

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SHENZHEN, July 23, 2015–An official letter from the religious affairs bureau has made evangelists in Hong Kong nervous about their activities in China. Philip Woo, a missionary based in Hong Kong,was summoned to the religious affairs bureau of a district in the southern city of Shenzhen on July1. At the meeting, the pastor was accused [...]

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DAEJON, July 22, 2015–Bishop Lazzaro You of Daejeon, South Korea, said Pope Francis’s visit to South Korea a year ago continues to bear fruit. The bishop was speaking at Holy Korean Martyrs Parish in Ottawa. In Korea, “We are trying to imitate him,” he said. He noted he recently gave an interview in which he [...]

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TAINAN, July 20, 2015–More than 300 young Catholics met on 15-20 July in Tainan for this year’s Taiwan Youth Day (台灣 青年 日, tjd) centre on “Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God” (潔淨 的 心). Like every summer, young Taiwanese Catholics come together to meet new people, share their experiences, [...]

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South Korean hip-hop priest debuts: Music to give hope

SEOUL, July 20, 2015–For the first time in history a Catholic priest has released a hip-hop album. It is the work of Fr. Egberto In Noh-bin, a forty year old  priest, pastor of the Catholic Church Chenongbuk Suwon, Gyeonggi Province. The album is called “Stromateis” and contains 13 tracks, including seven rap songs, all written [...]

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PAKISTA, July 20, 2015–On the occasion of the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting and prayer, the bishop of Hyderabad opened the doors of his own home “to our Muslim brothers and sisters” for a moment of shared celebration. Mgr Shukardin Samson, who was recently appointed to the diocese of Sindh province [...]

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YOGYAKARTA, July 19, 2015–At least five churches and a Marian shrine in Yogyakarta province are on the edge of being forced into closure following pressure from local Muslim groups, an NGO in Indonesia has said. Friends of Freedom of Religion and Association activist Agnes Dwi Rusjiyati said that, as of earlier this month, two churches [...]

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HO CHI MINH, July 19, 2015–Some 70 Catholic clergy, religious, lay leaders and religious researchers gathered in Ho Chi Minh City on June 26 to commemorate a May 1980 pastoral letter issued by the bishops that has guided Vietnamese Catholicism for 35 years. It was an “important, vital, useful, timely landmark in the history of [...]

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Indonesian Islamists pressure to close Marian shrine, churches

YOGYAKARTA, July 16, 2015–At least five churches and a Marian shrine in Yogyakarta province are on the edge of being forced into closure following pressure from local Muslim groups, an NGO in Indonesia has said. Friends of Freedom of Religion and Association activist Agnes Dwi Rusjiyati said that, as of earlier this month, two churches [...]

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