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BHOPAL, Feb 10, 2017–India’s bishops have decided to give special pastoral attention to people estranged from the church and their families. The Latin-rite bishops were attending the 29th plenary assembly of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India in Bhopal and which concluded Feb. 8. The 137 bishops attending were from 132 Latin dioceses and issued a statement after deliberating […]

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BANGKOK, Feb 10, 2017–Msgr. Philip Banchong Chaiyara, bishop of the northeastern diocese of Ubon Rachathanee and president of the Episcopal Commission for social work has sent a letter to the faithful on the occasion of the 25th World Day of the Sick. The celebration will take place tomorrow, February 11, 2017 at the memory of […]

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SEOUL, Feb 9, 2017–Seoul Archdiocese wants to become the ecclesiastical version of a dandelion, spreading priests the world over to “fall on good soil,” as Jesus said. On Feb. 3, Seoul Archdiocese ordained 27 priests making the total number in the archdiocese 892. Archbishop Osvaldo Padilla, apostolic nuncio to Korea, was at the ordination in […]

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Plainclothes policemen attack a group of priests, block prayer service

HANOI, Feb 3, 2017–Plainclothes police from Hue, in central Vietnam, yesterday detained a group of Catholic priests, who were attending a prayer service. Local priest Fr. Phan Van Loi, told Radio Free Asia (RFA) that local officers resumed monitoring his activities after the five-day Tet holiday, Vietnam’s annual New Year celebration which fell on Jan. […]

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SEOUL, Feb 3, 2017–A historic parish church in Seoul, which was doomed to be demolished, survived after it was moved to a nearby site. Gusan Church in Hanam, southeast of Seoul, was moved some 220 meters over two months using a craning technique. The technique is usually used to move traditional wooden houses intact, but […]

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DHAKA, Feb 1, 2017–Bangladesh has a new ecclesiastical province. Yesterday Pope Francis erected the Archdiocese of Chittagong, on the east coast of the country, raising the bishopric of the same name to Metropolitan See. At the same time, Msgr. Moses Costa, now Bishop of the diocese, was appointed first Metropolitan Archbishop of Chittagong. Upon hearing […]

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China ‘forcing churches to conform to Party agenda’

BEIJING, Jan 27, 2017–The government of Chinese president Xi Jinping focused heavily on forcing Christianity in the country to conform to the Communist Party’s agenda, according to a major report on religious persecution. According to Radio Free Asia, China Aid, which has been documenting abuses against Christian churches, pastors, activists, and human rights lawyers, said in […]

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HO CHI MINH CITY, Jan 28, 2017–Catholic and Protestant leaders in Vietnam called on Christians to restore harmony and worship God together at an ecumenical encounter on the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. “Catholics and Protestants should be reconciled with one another so that we can become God’s envoys and bring God to other people,” […]

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KERALA, Jan 27, 2017–A two-hour stage show premiered in India’s Kerala state recently depicting Jesus as Indian, thus correcting European Christianity’s “misrepresentation” of Christ, according to the director. The show, titled Ente Rakshakan (“My Savior”), was created by a well-known showman Soorya Krishna Moorthy. It presents Jesus Christ as having black hair, eyes and Indian mannerisms. An audience […]

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Card. Gracias: Soon the holy martyrs of Orissa. The joy of Christians

BHUBANESHWAR, Jan 21, 2017–The Vatican is willing to open the canonization of 100 Christian martyrs killed in 2008 in Kandhamal district in the Indian state of Orissa. This was announced by Cardinal Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Mumbai and president of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC), reporting an interview with Card. Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for […]

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SEOUL, Jan 20, 2017–Suwon Diocese in Gyeonggi-do province plans to encourage social evangelization with the 3PLUS Movement, a program aimed to help local Catholics love their neighbors. The Social Evangelization Department of the diocese began the movement recently to encourage Catholics to share their wealth, time and talent with their neighbors. The diocese will provide […]

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HONDURAS, Jan 20, 2017–Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen met Archbishop Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiagathe, the coordinator of Pope Francis’ advisory body during her recent visit to Central America. On the second day of her itinerary in Honduras, Tsai attended Mass at the Basilica of Suyapa of Tegucigalpa Archdiocese and received a blessing by Cardinal Maradiaga. Cardinal Maradiaga […]

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MOSUL, Jan 19, 2017–Don Paul Thabit Mekko says the climate of expectation among the refugees from Mosul and the Nineveh plain. A small group has already visited the homes of the eastern sector of the city, liberated from the jihadist presence. Essential to ensure “security” of the liberated areas and find a new formula “of management and […]

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The Church in India – a shining light for all to see

BHUBANESWAR, India, Jan 16, 2017–India is a country of more than 1.2 billion people, with Christians accounting for only some three percent of the population, including close to 19 million Catholics. Despite its relatively small size, the Indian Church has a disproportionate impact on Indian society through education and social services. With the ascension to […]

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BUSAN, Jan 16, 2017–Pusan Diocese declared it would focus on parish pastoral activities for its new evangelization. The diocese, located in the southeastern port city of Busan, has been working on a pastoral roadmap since 2013. The diocese dedicated 2017 as the “Year for Parish Evangelization” and presented guidelines, which included categories such as “inviting the […]

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JAKARTA, Jan 13, 2017–Christians are concerned about rising intolerance in Indonesia, with a significant increase in the number of religious freedom complaints as recently reported by the National Commission on Human Rights. The main perpetrators of this trend, amid growing signs of Muslim radicalization were government authorities but religious groups have also played a part. […]

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