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KERALA, Jan 13, 2017–Continuing the chorus of pleas for the release of Salesian Father Tom Uzhunnalil, Catholic bishops in his native Kerala state in southern India came together to pray for the priest kidnapped by suspected Islamic militants in Yemen last March. All the 57 bishops of the Syro-Malabar Church, who gathered for the church’s synod, […]

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Catholics skeptical over Indian court ban on use of religion in elections

NEW DELHI, Jan 7, 2017–India’s Supreme Court has barred the use of religion in political elections but Christian leaders say confusion exists as the court has not clarified its earlier ruling that Hinduism is not a religion but a way of life. The Jan. 2 ruling said political candidates, either directly or through their agents, […]

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Indian priests help with building homes in Nepal

BANGALORE, Jan 6, 2017–Claretian priests in India have launched a program to build earthquake resistant homes and school facilities for those who continue to suffer in Nepal following a massive earthquake that killed some 9,000 two years ago. Under the banner of Bangalore Cares for Nepal, the Claretian priests have started construction of a part […]

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TAIPEI, Jan. 3, 2017–The Prosecutor’s Office in Taipei on Jan 4 decided to drop charges against Archbishop John Hung Shan-chuan in connection with alleged church encroachment on military land. Archbishop Hung, as head of Taipei Archdiocese, was charged with transgressing into a restricted military area neighboring the Dazhi Catholic Cemetery between 2002-2016. Prosecutors had conducted […]

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China’s state leader meets Catholic representatives

HONG KONG, Dec 30, 2016–A meeting with a Chinese state leader and a Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament officially concluded the Ninth National Congress of Catholic Representatives of the government sanctioned open church community on Dec 29. The 365 participants comprised bishops, priests, nuns and lay leaders who elected officials of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic […]

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HANGZHOU, Dec 23, 2016–In response to the appeal of the pope’s encyclical on environment Laudato si, parishioners of eastern Hangzhou Diocese in eastern China held a charity bazaar to spread environmental awareness among Catholics. The charity bazaar was held by the Catholic social service group of Hangzhou Diocese at the square of the Immaculate Conception Church […]

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QUI NHON, Dec 22, 2016–Qui Nhon Diocese in central Vietnam has appealed for emergency relief for victims of severe flooding in the central provinces. Floods caused by torrential rains since mid October have inundated many places in 10 central provinces. More than 110 people have died or are missing, while at least 121 have been […]

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Thousands of Christians celebrate Christmas despite limitations to religious freedom

KATHMANDU, Nepal, Dec. 24, 2016–Thousands of Catholics are expected tomorrow for a mass celebration of Christmas in Kathmandu. Eight years, since Nepal proclaimed secular nature of the state (then inserted in the Constitution), the Christians allowed to celebrate the birth of Jesus, although some restrictions remain. Ignatius P. Rai, pastor of Assumption Cathedral in Kathmandu, says: […]

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HANGZHOU, Dec 23, 2016–In response to the appeal of the pope’s encyclical on environment Laudato si, parishioners of eastern Hangzhou Diocese in eastern China held a charity bazaar to spread environmental awareness among Catholics. The charity bazaar was held by the Catholic social service group of Hangzhou Diocese at the square of the Immaculate Conception Church […]

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HO CHI MIHN, Dec. 22, 2016–Qui Nhon Diocese in central Vietnam has appealed for emergency relief for victims of severe flooding in the central provinces. Floods caused by torrential rains since mid October have inundated many places in 10 central provinces. More than 110 people have died or are missing, while at least 121 have […]

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JAKARTA, Dec. 21, 2016–Descendants of early Portuguese settlers in Kampung Tugu, a community in North Jakarta, are set to kick off a special tradition to mark Christmas and New Year. The traditional celebration known as rabo rabo — meaning a tail or snake-like form — is a festival held after Christmas and which began soon after Portuguese […]

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Melanau Catholics brace for the new Malaysian order

SARAWAK, Dec 17, 2016–They sat saying the rosary in the Melanau language. Outside, mosquitoes buzzed in the still, humid air as dusk settled. The murmur of prayer ended. Unexpectedly voices burst into song: “Teach, oh teach us, Holy Mother, how to conquer every sin…” they belt out with gusto. It was October — the Month […]

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DHAKA, Dec 16, 2016–Spreading the Gospel values ​​in politics and work for the good of the citizens. With these objectives, the Bishops’ Conference of Bangladesh (CBCB) organized a seminar addressed to local Christians administrators. Addressing the participants, Cardinal. Patrick D’Rozario said: “The presence of Christians in social life can be a symbol of love. They […]

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ISLAMABAD, Dec 15, 2016–Bishop Joseph Arshad of Faisalabad, who chairs the Catholic Bishop’s National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP), received the National Human Rights Award 2016 from Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain on Dec.10. “We appreciate the government for recognizing the commission who have been involved in human rights advocacy, especially for religious minorities, since […]

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VIENTIANE, Dec. 13, 2016–In 1953, communist guerrillas with the support of Vietnamese fighters invaded the northeastern part of what was then the French Protectorate of Laos. In Easter of the same year, the guerrillas stormed the town of Sam Neua, resulting in the death of civilians and the start of the persecution of Christians. A […]

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Bishops develop action plan in Sri Lanka for Asian families

COLOMBO, Dec. 10, 2016–Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, Archbishop of Colombo, enthused by the recent Asian bishops’ conference in his home city, said that firming up family life in Sri Lanka would be a top priority for the church there. “Western influences and social evils negatively impact family life and we should safeguard the family with the […]

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