August 2013

Consolation Mass for staff of closed industrial zone
(Saturday, 17 August 2013 )

SEOUL (SE): In the midst of the ongoing standoff between the two republics that make up the Korean Peninsula over the closure of Kaeseong Industrial Zone, Archbishop Andrew Yeom Soo-jung celebrated a consolation Mass in Seoul on July 21 for a group of Catholic people who had been working in the enclosed estate in North Korea, who call themselves the Rosario Group.

People at the Mass prayed for peace between the two Koreas...

Priest detained in Hebei province
(Saturday, 17 August 2013 )

HONG KONG (SE): Police are reported to have detained Father Song Wanjun on August 10, a priest of the unofficial Church community in Hebei, China.

It was reported that he was driving a car at 4.00am in Xiwanzi, when a group of police officers from Qiaodong District took him away to an unknown place.

Father Song is 39-years-old and was ordained a priest 11 years ago. ...

Police detain at least 34 Christians in Beijing
(Saturday, 17 August 2013 )

Beijing (AsiaNews): Around 34 members of an unofficial Protestant community in Beijing, the Shouwang Church, were detained by police before or after Sunday services on July 21. 

“It was a sunny day. As far as we know, at least 34 people were taken away from locations near the platform or from home,” Reverend Jin Tianming, the leader of the community, wrote in a statement. “Some of them were released...

Manila and Hanoi move to protect maritime claims
(Saturday, 17 August 2013 )

MANILA (AsiaNews): Officials from The Philippines and Vietnam held high-level talks on August 1 in Manila to discuss the safety of navigation in the South China Sea and pledged to stand together against what was called increasing pressure from Beijing to lay claim to areas which are rich in natural resources.

The Seventh Meeting of the Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation between the two countries discussed...

Can bloggers bring down the Chinese economy?
(Saturday, 17 August 2013 )

ROME (AsiaNews): Leaders of the Chinese Communist Party gathered in the resort town of Beidaihe on the Bohai Sea in Hebei province on August 5 to discuss ways to deal with the stuttering economy, rampant corruption and the upcoming trial of Bo Xilai.

“They will also have to address the issue of political reform in the country or at least within the party” Bernardo Cervellera, from
AsiaNews writes....

Farewell to Precious Blood sister
(Saturday, 17 August 2013 )

With deep sorrow the Precious Blood Sisters announce the death of Sister Teresa Hu, who died peacefully at Queen Elizabeth Hospital on July 23 at the age 80, after 52 years of religious life.

The funeral Mass was celebrated at 10.00am on Monday, July 29, at St. Francis of Assisi Church, Shek Kip Mei, Shamshuipo, Kowloon, followed by burial in St. Raphael’s Catholic Cemetery, Cheung Sha Wan. 


Labour reform in Bangladesh misses mark
(Saturday, 17 August 2013 )

GENEVA (UCAN): Bangladesh reacted angrily on July 23 to a criticism made by the United Nations (UN) International Labour Organisation (ILO) of the country’s revamped labour legislation. The ILO claims that it falls short of required standards.

The labour secretary in Dhaka, Mikail Shipar, claimed that the Bangladeshi government had done enough to address the worker safety and labour practice issues that were raised...

HSBC drops Vatican account in Britain
(Saturday, 17 August 2013 )

ROME (SE): The Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) in England has told more than 40 embassies, including the Vatican nunciature, that it is refusing to continue to provide them with banking services and will no longer hold their accounts.

The Hong Kong-based banking giant, which rates as the biggest bank in the United Kingdom, told the diplomats to find another bank to provide their banking needs.

The Precious Blood Sisters elect new leadership team
(Saturday, 17 August 2013 )

HONG KONG (SE): The only locally-founded congregation in Hong Kong, the Precious Blood Sisters, elected a new leadership team at the end of its 23rd General Chapter on July 31, at the congregational headquarters in Fanling in the New Territories.

The bishop of Hong Kong, John Cardinal Tong Hon, presided over the election, with the assistance of Father Edward Khong Kin-cheung.


Peace requires building of inclusive society
(Saturday, 17 August 2013 )

HIROSHIMA (SE): “I am honoured to be with you solemnly to remember the 68th anniversary (of the atomic bombing) and to participate in the Ten Days of Peace,” the president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Peter Cardinal Turkson, told a group of interreligious leaders on August 6, the anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.

“We represent the great religious and spiritual traditions...