August 2015

China ride for non-government organisations may be rocky
(Saturday, 15 August 2015 )

HONG KONG (SE): “The Chinese party-state is tightening the vice on both foreign and domestic non-government organisations (NGO) sending strong new signals of its determination to repress unwelcome foreign influences and activities that spread western values,” Stanley Lubman, from the Berkley School of Law at the University of California, says in an article published by ChinaRealTime on June 16.

Commenting on a...

Around The Traps
(Saturday, 15 August 2015 )

Persecution of Christians up

LONDON (Agencies): The Guardian has published an overview of the persecution of Christians worldwide, accompanied by a list of the 25 worst places to be a Christian.

“Christians are facing growing persecution around the world, fuelled mainly by Islamic extremism and repressive governments, leading the pope to warn of “a form of genocide and for...

Vatican walks out of 
Global Freedom Network
(Saturday, 15 August 2015 )

VATICAN (SE): The Holy See has walked away from its association with the Global Freedom Network, an interreligious alliance to combat human trafficking, launched and financed by Australian mining magnate, Andrew Forrest.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported in its Four Corners current affairs programme on July 29 that Archbishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, from the Pontifical Social Science and Science...

Talking to foreign media can be mortal sin
(Saturday, 15 August 2015 )

HONG KONG (SE): A general warning put out through China’s state media, aimed at Christians in Zhejiang and other provinces where an all-out campaign to remove crosses from Church and religious buildings is in full swing, points out that talking to the foreign media is, in Christian terminology, a mortal sin.

The warning took on a sharper meaning on August 6 with the detention of a human rights lawyer, Yu Wensheng, in...

A year for the word of God
(Saturday, 15 August 2015 )

In the pre-Vatican II Church, reading the bible did not get big ratings and sometimes was even actively discouraged by Church authorities and virtually not mentioned, with the exception of the readings at Mass on Sundays.

Although official attitudes have done an about turn on the subject in more recent decades, it is still a topic that requires much attention and people who do want to read, frequently ask for guidance on...

Japan’s bishops call for a surrender to peace
(Saturday, 15 August 2015 )

HIROSHIMA (SE): With a solemn ecumenical prayer, the Catholic and Anglican bishops of Japan launched the annual Ten Days for Peace on August 5 marking the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the end of World War II.

The annual 10-day observance encourages people to surrender to a peace characterised by love for all people, both friend and foe.

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Mainland flexes muscle on Hong Kong minister
(Saturday, 15 August 2015 )

 HONG KONG (SE): A Lutheran minister in Hong Kong who takes his ministry across the border into China has had his wings clipped by the mainland State Administration for Religious Affairs.

Reverend Philip Woo received a letter summoning him to appear before officials of the State Administration of Religious Affairs in Shenzhen on July 1 and was accused of breaking Chinese Law by advertising religious...

Big monsoon season swamps Asia
(Saturday, 15 August 2015 )

HONG KONG (UCAN): Heavier than usual monsoon rains wreaked havoc over wide parts of South Asia during July, leaving dozens dead, destroying homes and forcing thousands of people to evacuate farms and towns.

In Pakistan, the country’s disaster management agency reported that 86 people were killed in July due to rain-triggered flash floods.

The floods have affected at least 500...

After six-year break Pakistan uncoils the hangman’s rope
(Saturday, 15 August 2015 )

Islamabad (Agencies): A 24-year-old Pakistani man, Shafqat Hussain, who was convicted of murdering a child when he was just 14-years-old, was hanged in Karachi in the early hours of August 4, despite international condemnation of the decision.

It is believed that he confessed to the crime under torture while he was in police custody.

UCAN reported that the Church urged the...

Smooth running euphemism for freedom at ordination
(Saturday, 15 August 2015 )

HONG KONG (Agencies): The ordination of 44-year-old Father Joseph Zhang Yinlin as the coadjutor bishop of Anyang diocese in Henan province on August 4 was described by local parishioners as a sacred moment, although government security was tight.

UCAN reported that 90-year-old Bishop Thomas Zhang Huaixin, from Anyang, was the principal ordaining bishop at the Sacred Heart Cathedral, with Bishop Joseph Shen Bin, from Haimen...