September 2015

Human rights
(Saturday, 26 September 2015 )

Nowadays, we are constantly reminded of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights as we hear, see and are touched by the many refugees who are seeking a new home in another country in order to be able to live where the declaration is respected.    


The Preamble


Maturity born out of social division
(Saturday, 26 September 2015 )

JUST ONE YEAR ago, tear gas fired by the police saw tens of thousands of people add to those already massed in Admiralty and the Umbrella Movement declared open. The occupation of the streets was to last for 79 days. When it unwillingly drew to close, we were left with slogans like, “I want genuine universal...

Pope takes a swipe at state ideology in Cuba
(Saturday, 26 September 2015 )

HAVANA (SE): Pope Francis took a swipe at the ideology of the revolutionary Cuban government when he addressed an estimated crowd of half a million people gathered for a papal Mass in Havana’s Plaza de la Revolucion on September 20.

In addressing the congregation, he pointed out that serving the people is the cornerstone of the Code of Ethics for the leaders of the Cuban state.


Arrested for spreading the faith
(Saturday, 26 September 2015 )

VIENTIANE (SE): Laotian authorities arrested two Christians on September 2 and charged them with a crime they defined as spreading the faith.

Human Rights Watch for Lao Religious Freedom reported that the two are being held at a prison in Khammouane in central Laos.

At noon, five police agents broke into the house of a Christian family in the village of Nong-hang and took...

Proposed ban on undefined terrorist clothing
(Saturday, 26 September 2015 )

HONG KONG (UCAN): China has proposed a new nationwide ban on what it is terming terrorist clothing in a move designed to curb Islamist extremism in Xinjiang province.

A draft amendment proposed on August 24 by China’s top legislature does not specify exactly what would be criminalised, but the proposed ban is believed to apply to burqas, separatist flags and crescent-shaped beards, as often worn by Muslims....

Last official Hindu state goes secular
(Saturday, 26 September 2015 )

Kathmandu  (UCAN): Nepal, which until 2007 was the only official Hindu state in the world, has voted to adopt permanently its temporary secular identity in its new constitution after years of contentious debate.

The 601-member Constituent Assembly has been voting on individual articles of a draft of a new constitution, which was...

Sixty years since first mass arrests of Catholics in Shanghai
(Saturday, 26 September 2015 )

SHANGHAI (UCAN): September 8 marked the 60th anniversary of one of the darkest weeks of the Catholic Church in China—a massive crackdown on the diocese of Shanghai that saw Bishop Ignatius Kung Pingmei thrown into jail, where he was destined to remain for the next 30 years.

Now firmly etched in history, 8 September 1955, the feast of the Nativity of Mary, was the day that Bishop Kung (also known as Gong...

United States and Cuba sign historic agreement at the Vatican
(Saturday, 26 September 2015 )

ROME (SE): On September 18, the day before Pope Francis departed from Rome on a visit to Cuba and the United States of America (US), the Vatican secretary of state, Pietro Cardinal Parolin, presided over the signing of an historic agreement between the two nations at the Vatican.

“To be specific, they came here to the secretariat to sign two respective documents in the presence of Cardinal Pietro Parolin, who...

Japan’s new law lacks moral principle
(Saturday, 26 September 2015 )

NIIGATA (SE): “What made me sad while observing the debate on the bills in the parliament was the absence of moral principle among our politicians while talking about an issue related to human life,” Bishop Isao Kikuchi, from Niigata in Japan, said on the day that the Diet in Tokyo passed controversial amendments to Article Nine of the nation’s constitution approving the possibility of Japan once again going to war in defence of a...

East Asian bishops sign Catholic Climate Petition in Hong Kong
(Saturday, 26 September 2015 )

HONG KONG (SE): A gathering sponsored by the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences held at the Honeyville Canossian Retreat House in Hong Kong from September 8 to 10 endorsed the Global Catholic Climate Movement Climate Petition urging world leaders to adopt a strong and ambitious climate treaty at the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) to be held in Paris in December this year.

The petition supports Pope...