December 2015

Vientiane refuses to host ASEAN meeting
(Saturday, 26 December 2015 )

VIENTIANE (AsiaNews): The 10 member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) rotates the host nation for its annual meetings of the Civil Society Organisations and next year’s gathering was set to be held in Laos.

However, citing security risks and inadequate resources as reasons, Vientiane has decided it will not take its turn.

Maydom Chanthanasinh, the...

Migrant worker condemned to stoning in Saudi
(Saturday, 26 December 2015 )

COLOMBO (UCAN): A protest led by Father Paris Jayamaha, the director of Caritas Anuradhapura in Colombo, called on the United Nations (UN) on December 3 to intervene on behalf of a Sri Lankan migrant worker, who has been condemned to death by stoning for committing adultery by the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The group protested outside the UN offices in Colombo and then moved onto the Saudi embassy in...

Chinese villages can be like rubbish dumps
(Saturday, 26 December 2015 )

BEIJING (UCAN): During the three-day red pollution alert in Beijing from December 8 to 10, the government placed limits on use of cars, operations at factories and construction sites were suspended or scaled back, and schools closed.

During the same three days, a group of sisters from the Family of Dawn congregation spent their time educating volunteers and children in neighbouring Hebei province on how to cut down...

Highs and lows at opening of Jubilee of Mercy in China
(Saturday, 26 December 2015 )

HONG KONG (AsiaNews): China had a mixed experience over the weekend designated by Pope Francis for the opening of the Holy Door at cathedrals across the world, with the most spectacular and unusual taking place among the unofficial community in Zhending, a diocese in Hebei headed by Bishop Julius Jia Zhiguo, who is not recognised by the government.

Despite being held under house arrest with a constant police guard,...

China frees opponents of cross-removals
(Saturday, 26 December 2015 )

HONG KONG (UCAN): Four pastors and two lawyers, who were arrested and jailed for opposing the government campaign to demolish or remove crosses from Church buildings in Wenzhou, China.

The most recent one to have been picked up, Pastor Wang Yunxian, from the Longwan Church in coastal Zhejiang province, was released on December 11 by authorities in Wenzhou.

Others in the...

Paris may cool the air but freeze ambition
(Saturday, 26 December 2015 )

HONG KONG (SE): Reflecting on the agreement made by world leaders at the Conference of Parties on Climate Change on December 12 at his midday talk on December 13, Pope Francis drew a connection between the Ministerial Conference on World Trade that was scheduled to be held in Nairobi on December 15, as well as with the opening of the Holy Door to inaugurate the Jubilee of Mercy in cathedrals around the world.


The climate merry-go-round
(Saturday, 26 December 2015 )

Around 2,000 years ago a baby was born. He was named Jesus and, since that time, has been hailed by his disciples across the globe as the saviour of the world.

He never held a spear—let alone a gun—he never headed an empire, never became a politician, scientist or a bishop, and did not seek financial dominance or to subdue people or manipulate the earth.

But he did preach the...

A passport to mercy
(Saturday, 26 December 2015 )

MANILA (Agencies): With inauguration of the Jubilee of Mercy, the archdiocese of Manila is pushing people to put a new twist to their pilgrimages to the designated churches for the year.

The diocese plans to issue passports, which will contain a guide to and a brief history of the various churches, as well as information on parish activities that are connected with the pilgrimage year.


Religious affairs officials accused of corruption
(Saturday, 26 December 2015 )

Beijing (AsiaNews): Ye Xiaowen, a former head of the State Administration for Religious Affairs, and Zhu Weiqun, the former head of the Tibet section of the United Front Work Department, have been called out by a Tibetan scholar of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing for corruption in connection with the designation of Living Buddhas, or tulku.

Freedom of religion for a Church in chains
(Saturday, 26 December 2015 )

HONG KONG (SE): By its very nature cyberspace transcends borders, which makes drawing territorial demarcation lines designating control over content, access or usage an almost contradictory task.

However, the United States of America (US) holds most of the keys to the doors that can lock, monitor and block, as it possesses the 13 facilities that allocate IP address, which gives it a head start in the manipulation...