April 2016

An attack on all Pakistan
(Saturday, 9 April 2016 )

LAHORE (SE): As a sign that the attack on people gathered in Gulshan-i-Iqbal Park in the city of Lahore is an attack on all of Pakistan, candlelight vigils for the dead and wounded have been attended by people from all faiths and all walks of life.

Muslims, Hindus, Christians and other groups have joined hands in condemning the attack in the strongest possible way.

Dominican Father...

Lofty and less philosophical incentives for baptism
(Saturday, 9 April 2016 )

HONG KONG (UCAN): Around 3,200 adults were baptised in Hong Kong parishes on Easter Night, March 26, a few hundred less than in the previous two years.

Middle-aged Paul Lo said, “I think the seed of faith was sown in my mind a long time ago when I studied in a Salesian primary school.”

Besides being influenced by his wife, who comes from a Catholic family of several...

Easter permits for Jerusalem given out freely in Gaza
(Saturday, 9 April 2016 )

GAZA (SE): For the first time, the Church made a mass application to the Israeli authorities for Catholics to cross from Gaza to take part in the Easter ceremonies in Jerusalem.

The Orthodox Churches have been doing it in the past, but report that not everyone who applies is successful.

The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem reported on March 23 that only one day was open for...

Don Bosco relic for Macau
(Saturday, 9 April 2016 )

MACAU (UCAN): One of seven containers containing relics of St. John Bosco is to remain in Macau permanently. The relics are part of a six-year world tour that ran from 2009 to 2015, to mark the 200th anniversary of the Salesian founder’s birth.

A casket containing bones from Don Bosco’s right hand was displayed in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan in 2011 as part of the tour.


An Easter without fuss in China
(Saturday, 9 April 2016 )

BEIJING (AsiaNews): On Easter night, March 26, more than 100 adults were baptised in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Beijing.

In presenting themselves to Bishop Joseph Li Shan, they wrapped their shoulders in white robes and, accompanied by their godparents, professed their adherence to faith in Jesus Christ.

The same ritual was repeated in churches across China...

Rebirth for Beijing’s haunted house
(Saturday, 9 April 2016 )

BEIJING (SE): A 100-year-old building owned by Beijing diocese that has been vacated since 1949 and is believed by local residents to be haunted is set for a facelift to become a tourist attraction.

Meng Qi, the office manager of the diocese, said the Civil Affairs Bureau took over the property in 1949 and it was not returned to the diocese until 1995. Since that time, there has not been any money to pay for repairs....

China promises to freeze the squeeze on Uyghur people
(Saturday, 9 April 2016 )

BEIJING (UCAN): Chinese authorities promised to  freeze the squeeze on the Muslim Uyghur population, who have been blamed for fuelling violence in Xinjiang province over the past two years.

They promised that repressive measures would end, even though the fight against terrorism and separatism in the remote region will be renewed.

Among the controversial changes will be the...

Education should not promote ignorance
(Saturday, 9 April 2016 )

DHAKA (UCAN): In the aftermath of the Easter Sunday massacre in Gulshan-i-Iqbal Park in Lahore, Pakistan, Christian religious leaders across Asia are calling for their counterparts from the Islamic faith to take a strong stand against Islamist extremists, as well as to promote reconciliation, forgiveness and a proper, balanced interpretation of religion.

“The attack is an outcome of a barbaric and insane...

Imaging terror
(Saturday, 9 April 2016 )

Why would a Muslim man in Hong Kong advertise his story under the title, I’m a Muslim, but I’m not a terrorist, at an afternoon sponsored by the non-government organisation, Unison, to mark the Elimination of Discrimination and Racial Prejudice Day?

After all, it is not so long since predominately Muslim Middle Eastern cities were characterised as centres of...

When they asked for food they got bullets
(Saturday, 9 April 2016 )

MANILA (SE): Jesus may have found it hard to believe that a father would give his son a scorpion when he asked for bread, but when a massed rally of around 6,000 farmers from a declared drought disaster zone blocked the 220 kilometre highway link between the provinces of Davao and Cotabato at Kidapawan City on March 30, to asked the government for food, it gave them bullets.

The farmers occupied the road to draw attention...