April 2016

Transcribing the bible to combat Internet addiction
(Saturday, 16 April 2016 )

HONG KONG (SE): There was a time in China when Christians used to transcribe long tracts of the bible by hand, because of the difficulty in getting their hands on a printed copy.

However, in recent years, some countries have run big projects to have the bible completely transcribed by hand as an exercise in drumming up interest among people. The final result also makes an interesting curio for display.

Charity law will squeeze human rights work
(Saturday, 16 April 2016 )

HONG KONG (SE): The controversial Charities Law was passed by the National People’s Congress in China on March 16 and is set to take effect on September 1.

The law will restrict the ability of groups to raise money to government-approved charities and their proposed activities for the coming year must receive government approval.

Observers say that it will hit organisations...

China removes cash stash reports quickly
(Saturday, 16 April 2016 )

HONG KONG (SE): An Internet post containing information from the massive offshore tax haven leak that named some high-ranking Chinese officials was speedily removed by censors, Radio Free Asia reported on April 4.

It claims that at least eight current or former members of the all-powerful Politburo standing committee are among the more than 140 political figures worldwide linked with the investigation into...

Much revered bishop dies in Yujiang
(Saturday, 16 April 2016 )

YUJIANG (AsiaNews): A great warrior and much revered person among Catholics in the Nanchang area, Bishop Thomas Zeng Jingmu, the former bishop of Yujiang, passed away on April 2 at the age of 96.

Bishop Zeng (sometimes spelled Deng) had spent more than two decades in prison for his resistance to joining the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association. For his whole life he remained a member of the unofficial, or unregistered,...

Identity of old missionary martyr in Japan confirmed
(Saturday, 16 April 2016 )

TOKYO (Agencies): Japanese authorities confirmed on April 4 the identity of a 17th century Italian Catholic missionary priest, Father Giovanni Battista Sidotti, whose remains were discovered in 2014 during excavations for an apartment building.

Vatican Radio reported on April 6 that he is known as the last missionary martyr to Japan.

Father Sidotti had heard stories...

Pope speaks on family life
(Saturday, 16 April 2016 )

VATICAN (SE): The long awaited apostolic exhortation from Pope Francis following the Synod on Marriage and the Family that ran over two sessions in 2014 and 2015 was released on April 8 at the Vatican.

Titled, The Joy of Love (Amoris Laetitia), the text has been described as poetic and eloquent, with some even saying that it has the qualities of a hymn.

Pope Francis begins...

War can no longer be just
(Saturday, 16 April 2016 )

The most contentious criteria in the Just War Theory listed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church says, “The use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated.” But it also begins to question the possibility of its own condition ever being applicable today when it says, “The power of modern means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition....

Call to pope for a Synod on Creation
(Saturday, 16 April 2016 )

BOSTON (SE): The Global Catholic Climate Movement sent a letter to Pope Francis at the beginning of Lent suggesting that a Synod on Creation would be a constructive move in inviting all people to an ecological conversion.

The movement, which points out that it represents around one million voices from all around the world, thanks the pope for his pastoral concern for all of God’s creation and especially for his...

Christians and Muslims stand against terrorism
(Saturday, 16 April 2016 )

LAHORE (AsiaNews): Leaders from the Islamic and Catholic faiths came together to lead an interfaith vigil in memory of the 76 people who died in the March 27 Easter Sunday terror attack in Lahore, Pakistan, on April 2.

Although it was claimed by the perpetrators that Christians were the target of the attack, in fact, only 17 of the dead have been identified as Christian and the bulk of the remainder are Muslim....

Why do the police kill the poor but spare the rich?
(Saturday, 16 April 2016 )

QUEZON CITY (SE): “It is very troubling that the police and the military are always being sent to harass, wound and kill the poor—whether they be farmers, lumads, urban poor or workers who protest and rally because they suffer and their rights are not being addressed,” Bishop Broderick Pabillo said in a formal condemnation of the violent dispersal of farmers who had rallied on a main road in Kidapawan City on April 1 to call attention to their...