May 2016

Bid to expel Muslims from their homes fails
(Saturday, 28 May 2016 )

Mandalay (UCAN): A Buddhist group in Myanmar’s religiously divided Rakhine state in the Union of Myanmar has failed in its bid to pressure local authorities to expel Muslims from Sittwe.

Soe Naing, from the Rakhine National Network, a civil society organisation based in Sittwe, said that a petition with around 400 signatures was sent to the state’s chief minister in mid-May demanding that Muslims be expelled...

Chinese Orthodox make pilgrimage to Russia
(Saturday, 28 May 2016 )

MOSCOW (SE): A pilgrim group made up of the descendants of Chinese clergy from the Russian Orthodox Church in China and young members of the Orthodox Church from Harbin and Beijing concluded a three-day visit to Russia on May 9 with a stop at St. Petersburg, the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate reported.

As guests of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, the group was invited to...

The group that never says die
(Saturday, 28 May 2016 )

HONG KONG (SE): At first sight, the Filipino Migrant Cancer Support Society (FILMCASS) is an organisation that should not have succeeded, but as any teacher or social observer knows and understands, the human spirit can never be underestimated and the seemingly impossible is attainable with the right amount of determination, inspiration and hard work.

But on May 22, the members of FILMCASS got together at the Sacred Heart...

Deacons Jubilee
(Saturday, 28 May 2016 )

The Vatican has launched a three-day celebration to lead up to the day of Jubilee for Deacons, which is marked on May 29.

It is a celebration for permanent deacons the world over and timed to coincide with the Jubilee of Mercy. Deacons and their families from a variety of places have been invited to Rome to be part of the three-day programme, which includes a meeting of deacons and their families, catechesis, a few...

Beijing silent but Catholics talk on Cultural Revolution anniversary
(Saturday, 28 May 2016 )

HONG KONG (SE): In the run up to the 50th anniversary of the declaration of the Cultural Revolution by the then-all-powerful chairman of the Communist Party of China, Mao Zedong, Beijing not only remained quiet, but furtively silent.

A 10-year period of tumult that saw almost two million people perish, with over one million categorised as traitors and imprisoned or committing suicide, was declared just 50 years ago on 16...

Dispersing fear after Lahore bomb attack
(Saturday, 28 May 2016 )

Lahore (UCAN): Dispersing fear in the wake of the bomb attack that shattered the peace of Easter Sunday on March 27 in the  Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park in Lahore, Pakistan, is a major part of the support work being done by Caritas for the victims (Sunday Examiner, April 10).

A Caritas programme is providing trauma counselling to those affected by the bombing.

Perwaiz Masih, a...

Sheltering flood victims in Sri Lanka
(Saturday, 28 May 2016 )

Colombo (UCAN): Caritas Sri Lanka has come to the assistance of thousands of people affected by floodwaters and landslides that have so far left at least 58 people dead and 132 missing.

Heavy rains have lashed the island nation since the weekend of May 14 and 15, flooding wide scathes of Colombo and large areas of the country’s central region.

“We left everything except...

Zacchaeus and China’s religious question
(Saturday, 28 May 2016 )

In Luke’s gospel account there is a story about a man whose encounter with Jesus tickles our imagination (19:1-10).

It took place in Jericho, the oldest known fortified city dating back to 9,000BC. In Jesus’ time, it was a thriving oasis...

Where are Sri Lanka’s missing priests?
(Saturday, 28 May 2016 )

Killinochchi (UCAN): “We are waiting for a sincere attempt from the new government to find the culprits, reveal the truth and show accountability so as to really promote reconciliation,” Father S.V.B. Mangalarajah, the president of the Justice and Peace Commission in the diocese of Jaffna, Sri Lanka, said on May 18, as he called for answers from Sri Lankan authorities about the fate of the  priests who disappeared in suspicious circumstances...

Some priests stay mum on meeting with pope
(Saturday, 28 May 2016 )

HONG KONG (UCAN): Some of the priests from China who met with Pope Francis in Rome on April 27 have been reluctant to discuss their experience since they returned home, fearing repercussions from the government.

“It is inconvenient for me to talk, given the situation in China,” one priest said.

Twenty-three parish priests, mostly from northern China, attended a two-week...