March 2017

China publishes list of religious institutes
(Saturday, 25 March 2017 )

BEIJING (SE): Since 2014, the State Administration for Religious Affairs has been in the process of building an online database on religions in China on its website.

Since the end of 2015, all sites for religious activities, including Buddhist and Daoist temples that have been registered with the state, have been listed on its website.

On October 11 last year, a second online...

Women with plenty to tell the Vatican
(Saturday, 25 March 2017 )

VATICAN (SE): The Vatican sponsored its first Women Consultation Group to coincide with International Women’s Day on March 8. The first gathering was made up of 37 women from a variety of fields including medicine, journalism, theology and politics, among others.

Stefania Brancaccio Coelmo told Rome Reports that the pope must listen to their voices if he is going to really renew the ecology of gender relations...

D-Day for chief executive
(Saturday, 25 March 2017 )

Just 20 years after Hong Kong returned to Chinese sovereignty, a new chief executive will be selected on March 26 by the 1,194-strong Election Committee.

In 1997, Tung Chee-hwa left the business sector to become the first chief executive of Hong Kong. He was followed by the veteran civil servant, Donald Tsang Yam-kuen. In 2012, Leung Chun-ying, a professional who had also held...

Exile exposes Vietnam’s treatment of dissidents
(Saturday, 25 March 2017 )

HANOI (UCAN): A Vietnamese Catholic social advocate in exile, Francis Xavier Dang Xuan Dieu, has backed up a claim from Amnesty International that his country is guilty of physically and mentally torturing prisoners of conscience.

During a human rights summit, Dieu described treatment meted out to prisoners of conscience in the Communist country.

“In prison we have our...

What’s discrimination and what’s not
(Saturday, 25 March 2017 )

MANCHESTER (CNS): A ruling in the European Court of Justice allowing employers to ban employees from wearing visible religious insignia prompted Bishop Philip Egan, from Portsmouth in England, to comment that it is an infringement of human rights.

The European Court had considered two cases. One involves a company banning a Muslim woman from wearing a hijab (headscarf), as internal policy does not allow employees to...

China battens down hatches on Tibet
(Saturday, 25 March 2017 )

LHASA (SE): Human Rights Watch is critical of Beijing for staging a massive military parade in Lhasa, Tibet, just one week prior to the marking of the failed 1959 uprising that saw China finally put its stranglehold on the country.

Lhasa became a military fortress when some 5,000 troops carrying guns and shields accompanied by about 1,000 military and anti-riot vehicles marched through the streets of the Tibetan capital on...

Around the Traps
(Saturday, 25 March 2017 )

Indian priest stabbed in Melbourne

MELBOURNE (SE): Father Tomy Kalathoor Mathew, who hails from Kerala in India, was stabbed in the foyer of the church prior to a Mass in Italian at his parish in the Melbourne suburb of Fawkner by a man of Italian ethnic origin on March...

Seoul promotes cause of modern day martyrs
(Saturday, 25 March 2017 )

SEOUL (AsiaNews): South Korea has opened the process of beatification and eventual canonisation for two groups of martyrs; John Baptist Yi Byeok and his 132 companions; and Bishop Francis Borgia Hong Yong-ho, the first bishop of Pyongyang and his 80 companions.

Both groups have cleared the first hurdle and are at the servant of God stage.

Yi (1754 to 1785) and his companions died...

Mock abortion in front of cathedral
(Saturday, 25 March 2017 )

BUENOS AIRES (SE): An angry mob descended on the cathedral in Tucman, Argentina, on International Women’s Day, March 8, in what was described as a blatant attack on the image of the person of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The group staged a mock abortion on a woman dressed as the Blessed Virgin in the street outside the cathedral, using look-alike blood and baby parts coming from under the woman’s dress, local media...

A jeepney run on flower power
(Saturday, 25 March 2017 )

MANILA (SE): The colourful, iconic trademark of Philippine transport, the humble jeepney could be reaching the end of its long road, as the Department of Transportation and Communications has announced plans to phase it out in favour of a more modern people-mover network.

But apart from easing road congestion, a major attraction for foreign adventurers will be removed, as a ride on a jeepney is a must for having more fun...