July 2017

Around the Traps
(Saturday, 29 July 2017 )

Get political
DHAKA (UCAN): “Now, the signs of the times demand that Christians need active political engagement to serve the community and the nation better,” Patrick Cardinal D’Rozario, the archbishop of Dhaka, said on July 17.
“Getting political should be based on Christian values and be about breaking barriers that fuel division and conflict, which can harm the Church and the community as whole,” he...

Keeping same-sex marriage in context
(Saturday, 29 July 2017 )

MUNICH (SE): The archbishop of Munich, Reinhard Cardinal Marx, told Augsburger Allgemeine that the Church should not get too excited over a new law passed by the Bundestag on June 30 recognising same-sex marriage, but rather review with disgust its own record on not opposing the prosecution of homosexuals.
He said during the July 14 interview with the German magazine that the law in Germany, which made homosexuality a crime, was not rescinded until 1994 and that...

Have a good holiday
(Saturday, 29 July 2017 )

Holidays are a happy time! Workers and students, even grandparents who help care of their grandchildren are eager for a bit of down time.
But this year’s summer holidays have been clouded by the news of the death of the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Liu Xiaobo, the deaths of local industrial workers and the disqualification of Legislative Council members, making the season a heavy-hearted one.
The word holiday comes from holy day, particularly...

The Year of the Killing
(Saturday, 29 July 2017 )

MANILA (UCAN): In the run up to the second State of the Nation Address from the president of The Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, pockets of the streets of the country were alive with rallies calling for an end to the rampant killing in his so-called drug war and an end to repressive state policies.
But one rally staged by teenage girls from St. Scholastica’s College in Manila hit the mark for originality, as they took to the streets to proclaim Duterte’s first...

Blasphemy law should cut both ways
(Saturday, 29 July 2017 )

KARACHI (UCAN): The Joint Christian Action Committee in Pakistan is petitioning the government to charge Zafar Ullah Khan, a leader in the ruling party, with blasphemy if he refuses to apologise for drawing an offensive parallel between the prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, and Jesus Christ.
The prime minister of the majority Muslim nation and his family are under investigation for owning offshore properties was revealed through the Panama Papers Leaks—documents held by...

African crisis demands a response
(Saturday, 29 July 2017 )

DUBLIN (SE): The Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference has asked for a special collection to be taken up at all Masses in the country on the weekend of July 22 and 23 to fund life-saving aid for people currently affected by the devastating hunger crisis in east-Africa.
The money raised will be distributed by the Catholic aid society, Trócaire, which is already involved in delivering emergency food, water and health care to the 25 million people affected.

Nestorian Crosses of the Silk Road
(Saturday, 29 July 2017 )

The advocacy by the president of China, Xi Jianping, for the One Belt, One Road initiative has revitalised interest in topics related to the Silk Road. One of the most eye-catching has Christian relevance: the Nestorian Crosses found in Ordos, Inner Mongolia in China.
Andrea Chen Jian, a young scholar at the University of Hong Kong describes them in this way, “The Nestorian Crosses are perceived as significant materials not only for...

Inspiration to keep going
(Saturday, 29 July 2017 )

HONG KONG (SE): The annual Mass for Migrants celebrated this year at Christ the King Chapel in Causeway Bay on July 16 got the tick as an inspiration to keep on battling from the 500 or so people from the Filipino, Indonesian, Vietnamese and Sri Lankan communities in Hong Kong.
Priscilla Kirk, a member of the choir at St. Francis’ parish in Ma On Shan, said that the words of the celebrant of the Mass, Bishop Michael Yeung Ming-cheung, gave her hope and...

Is Christianity a blight on the religious ecology of China?
(Saturday, 29 July 2017 )

HONG KONG (SE): A leading scholar in the study of religion within a framework of what is referred to as a Chinese religious ecology, Mou Zhongjian, credits what he calls the wrong-headed policies of Mao Zedong with setting the stage for the revival of Christianity in the 1980s after the country began to open up.
Mou contends that Mao, in his effort to kill off all religion, including indigenous religio-cultural expressions, the traditional religious ecology of China was...

What’s not to like about Winnie the Pooh?
(Saturday, 29 July 2017 )

BEIJING (AsiaNews): Wang Xiaochuan, the chief executive of the web search engine Sogou, posted a seemingly innocent image of Winnie the Pooh on his Weibo account on July 15, but it attracted a lot of surprised attention, as the image has been banned in China since 2013.
The loveable bear from the stories by A. A. Milne and the animated movies from Disney Studios is regarded as an offensive character by Chinese censors because of its physical resemblance to the...