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Church in India supports striking workers

New Dehli (UCAN): The Catholic Church in India gave its support to some 150 million workers taking part in a nationwide strike on September 2, which shut down factories, banks, traffic and government offices across the country.

Bishop Oswald Lewis, from Jaipur, chairperson of the Labour Office of the Indian Bishops’ Conference, said, “The Church is in solidarity with striking workers because we are concerned about their welfare.”

He added that all Catholic forums in the country are supporting the strike.

Rocky Green, president of the Christian Workers Movement, said federal policies will “eventually give employers the right to hire and fire workers at will.”


Sanctuary in churches last resort

BERLIN ( As thousands of migrants and refugees enter Europe from Africa and Asia, the Migration Commission of the German Bishops’ Conference has published a brief statement on the tradition of granting sanctuary to those who have sought refuge in churches.

Noting that seeking sanctuary or asylum in churches is an ancient tradition, the commission said on September 2 that decisions should be made at the local level and that sanctuary should be granted “only as a last resort for the prevention of imminent human rights violations.”

The commission added that to its knowledge, German parishes and religious communities are currently sheltering 454 refugees.


Bishop slain during Assyrian genocide beatified

VATICAN (Agencies): A century to the day after he was beaten and beheaded for refusing to convert to Islam, Bishop Flavianus Michael Malke (Melki) was beatified as a martyr on August 29 at the Patriarchal Convent of Our Lady of Deliverance in Harissa, Lebanon.

Syriac Catholic Patriarch Ignatius Joseph III Yonan presided at the liturgy.

Angelo Cardinal Amato, the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, told Vatican Radio, “Today, as it was 100 years ago, darkness has fallen in many countries of ancient Christian civilisation: the faithful are discriminated against, persecuted, expelled, killed; their houses are not marked with the blood of the Passover Lamb to be saved, but with the red Nu, for Nasrani or one belonging to the Nazarene, meaning Christians, as the mark of their sentence.”


Russian Orthodox use Catholic church in Beijing

BEIJING (Agencies): The rector of the Russian Orthodox Church of the Assumption at the Russian embassy to China in Beijing, Reverend Sergiy Voronin, celebrated the Divine Liturgy at a Catholic church in the city for Church members living in the area on August 28.

The request for the festive service came from Orthodox Chinese people, who are descendants of the Russian Cossacks, who brought seeds of the Orthodox faith to China 330 years ago.

There are several hundreds of their descendants living in Beijing, Shanghai and other cities in China, who have preserved their faith through centuries.

The first Orthodox church in Beijing was consecrated in 1696 and dedicated under the name of Sophia, the Wisdom of God. It was consecrated again in 1732.

The cathedral church of the first primate of the Chinese Autonomous Orthodox Church was closed during the Cultural Revolution, ANSA reported.


First pope to testify to holiness of another pope

VATICAN (Agencies): Pope Benedict XVI testified in proceedings for the beatification of Pope John Paul I, the Catholic magazine, Famiglia Cristiana (Christian Family), reported on August 28.

He becomes the first pope or retired pope to testify in favour of another pope.

Pope John Paul I died 37 years ago after being in office for just 33 days.


Killing of Middle East Christians genocide

WASHINGTON (CWNews): Speaking with three diocesan newspapers in the United States of America on August 31, Archbishop Bashar Warda, from the Chaldean Catholic archdiocese of Erbil in Iraq, called for the declaration of the killing of Syrian and Iraqi Christians as a genocide.

“This is very important for us,” he said. “You cannot accept this in the 21st century while everyone is watching. I would like the Americans to take responsibility.”

He added, “Do not wait another 20 years and look back on what happened and say, ‘Well, I’m sorry that we did not do something really decisive’.”


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