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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 continued.
In Muslim-majority Bangladesh, Christians account for less than half of a per cent of the population, which totals 160 million. Most of the estimated 600,000 Christian population is Catholic.
Faceless Facebook block
DENVER (SE): More than 20 Catholic pages were blocked by Facebook around July 18, mostly smaller Brazilian operations, but also some significant ones in the United States of America.
Although the pages have been restored, no explanation has been given.
Facebook blocked access to more than 20 Catholic pages on July 18, without any explanation. 
One popular page with four million followers known as the Father Rocky Page and run by Father Francis Hoffman, from Relevant Radio, was also closed with no explanation other than something suspicious was found on the page.
Facebook later apologised for the problem.
Boko Haram targeting public places
ABUJA (SE): A suicide bombing organised by Boko Haram killed at least eight people in a mosque in Maiduguri in northern Nigeria on July 17.
Fides reported a spokesperson for the local diocese as describing the Boko Haram as an enemy of humanity.
Over the last few months, Boko Haram has attacked a series of crowded places, including markets and hospitals, in Maiduguri and its suburbs. The group has increased its attacks on civilians because lately, they have organised self-defence militias to try to limit their assaults.
Model not mongrel
SEOUL (SE): The long legs and powerful strut of Seoul’s latest sensation on the catwalk, teenager Han Hyun-Min, have made him a rising star in South Korea, but his black skin  has brought out the latent racism of the population that regularly refers to the half-Korean half-Nigerian as a mongrel.
“A dark-skinned fashion model like Han was unheard of in South Korea, so recruiting him was a big gamble,” his agent, Youn Bum, explained.
Diversifying the Academy for Life
ROME (SE): A new strategic vision for the Pontifical Academy for Life that is seeking to embrace a protection of all life was outlined by Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia.
Crux reported him as saying that the academy is not downgrading its commitment to the pro-life struggle, but expanding it to a commitment to the whole environment.
Archbishop Paglia was critical of single-issue groups that limit their attention to abortion, saying that care for creation demands seeking to protect not only unborn babies, but also the environment. “We have now the urgent task of broadening our vision,” the archbishop said.
Beware bogus appeals
ILIGAN (SE): The Iligan diocese has warned the public against bogus appeals for the relief operations for displaced families from Marawi.
Bogus collections are a constant companion of emergency situations in The Philippines, as enterprising people are always ready to take advantage of the suffering of others. Some even claim they are from official Church or aid agencies.
However, Filipinos in Hong Kong are no less enterprising and even capable of inventing a disaster when none exists.
Beware of street collectors, especially those who say they represent something you have never heard of and cannot give you a street address where the organisation can be contacted.
Shrink on German Church declines
MUNICH (SE): Statistics released on July 21 by the German Bishops’ Conference for 2016 show that 162,093 people left the Church during last year, just under 20,000 less than in the previous year when the number was estimated at 181,925.
Government figures show that 28.5 per cent of Germany’s population is Catholic and currently Church numbers stand at 23.8 million, down from 27.53 million in 1996.
In addition, 537 parishes closed last year. Over the past two decades, over 3,000 parishes have closed, with the number declining from 13,329 to 10,280.

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