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Bangladesh flood victims reeling

DHAKA (UCAN): Weeks after devastating floods affected millions and killed more than 100 people in Bangladesh, many families are still reeling from a lack of aid as the country suffers an outbreak of waterborne diseases.
 
Monsoon flooding in nearly half of the country’s districts (28 out of 64) affected more than seven million people, left tens of thousands of houses uninhabitable and destroyed crops over vast areas.
 

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Redemptoris Mater College to open in Macau

HONG KONG (SE): A Redemptoris Mater College for Evangelisation in Asia was established in Macau by the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples on June 29, Agenzia Fides, reported.
 
The decree of establishment was signed by Fernando Cardinal Filoni, prefect of the congregation and the college entrusted to the Neocatechumenal Way. It is slated to open its doors to students from different nations in September.
 

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Myanmar’s bishops call for full shutdown of Myitsone dam

MANDALAY (UCAN): Myanmar’s Catholic bishops in have called for the complete shutdown of the China-backed hyrdro-electric Myitsone Dam.
 
In a statement released June 8, the bishops pleaded for all dam stakeholders “to review the Myitsone Dam project in Kachin State and stop it permanently” for the sake of the country’s people.
 
Charles Cardinal Maung Bo of Yangon, along with 18 bishops from 16 dioceses signed the statement after a biannual meeting held in Yangon from June 4 to 7.

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Battling Chinese marriage scams in Pakistan

LAHORE (UCAN): Capuchin Father Morris Jalal was alarmed when one of his catechists shared the news that a young female member of his parish in Lahore, in Pakistan’s Punjab province, was about to marry a Chinese businessman, especially in light of recent stories about human trafficking between the two countries.
 
He immediately summoned the woman’s family to his parish office.
 

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Help and hope in India for sufferers of Hansen’s Disease

Bhopal (UCAN): At 66, Brunda Mohanty vividly remembers the painful situation when he left home as a 14-year-old boy. His mother had died early in his childhood and people in his ancestral village of Nirakarpur, in Puri district of India’s Odisha state, loved him so much.
 
But that was until some patches appeared on his body. “Soon my loved ones began to treat me as an outcast,” he said in a soft, forgiving voice. Slowly, he realised he had contracted Hansen’s Disease, or leprosy, a disease Indians consider a curse.








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Archbishop calls for action against rampant cow vigilantes

BHOPAL (UCAN): “This kind of brutality is not acceptable in a civilised society,” Archbishop Leo Cornelio of Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India, said in reaction to new attacks by so-called cow vigilantes.
 
Police in the district of Seoni detained five people on May 25 for assaulting three people—a Muslim man and woman and their Hindu driver—on May 22. The three were allegedly transporting 140 kilogrammes of beef. 
 

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Bishop backs Philippine pork import ban

MANILA (UCAN): Bishop Ruperto Santos of Balanga, chairman of the Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People, expressed support for a Philippine government ban on pork from at least 16 countries. He called on migrant workers not to send or bring any canned meat products home amid fears of the threat posed to the country’s pork industry by the spread of African swine fever in several parts of the world.
 

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Church media must be creative and attractive priest says

DHAKA (UCAN): Father Raymond Ambroise, former executive secretary of the Office of Social Communications at the Federation of Asian Bishops Conference (FABC), called on Catholics to become “modern missionaries” by “proclaiming truth and the Good News” through the media armed with both “knowledge and commitment.”
 
They should learn to utilise the media by following Jesus’ advice to be “Simple as a dove but cunning as a serpent,” Father Ambroise said on May 30.
 

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Catholic hospital lifts medical standards in Papua

JAYAPURA (UCAN): Church-run hospitals and clinics, such as Dian Harapan Hospital in Jayapura, in Indonesia’s Papua province, have become vital for many who would otherwise slip through gaping holes in the region’s health care net. A shortage of health facilities and professional health workers remains a long-standing problem despite the increasing clamour for better and more affordable services.
 

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Church marks 350 years in Thailand

BANGKOK (UCAN): Fernando Cardinal Filoni, the prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples was in Thailand to help celebration the 350th anniversary of the Church’s mission there.
 
“Asia is a sector of humanity rich in cultures and organized religions but with more than 85 per cent of its members un-baptised,” he told religious, seminarians and catechists at a ceremony in Sampran, 30km west of Bangkok on May 18.
 

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