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Pope Francis invited to visit Taiwan

VATICAN (Agencies): Archbishop John Hung Shan-chuan (洪山川) of Taipei, invited Pope Francis to visit Taiwan, possibly during the national Eucharistic Congress to be held on the island next March, AsiaNews and Reuters reported on May 11.
 
Reuters reported that the archbishop, who is in Rome for an ad limina visit together with six other Taiwanese bishops, said at a reception at Taiwan’s embassy to the Holy See, “No pope has ever landed in Taiwan.” 
 

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Disease a concern for Rohingya refugees as monsoon arrives

DHAKA (UCAN): Aid groups have launched the second phase of a cholera vaccination campaign for the up to one million Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh amid warnings of diseases and natural calamities with the coming of the monsoon season.
 
The week-long oral vaccination of refugees and host communities started on May 6. This follows up on a similar campaign in October to November 2017, which saw about 900,000 refugees innoculated in up to 12 settlements in Cox’s Bazar.
 

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St. Paul Sisters attacked in Hanoi land dispute

HANOI (UCAN): Around a dozen Sisters of St. Paul de Chartres were attacked by gangsters in Hanoi, Vietnam, while protesting the illegal construction of a house on land adjoining their convent.
 
Witnesses said gangsters employed to guard the site “insulted and attacked the sisters with batons and one was beaten to unconsciousness.” They said many policemen were present but did nothing to stop the brutal attack.
 

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Christian leaders call for unity following bombings in Surabaya

JAKARTA (UCAN): Christian leaders called for unity following a spate of suicide bombings that targeted three churches, an apartment building and the police headquarters in Surabaya, Indonesia’s second city, that left dozens dead and many more injured in the deadliest attacks in more than a decade.
 
Father Agustinus Ulahayanan, the executive secretary of the bishops’ Commission for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, denounced the bombings and called on Catholics and other Christians to unite and be vigilant.
 

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Cardinal Tagle ramps up protest against Philippine killings

MANILA (UCAN): Church bells in the Archdiocese of Manila will toll at eight o’clock every evening to protest the continuing spate of killings in the Philippines.
 
Luis Cardinal Tagle, archbishop of Manila ramped up his condemnation of the killings following the shooting of Father Mark Ventura in the Archdiocese of Tuguegarao on April 29, and a broadcast journalist, Edmund Sestoso, in Dumaguete, in the province of Negros Oriental, only a day later.
 

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Rohingya in Bangladesh brace for devastating monsoon floods

DHAKA (UCAN): The government and aid groups in Bangladesh are preparing for disastrous flooding in the upcoming monsoon season which weather forecasters have warned will arrive early at the end of May. It usually starts in June and lasts until August.
 
Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury, minister of the Disaster Management and Relief Ministry, told journalists that disaster preparations are in place.
 

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Philippine government cannot define scope of missionary work

MANILA (UCAN): The Philippine government has “no right to define and delimit the scope of our missionary and apostolate works,” said Australian Sister Patricia Fox, from the Sister of Our Lady of Sion, whose missionary visa was revoked by the Philippine government last month (Sunday Examiner, May 6). 
 
The 71-year-old Sister Fox, who has lived and worked in the Philippines for 27 years as a missionary, hit back at allegations against her by the Bureau of Immigration in a 25-page affidavit.
 

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Charity run for those with disabilities shows Taiwan’s human touch

TAINAN (UCAN): The Diocese of Tainan, Taiwan, is breathing a sigh of relief now that interest in a charity run, which at first looked to be a flop out of the starting blocks, saw a sudden, upward spike that saw the number of sign-ups multiply 10-fold in just a few days.
 
The first Tobias Cup, organised by the Tobias Social Welfare Foundation, is scheduled to kick off on May 26 in Hutoupei, Xinhua town, in Tainan, with the goal of raising NT$20 million ($5.28 million).
 

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Pope hails historic meeting between Korean leader

VATICAN (SE): Pope Francis hailed the agreement reached at the recent inter-Korean summit regarding denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, and expressed the hope that that their courageous commitment may achieve “a path of sincere dialogue for a Korean Peninsula that is free of nuclear weapons,” Vatican News reported 
 

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Report says Indian government ignoring religious violence

SRINAGAR (UCAN): The United States (US) Commission on International Religious Freedom has accused the Indian government of doing little to prevent violence against religious minorities and socially poor Dalit people.
 
The commission’s latest report, released on April 25, said the government of prime minister, Narendra Damodardas Modi, of the pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has not addressed the problem of sectarian violence despite government statistics showing that sectarian violence has increased sharply over the past two years.

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