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Priest banned from travelling abroad

HANOI (UCAN): Redemptorist Father John Nguyen Ngoc Nam Phong, who is known for his human rights advocacy campaigns for social justice, has been barred from leaving Vietnam for national security reasons.
 
A Church person said that the priest from Thai Ha parish in Hanoi was stopped at Hanoi’s Noi Bai Airport as he was checking in on a flight to Australia for study laave on June 27.
 

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Mixed reviews for south Asian nations in trafficking report

HONG KONG (UCAN): While China fell in ranking in the Trafficking in Persons Report 2017 (see page 3) issued by the State Department of the United States of America (US) on June 27, south Asian nations continue to fall short in their attempts to combat human trafficking and protect victims, but are making significant efforts.
 
The report ranked Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and India among 44 countries on the list of Tier 2 nations.
 

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Children on the frontline of Philippine conflicts

MANILA (UCAN): The Philippines is home to one of the longest-standing conflicts in southeast Asia. The complex narratives of various insurgent groups fighting the government include the use of children as combatants.
 
The United Nations (UN) says the recruitment and use of children during conflict is a severe violation of human rights and is condemned by the Security Council. But in many parts of the world children play a direct part in combat.
 

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No dialogue with extremists bishop says

DAGUPAN (UCAN): Bishop Edwin de la Peña, from Marawi on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao, said that there is no way the Church can dialogue with extremists at a conference in the northern province of Pagasinan on June 29.
 

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Catholic blogger jailed in Vietnam

HANOI (UCAN): Mary Magdelene Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, a Catholic blogger known as Mother Mushroom, was sentenced to 10 years in prison by the People’s Court of Khanh Hoa province in Nha Trang City on June 29.
 
The roads leading up to the court were blocked while police lined the streets.
 
Nguyen, a co-founder of a network of bloggers, was found guilty of “conducting propaganda against the Communist government” under Article 88 of the Criminal Law. She was arrested on 10 October 2016.

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Gunmen descrate church in Cotabato

COTABATO (UCAN): Orlando Cardinal Quevedo, from Cotabato, Mindanao, has condemned reported desecration of a Catholic chapel by terrorist gunmen in the southern Philippines on June 21.
 
The incident, in the village of Malagakit, occurred when about 300 gunmen of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), a breakaway faction of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, attacked Pigcawayan, Cotabato, resulting in the displacement of hundreds of residents.
 
The group has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.

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Nations are ruined by hypocrisy cardinal says

MANILA (SE): “God is my joy in every circumstance of my life knowing that he works all things out always for the good of all,” 
 
Luis Cardinal Antonio Tagle, the archbishop of Manila said on the occasion of his 60th birthday on June 21, UCAN reported.
 

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Beware the leaven of fake news bishops say

MANILA (SE): In a June 25 statement Bishop Ruperto Santos, from Balanga, head of the Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People, described fake news as a form of escapism to spread lies, UCAN reported. 
 
“False news is sinfulness,” he said, reminding Filipino workers abroad “to avoid false promises.”
 

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